WATCH: Cleveland’s Denzel Ward make and unbelievably athletic move to make tackle

Denzel Ward makes a play against the Cincinnati Bengals you have to see to believe. It’s just a Buckeye being a Buckeye.

Denzel Ward has been making plays for the Cleveland Browns since being drafted fourth overall in the 2018 NFL draft. Ward has consistently been a shutdown corner usually drawing the opposing teams No. 1 receiver.

On Sunday, Ward made an unbelievably athletic play to blow up a bubble screen before it had a chance to develop. Seeing wide receiver, Jonah Williams in front to set the screen, Ward slid under the impending block to make the tackle.

It’s one you’ll have to see to believe. Trust us on this. Check it out below on The Checkdown Twitter feed and get ready to marvel at what you see.

Ward replied to another Twitter feed saying “Added a new wrinkle to my game with the slide”. Impressive young man… Impressive.

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Ohio State vs. Penn State 2020 Football Preview And Prediction

Ohio State travels to Happy Valley to face the Nittany Lions for a prime time matchup on Halloween night. Here’s your preview and prediction.

Record

Ohio State (1-0), Penn State (0-1)

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Saturday, Oct. 31
Game Time: 7:30 pm EDT
Network: ABC
Venue: Beaver Stadium РCapacity Р106,572 (no fans permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions)
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads 20-14
Last Meeting: Ohio State defeated Penn State 28-17 in 2019


After a somewhat slow start, Ohio State took care of Nebraska the way we  thought they would. There is definitely work to do, especially on the offensive and defensive lines, but, overall, the Buckeyes looked as good as advertised.

A trip to Happy Valley looms this week, although the Nittany Lions don’t seem quite as fierce after a loss to Indiana and the absence of the vaunted “white out” crowd. Nonetheless, these two programs have slugged it out over the past several years and nothing can be taken for granted.

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Next … The game plan

Joel Klatt wasn’t happy with targeting calls in Nebraska game, compares to Shaun Wade’s ejection in Fiesta Bowl

Joel Klatt didn’t agree with targeting calls made against Nebraska in the Buckeyes 52-17 win. For once, we don’t agree with Klatt.

For the most part, you won’t find a more knowledgeable college football analyst than Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt. ¬†Klatt is a straight shooter and tells it like he sees it… and most of the time he has really insightful takes.

During Saturday’s Ohio State game vs. Nebraska, the Cornhuskers were flagged several times for targeting, leading to two player ejections. Klatt got heated while the reviews were happening, sharing his opinion that he didn’t believe that the Husker players in question did anything wrong in the actual speed of real-time gameplay. Klatt even went on to try and sway the Buckeye faithful watching the game, comparing the hits made against Ohio State receivers yesterday to the hit that got Shaun Wade ejected in the Fiesta Bowl last season. Here’s why I believe he’s wrong.

Klatt tweeted out that the targeting rule needs to be changed and I do agree with that to an extent. While the spirit of the rule is good, the interpretation needs to be fixed.

When Shaun Wade hit Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence in the National Semi-Final, he was in position to make a perfect form tackle. Lawrence saw Wade coming at the last second and ducked into that hit, causing a helmet to helmet collision. Unless you’re a Tiger fan, I think we can all agree with Klatt here that this is a “normal action of football” and the player should stay in the game.

The difference yesterday is that the Nebraska defenders who were ejected launched themselves into defenseless receivers. But what exactly is targeting? The NCAA rules committee defines it as this: “initiating contact against a defenseless opponent and/or with the crown of the helmet.”

Specifically, launching is defined as:

A player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make forcible contact in the head or neck area.

The first ejection of Cam Taylor-Britt may have been questionable in real-time, although he clearly lowered his head to make helmet to helmet contact. The second ejection of Deontai Williams was a blatant launching into the head/neck area.

I agree, Joel… the rule needs to be looked at for better interpretation and room for live-action gameplay. However, this wasn’t the case yesterday and the calls were made.

 

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Halftime Report: Ohio State off to sluggish start against Nebraska

With great anticipation, Ohio State took the field for the first time in 2020. Outside of quarterback Justin Fields, the Buckeyes are off to a slow start. Nebraska took the opening drive to the house in under two minutes to take an early lead. Ohio …

With great anticipation, Ohio State took the field for the first time in 2020. Outside of quarterback Justin Fields, the Buckeyes are off to a slow start.

Nebraska took the opening drive to the house in under two minutes to take an early lead. Ohio State and Fields would answer on their first possession as well.

Fields as looked as good as advertised going 12 for 13, completing his first 11 passes, with 187 yards passing and a beautiful touchdown toss, while leading the Buckeyes in rushing with 46 yards. Garrett Wilson has also hauled in 5 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.

Unfortunately, the rest of the team isn’t doing much. The offensive line isn’t getting much of a push at the line of scrimmage opening few holes for the running backs. On the other side of the ball, the defense isn’t getting in the kind of pressure we’ve come to expect from the Buckeye front four.

Thanks to great field position and some questionable calls against Nebraska, Master Teague was able to scamper for a TD before the half. Heading into the locker room, the Buckeyes lead 24-14.

Here’s hoping the rust and opening game jitters are gone and the Buckeyes come out with some adjustments and a sense of urgency.

 

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Halftime Report: Ohio State off to sluggish start against Nebraska

Ohio State leads at the half but doesn’t look dominant as expected.

With great anticipation, Ohio State took the field for the first time in 2020. Outside of quarterback Justin Fields, the Buckeyes are off to a slow start.

Nebraska took the opening drive to the house in under two minutes to take an early lead. Ohio State and Fields would answer on their first possession as well.

Fields as looked as good as advertised going 12 for 13, completing his first 11 passes, with 187 yards passing and a beautiful touchdown toss, while leading the Buckeyes in rushing with 46 yards.

Unfortunately, the rest of the team isn’t doing much. The offensive line isn’t getting much of a push at the line of scrimmage opening few holes for the running backs. On the other side of the ball, the defense isn’t getting in the kind of pressure we’ve come to expect from the Buckeye front four.

Thanks to great field position and some questionable calls against Nebraska, Master Teague was able to scamper for a TD before the half. Heading into the locker room, the Buckeyes lead 24-14.

Here’s hoping the rust and opening game jitters are gone and the Buckeyes come out with some adjustments and a sense of urgency.

 

Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes and opinion.

We have a forum and message board now. Get in on the conversation about Ohio State athletics by joining the Buckeyes Wire Forum.

Ohio State vs. Nebraska 2020 football Preview And Prediction

Ohio State will welcome Nebraska to Columbus for the opener of the Big Ten college football season. We’ve got your preview and prediction.

Records

Ohio State (0-0), Nebraska (0-0)

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Saturday, October 24
Game Time: Noon ET
Network: FOX
Venue: Ohio Stadium РCapacity Р104,944 (no fans permitted due to COVID-19 restrictions)
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads 7-1
Last Meeting: Ohio State defeated Nebraska 48-7 in 2019


Ohio State football is back Buckeye fans! The long wait is finally over as Ryan Day and company have their eyes set on a college football crown. But before we dream of beating the Tigers and Crimson Tides of the college football world, focus has to remain steadfast on the opponent at hand… hello Cornhuskers.

The Big Ten did Nebraska no favors when handing out¬†new schedules for a revamped 2020 season. Was it punishment for being so vocal against conference leadership and their handling of football in a pandemic? We can speculate, but the bottom line is – we’re ready to play some football!

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Next … The game plan

Is Ohio State football becoming wide-receiver U?

Ohio State has been known for being a run-heavy team throughout its history, but is it now becoming Wide Receiver U?

It’s been well documented that Ohio State has been laying claim as “DBU” for churning out NFL defensive backs throughout history. The Bucks may start claiming the title of “Wide Receiver U” before too long.

Ohio State was a little late to the passing game as Buckeye Legend Woody Hayes famously said: “There are only three things can happen on a pass, and two of them are bad.” But Ohio State would start to evolve with names like Chris Carter, Terry Glenn, and David Boston in the 80’s and 90’s.

However, you might be surprised to know that since the 2000 NFL draft, Ohio State has had more receivers drafted than any other college program. It’ll no doubt add to that total with guys like KJ Hill and Austin Mack this coming April.

It seems now, Columbus is the place to be for highly-touted receivers to land. The 2020 recruiting class lays claim to the No. 1, No. 5, No. 12, and No. 15 ranked receivers in the nation (Julian Flemming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott, Jr., and Mookie Cooper). Add this class to what was a strong 2019 receiving class led by the No. 2 nationally-ranked receiver, Garrett Wilson, and there is something special in the making.

Speaking of Garrett Wilson, he and fellow Buckeye Wideout, Chris Olave just made the Pro Football Focus list of top 25 receivers returning to college football in 2020.  Wilson comes in at No. 24 and Olave makes the ranking at No. 10.

Brian Hartline is doing work not only bringing in top-level talent, but developing that talent as well. And we’re excited to see what this explosive group can do going forward.

Veteran NFL referee says overturned fumble was wrong call while the SEC crew defends itself

The Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Clemson had a very controversial fumble TD overturn. Veteran NFL referee disagreed with SEC refs.

Ryan Day was asked numerous times about the game changing calls made in the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson on Saturday night. He handled it with class saying it was too close to the game to answer without emotion, but calling it “overwhelming”. Buckeye nation is right there with you Coach Day.

In sports, it’s never one play that determines a win or loss, but it always feels like it. Yes, Ohio State had chances and missed some key opportunities, but in a game of this magnitude, the story should never be about the referees. However, that’s exactly what the SEC officiating crew did.

There were several controversial calls in this game, but none more egregious than the overturned scoop and score midway through the third quarter. Veteran NFL referee, Terry McAulay shared the same sentiment.

This is a great angle. There is absolutely no way replay should have reversed. “Indisputable video evidence” is simply not there.

Meanwhile, Ken Williamson of the SEC crew tasked with officiating the game defended their decision in an interview after the game saying they felt the ball was coming loose in the receivers hands.

Williamson said the play was reviewed in the stadium as well as at the video review center the SEC uses in Birmingham, and said they determined when Ross moved, the ball was becoming loose in his hands and he did not complete the process of the catch.

Ralph D. Russo – AP News

I’m not sure what video this crew was watching, but the ball doesn’t appear to be coming loose in the three and a half steps the receiver takes until Jeff Okudah strips it out.

Officiating is part of the game and sometimes that means blown calls. But the story of such a massive game shouldn’t be about the men in stripes and unfortunately that’s what we got with an overturned call that wasn’t “indisputable”.

 

Ohio State vs. Clemson 2019 Fiesta Bowl Preview And Prediction

We’ve got all you need to know, including a prediction for the matchup between Ohio State and Clemson in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl.

Records

Ohio State (13-0), Clemson (13-0)

Broadcast, TV, Game Time

Date: Saturday, December 28
Game Time: 8pm ET
Network: ESPN
Venue: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ РCapacity: 63,400
All-Time Series: Clemson leads 3-0
Last Meeting: Clemson defeated Ohio State 31-0 in 2016 CFP Semi-Finals


It’s finally playoff time Buckeye fans! After the committee decided that LSU was more deserving of the No. 1 ranking, Clemson will be waiting in the desert.

This will be the biggest test Ohio State has faced all year. Yes, Clemson has not looked great, played in a weak ACC, and almost lost to North Carolina, but it has something the Buckeye players and coaching staff doesn’t have… playoff experience.

Having experience in these types of situations is huge. But there are also a lot of other factors. When the spotlight is brightest, who will be able to stay composed and make the necessary plays?

Next … The game plan

Justin Fields says he hopes to be out of knee brace by Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has been nursing a sprained MCL, but he says he hopes to be out of the knee brace for the Fiesta Bowl.

We all knew Justin Fields was a little banged up coming into the Big Ten Championship Game. He seemed somewhat like superman in Ann Arbor after a lineman rolled up on his knee in the second half only to come back a few plays later and roll out for a 30 yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson.

However, Fields didn’t seem all that comfortable Saturday against Wisconsin. Although, he finished the game with 299 yards passing on 19 completions and three touchdowns, the OSU quarterback wasn’t on his game in the first half missing some throws he typically makes. Fields was only 7-14 in the first half with no touchdowns and a costly fumble, but righted the ship in the second half going 12-17 with the three scoring strikes.

I had the chance to ask Justin if the knee was bothering him during the game and if it had an affect on the passing game. Here’s what he said:

“I feel like it did, but I’m not making excuses for the missed throws of course. But I definitely feel like it did, so hopefully next game I won’t have to wear that knee brace.”

Justin Fields

It seems like Fields is pretty confident he’ll be 100 percent going into the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson. Let’s hope he’s right and a few weeks of rest will give the sprained MCL time to heal.

He and the team will need it against the undefeated, and No. 3 seeded defending national champion Clemson Tigers.