Monday, October 29, 2007

The lengthy "Welcome Back" post

I got back from the cruise on Saturday afternoon, in plenty of time to see Ohio State's complete domination of Penn State. More on the cruise later in this post.

Going into the game, I was genuinely scared about our chances. Yes, we had won our first 8 games, but I only feel that two of those were against decent team. Furthermore, we lost the last time we visited Happy Valley (and played poorly), and we all saw the offensive capability the Nittany Lions have as evidenced by their 38-7 blowout over Wisconsin. Add into that the fact that Penn State fans had been getting drunk since Thursday, and would therefore be very loud.

But no matter how many times ABC reminded us how great Joe Paterno is, it didn't matter, for we have Jim Tressel on our sidelines. Final score - Ohio State 37, Penn State 17.

Yes, that's right. Our offense scored 30 points. That's more than the 2005 and 2006 Buckeye offense scored COMBINED against Penn State (10 points in '05, 14 in '06).

I saw SO many things I liked about Saturday's performance, especially from the offense (which has become scary-good).

Todd Boeckman does still have trouble hitting the long ball to perfection, but we've shown the threat enough times that it will keep teams from putting 8 or 9 men in the box to stop Beanie Wells. Load up to stop the run, we'll bury you deep. Go to 5 DBs, Wells will tear up yardage.

Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline are our skill recievers with amazing hands. Ray Small is our speed WR with lightning-fast wheels.

Beanie Wells is the main RB, but we also are seeing a new emergence from Maurice Wells to spell him. Also, Brandon Saine's speed from the backfield can make a sweep or a reverse very very dangerous to our opponents.

And now we have the threat of the tight end. In the past two games, our TEs have 11 catches and 2 touchdowns. Rory Nicol and Jake Ballard have now added another dimension to this team.

Like I said. Scary-good.

Oh, and we also have the NCAA-s top-rated defense. That kinda helps.

I'm convinced that this team is getting better and better each week and is handling their #1 ranking like a true champion.

Next up is another difficult one. Wisconsin is not the #5 team that they once were, but I'm going to be scared heading into this one. For some reason, the Badgers havce our number at The Shoe. Tressel has yet to beat Wisconsin at home. Time to change that little stat.

The good news about this weekend's game;

- Wisconsin's rush defense is ranked #51 in the NCAA. They give up about a dozen yards more per game than Michigan State, who just allowed Beanie to pass the century mark twice.
- Their pass offense is #73. That bodes well against our pass defense, which is about 72 places higher.

P.J. Hill seems to be their biggest threat, but we can't underestimate Tyler Donovan at QB. His biggest problem is when he's pressured, he throws INTs. Go get him, Vernon Gholston. Rip his arm off and beat him with the bloody stump.


Now, for the cruise highlights;

If you've never been on one - do it. My GOD it was incredible. We did a Holland America cruise ship, and they know how to treat their guests. The food was unbelieveable - prime rib, duck, new york strip, rack of lamb, creme brulee, strawberry shortcake, tropical fruit cocktail - and if you don't want to come to dinner, room service is 24 hours a day, and it's all complimentary.

The girlfriend (pictured left) entered the Superstar challenge (American-Idol-esque karaoke) and made the finals. Finished in the top 4, performing in the theater in front of about 500 people. Damn, I was impressed. But she threatened to kill me if I You-Tubed the video of it.

I entered my first-ever Blackjack tournament in the casino. It cost me 20 bucks to try and qualify. I got into the finals on my first qualifying try. Then I won the whole damn thing. 500 bucks cash! With two hands to go, I decided to go for it....I had 2,800 in chips and went all-in. The dealer dealt me a blackjack and I coasted to victory.

I never got to see the Indians fall apart. The sports bar did not have the rights to broadcast the ALCS. Thank God.

Girlfriend's family was fabulous. I loved being there with them, and the love did not go unrequited. Her brothers invited me for cigars and wine on the deck for the final night. Yeah, this is a family I'd love to be a part of.

Went snorkeling on the British Virgin Islands. Saw a HUGE sea turtle, and a 4-foot barracuda.

I got to feed a stingray. If you ever get the chance, I recommend it. Honestly, they're like puppies. Maybe I'll put a video up of that later.

More later - I've got to go to work now. Vacation is over.

By the way....thanks for visiting the site, even while I was away.

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