O-H-I-O!

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Thoughts on an unforgettable football weekend in Ohio:

42-39…I was confident that the Buckeyes would win, but not in a fastbreak, trackmeet, shootout! But I’m not complaining. The only ones who are hail from Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was a joy to watch in person. The atmosphere was unbelievable at “The Shoe.” Talk about living up to the hype and then some. WOW!

About those complainers from up north wanting a rematch, especially running back Mike Hart. You’re ragging on Ohio State’s defense? Look in the mirror, Mr. Hart. Your defense gave up over 500 total yards and six times the amount of rushing yards you had been averaging and you only recorded one sack. Shut up and take it like a man. They say a player and the team takes on the personality of the coach. I guess that’s definitely true here!

Michigan came in giving up only 1.6 yards per carry in the first 11 games of the season and 29 yards on the ground per game. The Buckeyes rushed for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns on 29 carries. That’s an average of 6.4 yards per carry. Mike Hart, are you paying attention? How about giving some credit to the Buckeyes’ offensive line and running backs Antonio Pittman (139 yards) and Chris Wells (56 yards).

With Troy Smith throwing for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns and running for 17 more yards against Michigan, he raised his career totals in 3 starts against the Wolverines to 1056 yards of total offense with 9 touchdowns. And he did so while posting a 3-0 record as a starter! Nobody loves hunting and killing wolverines better than Troy.

With those numbers against that team from up north, a record of 25-2 as a starter, a Heisman Trophy coming his way on December 9th, playing for a National Title, and with a win on January 8th, 2007, Troy Smith has the chance to cement himself as the greatest quarterback to ever play at THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY! He may have done so even before playing in the championship game. Not bad for a kid who was one of the final recruits in that class of 2002!

Eight different receivers caught balls from Troy Smith, while six different players scored touchdowns against Michigan. Talk about balance and depth. Nobody else in the country can match that.

Name me a better BIG GAME coach or, for that matter, a better every day coach than Jim Tressel. You can’t. He’s simply the best in college football right now. He’s now 5-1 versus Michigan and 4-1 in bowl games with a 3-0 mark in BCS bowl games. His overall career record at Ohio State is now 62-13, good for a .827 winning percentage. The man in the sweater vest has led the Buckeyes to 4 BCS Bowl games, 3 Big Ten Titles, 2 National Championship appearences and 1 National Championship and possibly a 2nd National Title to be decided on January 8th, 2007. Counting his time at Youngstown State, Jim Tressel is making his 8th appearance in a National Title game. He won 4 championships in 6 tries at YSU and is going for his 2nd in 2 tries at OSU.

Rematch, Part 2…If Ohio State has to play Michigan again, then so be it. If that’s what the pollsters and the computers say, then let’s get it on again! The Buckeyes are the best team in the country and can beat anybody, anywhere, especially in their home away from home in Arizona. Would I like to see USC or Florida as the Buckeyes’ opponent? Yes. That way they’ll have beaten the defending National Champion Texas Longhorns, the best the Big 12 has to offer, their arch-rival Michigan for the 5th time in the last 6 years, and the best that either the PAC 10 has to offer or the winner of the highly praised SEC conference.

Any way you look at it, the Buckeyes have the chance to do something that no other team, to my knowledge, has done, and that’s beat three #2 ranked teams in one season. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Lee Corso and Skip Clue-Less!

Hats off to all the policemen at the game on Saturday. I was on the field for the final five minutes of the game and they handled things as well as you possibly could. I asked one officer what the game plan was once the final gun had sounded and the Buckeyes and all of their fans wanted to celebrate. He told me we’re here to protect the goalposts and make sure nobody gets hurts. He said you’re not going to stop them from running on the field, so we’ll let them and just make sure nobody gets close to the goal posts. Well done. To my knowledge it went well and nobody was seriously hurt. Which is amazing since they had a record crowd of 105,708.

Also a tip of the cap to the fans. While it was a little crazy down on the field, the fans controlled themselves, especially around the players and The Best Damn Band In The Land. I thought to myself, how awesome is it, that not one fan ran into a band member as they were playing Carmen Ohio after arguably the greatest regular season victory in school history. Now that’s respect!

On to the other game over the weekend. We go from the Game of the Century to the Battle for the Basement. Bad teams find a way to lose and that’s exactly what the Browns did in their rivalry matchup with the Steelers…24-20. Cleveland led by 10 points on three different occasions, including a 20-10 cushion with 4:30 minutes to play and still blew it. Pittsburgh scored 21 fourth quarter points to make it 6 straight wins over the Browns and 12 wins in the last 13 meetings. The Browns may have gained some respect, but the Steelers, even in an off year, posted the victory.

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