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2008 Youngstown State Penguins Preview

Discussion in 'News' started by BB73, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner


    2008 Youngstown State Penguins Game Preview
    written by: BB73, BuckeyeRyn, Buckeyeskickbuttocks, Bucklion, DaddyBigBucks, JCOSU86, jwinslow, OSUsushichic, and 3yardsandacloud

    Welcome to another season of college football! The long off-season is finally over, and the Buckeyes are ready to open up against the Youngstown State Penguins. This will be only the second time that Ohio State has faced a non-major college opponent since the NCAA began classification in 1937 (last year's opener against YSU was the other).
    Let's look at how tOSU has performed in opening games:

    All-time record in season openers: 102-13-4 (101-8-4 since 1895)
    All-time record in home openers: 105-9-4 (103-6-4 since 1895)
    Note: the reason there is one fewer game in the home opener totals is because during the inaugural season of 1889, the Buckeyes' season was just one road game that was played in May, 1890.

    Ohio State enters the 2008 season with an all-time record of 798-303-53 in 118 seasons of competition. That includes a Big Ten record of 441-163-24 since joining the conference in 1913, an Ohio Stadium slate of 379-105-20 since it opened in 1922, and a bowl mark of 18-21. There have been 41 straight crowds of at least 100,000 in the 'Shoe.

    The Buckeyes are 5-2 all-time in the month of August, with both defeats occurring in Kickoff Classics in The Meadowlands (New Jersey). Alabama downed tOSU in '86, and Miami won the early game in '99.

    Ohio State, outright Big Ten Champions in 2006 and 2007, has won 43 of its last 44 non-conference games in the 'Shoe since 1991. This year's team will attempt to become the first Big Ten team to ever win 3 straight outright conference crowns, and their last game in the 'Shoe in November provides an opportunity to become the first tOSU squad ever to notch a fifth straight win over TSUN in The Game.

    The Buckeyes own the record for appearances in the first Associated Press poll of the year (55 of 59 total), and start off at #2 this year. How have the Buckeyes performed in seasons which they started the season ranked somewhere between #2 and #5 in the AP poll? The results are somewhat varied, but have yet to include an AP National Championship year (all of which came in years when tOSU started outside the AP top 5):

    Year Pre-Rank Final Rank
    1951 - 3........NR of 20
    1955 - 4........5
    1956 - 5........15
    1961 - 2........2 (#1 by Football Writers)
    1964 - 5........9
    1972 - 3........9
    1973 - 2........2
    1974 - 2........4
    1975 - 4........4
    1976 - 4........6
    1977 - 5........11
    1987 - 4........NR of 20
    2003 - 2........4
    2008 - 2........?

    Turning our attention to the opponent, let's look at how Youngstown State has performed in opening games. Since 1990, they are 15-2-1 in their first game of the season, but just 8-10 in road openers.

    Youngstown State won four 1-AA national championships during the decade of the 1990s, while coached by Jim Tressel. They have been a member of the Missouri Valley (formerly the Gateway) Conference since 1997. Last year, they went 7-4 and didn't make the FCS playoffs.

    Besides the 38-6 loss to Ohio State last year, the Penguins have only played one other Big Ten opponent, that being a 37-3 loss at Penn State in 2006.

    Against 'BCS conference' teams all-time, YSU is 2-6, with only one of those games being played in Youngstown. Their all-time record against teams currently in the MAC is 50-49-5.

    Current head coach Jon Heacock (brother of tOSU DC Jim) has an overall record of 50-31 in his 6 years at YSU.
    Date and Time
    Date: Saturday, August 30, 2008
    Time: 12:00 EDT Kick-off
    Location: Ohio Stadium - "The Horseshoe" (Columbus, OH)
    Constructed: 1922 (Renovated in 2001)
    Seating Capacity: 102,329 (Originally 66,210)
    Playing Surface: FieldTurf
    Events: Alumni Band Day

    Broadcast Information:
    TV Broadcast: The Big Ten Network:

    Radio Broadcast: 1460 TheFan (in Columbus): Paul Keels (Play-by-play), Jim Lachey (Analysis), and Marty Bannister (Sideline)

    Satellite Radio: Sirius Radio 126
    2008 Youngstown State Penguins Offensive Preview
    Returning Starters: 8
    TB #25 Kevin Smith, FB #30 Ben Lane, TE #87 Derrick Bush, WR #1 Ferlando Williams, WR #7 Da'Michael Horne, OL #67 Brad Samsa, OL #66 Nhemie Theodore, OL #51 Brian Mellott
    QB #15 Todd Rowan (6-3, 215, Jr.)
    QB #6 Brandon Summers (6-0, 205, Jr.)
    QB #14 Paul Corsaro (6-3, 200, R-Fr.)

    Youngstown State lost four-year starter Tom Zetts, and now have a group of candidates to take over the newly installed spread offense. Todd Rowan has been with the team three years, but has just one career completion. Brandon Summers transferred from Toledo after last season, but with the drop down to the FCS level is eligible without sitting out a year. He didn't play for Toledo last year, but was 14 of 23 during parts of five games for the Rockets in 2006. Corsaro redshirted last year, but his dual-threat ability may make him the best fit for the new playbook. Expect at least two of the three to see extended playing time against a vanilla Buckeye defense.

    True freshmen #18 Dailyn Campbell (6-1, 195) and #19 Marc Kanetsky (6-0, 175) fill out the roster at the QB spot but don't figure to see the field at the start of the season.

    QB Rating: D+

    Head-to-Head: Youngstown State versus Ohio State QBs

    This may sound familiar to Big Ten fans, but the Penguins are in the process of installing a new spread offense with a set of QBs that have almost no experience. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes return an all-conference performer in his 6th year in the program.

    Ten of the last eleven YSU quarterbacks managed to win their first start for the Penguins. Don't expect that statistic to reach 11 of 12.

    Edge: Ohio State
    Running Backs
    RB #25 Kevin Smith (5-10, 195, Sr.)
    RB #34 Jabari Scott (5-10, 195, Jr.)
    RB #20 Brandon Nicholson (5-7, 200, Sr.)
    RB #21 Dana Brown (6-0, 203, Jr.)
    FB #30 Ben Lane (5-10, 260, Sr.)
    FB #46 Kyle Banna (6-0, 235, So.)

    Last year, YSU had to replace All-American Marcus Mason. They were fairly successful in doing so; as Smith, Scott, and Nicholson combined for over 1,300 yards and 18 TDs from the tailback position. Kevin Smith averaged 5.0 yards on 123 carries and scored 10 TDs, placing him on the Gateway Conference's All-Newcomer team. He came on strong later in the year, with his 9 TDs in conference games good for second in the league.

    Scott averaged 5.6 yards on 93 carries before being sidelined eith an ankle injury suffered at the end of a 60-yard run against Indiana State. Tailback depth will be provided by Nicholson, who had 168 yards and 3 TDs last year; and Dana Brown, who played in two games for Iowa over the past two seasons.

    Ben Lane is a solid blocker at the fullback position, although his assignments will change with the prevalence of the shotgun snaps this season. He has only carried the ball seven times for 37 yards in his career. Kyle Banna provides depth at the FB spot.

    RB Rating: C+

    Head-to-Head: Youngstown State versus Ohio State RBs

    YSU has a handful of backs with some experience and productivity, but tOSU has one of the leading Heisman candidates in the country, and a couple of guys behind him that would be starting for YSU.

    Edge: Ohio State
    Wide Receivers
    WR #1 Ferlando Williams (6-0, 205, Sr.)
    WR #7 Da'Michael Horne (5-11, 185, Sr)
    WR #29 Dominique Barnes (5-11, 180, So.)
    WR #83 Aaron Pitts (6-2, 185, Jr.)
    WR #84 Nick Canterino (6-3, 210, Sr.)

    The Penguins now have three starting WRs within the spread offense, so the production from last year will be somewhat deceiving. Ferlando Williams caught 32 passes for 499 yards and 1 TD, while also rushing for 464 yards and 9 TDs on 74 rushes (usually from direct snaps). His ability in the open field makes him someone the Buckeye defense will focus on, regardless of where he lines up. He was the first player in Penguin history to be designated as first-team all-conference as a wideout.

    Da'Michael Horne made 16 catches for 214 yards last year, after grabbing six balls, including a TD, in 2006. Aaron Pitts is the only returning WR with a TD catch, but he only had two receptions for 24 yards. Dominique Barnes caught three passes for 21 yards as a true freshman last season.

    Newcomers include JC transfer #81 Donald Jones (6-0, 200, Jr.), and four guys that redshirted last year: #9 Kamryn Keys (5-11, 185, R-Fr.), #82 Ely Ducatel (6-1, 185, R-Fr.), #33 Josh Lee (5-9, 180, R-Fr.), and #17 Dionte Snow (6-2, 185, R-Fr.).

    WR Rating: C-

    Head-to-Head: Youngstown State versus Ohio State WRs

    Ferlando Williams is a talented player, but he would have trouble cracking the starting lineup at tOSU, even in a 5-WR set. The other players have limited experience (even including Williams, the group has only three career receiving TDs), and will be trying to catch passes from QBs learning a new offense. The Buckeyes return starting WRs with over 1700 receiving yards and 17 TDs, and have several other talented receivers battling to see the field.

    Edge: Ohio State

    Tight Ends
    TE #87 Derrick Bush (6-4, 270, Sr.)

    Derrick Bush caught 30 passes for 310 yards, and has been a second-team All-Conference selection for two straight years. He is an effective receiver, and as a blocker moves well for someone his size. Look for YSU to utilize him in 3-WR sets without a fullback in order to take advantage of his talents.

    Former Buckeye Louis Irizarry is no longer at YSU, so depth at the position will be supplied by three redshirt freshmen: #80 Patrick Bellish (6-3, 215, R-Fr.), Donny Olson (6-2, 220, R-Fr.), and #89 David Rogers (6-3, 245, R-Fr.).


    Head-to-Head: Youngstown State versus Ohio State TEs

    Bush is a proven performer that is effective as a blocker and as a receiver. Nicol and Ballard give the Buckeyes more players with experience, but the limited opportunities they get as receivers make this matchup even.

    Edge: Even

    Offensive Line
    LT #78 Tyler Booth (6-6, 315, Sr.)
    LG #51 Brian Mellot (6-3, 280, Jr.)
    C #67 Brad Samsa (6-3, 275, Sr.)
    RG #64 Eric Rodemoyer (6-2, 305, So)
    RG/RT #66 Nhemie Theodore (6-3, 315, Sr.)
    RT #76 Bobby Coates (6-4, 295, So.)

    Last year's offensive line dealt with injuries and managed to allow only nine sacks, or 49 fewer than Notre Dame, but of course the Penguins don't have Ty Willingham to blame.

    Brad Samsa serves as the offensive captain, and was first-team All-Conference; and is the only Penguin to have started at center, guard, and tackle during his career. Samsa has 26 career starts; he playing guard in '06, moved to tackle due to injuries on the line last year, and will be back over the ball this season, where he had one start in 2005.

    Bobby Coates started four games at center last year, but figures to fill a spot at tackle this season. Tyler Booth started all 14 games at tackle in '06 and has 22 starts in his career. He'll return to the other tackle spot after missing all of 2007 for an injury.

    Brian Mellott returns at guard after nine starts there last year, while Nhemie Theodore started all 11 games at tackle on 2007, but will slide inside to a guard spot with the return of Booth.

    #64 Eric Rodemoyer (6-2, 305, So) will vie for playing time at a guard spot (possibly pushing Theodore back out to tackle), since he started at a guard position in six of the first seven games as a redshirt freshman at West Virginia last year.

    Depth at the guard positions will be provided by #71 Kyle Brown (6-3, 295, So.), #61 Rob Fernback (6-1, 265, So.), #73 Justin Rechichar (6-3, 300, So.), and #63 Corbin Williamson (6-4, 280, Fr.).

    The backup at the tackle spots are #75 Chris Gammon (6-3, 285, So.) #72 Stiles O'Brien (6-5, 280, R-Fr.), and #74 Greg Sazdanoff (6-3, 265, R-Fr.)

    OL Rating: B

    Head-to-Head: Youngstown State versus Ohio State OL

    This group of linemen is one of the better ones in FCS, paving the way last year for two different ball carriers to get over five yards per carry, while also providing excellent pass protection. They will have to adjust to new blocking schemes as part of the spread offense, but have a good deal of experience, and demonstrated flexibility last year. However, the clear edge goes to the tOSU o-line, whose talent, experience and depth make them one of the best lines in all of college football.

    Edge: Ohio State
    Overall Offensive Analysis
    YSU is a team with a good offensive line, but they have a limited number of playmakers at the skilled positions. They are also implementing a new offensive scheme with almost no experience at the QB position, and only one experienced wideout. That's not a recipe for success when facing a defense that was #1 in the nation in several categories last year, and returns the vast majority of its starters. Look for the Buckeye defense to play close to the line of scrimmage to stop the run, and not show some of the more complicated coverage schemes that won't get unveiled until the USC game.

    Overall Offensive Rating: C
    2008 Youngstown State Penguins Defensive Preview
    Returning Starters: 4
    DT #96 Mychal Savage, MLB #59 Roshon Simons, CB #8 Jarvis Richards, CB #4 De'Angelo Wilson
    Second year Defensive Coordinator, Jeff Mills, begins 2008 with 17 returning letter winners from a group which was second in the Gateway conference and 18th nationally in total defense. Playing a base 4-3, the Penguins will have to replace the bulk of their 2007 starting unit, including both Safeties, three line positions and the entirety of its linebacking corps, including All-American LB James Terry. A young group, the YSU defense will be tested early by Ohio State's senior laden offense. While it is not expected that the 'Guins will provide a brick wall to the Buckeyes, there are some players who deserve some special attention as Ohio State prepares.

    The Penguins gave up 18.5 points per game in 2007, 38 of which came to the Buckeyes (the most scored on YSU all season). Opposing offenses averaged 130 per game, while passing for 188.2 per contest. Ohio State gained 147 on the ground while passing for 270. While the Buckeyes were 5-5 in red zone chances against the Penguins, the rest of their opponents were 21 of 29. YSU was able to put pressure on opposing signal callers, recording 28 sacks for 205 yards while also recovering 9 of 19 fumbles and recording 11 interceptions. The Penguins were very good on 3rd downs, limiting opposing offenses to only 62 conversions in 159 chances (39%). Ohio State was able, however, to convert 8 of 12 and was 1 for 1 on 4th down (the only 4th down conversion against the 'Guins all year).
    Defensive Line
    LE #99 Luke Matelan (6-4 255 SO)
    LT #96 Mychal Savage (6-2 305 SR)
    RT #94 Torrence Nicholson (6-3 300 SO)
    RE #48 Na'eem Oulter (6-2 235 SO)

    First team All-American tackle Mychal Savage returns to lead the Penguins Line, which is the unquestioned strength of the defense as a whole, even though it will have only one senior (Savage) starting. Savage has legitimate size to play the interior at 305 pounds, and recorded 43 tackles, five for loss, with 4.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 2007. He should once again be among the best at the FCS level. Adding additional beef to the interior line will be Marion Franklin product Torrence Nicholson. Nicholson saw action in 2007 as a freshman producing at a high level with 42 tackles, four for loss with two sacks and a fumble recovery. Unlike the Buckeyes, the clear strength of the YSU line is right up the gut. On the ends, are converted LB Na'eem Outler who is expected to provide speed off the corner. In 9 games as a reserve in 2007, the Sophomore recorded 15 tackles, one for loss. Luke Matelan brings game experience to the line having played in 11 games in 2007. He managed only seven tackles, but three of those were behind the line and one was a sack.

    Depth will be provided by Sophomore Morehead State transfer #70 Jon Penick (6-2, 290), #54 rFr. Joshua Myers (6-2, 250), Fr. #92 Warren Felton (6-2, 280), Jr. #90 Crispin Fernandez (5-10, 275), Jr. #57 Jaimie Frasure (6-0, 230), Jr. #97 Roger Gillum (6-2, 270), Sr. #98 Bobby Lykes-Knght (6-0, 310), Fr. #93 Joe Marshall (6-2, 300), So. #45 Nick Mernedakis (6-2, 220), rFr. #91 Brad Miller (6-2, 290), rFr. #41 Josh Myers (6-2, 260), Jr. #88 Bruce Palmer (6-2, 230), Fr. #52 Noah Taylor (6-3, 235), Fr. #54 Mike Williams (6-3, 245) and So. Cleveland Glenville product #11 Deon'te Williams (6-4, 200). First, the preview team is astonished that a 200 pounder would be seriously considered for line play. Deon'te recorded one tackle in 2007 (on Special Teams) leading reserve End prospects who, obviously, have little to no game experience. On the inside, Mernedakis also saw action on Special teams, recording 14 Tackles and Lykes-Knight played in 13 games in 2006, but sat out all of 2007. Palmer comes to the Defense from the Offensive line, while Penick saw action in each of YSU's 2007 contests but did not record a tackle.

    DL Rating: B-

    Head-to-Head: YSU DL versus OSU DL

    YSU has a great deal of beef on the interior of the line and has a legitimate talent in Mychal Savage. While the inside of the line should provide a tough foundation, the outside men will have to use their speed to get to the quarterback. When matched up against bigger linemen with speed, they should provide little match. While that may be an issue against Ohio State, the ends should fair just fine in FCS play. As compared to the Buckeyes, however, there is little similarity. The Buckeyes ends are big and fast and should be able to get the the QB regardless of who they are matched up against. While the interior of the Buckeyes' line is the relative weakness, it is at least as good as YSU's and that's being kind. While YSU's line is its strength, the clear edge goes to Ohio State.

    Edge: Ohio State
    OLB #35 Nate Ward (6-3 210 SR)
    MLB #59 Roshon Simons (6-1, 235, JR)
    WLB #44 Mike Barlak (6-2 235 SR)

    The line-up listed above is based purely on most returning game experience as YSU suffers huge personnel losses at the LB position in 2008, including their top player, James Terry. Among these three, Simons has starting experience, having done so in nine games last year. He is the team's leading returning tackler, recording 55, one of which was for loss. Ward and Barlak have the most game day experience among the remainder of LBs on the roster, but the bulk of their limited action has come on special teams. Barlak had 5 tackles with .5 for loss and has primarily been used as the snapper on placekicks, while Ward had 17 tackles with 3.5 for loss. The LBs may struggle mightily as the season begins, especially against Ohio State's offense which includes a Heisman caliber running back in Chris "Beanie" Wells. Likewise, there should be plenty of experimentation with personnel as the Penguins try and find their best game day group.

    The reserves include Junior College transfer #42 Draye Ersery (6-0, 220), Sophomore #28 Jordan Edwards (6-0, 210), Redshirt Freshmen: #40 Adam House (6-1, 190), Michael Kreatsoulas (6-1, 220), Matt Phipps (6-1, 225), #26 David Rach (6-3, 205), #53 John Sasson (6-2, 230), and incoming Freshmen # 55 Stephen Meadows (6-3, 225), and #56 Deonta Tate (6-1, 225). Of this group, only Edwards has seen action and that was as a reserve fullback in 2007. Considering that YSU is replacing so many LBs from last year's unit, however, any one of these guys could work their way in to a starting role in 2008. While young and small in 2008, given time the youth will grow and could become the strength of the Defense by 2010. Still, two of these guys don't even have numbers and 2008 will be tough sleddin' for this unit.

    LB Rating: D

    Head-to-Head: YSU LBs versus OSU LBs

    Ohio State and YSU are mirror images at the LB position. That is, if your mirror reflects back at you the
    precise opposite of what you are. A grade of D may be harsh, but there is so little experience that the Preview team cannot justify a stronger score here. While Simons has seen meaningful action at LB, each of the remaining positions is up for grabs and must be filled by someone who has little or no game day reps. Contrasting this unit with Ohio State's is like watching a race between Michael Phelps and a kid doing the doggie paddle. It's not fair, and it's not fun. Again, that's not to be harsh, but Ohio State has the best LB corps in the nation and comparing Laurinaitis and Freeman to anything YSU has to offer is fruitless. Any one of Ohio State's reserves would be getting the starting nod as a Penguin. Ohio State has talent, speed, experience and depth. The YSU weakness in these areas means it should be little surprise that the edge goes to Ohio State.

    Edge: Ohio State
    RCB #8 Jarvis Richards (5-11 190, SR)
    WS #27 Brandian Ross (6-0, 185, SO)
    SS #23 Nick Gooden (5-11, 205, SO)
    LCB #4 De'Angelo Wilson (5-10, SR)

    In 2007, the Penguins returned three seniors who took the bulk of the playing time at the safety positions. As with their LBs, YSU is faced with having to put special teamers in to the role of starting defensive backs. While primarily being used on special teams, Ross saw action in 2007 as a reserve returning an INT 37 yards and also recorded 18 tackles. Gooden had 13 tackles, half for a loss, and a 3 yard fumble return. It is possible that Soph. #12 Andre Elliott (6-2, 190) may also get the starting nod in 2008. A transfer from Gardner-Webb, Elliott sat out 2007 but recorded 21 tackles in ten games for the Runnin' Bulldogs in 2006.

    The corners, unlike the safeties, return their top three players from 2007. Along with Wilson and Richards, #32 Lenny Wicks (5-9 183 JR) is back providing instant depth. Each of these three started at least one game at RCB, with Wilson and Wicks getting starting reps at LCB. Wicks began the year as the LCB, but Wilson started the final 8 games there. Richards had 53 tackles, 4 for loss and 2 sacks to go along with a 4 yard INT return and a fumble recovery. Wickes recorded 41 tackles, 1 sack and had 2 picks for 38 yards. Wickes also forced 3 fumbles, though he failed to recover one. Wilson had 39 tackles and 2 picks for 34 yards.

    Rounding out the secondary are reserve safeties, #31 Fr. David Fleming (5-11, 205), So. Joe Harder (6-0, 200), Sr. #10 Tony Kavouras (5-8, 170), #38 Jr. Gary Pezzuolo (6-3, 195), rFr. #39 Scott Sentner (6-2, 185), and Fr. #22 Gary Thornton (5-9, 205). Of these, only Kavouras has recorded at least one tackle, having made two in 2007. Reserve Corners include: Sr. #3 Evrett Barney (5-10, 180), Fr. #12 Bryan Gaiters (5-9, 175), Sr. #24 Tyler Griffin (5-9, 174), and #16 Sr. Tom Krupko (5-7, 170). Griffin sat out all of 2007 after recording 16 tackles in 2006. Barney, though missing from the official roster at YSU's official site, played the final two games of 2007 and is recognized in the YSU media guide.

    DB Rating: B

    Head-to-Head: YSU's DBs versus OSU DBs

    Last year, the Preview team was harsh on this unit providing them with a grade of D+. That grade proved to be too harsh as the secondary ended up being the second best passing defense in the Gateway Conference giving up less than 200 yards per game. The safeties are young and inexperienced, but the corners should be solid. All that said, this unit cannot compete position for position with Ohio State. Malcolm Jenkins should be playing on Sundays right now. While Donald Washington will sit out the opener Chimdi Chekwa would be absolutely lights out in FCS play. Ohio State returns both safety positions with Russell and Coleman, while YSU will be making up for heavy losses off the '07 squad with new faces. Once again the edge clearly favors Ohio State.

    Edge: Ohio State
    Overall Defensive Analysis
    The Penguins were learning a new defensive scheme in 2007, but with a senior laden group managed to put together a very good unit statistically. However, the losses the 'Guins sustain heading in to 2008 - replacing the entire LB corps as well as both Safeties - should result in a step backwards this season. While the line should be good, with the interior being the clear strength, and while the corners should also improve, there is concern about the middle of the field where yards could come in bunches. Unfortunately for the Penguins there are just too many areas to attack this year. There seems to be a serious depth problem as well, as much of the two deep will be comprised with players with little or no game reps. While this group will not provide much resistance to Ohio State's offense, the game against the Buckeyes will only help teach these youngsters what it will take to get the job done. All that said, the Penguins may have to outscore their opponents this year if they wish to make the FCS Playoffs.

    Overall Defensive Rating: C
    2008 Youngstown State Penguins Special Teams Preview

    Returning Starters: 3

    K #88 Brian Palmer (5-11, 180, Sr.)
    P #36 Ben Nowicki (5-10, 170, Jr.)
    KR/PR #4 De'Angelo Wilson (5-10, 195, Sr.)

    YSU returns all starters from its special teams unit of a year ago. It is one area that they may have an advantage (on paper at least) over the Buckeyes.
    Kicking Game:

    Brian Palmer #88 (5-11, 180, Sr., Youngstown, OH) returns after a solid Junior season that found him a Second Team All Gateway Conference Performer, hitting on 14 of 15 FGs (93.3%) and 34 of 36 PATs (94.4%). Palmer's career numbers are outstanding as well, hitting 33 of 42 FGs (78.6%) and 123 of 131 PATs (93.9%).

    Stephen Blose #13 (5-10, 185, So., Erie, PA) will be the backup and will handle the kickoff duties.

    Grade: A


    Punter Ben Nowicki #36 (5-10, 170, Jr., Gilbert, AZ) was a 2007 Honorable Mention All-Gateway Conference selection as a sophomore after punting 47 times last year and averaging 37.1 yds/punt. He also placed a league-high 18 punts inside the opposition's 20-yard line. Winning the battle of field position with a repeat this year will go a long way in determining the Penguins' chances in the league race.

    Erik Johnson #37 (6-1, 200, So., Boardman, OH) will be the backup.

    Grade: B

    Long Snapper and Holder

    The Long Snapping duites will be in good hands with four-year starter Mike Barlak #44 (6-2, 235, Sr., Monroeville, PA).

    3-year starter Todd Rowan #15 (6-3, 215, Jr., Braceville, OH) returns as the holder.

    Grade: A

    Head-to-Head: Brian Palmer and Ben Nowicki versus Ryan Pretorius/Aaron Pettrey and A.J. Trapasso.

    Palmer has an edge in FG accuracy, while Trapasso has the advantage in punting. YSU has an advantage with a more experienced holder.

    Edge: Even
    Return Game:

    De'Angelo Wilson #4 (5-10, 195, Sr., Sacramento, CA) returned 27 punts for 284 yards (10.5 avg) and 11 kickoffs for a 24.2 yds per return last season. Da'Michael Horne #7 (5-11, 185, Sr., Twinsburg, OH) returned 10 kickoff s for an average of 17.1 yards while Ferlando Williams #1 (6-0, 195, Sr., Warner Robins, GA) had five returns for an 18.5 yard average.

    Speedsters Josh Lee #33 (5-9, 180, Fr., Lutz, FL) and Kamryn Keys #9 (5-11, 185, Fr., McKeesport, PA) will be in the mix to return kicks in 2008.

    Grade: B

    Head-to-Head: Da'Michael Horne vs. KRs Brandon Saine and Boom Herron, and PRs Ray Small and Brian Hartline

    YSU has an experienced returner with effective results, while tOSU struggled mightily in the kick return game last season. Although the Buckeyes perform all right on punt returns, and may have more talented players on the field, until better results are shown on kickoff returns, the edge goes to the opposition.

    Edge: Youngstown State
    Overall Special Teams Analysis
    The Penguins bring very solid Special Teams to the 'Shoe this year. Their kicker specifically can get them on the scoreboard when given the chance. The Buckeyes will need to stop the YSU offense on their side of the 50 yard line to prevent terrible field position from their punter.

    Overall Special Teams Rating: B+

    BB73's prediction: 44-6, Ohio State
    BuckeyeRyn's prediction: ??-??, Ohio State
    Buckeyeskickbuttocks' prediction: 56-0, Ohio State
    Bucklion's prediction: 49-3, Ohio State
    DaddyBigBucks's prediction: 49-10, Ohio State
    daddyphatsac's prediction: ??-?, Ohio State
    Deety's prediction: ??-??, Ohio State
    Hubbard's prediction: ??-?, Ohio State
    JCOSU86's prediction: 40-10, Ohio State
    jwinslow's prediction: 41-3, Ohio State
    OSUBucks22's prediction: ??-?, Ohio State
    OSUsushichic's prediction: ??-?, Ohio State
    3yardsandacloud's prediction: 48-7, Ohio State

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2008
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  2. MD Buckeye

    MD Buckeye BP Soft Verbal Staff Member BP Recruiting Team Bookie Former BPCFFB II Champ Former FF League III Champ

    As always, great job guys!!
  3. shetuck

    shetuck We scored twenty...

  4. LitlBuck

    LitlBuck I Don't Want Any Trouble but People Need Banners!

  5. utahosu63

    utahosu63 Quicksilver

    One loss in Aug.?

    Great post... "The Buckeyes are 6-1 all-time in the month of August, with the lone defeat occurring in the 1986 Kickoff Classic against Alabama in The Meadowlands (New Jersey)." I believe this is not accurate, what about the Miami loss?

    Great post though!!!

    Kickoff Classic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    BB73 likes this.
  6. buckeyes_rock

    buckeyes_rock Great day to be a Buckeye

    x10! Awesome as always!
  7. Excellent job, as always.

    My only comment is more about the structure of your previews....

    Since the YSU QBs and OSU QBs will never be on the field at the same time, nor will they play directly against each other, I could care less about comparing them to see who has "the edge". It is an absolute meaningless bit of trivia--and a subjective one at that. The only edge that matters is who will win each match up out on the field.

    You would be better served by giving a grade and a summary for the position, but then tying up the preview with who gets the edge when going head to head. The obvious examples would be offense vs. defense, O Line vs. D Line, Secondary vs. Receivers. That would make for a much more interesting and much more relevant analysis than some hypothetical QB vs QB matchup. E.g., "However talented YSU's star DT Savage is, we can't see him beating Cordle or Rehring on very many meaningful occasions. Edge: OSU."
    Electron Boy likes this.
  8. JXC

    JXC '01'02'04'05'06'07'08'09'10'12'13'14'15'16‘17...

    I was thinking that, considering I went to that game and even though i've tried to block out that painful memory...I can't. It was definitely in August too.

    Great info about YSU though. As always I think this is one of the best things about Buckeye Planet. Best Gameday previews that are out there. I would like to see your all's input on match-ups that will take place on the field. Like DL vs OL or WR vs CB. But the work you all put into this thing every week is awesome!
  9. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    Good catch. I've updated it to 5-2. That's what I get for copying some info from the official press release without verifying it. :!

    The all-time record in home openers in this preview won't match what other articles have, since I counted 9 losses, not the 8 in the press release.

    1890, '91, '94, 1943, '50, '57 (NC year), '65, '67, '78
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
  10. Electron Boy

    Electron Boy PANCAKE

    i like this idea a lot, and even though i think it's more difficult to make these kinds of matchup determnations, it also makes the previews somewhat more interesting in terms of looking for specific things that are going on during the game (ie, player matchups, formations, etc)
  11. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    Agreed to an extent. We have often talked about doing the "matchup" as you described. O-Line vs D-line, etc. Frankly, it would be difficult to do with any real insight unless you have the time and inclination to see each team in person. The folks that do these previews aren't paid. By profession, they are not journalists. They are sports fans like yourself.

    Have YOU seen the Penguins play or practice this preseason? Anyone? How do you make the comparison between O & D lines? Seems to me that such a comparison is VASTLY more subjective than comparing players at the same position. While I agree it may not yield as compelling a "match up" read, comparing opponents at the same position will yield a more accurate analysis. Comparing opposing units (O-line vs D-line) would really be an exercise in subjective writing. Without first hand experience of the players involved it could/would become throwing mud against the wall to see what stuck. At least when comparing the same positions you have a statistical crutch or base to use when making judgments.

    Granted, we would like to do what you suggest. Maybe that will become a reality in the future. Until that time, we'll just do our best, hope for better, and keep cheering on the Bucks!
    BuckNutty, JXC, BUCKYLE and 2 others like this.

    BUCKYLE Washed

    Then why are they such elitist pricks? Change how you compare positions. You have one week or I'll sue. No joke.

    Great job, as usual. Greenies all around as soon as I'm able.
  13. Gatorubet

    Gatorubet Loathing All Things Georgia

    Did you notice that Bill got the teams right?

    BUCKYLE Washed

    Who the hell is "Bill"?
  15. Gatorubet

    Gatorubet Loathing All Things Georgia


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