A VICTORY meal was held Sunday because of Ohio State's win over Central Florida last week, and it's hoped - at least by Buckeye fans - that there will be more to come.
Such a meal may become a tradition as the season progresses. It's encouraging that the ranking of OSU, who will face the California Golden Bears Saturday, has moved from 18th to 12th.
Although head football coach Urban Meyer referred to last week's game during Monday's press conference as a "good win," he went on to say, "We have to fix, obviously, a lot of things, but we had a victory meal last night, which I think it's a new tradition we are starting here, and it's mandatory for all players and coaches to be out and enjoy that win."
Meyer had high praise for OSU quarterback Braxton Miller, noting that Miller is "a hell of a football player ... Better than even everybody in this country thinks right now."
The head coach and other members of the OSU coaching staff are aware of the need to limit Miller's carries and also the pounding that he is enduring because of his workload. Miller had 27 carries when the Buckeyes defeated Central Florida, 31-16, and that is believed to be a school record for a QB.
It would be difficult to match a school record set by a Buckeye in 1942, and plans are to honor four members of that team during Saturday's game. That team was led by such OSU greats as future Heisman Trophy winner Les Horvath, All-American Paul Sarringhaus and Gene Fekete, whose 89-yard touchdown run that year against Pitt still ranks as the longest in school history.
The 1942 team, coached by Paul Brown, won OSU's first football national championship.
Saturday's game marks the seventh time that the Buckeyes have encountered the Golden Bears, and OSU leads the series, 5-1. Cal is 1-1 this season, and its loss was to Nevada, 31-24.
Meyer said Cal has a "very unusual defense. They run like a bear, which is a 46, where they play the nose and then two, three tight ends, it's a very unusual defense. Very good players. They led the Pac 12 a year ago on defense. Offense, they have a very accurate quarterback, 64 percent completion rate and a very athletic team."
Chris Harper, Cal's wide receiver, indicated he is looking forward to the excitement and larger fan-base at the 'Shoe.
After last week's game in which California defeated Southern Utah, 50-31, Harper said, "We just need to execute. We need to come to practice and run every play hard. We have no time to slack off. We need to get our assignments right. It's definitely exciting. ... It's going to be a good game."
Cal quarterback Zach Maynard pointed out the team has to play more consistently and added, "We need to do a good job on first and second down and put overselves in better field position so that even if we can't score a touchdown, we can get a field goal."
Keenan Allen, described as Cal's most decorated and productive player this season, has been mentioned as a Heisman possibility. This season, he scored a team-high three touchdowns in three different ways - receiving, punt return and rushing. He ranks fourth in the nation and first in the conference in punt returns (22.17 ypg).
Cal coach Jeff Tedford is 80-49 in his 11th season as head coach for the Golden Bears.
Dating back to 1997, OSU is 7-3 in its last 10 games against Pac-12 competition.
OSU is fortunate that it isn't facing the same problems as a charitable foundation founded by Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. The foundation and Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck, a camp volunteer, are being sued for $92,500 by Beverly Morgan, 66, who contends she suffered brain injuries after participating in a drill at the foundation's "Football 101" camp for women two years ago. The Buckeye Sports Bulletin noted that Morgan claims she was knocked to the ground and suffered injuries while running through a group of women with blocking pads who were attempting to knock the ball free from her grasp. She also lost her cap and her earrings (of all things). Since she was 64 at the time, one would think she would have mastered (an imaginary) Common Sense 101...
OHIO STADIUM, now in its 90th football season, had a surprise for skeptics when it was completed in 1922. They scoffed at the idea of a 66,000-seat stadium, but undoubtedly were surprised when an overflow crowd of 71,138 attended the dedication game against Michigan that year. The Buckeyes' website notes that the stadium, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, "is unique in its double-deck horseshoe design."...
SATURDAY'S game, which airs on ABC, will begin at noon.
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