Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
2012 was the Year of the GIF. Accordingly, we celebrate 12-0 by rehashing those that moved us and the ones we just plain couldn't quit looking at. We begin with defense.
For those of you that have hung out around these parts since our launch this past April, you've probably caught wind of our fascination with the animated medium known as the GIF. The GIF is nothing new, going back to the days of CompuServe and, bizarrely enough is actually pronounced like the peanut butter (but we're equal opportunity haters here and allow you to say it however you'd like). But in the past calendar year, it's really experienced a second moment and is used for everything from capturing somber presidential addresses to watching a dog bounce off a ball 15 feet in the air.
Naturally, the medium lends itself as well to highlighting some of the most memorable moments of the Ohio State football (and basketball) seasons. If you don't follow us on Twitter, you probably should, as we tend to capture these highlights as they happen and deliver them in 100-animated frames not long after. But we do like to showcase them here as well, and let you absorb them at your own discretion until you're so motion sick you couldn't dare watch another repeat.
2012 was one heck of a year in the Ohio State-centric universe, and accordingly, we kick off our look back at the year that was in Buckeye Nation by focusing on the sometimes appreciated less-than-they should-be warriors on the defensive end of things. It might not be as sexy as one handed catches or Flying 'Slam' Thompson authoritative throw downs, but "defense wins championships" is a cliche for a reason. A successful offensive series almost always begins with a stout play defensively.
Enjoy some of the best of what 2012 had to offer:
This was a bit of an understated moment, but all-everything corner Bradley Roby isn't just good for shutting folks down so badly the opposing team stops throwing at him; he can also bring the pain train.
Aaron Craft sometimes does the little things so well you're unsure he's done anything at all. This play epitomizes the sort of play in, play out ferocious defensive effort he brings to the table that can result in easy turnovers.
Ryan Shazier's middle name may possibly be 'GIF' by the time his Ohio State career is said and done. He started 2012 off right by absolutely murdering Cal quarterback Zach Maynard. RIP.
Amir Williams has been pretty inconsistent during the young 2012-2013 basketball season, but what he has been pretty routinely stellar at has been swatting balls into the thermosphere. This was no exception.
Look, Ryan Shazier wasn't just all about putting opposing signal callers on notice. He was also quite adept at putting the fear of god into opposing fanbases. Shazier helped break the camel's back against Penn State with this crushing pick 6 early in the second half.
You know Amir Williams isn't the only Ohio State big man capable of a filthy block. Though little in the second half of the third loss to Kansas in as many tries went right for Thad Matta's Buckeyes, this Evan Ravenel block of annoyingly long Kansas big man Jeff Withey was particularly rewarding.
And you thought Ryan Shazier was done? Think again. Shazier helped single handedly change the complexion of the Wisconsin game by forcing this goal line fumble, just the second of Montee Ball's outstanding Wisconsin career.
But it's not as though Ohio State big men are the only ones capable of making fierce blocks. Imagine the embarrassment when you realize you just got your butt handed to you on a platter by the 6-1 Shannon Scott.
Finally, we wrap up some of the best defensive moments of 2k12 the only way we know how: by giving approximately zero damns for the whole state of Michigan. Cheers to fullback-turned-linebacker-turned-hero senior captain Zach Boren for absolutely taking it to Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner.