Hubbard grew up a Buckeyes fan; he and his family went to a couple of Ohio State games every year. “I never thought I’d have an opportunity to play there,” he says. “I couldn’t resist it.”
— Sam Hubbard, in an article by Andy Staples and Bruce Feldman on the importance of the line of scrimmage in the OSU-OU game | Sports Illustrated
Those who win the line of scrimmage, win the game. The Ohio State Buckeyes-Oklahoma Sooners may very well follow that saying, as the Buckeyes defensive lineman Sam Hubbard goes up against the Sooners’ offensive tackle Orlando Brown.
To get to this point in time, both stars had to make changes before even setting foot on campus.
In an article by Andy Staples and Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated, For Hubbard, he was set on pursuing lacrosse in college, and was committed to going to Notre Dame to do just that. However, when Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes came knocking, Hubbard, who went to OSU football games growing up, couldn’t pass on the opportunity. But, that was the easy part.
On the Buckeyes 2014 title run, Hubbard was a redshirt—and in the process, was shifted around to offensive and defensive positions. Hubbard got bigger (he walked into OSU at 215 pounds) since his arrival, and now is the one fighting through offensive lines to get tackles and sacks.
This weekend, Hubbard will have to go through Brown if he wants to get a sack on Baker Mayfield.
The story of how Brown became one of the best offensive tackles is a story in itself. Brown’s father played in the NFL, and the younger Brown weighed 450 lbs in the eighth grade. In the article, Orlando described himself as a “couch kid” growing up, playing video games and not being all that active, however, when he went to Oklahoma and was redshirted, that changed.
To get to the top of their respective positions, it took time, dedication and willpower to make the changes to their bodies (and mind). We’ll see all that work come to blows on Saturday night inside The Horseshoe.
“Before he was the Hoosiers’ head coach, Wilson served under Stoops on his offensive staff.”
It is only Week 2, and OSU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is already facing his second team that he has connections to. Last week it was Indiana Hoosiers; this week it’s Oklahoma.
On the Wilson-timeline though, Oklahoma came before Indiana. Before Wilson became the head coach for the Hoosiers, he was a coordinator under Sooners’ head coach Bob Stoops. In fact, he was one of the best coordinators in the country—and was part of, arguably, the best Sooners team since the inception of the Big 12.
Wilson was co-OC from 2002-05, and the OC from 2006-10 for Stoops. In that time span, OU went to the BCS national title game three times. In the time that Wilson was the outright OC, the Sooners won four Big 12 championships.
The 2008 Sooners has been regarded as one of the best offensive teams in the Big 12’s history, scoring a whopping 716 points, a number that is second most in FBS history. Nine times during that season the Sooners scored 50+ points. In the Big 12 Championship Game against Missouri, the Sooners dropped 62 points on the Tigers. Their season high scoring output was 65 points against a then-No. 2 Texas Tech squad. However, Meyer’s Florida Gators held that vaunted team to a season-low 14 points in the BCS title game.
Now he’ll face his former team in one of the pivotal games of this young college football season. If it’s like last week, expect the Buckeyes to be collecting a bundle of yards in the air and on the ground.
“Ohio State versus Oklahoma. Buckeyes versus Sooners. The Horseshoe versus the Sooner Schooner. The Block O versus ... well, the Block O”
We already touched on the similar stars on the line of scrimmage, and how OU has been a power in the beginning part of the 2000s. But, when you look at the whole picture, the Sooners and Buckeyes aren’t just similar in those two recent categories; in fact, they’ve been similar for quite a while.
ESPN’s Ryan McGee went on a little road trip, and determined that even though OSU and OU are 969 miles apart, both programs are closer than that. In the article, two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin said that the two schools seemed pretty close, as they both are neck-and-neck in the record books.
McGee even went on to ask if this game has the feeling of a rivalry. Especially when you consider the previous meetings in 1977 and 1983, with the former being a game-winning field goal for OU inside The ‘Shoe, both teams have been college football powers that rarely meet.
It’s a long read that gets the insights of people who know the programs best, and is almost like a virtual field trip.