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Football

All things pigskin.

Key Matchups at FNL (RB07OSU)

By now, everyone is likely aware that FNL will be stocked with talent spanning from the class of 2016 all the way down to the class of 2018. With so many Ohio State commitments and prospects with the Buckeyes high on their list, this Friday may well give a glimpse into the future of matchups in practice. Regardless, there will be a number of elite matchups that will catch the attention of our loyal recruitniks here at BP. In particular, here are the matchups I cannot wait to see unfold (bear in mind that the visitor list morphs almost every day, so the list is subject to change and certain players may not end up actually competing if they do attend):
  • 2016 WR Austin Mack vs. 2016 DB Damar Hamlin: With Mack (Buckeye verbal) opting to participate, there will be plenty showdowns to watch with the great talent on hand at the defensive back position. The big matchup in my eyes is with Hamlin, who the Buckeyes are rumored to lead for (I have him all but penciled in this class). I love this matchup because while both players are athletic, they both have great intangibles and play the ball well in air. With Mack lighting it up recently at The Opening, I am very anxious to see if Hamlin can contain him. This is a big Midwest battle and I have both players in the top 5 for their respective positions nationally.
July 24th (Friday Night Lights)

2016 RB Demario McCall (North Ridgeville, OH) - Ohio State verbal
2016 RB George Hill (Hubbard, OH) - Ohio State verbal
2016 WR Austin Mack (Ft. Wayne, IN) - Ohio State verbal
2016 WR Ahmir Mitchell (Egg Harbor City, NJ)
2016 WR Donnie Corley (Wyandotte, MI)
2016 WR/TE Kierre Hawkins (Maple Heights, OH) - Ohio State verbal
2016 WR Trey Fullwood (Tampa, FL)
2016 TE Jake Hausmann (Cincinnati, OH) - Ohio State verbal
2016 TE Luke Farrell (Perry, OH) - verballed to Ohio State at FNL
2016 OL Gavin Cupp (Leipsic, OH)
2016 OL Terrance Davis (Hyattsville, MD)
2016 OL Tyler Gerald (Brandenton, FL) - Ohio State verbal
2016 DE...
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Ohio State Friday Night Lights Camp - July 24th, 2015
2017 Names to Watch:
  • Mission Viejo (CA) WR Keyshawn Johnson Jr. (4*, #18 WR, #124 nationally). Offered by the Buckeyes all the way back in March of 2014. Keyshawn is the cousin of current Ohio State WR Michael Thomas, and of course the son of former Southern Cal great Keyshawn Johnson, Sr. Many believe this will be an OSU-USC battle, with Nebraska also being in the mix.
  • Maple Heights (OH) WR JaVont'e Richardson (4*, #35 WR, #227 nationally). Richardson doesn't currently hold an offer from the Buckeyes, but many believe that could change Friday. If you are going to watch Friday Night Lights, this is definitely a prospect to pay attention to.
  • Streetsboro (OH) WR Dakari Carter. This Division II 100-meter state champion (meet record 10.55 seconds) will likely be the fastest competitor on Friday night. Speed alone will not be able to earn him a Buckeye offer, but he is an intriguing prospect.
  • Cincinnati (OH) Archbishop Moeller TE Matt Dotson (3*, #11 TE, #377 nationally). Offered by Ohio State after camping with the Buckeyes on June 13th. Also holds offers from Penn State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others.
  • Saint Joseph (MI) DE Corey Malone-Hatcher (4*, #11 WDE, #209 nationally). Offered by the Buckeyes in July, 2014....
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Ohio State Friday Night Lights Camp - July 24th, 2015
Top 2016 Uncommitted Targets:
  • 2016 Cedar Creek (NJ) WR Ahmir Mitchell (4*, #6 ATH, #78 nationally composite) checks in at 6' 3", 206 lbs. Mitchell was offered by the Buckeyes in December of 2014, and he has visited campus several times since then. Ahmir now looks to show off his skills in front of the Buckeye staff. Michigan currently leads the Crystal Ball Predictions.
  • 2016 Detroit (MI) Martin Luther King WR Donnie Corley (4*, #18 WR) was also offered by the Buckeyes in December of 2014. Previously thought to be a Buckeye lean, many now believe the Michigan State Spartans hold the lead for his services. Donnie is listed at 6' 2.5" and 182 lbs, and he has excellent speed.
  • 2016 Perry (OH) TE Luke Farrell (4*, #5 TE, #145 nationally). As the Buckeyes look to add another TE to their class, there's no doubt that Farrell sits at the top of their wish list. Finishing his junior year with 43 receptions for 730 yards and 6 TD's, many compare Luke to current Buckeye tight end Nick Vannett, while Buckeye commit Jake Hausmann compares more favorably to 2014 graduate Jeff Heuerman. Farrell checks in at 6' 6" and 240 lbs and is believed to be a Buckeye...
On November 18, 2006, #1 Ohio State and #2 Michigan played in the most-hyped edition of The Game in its long and storied history. The Buckeyes entered the contest with a scoring average of 36 points, while the Wolverines, with the nation's #1 rushing defense, allowed only 12 points per game. Something had to give.

During that game, Ohio State exploited a fundamental issue with the Michigan defense, namely a lot of big slow linebackers and defensive backs with questionable coverage skills. Lloyd Carr and his defensive staff had assembled a group that was very adept at stuffing the inside running game, but was susceptible to misdirection, edge pressure, and a dynamic passing attack. The Buckeyes were successful in exposing Michigan's defense to the tune of 42 points and 503 yards of total offense.

On the other hand, Ohio State showed in that game that their own defense was trying to evolve into the kind that could stop a high-powered offense, but subsequent events soon proved that the Buckeyes weren't anywhere near ready for a good challenge.

After beating Michigan to complete a perfect regular season, Ohio State earned a berth in the 2006 National Championship Game against the Florida Gators. In that game, Ohio State's, and consequently the Big Ten's, reputation was destroyed by Urban Meyer’s spread offense. The 41-14 ass-kicking gave ESPN a chance to drive clicks with their "SEC Speed" marketing campaign.

Now nearly a decade later the narrative has changed, from "SEC Speed" to "SEC Big Boy football". Led by conference stalwarts Alabama, LSU, and Georgia, the ground-and-pound offenses of the current SEC are very similar to the slow, plodding offenses that the B1G used to specialize in. In other words, the kind of offenses that gave the B1G the reputation as a substandard, un-athletic, behind-the-times football conference.

As a result of the paradigm shift in the SEC, the kings of Big Boy Football (Alabama) are highly specialized in stopping it. The Crimson...