"I think we would have definitely done a better job. I was shocked they didn't score a point. It is what it is, it was very disappointing. But, Alabama, it was their year. I guess everybody has their year and it was their time to win."
- Ohio State defensive back Tyvis Powell via Michael Casagrande, AL.com
In 2014 it was Ohio State's year and had it not been for a late November loss to Michigan State in Columbus, it very well could have been Ohio State's year again. At least if Ohio State had been able to get by Michigan State, it likely would have given them a chance to take down Alabama for the second year in a row in the College Football Playoff. Even though the Buckeyes regrouped to take down Michigan in the regular season finale and Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, a few of the Ohio State seniors that are down in Mobile for the Senior Bowl works are wondering what could have been.
After seeing how little trouble Michigan State gave Alabama in the Cotton Bowl, there are a few Buckeyes who think the result would have been a lot different had Ohio State been playing Alabama. Both Adolphus Washington and Tyvis Powell believe the Buckeyes would have earned a victory for a second year in a row against the Crimson Tide, while Nick Vannett would have expected a game much like the Sugar Bowl last year. With both teams at the top of the college football world, it's like we see a rematch between the two in the College Football Playoff sooner rather than later.
"We tell each other, 'Play like a Buckeye. That's what we do. Take pride in being a Buckeye.'"
- Carolina Panthers wide receiver Corey "Philly" Brown via Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com
Early on in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, the Carolina Panthers were able to jump out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a couple touchdowns from former Buckeyes. First there was a 22-yard touchdown run from Ted Ginn Jr. Less than four minutes later, Cam Newton found Corey Brown for a 86-yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers a lead that Arizona wouldn't even come close to challenging. Safety Kurt Coleman added two interceptions later in the game to help Carolina cruise to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
Now Brown, Ginn Jr., Coleman, and offensive lineman Andrew Norwell are trying to do something they weren't able to do during their time in Columbus. Win a championship. The quartet have a tradition of finding each other during pregame to tell each other to "Play like a Buckeye." A rallying cry that gets them ready to take the field. Now the four Buckeyes will take the field next Sunday in Santa Clara with Denver Broncos cornerback, and fellow former Buckeye, Bradley Roby on the opposite side of the field. If Carolina is able to take home their first Super Bowl title, it'll likely be because of the play of the four former Buckeyes.
"He elevates the other four guys out there. If he's out there showing so much emotion, that makes us look bad if we're not doing anything to compete with his emotion and intensity. Whenever I see him screaming, or he blocks a shot, that just raises our blood pressure and get us going with him."
- Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop on Daniel Giddens via Bill Landis, Cleveland.com
What a difference a couple months have made for Ohio State freshman center Daniel Giddens. After admitting to struggling with nervousness not only before his first game for the Buckeyes in November, but also following the game in the postgame press conference, Giddens has started to find his voice for the Buckeyes. Now with Ohio State fighting to stay in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament bid, the Buckeyes need Giddens to stay on the floor. Ohio State can't afford any more losses like they suffered in road games against Indiana and Maryland, while they also need to be able to close out close games like last Thursday's loss to Purdue.
It is obvious that Ohio State is a different team when Giddens is on the floor. The challenge though has been keeping the freshman out of foul trouble. Even though Giddens hasn't fouled out of any Big Ten games, he has committed four fouls in five of the eight conference contests. In his first start since December on Monday night against Penn State, Giddens scored five points and had nine rebounds in 28 minutes on the floor. The center's defensive presence is something the Buckeyes will need down the stretch in the tough Big Ten.
"I think we come prepared every week. Same mentality, same work ethic in practice. When you look at Michigan State, they may be toward the bottom of the conference, but that doesn't mean we can take them lightly. We're preparing this week just like we prepar for Michigan or Wisconsin or anyone in this conference."
- Ohio State defenseman Craig Dalyrmple via Martin I. Colman, The Lantern
Following splitting two games with Penn State last weekend in Columbus, the Ohio State men's hockey team are getting ready to spend another weekend at home, this time against Michigan State. Currently the Buckeyes sit fourth in the Big Ten with nine points through their first eight conference games. Now they hope to add to that point total when they take on a Michigan State squad that has just one win through their first eight conference games. Even though the Spartans have struggled so far this year, the Buckeyes aren't taking them lightly.
Much like when they went into Friday's game against Penn State without two players due to major penalties against Michigan, the Buckeyes will again be shorthanded as they head into the matchups with Michigan State. Instead of being down two players for just one game like they were last week, Ohio State will be without defenseman Josh Healey for both games against Michigan State. The two-game suspension was given out by the Big Ten on Monday after Healey was given a major penalty for contact to the head of Penn State forward Alec Marsh. Healey is the top scoring Buckeye defenseman with 12 points, scoring four goals and adding eight assists so far this season.
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