The University of Miami goes head-to-head with The Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time since meeting in the 2002 National Championship Game at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
The colors are the same, Jim Tressel is still wearing a sweater vest on the sideline and the pigskin is still made of leather. Beyond that there are hardly any similarities to the match-up that resulted in the controversial 31-24 Ohio State victory… except for the ego still encompassing the orange and green population.
Winston Churchill once said “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes”. The Hurricanes did not get the memo.
Prior to the January 2003 Fiesta Bowl, Miami faithful had distributed flyers to everyone within stiff-arming distance throughout Mill Avenue and the surrounding ASU vicinity announcing the Hurricanes post-game victory party. The arrogant behavior came with a 34-0 record, a national title to defend and repercussions. I am guessing that party did not turn out to be the social event of the season!
Miami is calling this Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium a rematch and revenge (although the majority of the players on both sides of the ball were between the ages of 11 to 14 in 2003). ‘Actor’ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a former Miami defensive lineman has even created a YouTube video, ranking right up there with his pathetic film career, in which he promised an “all-day-long, pack-your-lunch, sweater-vest-stomping, ass-kicking Hurricane style”. Yipe!
My recommendation; instead of being inspired by a man who coined himself after petrified matter (or crack cocaine) and who apparently enjoys time in the kitchen, sit down for a good helping of Jerry Maguire.
The moral of the story is that pride and arrogance will get in the way of reaching full potential. Much like Rod Tidwell and Jerry Maguire had to get past their respective egos in order to find moral and literal victories.
I will begin my game breakdown by pointing out that heart goes a whole hell of a lot further than smack talking. After missing his entire junior season due to brain trauma inflicted by an ‘man’ from Largo, Florida, OSU LB Tyler Moeller made a statement on the field during last weekend’s 45-7 whipping of Marshall with six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Moeller along with Cameron Heyward and the rest of a Buckeyes’ D who finished second last season in the FBS in interceptions (24) and fifth in passer rating allowed (95.75), touchdowns allowed (10) and yards per pass attempt (5.4) go up against a Miami offense led by Jacory Harris who’s ego can boast 17 INT’s last season (second most in the FBS).
The Buckeye’s defense limited Marshall to 44 yards on the ground and 199 total during game one.
Harris’ success will be based upon the effectiveness of his offensive line that includes freshman Seantrel Henderson who had originally expressed interest in OSU before selecting to play at USC and then again changing his mind and heading to Miami.
The Hurricanes were able to shut out a Florida A&M team last weekend 45-0 but Florida A&M hardly has the offense of the 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes.
OSU QB Terrelle Pryor hit eight different receivers in the season-opener against Marshall completing 17 of 25 passes for 247 yards and TDs covering 6 and 11 yards to DeVier Posey and 65 yards to Dane Sanzenbacher.
Even after his Rose Bowl MVP performance, Pryor is showing maturity as opposed to ego. He is learning to play within his abilities and not trying to win the game on his own. It is important for Pryor to maintain his composure against a Hurricane rushing defense coming off its best performance in three years, with eight sacks against FAMU.
It seems that the Buckeyes weakest link is on special teams but Ohio State is simply too strong up front on both sides of the ball and wins the battle at the line of scrimmage and also the football game in the Horseshoe.
“Everybody always says, ‘Oh, Ohio State can win the Big Ten, but they can’t win on the big stage, in an early season game,”’ defensive lineman Dexter Larimore said. “Last year we had USC, the year before that we had USC. It’s been rough for us. If we want to make this team make a statement then we have to do it here.” That means check your egos at the tunnel and win the game, with heart, on the field.
Show me the $victory$ Buckeyes!
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Written by Rebekah Edwards