“And then the most unexpected dominoes began falling, starting with a surprise invite to join the team. He hung on after a year of not even getting to kick in practice. Finally, he impressed head coach Urban Meyer and earned his shot.”
Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record took an in-depth look at how both Ohio State and Penn State found their kickers. For the Buckeyes, the journey of how Tyler Durbin wound up at Ohio State is one of the more unconventional.
Durbin stopped playing soccer, was enrolled at a community college, and didn’t really know what he wanted to do, as written by Bodani. Then, one day, Durbin started kicking footballs at a high school next door. After a while, he sent a tape to Ohio State. The next is history.
Since winning the starting kicking job, Durbin has been one of the key cogs in the Ohio State scoring machine. Just go back to the Wisconsin game in Madison, Wis. Durbin was called on in tough situations, and he produced three big field goals – on top of three extra points. If it wasn’t for his 12 point effort against the Badgers, the Buckeyes may not have walked out of Camp Randall Stadium as the No. 2 (and undefeated) team in the nation.
Bodani story includes a little more on Durbin’s lead up to OSU, as well PSU’s kicker Tyler Davis. You can read the rest of his story here.
“We've been here before with Ohio State/Michigan postseason talk. They came close to a rematch in 2006 for the BCS championship after the No. 1 Buckeyes beat the No. 2 Wolverines 42-39 to end the regular season. Urban Meyer, then Florida's coach, argued it would be unfair to Ohio State and the country for a rematch.”
CBS Sports’ Jon Solomon had a mailbag article early Friday. One of the hypothetical questions was Ohio State centric: if Michigan loses to Ohio State, could the Wolverines still end up in the CFP?
Since the 2006 No. 1 v. No. 2 showdown between the Buckeyes and Wolverines, this has been one of the only years, actually, probably the only year, where the talk of even a faintly hypothetical scenario where The Game would be played twice in a year.
While it is possible that both the Bucks and Wolverines find themselves in the playoff, Solomon noted that if UM did lose to OSU, then they would need some help to get into the final four. On top of that, Solomon pointed out the scenario that if the winner of The Game were to lose the Big Ten Championship, to say, Wisconsin, then what would happen?
Solomon brought up the point that the rematch in 2006 didn’t materialize for the two Big Ten schools, however, that didn’t stop a rematch from happening in the 2012 championship game when Alabama beat LSU in the grudge match for all the marbles.
If both Ohio State and Michigan keep cruising to victories heading into their Nov. 26 rivalry game, one would have to wonder: what would it take for a conference to get two teams into the playoff?
“They’re really athletic. They’re physical. They force you to make plays,” McSorley said after practice Wednesday. “They don’t really beat themselves. So we are going to have to be really good with what we do schematically in our reads and then we are going to have to make some plays on them.”
Fresh off the win against Wisconsin, Ohio State faces Penn State in another primetime contest. The Buckeyes showed how physical and athletic they are against the Badgers,
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley talked about what needed to be done to stop the Buckeyes from winning in Happy Valley again. McCarthy’s article notes that McSorley knows he “must be almost flawless” if the Nittany Lions wanted to knockoff the No. 2 team in the land.
This season, McSorley has faced a rival in Pittsburgh, as well as faced then-No. 4 Michigan on the road. However, both those games ended in losses. With a fierce No. 2 Ohio State team visiting State College, Pa., McSorley mentioned that the Buckeyes “don’t really beat themselves”.
As you can recall against Wisconsin last Saturday, Ohio State made big plays when needed and clawed their way back from a 16-6 deficit to win 30-23 in overtime.
We’ll see how the Buckeyes fare against McSorley and the Nittany Lions on Saturday. The game is on ABC with kickoff slated for 8:00 p.m.
Stick to Sports
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• Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were at a charity dinner Thursday night.
• NFL kicker admits his name has been misspelled for quite some time.
• More on the Nintendo Switch?
• Be weary of the iPhone chargers you buy that aren’t the official Apple ones.