“I’ve never known anybody to achieve anything without overcoming adversity.”
The Ohio State Buckeyes have experienced plenty of adversity in seasons past. Florida, LSU and Texas in bowl play and falling to big and not so dominate teams (Purdue) in regular season play. The inability to win the big games created nationwide ridicule beyond keyboard fistfights and alcohol induced backyard arguments. The gray on the Buckeye jersey was looking a little bit grayer.
Five consecutive conference championships and the fact that the team was actually making it to the big game had no bearing on the consensus of the sports community. The “Luckeyes” successes were continually overlooked due to the hypothetical tractor beam focus on defeat.
What is the best way to overcome adversity? Get mad. By mad I mean really mad. By really mad I mean pissed! Listen to the nay sayers. Prove them wrong.
And then there was Oregon.
OSU QB Terrell Pryor said during last season that the loss to Purdue was an eye opener. Instead of allowing the defeats to define him along with his teammates, as seemed to be the case until that point, they made a vow to use the negative banter as a motivator.
The Buckeyes D-10ed their way through the remainder of the season with a chip on their shoulder taking that chip all the way to Pasadena. For those of you who need a refresher; that game, the coveted Rose Bowl, ended with an impressive 26-17 victory over the Oregon Ducks.
The good news is the notable victory did nothing to silence doubters. Keep up the good work sacred haters. The Buckeyes will need that motivation to push them straight (back) to the desert this coming January.
The Thundering Herd(dle)
Jim Tressell’s Buckeyes kick off the season Thursday evening in the Horseshoe taking on (We are) Marshall. Ohio State has won 32 straight home openers
OSU is bringing back nine starters on an offense that averaged 29 points per game and six starters back from a defense that gave up only 12.5 points per contest.
Not only do the Buckeyes return Pryor for his junior season after throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns to go with 72 yards rushing, but also running backs Dan “Boom” Herron and Brandon Saine, fullback Zach Boren and receivers Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher. Additionally, four of the five starting offensive linemen return from a year ago.
The biggest concern for the team will be on the O Line at left tackle with senior Andrew Miller and Mike Adams fighting for the job.
Defensively, three of the four starting front needs to be replaced. That didn’t stop co-defensive coordinator Jim Heacock from saying that the Cameron Heyward-led line might be the best Ohio State has ever had.
The linebackers, including returning starters Brian Rolle and Ross Homan, are strong and athletic. The defensive backfield has rock star corners Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence and stellar safeties Ohrian Johnson, C.J. Barnett and Jermale Hines.
Marshall’s main strength against the Buckeyes has nothing to do with players or ability. It is the fact that Marshall will be playing for the first time under new head coach Doc Holliday. A new staff means a new way of doing things.
Regardless of the staff, the talent of Marshall is not up to par with that of Ohio State.
Herd QB Brian Anderson threw for 2,646 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, but he also threw 13 interceptions. If he can avoid defensive All-American candidates Brian Rolle and Cameron Heyward and stay of the grass he must work to get the ball to Andre Booker will start at running back and ahead of bowl MVP Martin Ward. If airing the ball is at all a possibility it will be directed towards tight end Lee Smith or receiver Antavious Wilson.
Marshall lost two defensive starters during the offseason after both were arrested and Holliday dismissed them from the team. The pass rush is weak and keeping Pryor in the pocket will be key to contending. What I am trying to say is the snow ball’s chance will have melted away even before reaching its storied destination.
Adversity can be a good thing. What separates the men from the boys is how they deal with adversity. It’s redemption time Buckeyes!
About the Author
Written by Rebekah Edwards