9am kickoff?!?! More like the Redeye edition of 13 Questions.
For a period of about two years I had a bi-coastal "commute." I'd spend 5-6 weeks working from a home office in Oregon, and then fly out to the east coast for a 1-2 week stint in the small offices of the start-up I was working for.
Nothing beats catching a 10pm flight out of PDX, spending 4-5 hrs in a dimly lit cabin with infrequent flyers having loud conversations in the row behind you all night long, and a harried parent trying to quell their screaming child in the seats next to you, to prepare you for a 9am "bet the company" meeting in Manhattan on arrival. But the layover in Charlotte was always nice.
I'm hopeful the Ducks' will have a better experience as they head to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State University Buckeyes in the marquee CFB matchup of the week.
To help feed the insatiable appetite of CFB fans for information and things to discuss about their team, their opponent, or whether Red Vines or Twizzlers, we continue our series of 13 Questions asked of opposing fan bases to give Duck fans a better idea of who will not be painting their faces nightmare green and/or lightning yellow and/or black and/or anthracite grey and/or white and/or grellow and/or apple green and/or thunder green and/or any other color Nike decides is a school color this week.
The response I received when asking for participants on the dedicated Buckeye subreddit was overwhelming as far as these things have gone for me in the past. That wasn't unexpected, but it made sifting through all the answers and putting together any sort of cohesive narrative from them exponentially harder. And the responses themselves made it really hard to not like the Buckeye fans because they are funny, self-aware, and not a lot unlike Duck fans in so many ways.
I'll let the Buckeye fans' answers speak for themselves, with just a sprinkling of my own commentary to provide some context or additional information. Also, these answers were all submitted prior to Ohio State's season opener against Minnesota.
1. Who's one Buckeye player for Oregon fans to watch on offense, and what should we look for? Not necessarily your most prolific or high-profile offensive player - let's hear about guys that provide something unique for your team or are otherwise instructive of the team.
Pockets_254: Obviously we've got guys like Olave, Wilson, and Stroud but TreVeyon Henderson should be fun to watch. He's probably the third string RB but was a five star coming in and has that Dobbins breakaway speed.
messiestbessie: Dawand Jones. He's a former 3 star that pushed our All Big Ten left tackle to the guard position. He's massive. And there's a great gif of him from 2019 against Northwestern.
The_Good_Constable: Probably right tackle Dawand Jones. He'll be hard to miss since he's a massive 6'8 and 360+ lbs. Supposedly he moves really well for a man his size. They moved a lot of guys around on the OL to make sure he gets on the field.
Tranquillien_: Jeremy Ruckert. He's one of the best TE in the nation and we never really use him. With Olave and Wilson, he could be a game changer who gets things done for us besides the usual suspects. We really have no clue how much he will be used this year, but him opting out of the draft indicates it might be more than we thought.
tbirdosu: I'm interested in seeing how our #3 receivers play since Olave and Wilson will get the attention. We have 3-4 guys that could fill that spot each week. Smith-Njigba, Fleming, Harrison Jr (Marvin's son)
rsspecht21: Honestly even with all the talent at the skill positions I'd be watching the offensive line. They're a talented and experienced group and we're moving some players around to get the best five on the field. But you can't go wrong with any player on that offense. The depth at wide receiver is well documented and while Stroud and the running backs are unproven they have plenty of talent.
akyankee: I think this one is an easy answer. C.J. Stroud. It'll only be his second start and we should see a lot of what he has to offer against Minnesota. With that said I think there will be a lot for Buckeye fans to learn watching him against the Ducks. I'd keep an eye out for his decision-making, is he progressing through his reads, how he handles pressure, and overall accuracy throwing the ball. Also, keep an eye out for scrambling and running ability with Stroud.
2. And how about one on defense?
Pockets_254: On defense, probably Jack Sawyer. He really showed up in the Spring game with four sacks so it'll be fun to see what he can do about that Oregon defense.
Nfrizzle: On defense, I'm looking forward to seeing Dallas Gant. He's a senior Linebacker who really only played special teams and mop up duty the last couple years. But with losing several linebackers to the draft and graduation we are looking at an entirely new group, and I think he will be the key to the group's success.
akyankee: Tyreke Smith, he's returning after being projected as a mid-round pick in a weak edge class in the NFL draft. He's had flashes of greatness but has not lived up to expectations. If he can provide even half the production of some of our former great DE's I think your QB could be in for a hell of an afternoon.
The_Good_Constable: Haskell Garrett. He's the guy that was shot in the face last summer and still played football like a month later. It's nuts. He could have been drafted relatively early but elected to come back this season.
BuckNastyEnchilada: Zach Harrison?
Tranquillien_: Zach Harrison. This could be his breakout year. Highly was a touted recruit but he hasn't lived up to the expectations yet. I'm hearing good things from preseason.
thatcreepNathen: Zach Harrison was supposed to be the next Chase Young and could blow up this yeah True fresh jack Sawyer tore up the spring game and we are look forward to him and #1 recruit in the nation J.T Tuimoloau, and Josh Proctor, a Senior Safety. He has always been a big hitter and super athletic but he is expected to be a leader of this team this year. Linebacker core is all new, but there is a lot of talent there.
tbirdosu: Teradja Mitchell - LB.
rsspecht21: Unless Day has just been blowing smoke all offseason, I'd be watching Demario McCall. He's came to Ohio State as a receiver/hback and is super athletic but never really fit into the offense. He switched to corner this offseason as a fifth-year senior and it seems like he might get some playing time. Steele Chambers also made the switch to defense (RB to LB) but probably won't see the field. Other guys who have a lot of hype from Buckeye fans but maybe not a ton of national attention are Haskell who was shot in the face just before last season and still played and Terajda Mitchell who is a fifth-year senior who hasn't seen the field that much because of the depth in front of him, but he has a ton of talent leading the linebacker unit as a captain this year.
3. Describe your team in 5 words or less.
messiestbessie: Better get us this season.
akyankee: Wide receiver U
The_Good_Constable: Fighter jet made of biceps.
BuckNastyEnchilada: When we're underrated we win
Tranquillien_: Young but talented.
4. How about the "typical" OSU fan, 5 words or less? Give us the stereotype!
cormack16: passionate, elitist, spoiled, supportive, and committed.
messiestbessie: Football's an alcohol delivery system
RubixCubeROBUS: Arrogant but justified (mostly)
Nfrizzle: Arrogant, Entitled, Passionate, Fun. 5 Words could be, "The Worst and the Best"
akyankee: We hate *ichigan!
The_Good_Constable: John Belushi from Animal House
RoloTumase: Drunk with at least two buckeye necklaces on and possibly body paint or a cowboy hat.
thatcreepNathen: The entire state of Ohio
5. Favorite OSU game of the past 20 years?
[DFB: the vast majority of answers were a pick-em of games against Michigan, with some Clemson and Alabama beats sprinkled in for flavor]
cormack16: 2018 game vs Michigan. My in-laws are all UM fans so seeing their disappointment after the "revenge tour" was quite satisfying.
messiestbessie: 2018 TTUN. First time in 15 years that I thought a good OSU team would lose to them. That game block punt was orgasmic. 2015 & 2011 Sugar bowls are second and third respectively.
BuckNastyEnchilada: for everyone it's either the win against Clemson last season, or the 2014 Natty with our 3rd string (sorry ¯_(ツ)_/¯)
thatcreepNathen: Appalachian State or anyone who is playing Michigan
6. Who is the all-time best player to have ever donned the scarlet and grey?
[DFB: the overwhelming majority voted Archie Griffin, so I only included one comment on him]
messiestbessie: Impossible question.
Nfrizzle: It's hard to pick the best. I feel like recently has been a golden age, but there are a lot of great ones to pick from. I'm gonna cheat and pick an offensive player and a defensive player. Offense my opinion would be Justin Fields. I know he is very recent. But I've never seen anyone play QB for us as well as he did. Just the complete package. The Passing accuracy, the arm strength, the mobility, the leadership and toughness. Really had it all. If he had three-four years at the school he would hold every QB record.
Defense I'm going with Chase Young. Just absolutely dominant. After watching both Bosas go through I didn't think anyone could top them, but he did. You could NOT block him one on one. And he hold our single season sack record.
The_Good_Constable: Best is probably Orlando Pace. Dude was an absolute monster.
rsspecht21: Gotta be Archie Griffin. Would he make the team if he had played in the last ten years? Maybe not, but you can't argue with two Heisman trophies.
7. What non-OSU team does your fanbase feel the most kinship with?
cormack16: Not sure about the whole fanbase, I personally have the Ducks as my number 2 team. Love those uniforms.
Pockets_254: Our fan base probably has the most kinship with Michigan State despite the heartbreaking games a couple years ago. Kind of a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" type of thing.
messiestbessie: Probably Texas
RubixCubeROBUS: Most kinship with - man idk? I don't think we are "friends" with anybody. Lol
Nfrizzle: Not sure exactly about the entire fan base, but I know several fans who have a weird admiration and really like Minnesota. They've been bad for so long, to see them finally getting good recruits, and a great coach and winning big games feels cool.
akyankee: LSU, with the transfer of Burrow a few years back I think we were all pulling for them in that national championship game.
RoloTumase: University of Cincinnati [DFB: huh?]
rsspecht21: It's kind of hard to feel kinship with anybody when you're at Ohio State's level. Everybody in the B1G kind of hates us and most other fanbases do too. Personally, I think a lot of Ohio State fans are rooting pretty hard for UC. Part of that, obviously, is Fickell, but at least for me I just think it's cool that another Ohio team is good (and I'm not that threatened by them). Might be important to note that UC fans were pretty insufferable under Brian Kelly, but that has largely subsided. Some tOSU fans are less forgiving than me though. [DFB: oh, I get it]
8. Any thoughts on the current trajectory of the football program overall?
messiestbessie: Feels like a fever dream.
RubixCubeROBUS: For all that Urban Meyer did to elevate the OSU program, I would say Day has taken it a step further. Sounds crazy I know, but when you look at recruiting classes and results on the field it's hard to argue. Urban often let lesser programs get the better of him (2017 Iowa, 2018 Purdue) and it would cost us playoff spots. Day handles his business in the regular season and his classes he's putting together are scary! I'm predicting a Natty by 2023.
The_Good_Constable: We'll probably never lose another football game ever again. So, I feel alright about it.
Tranquillien_: Great trajectory. Ryan Day was a slam dunk, and our recruiting is insane. We are becoming a perennial playoff contender.
tbirdosu: I'm amazed that there doesn't appear to be any dropoff from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day. If anything, the recruits are even better. The sky is the limit!
9. What's a unique OSU student/campus tradition - gameday or otherwise?
Nfrizzle: A fun tradition for me is when you are at a game, after a win. While everyone slowly files out of the stadium. Whether it's after a Michigan game or not, everyone will sing "We Don't Give a Damn bout the Whole State of Michigan" It sometimes feels silly but it's a lot of fun.
The_Good_Constable: Does the Mirror Lake jump count? It got shut down a few years back, but everybody getting piss drunk and jumping in a cold lake certainly qualifies as "unique."
tbirdosu: Not many die hard football programs also give love to the band. Coming in early to watch them take the field will make a grown man have chills.
10. Prototypical gameday beverage?
messiestbessie: A bottle of rum or a case of Yuengling
akyankee: I'm partial to Sam Adams Octoberfest myself.
The_Good_Constable: This is Ohio. We drink beer.
thatcreepNathen: any alcohol lol doesn't matter.
11. Best celebrity Buckeye fan?
tbirdosu: Again, good question and I defer to the masses. A lot of people don't like Herbstreit. Cris Carter rubbed fans the wrong way when he was here. LeBron's cheering always seems fakes to me for some reason. We have some 'super fans' that try to be celebrities but most people, including me, hate them with a passion.
Tranquillien_: Kirk Herbstreit lol
Nfrizzle: The easy answer is Lebron James. But the fun answer is George Steinbrenner.
12. If you could pick one Ducks player, aside from Kayvon Thibodeaux or Henry Katleman, to be on your team - who makes the jump?
cormack16: Probably CJ Verdell. Dude is quick and an absolute weapon.
Pockets_254: Definitely Noah Sewell. Our LB corps is not our strong suit.
The_Good_Constable: Do you guys have a good cornerback? We could probably use the help there.
Nfrizzle: MYKAEL WRIGHT!! I don't know how our secondary is gonna be, and that dude is a beast.
akyankee: McKinley III, dude is a baller and great DB and would fit great in one of our weaker areas.
tbirdosu: I feel like I'm disrespecting the program, but I don't know much about Oregon. It's so hard for east coast people to gain exposure to western time zone sports. [DFB: FIRE LARRY SCOTT!]
13. If the Buckeyes were a Marvel Cinematic Universe character, who would they be?
cormack16: Don't really know a lot of them as I haven't seen many of the movies so I'll go with Captain America.
Pockets_254: Probably Iron Man because of how they rebuild; they reload and rebuild. Everyone knows Iron Man like everyone knows OSU.
messiestbessie: Iron Man. We've got more resources than we know what to do with. Not the strongest and we talk a lot of shit.
Nfrizzle: And I hate to say it, but OSU is Iron Man. Rich, Cocky and Arrogant. But also able to back it up with being amazing!
akyankee: I'd say Thor. Always one of the strongest on the team but not quite the most powerful or top dog at all times.
The_Good_Constable: Thor. God-like, funny, and maybe a little bit dumb.
BuckNastyEnchilada: Blade. Blade is underrated and a lot of people hate him
Tranquillien_: Maybe Bucky the Winter Soldier. Sometimes we are the good guys, mostly seen as bad guys. Strong enough to dominate lesser teams but sometimes not good enough to hang with the S tier teams.
thatcreepNathen: I don't know much about Marvel so I'll go with Goku lol
Thank you to all the Buckeye fans who took the time to reflect and respond to the questions. As much as this Saturday's game induces PANICK® in Duck fans, we're all looking forward to a great contest.