Three’s Company

By Emmett Golden

After being suspended for the first two games this year, running back Jordan Hall, defensive backs Travis Howard and Corey Brown have all been reinstated by the NCAA, just in time for OSU’s game nationally televised game against Miami on Saturday night. Will these players make an impact this weekend?

Jordan Hall – Hall didn’t have many opportunities last year playing behind Brandon Saine and Boom Herron. This year was supposed to be different. After news came out that Herron would be suspended for the first five games of the year, many people thought this would be Hall’s chance to shine at running back.

RB Carlos Hyde

Hall may have let that opportunity slip away. Sophomore Carlos Hyde filled in as the starting running back in Hall’s absence. In the first two games this year Hyde has 169 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Hyde’s numbers are not mind blowing, but they may be good enough to keep the seat warm for Dan “Boom” Herron when he returns from his five game suspension.

My prediction: you may see Hall returning kickoffs with Jamaal Berry on Saturday, but don’t expect to see much more. I don’t see coach Luke Fickell giving Hall many carries this weekend. I believe Fickell will stick with the combo of Hyde and Smith until Herron returns.

Travis Howard and Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown: With the exception of the game against Toledo that saw the Buckeyes defense struggle against the screen pass, OSU’s defense has played very well. I could see Howard getting back into the rotation faster than Brown. Howard is a red shirt junior and I believe Fickell would like as much experience on the field as possible for the first big game of the year.

My prediction: I don’t see either guy starting…sort of an extra punishment on Fickell’s part. Although I believe Howard will play more than the other two players coming back from suspension.

Follow Emmet on Twitter @Egoldie80

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Block O Preview

By Emmett Golden

For the second week in a row, the Buckeyes face another in-state MAC opponent. The Toledo Rockets fly into the Horse Shoe on Saturday afternoon coming off a 58-22 win over New Hampshire.

Toledo, who are the preseason pick to win the MAC, will be a step up in competition as OSU dominated Akron from the opening kick in their 42-0 win in the 2011 season opener.

Three players return for The Buckeyes after serving one game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits. Running back Jordan Hall, cornerback Travis Howard and safety Cory Brown have been reinstated as well as linebacker Jordan Whiting. Whiting was suspended in December for accepting tattoos from a Columbus tattoo parlor owner. Ohio State coach Luke Fickell would not say when or even if they would play against Toledo. “They’re available, that’s all I know.” said coach Fickell “We’re going to move forward with the guys that are available, if something comes up, something comes up.”

The quarterback situation isn’t any clearer. Senior Joe Bauserman and freshman Braxton Miller both had solid games against Akron, going a combined 20 of 28 for 293 yards and four touchdowns, plus 12 carries for 62 yards. Coach Luke Fickell said both quarterbacks will play and should get the same amount of playing time as last week.

Expect the Rocket defense to pay close attention to junior tight end Jake Stoneburner. Stoneburner set an OSU record for most touchdowns in one game by a tight end with three. He is also now one of only eight receivers to catch three touchdowns in a game.

The Ohio State defense face a much bigger task this Saturday. The Rockets displayed a high-powered offense in their opener. Toledo’s offense gained over 500 yards and seven touchdowns at home against New Hampshire.

Follow Emmett on Twitter @egoldie80

Anywhere But South Beach

By Emmet Golden

Just when you thought Miami couldn’t take anything else from Cleveland, the Chicago Bulls traded their 28th pick to the Heat. That pick was CSU’s Mr. Everything, Norris Cole.

I had the pleasure of covering Norris during his epic senior year at Cleveland State. A year in which Cole was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and League MVP. Don’t forget about the night in February when he scored 41points and snatched 20 rebounds against Youngstown State. Oh yeah, he had 9 assists that night too.

Now Norris Cole’s talents are headed to South Beach. I have said plenty of times I will never root for the Heat as long as you know who plays there. Now that Norris is a part of that team – I STILL WON’T ROOT FOR THEM!

Although I WILL root for Norris.

If you have ever met this young man there is no way you can root against him. He is just too good of a person to spew negativity toward. You can tell he is just a good person. Very smart and very respectful. Someone his mother and father can be proud of (and they are).

So let me say, congratulations Norris, I wish “you” nothing but the best!

 

Take A Look In The Mirror

By: Emmett Golden

Tuesday night I watched a man with tremendous pride, stand up in front of the media and admit he had done something wrong. To me, there is no bigger measure of a man than when he has to face the music. We’ve seen many people handle this in different ways.

Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel

Some people place the blame on others, some say they didn’t know what they were doing was wrong, and others flat out deny the accusations and dare you to prove it. Jim Tressel said he was wrong. His reason for holding back the information was that, in the email he received, it stated there were confidentiality issues involved with the players in an ongoing federal investigation.

I listened to callers, I listened to LeCharles, Jerod, Hammer, and Roda. Then I asked myself…Would I want my sons to play for Jim Tressel?  The answer is YES!

I don’t feel this way because I’m an OSU fan. I feel this way because I’ve known a few men in my life that I’ve had a great deal of respect for. Sometimes those guys did what they thought was best whether or not it was what the “rule book” said to do.

It’s very easy to scold someone when they do wrong. It’s also easy to portray the image that you would have done differently. Ask yourself, have I ever driven over the speed limit? Have I ever cheated on my taxes? Have I ever cheated on my wife?  Let me guess….every person that is reading this has NEVER done anything wrong. Just be real with yourself. Nobody is perfect.

If my children were lucky enough to play any sport at a major university, I would want them to play for a man who had dignity and could help them make the tough decision when it seems like there is no right answer. I see that in Jim Tressel.

Tressel has to win ball games to keep his job, but he has also helped many boys become men. In a world where some fathers don’t take the time to care for or even see their children, men like Jim Tressel should have our respect.

To all the people asking for his head: look in the mirror. If you can look at yourself and say you have never done anything wrong then I guess you are BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE.

There you go! Enjoy your perfect life!

Glass Battle Does In Vikings

By: Emmett Golden

The Cleveland State Vikings drop a tough one to Old Dominion 74-63 Sunday afternoon. Norris Cole scored 35 points to set a new Bracket Busters record. CSU got crushed on the glass, losing the rebounding battle 51-22.

 

Cleveland State Guard Norris Cole

Old Dominion showed offensive balance by having four players in double figures, lead by Kent Bazemore with 18.

 

Cole was the only offense for CSU. Trey Harmon and Jeremy Montgomery struggled from the field all game and big man Aaron Pogue was in foul trouble most of the afternoon. The Vikings went seven minutes without a basket in the first half and had a six-minute drought in the second.

If the Vikings plan on making the big dance they will have to win their last two games, as well as needing a little help from Valpo and other teams on the NCAA bubble.

The Butler Did It, (Again) To Cleveland State

By: Emmett Golden

The Cleveland State Vikings lost a tough one to Butler 73-61.

Cleveland State Coach Gary Waters (Courtesy of Cleveland Plain Dealer)

With 8,490 screaming fans dress in all black behind them, CSU never hit their offensive stride. The game had a promising start. Jeremy Montgomery, who finished with a team high 18 points, hit three consecutive threes and Norris Cole added a lay-up put the Vikings up 16-8 with 11:49 left in the first half. That’s when Butler went on a 18-6 run to take a 26-22 lead at the 5:05 mark in the first half. Both teams traded baskets after that and Butler ended the half with a 33-29 lead.

The second half began with consecutive baskets by Aaron Pogue and Trey Harmon to tie the score at 33-33. Trey and Aaron both picked up their third fouls shortly after that. Both players spent most of the game on the bench due to foul trouble. “They had Trey handcuffed, and he never was able to rebound from that” said coach Waters.

The second half remained tight until Butler’s Matt Howard sank two big threes. The second three Howard hit put Butler up by ten with 4:48 left in the game, a lead that was too much for the Vikings to over come. “My team has confidence in me to shoot so I just shot it and it went in.” said Howard.

Norris Cole was 4-13 from the field and had to fight through double teams all day on his way to 15 points and 4 assists. “They play well against us, but that’s on us. When we won the championship we lost to them twice and beat them in the tournament, so we will see them again and we’ll be ready.” said Cole.

The Vikings are now 10-3 in conference play, a half game ahead of Valpo for first place. They hit the road to face Detroit Monday night.

Vikings Eye Big Matchup

By: Emmett Golden

This Thursday the Cleveland State Vikings(9-2) take on Valparaiso(8-2) for first place in the Horizon League. When the season began many people believed that CSU and Butler would fight it out for the top spot. While Butler(6-4) is still in the mix, Valpo has flown under the radar for most of the season and stand only a half game behind the Vikings.

After losing back to back games to Butler and Valpo, CSU is on a five game winning streak and back at the top of the Horizon League standings. “We just got back to being ourselves” said guard Jeremy Montgomery, when asked what has changed since they last played Butler and Valparaiso.

While the city is ready to “Black Out Butler” coach Waters believes the toughest team to visit the Wolstein Center this week is Valpo. “The toughest team we’ll play this week will be here on Thursday” said coach Gary Waters. There is no question that this is the biggest game of the week and many believe the winner of this game will win the Horizon League and host the league tournament.

It doesn’t get any easier on Saturday when the Butler Bulldogs come to town. The Vikings look to avenge their 79-56 loss to Butler that took place on the road, earlier last month. The Vikings came out flat and were never really in the game. Fans have been asked to wear all black when they attend the nationally televised game to show their support. This will easily be the biggest crowd of the season at the Wolstein Center with around 5,000 tickets sold already sold.

In a season that has seen the Vikings win twenty games before the month of February for the first time in school history, some say they have yet to beat a good team. Up until this point the only games CSU have lost are the games when they have had a chance to prove those people wrong. Will the Vikings step up and take control of the Horizon League? I don’t have the answer to that question  but, I can not wait to watch it unfold.

See you at the Wo!!!

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