Good morning Buckeye-folken, and welcome to your Thursday Morning Hive. It’s been five days since the entire world ended simply because the Indiana Hoosiers tacked on a couple of late cosmetic touchdowns against our beloved football squad from THE Ohio State University. If you could harness the energy from all the hand wringing about Ohio State’s defensive performance the last two weeks (particularly last week), you could power the entire country for a decade. (Eliminate fossil fuels!)
Don’t get me wrong, I too think the defensive performance this season leaves much to be desired. It’s easy to say that Indiana has no business playing us that closely, but I firmly believe the Hoosiers have a pretty efficient offense under Kevin Wilson and our woes last week had a lot to do with injuries, lack of depth, slow-to-develop youngsters, and inattentiveness after the lead grew. Also, the special teams put the defense in some bad situations. But this week provides a new chapter, a chance to improve to 8-0, and a shot at revenge for last season’s blocked PAT debacle, which ruined a promising season. (On the plus side, if Ohio State had beaten Purdue and Penn State last year, we might currently be looking at Year 2 of the Luke Fickell era). Let’s start this Hive.
I’ll never be mistaken for a mathematician, but I crunched a few numbers this week to see exactly how Braxton Miller is doing in this, his sophomore season. It turns out he’s doing very well. Miller is on pace to gain 3,743 total yards this season—that’s passing and running, although he could conceivably also end up with receiving yards somewhere down the line. The current official Ohio State record for total yardage in a season is Bobby Hoying’s 1995 mark of 3,290. Of course, Hoying’s record would not be the mark to beat if not for the now-vacated 3,526 yards Terrelle Pryor gained in 2010. Miller is still on pace to break that mark by more than 200 yards, although he admittedly has some tougher defenses ahead in Penn State and Wisconsin than what he’s seen earlier this year (Sparty excluded).
Braxton is on pace to rush for 1,564 yards and 16 touchdowns, and pass for 2,179 yards and 19 scores. His current average of 311.9 yards per game would be a new OSU record as well, eclipsing Joe Germaine’s 1998 mark of 270.6* (Pryor had 271.2 yards per game in 2010). Miller’s projected 35 combined touchdowns would shatter Hoying’s 1995 mark of 31, which Troy Smith equaled in 2006. If he reached that number he would finish his sophomore season with 55 career combined TDs, good for sixth on the school’s career list. He would then theoretically have two more seasons to get 31 more and break Art Schlichter’s career record of 85. In Urban Meyer’s offense for two more full seasons, he might set a ridiculously tough record to beat. You want Braxton highlights? Count all the broken ankles through the first six games with this video. When you see the raw talent Miller has and what a great kid and ambassador for the university he has been, he may be the most likable Buckeye signal caller since Joe Germaine.
Women’s Hockey: Semenza Named WCHA Offensive POW
Senior forward Paige Semenza was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Offensive Player of the Week. Semenza netted a hat trick in a 5-3 Ohio State victory over No. 6 Minnesota Duluth on Friday, scoring in all three periods. A diminutive (5-foot-4) native of Pittston, PA, Semenza has team highs in total points (11) and goals (7) on the season, with a plus/minus rating of +7. She led the Lady Buckeyes to the best start in the history of the program (5-0-0). Ohio State won three straight games over ranked opponents in that span. Semenza’s WCHA POW honor follows junior goaltender Chelsea Knapp’s defensive POW award a week ago. Next up for No. 6/7 Ohio State is a trip to Minneapolis to take on the top-ranked Golden Gophers Friday and Saturday at Ridder Arena. The smallish Semenza is stepping up big for the Buckeyes this year, after recording just five goals and 14 points in her junior campaign.
Jerry Kill Ain’t No Quitter, Son
After his latest seizure scare, Jerry Kill has affirmed his intent to continue coaching, stating that he won’t give up his job just because of his condition. Kill is susceptible to seizures as a byproduct of contracting kidney cancer, which is now in remission. He’s left with seizure disorder and the knowledge that he could have an attack at any moment. Whatevs, says Kill, who is more awesome than you will ever be.
“I’ve been as open as I can be,” Kill said. “Everybody knows the situation. I’m an epileptic. I’ve got seizures. I’m going to have them for the rest of my life. I could have one today. It is what it is.”
We’re glad Kill’s most recent episode was mild, following his team’s loss to Northwestern last weekend, but we wish they’d just go away forever. Kill is a guy you can’t help but kind of root for.
OSU Women’s Volleyball Falls to Penn State
The Buckeyes gave Penn State a good run, but the No. 1 Nittany Lions showed why they’re holding the nation’s highest ranking with a 3-0 victory Wednesday night at St. John Arena, in a match televised by the Big Ten Network. Ohio State hung around each game but were ultimately a little short each time as Penn State swept the Buckeyes 25-21, 25-19, 25-22. The Buckeyes (14-7) have dropped two straight and will try to bounce back early Saturday evening at Michigan State (16-5). The Spartans started very strong but dropped three consecutive matches before last night’s 3-0 road win over TTUN.
Buckeyes ranked No. 4 in shooty hoops in the preseason USA/Coaches poll (Indiana #1, TTUN #5, Sparty #14, Wisconsin #21, Minnesota ORV)…Chris over at Land-Grant Holy Land had a pretty decent treatise on the term “fake Buckeye”…Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel has finally been cleared to play by the NCAA. Now I’m not saying someone got paid, HAHAHAHA, JUST KIDDING, someone totally got paid. Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson are still not cleared… That’s cold, bro…Very important secret!…Bill O’Brien hates Twitter and “Spacebook”…Well this just seems a tad harsh to me.