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CFBN tOSU vs nc state preview

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by BuckeyeSoldier, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. BuckeyeSoldier

    BuckeyeSoldier 2 time Reigning BuckeyePlanet Poker Champion

    The Tabula Rasa Game<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:P> </O:P>To provide a national perspective and a far-ranging scope to the games that make each college football season compelling and drama, it’s helpful to find apt metaphors for certain contests. Last season, the battle between Kansas State and Texas was “The Atlas Game,” a contest in which each club carried the massive burden of going without a Big XII Conference championship despite considerable talent. It seemed as though each team literally carried the world on its shoulders, as the Greek mythological figure Atlas once did.<O:P> </O:P>

    But enough for those Greeks (besides, they’re having their Summer Olympic moment in the sun, anyway). Let’s go to the Romans and the ancient Latin language to find an image for this season’s clash between the Ohio State Buckeyes and NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh on Sept. 18.<O:P> </O:P>

    Call this “The Tabula Rasa Game.”

    Whether applying to the sports-oriented notion of a fresh start at the beginning of a new season, or to the more psychological concept of being shaped by one’s experiences in a distinctly un-programmed or predetermined way, the “tabula rasa” image, that of a blank slate, certainly fits in describing this game between the Bucks and the Pack.

    Where are the huge names that fashioned last year’s triple-overtime epic in Columbus, won 44-38 by Ohio State? Where is the veteran presence in the pocket for either ballclub? Where is the big-time ink that drowned both programs in lavish praise before the 2003 season kicked off? Where are the gamebreakers and playmakers who will set new legacies and establish new reputations for these schools?


    In Raleigh, a Rivers no longer runs through it.<O:P> </O:P><O:P></O:P>

    In Columbus, the biology lab feels just a little less occupied now that Craig Krenzel has moved on. Moreover, Brent Musburger won’t ever be able to mouth the words “Jenkins!” and “touchdown!” in the same sentence anymore, now that Michael has shuffled off to the NFL.<O:P> </O:P><O:P></O:P>

    This game in Carter-Finley Stadium will be a game where expectations and preconceptions not only should be thrown out the window, but will have to be junked—by coaches and players—in order to find a mental edge, which is what will ultimately decide the contest. Neither team cracked in those three unforgettable overtimes last year, punctuated by a classic goal-line stand from a tired Buckeye defense. But that’s last year’s slate with many now-departed players. It’s not as though the Wolfpack has all of its principal players back, hungering for some revenge. No, it will be up to some newbies—certainly a few in some key positions, beginning with Jay Davis under center—to write an entirely new chapter to the life of NC State football on a blank slate of paper. <O:P></O:P><O:P></O:P>

    Similarly, Ohio State quarterback Justin Zwick needs to find his own unique mix, an entirely new and individual chemistry with his receivers and his offense. It’s not as though the Bucks—as they go into a dangerous non-conference road environment early in 2004—will have the full complement of personnel who performed against the Pack last year. No, this new Ohio State offense will not be able to enjoy the feel, familiarity and comfort level that a more veteran bunch would have enjoyed in what would have been a return engagement with NC State. The slate is blank, and the feel will have to be fashioned in midstream.<O:P> </O:P><O:P></O:P>

    And then, on top of all the chalkboard considerations and the questions concerning the talent of the skill position players who will be newly thrust into big-time college football in this game, there’s the question of toughness, especially between the ears.<O:P> </O:P><O:P></O:P>

    Forget their physical prowess and their football acumen: Philip Rivers and Craig Krenzel were especially great college football quarterbacks because of their leadership and resilience. The two men became who and what they are—icons in the histories of their programs—because of warrior hearts blessedly coexisting with icy cool nerves in crunch time. It is in this area of football, more than the physical, where September non-conference clashes get decided, especially when so many of the principals are green. True, Jim Tressel has much more of a track record than Chuck Amato when it comes to motivating players and keeping them on task through each play of each game of each season, but with new youngsters walking into the lions’ den—and Raleigh will certainly be an especially rabid place on this September Saturday—you just never know. College sports teaches you about unpredictability if nothing else, so again, it’s not as though anyone in the Ohio State camp can absolutely count on being impervious to the pressure of this game.

    It’s the Tabula Rasa Game, the blank slate game.<O:P> </O:P><O:P></O:P>


    Time for new legacies and new reputations to be made. <O:P></O:P><O:P></O:P>

    Time to ditch any expectations or assumptions, too.

     
  2. Hmmm maybe he will [sees malcom jenkins donning the #12 at db]
     
  3. Brutus1

    Brutus1 Don't be penurious, donate to the BP Spring Dr.

    Well, with Davis' top 2 running backs currently out with hamstring injuries, and only a tuneup against Richmond before the big game, I'd be a little nervous if I were him.


    :oh: :io:
     

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