Gameday Reading: Fiesta Bowl Edition

With four weeks to breakdown every conceivable angle, there is probably plenty of catching up to do. So, stay up to date on all things Longhorn with Burnt Orange Beat's "Gameday Reading", with links to the latest news and opinion articles on Texas and Ohio State football and the big matchup in the desert from around the web.

Texas Longhorn Football from Burnt Orange Beat

Ohio State Experts Chat Thread
Burnt Orange Beat
Check out what was discussed last week between Ohio State experts and our premium message board subscribers. There were lots of excellent questions and even more really good answers from Mark Rea from our sister site, BuckeyeSports.com.

Upon Further Review: Buckeye Ground Game
Burnt Orange Beat
Ohio State's ground game nearly always has been the heart of its offense. That's just as true in 2008, with about 60% of the Buckeyes' yardage coming from the run in Big Ten play, contrasted to the national average of closer to only 40%. Beanie Wells is far and away the main attraction for Jim Tressel's crew, so how potent is this ground attack when viewed under the microscope?

Scouting the Opponent: Defense/Special Teams
Burnt Orange Beat
Texas is about to travel to Glendale, Arizona to take on Jim Tressell's Buckeye club in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In anticipation of that match-up, Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Mark Rea of BuckeyeSports.com to get his thoughts on the clash, and what he thinks are the pivotal parts of the game. This part 2 covers the defense and special teams.

Scouting the Ohio State Buckeye Offense
Burnt Orange Beat
Texas is about to travel to Glendale, Arizona to take on Jim Tressell's Buckeye club in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In anticipation of that match-up, Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Mark Rea of BuckeyeSports.com to get his thoughts on the clash, and what he thinks are the pivotal parts of the game. This part 1 covers the offense.

Who Holds The Emotional Edge?
Burnt Orange Beat
We've begun analyzing each team's respective strengths and weaknesses (and will continue to do so), such as Ohio State's ground game against the Texas rush defense. But what about the emotional, "jihad" angle that sometimes spells the difference between victory and defeat?

Hayes and Royal's Great 1967 Freshman Class
Burnt Orange Beat
Those banner classes of Texas and Ohio State had each captured undisputed national crowns and parts of others in their three years with the varsity from 1968-‘70. Texas had run off a streak of 30 wins in a row, while Ohio State had boasted one of 22 games. Royal's Longhorns had a record of 30-2-1, even including its transitional bumps to the Wishbone. Woody's Buckeyes went 27-2. Each school racked up conference titles (solo or shared) every year and finished in the nation's top five. Their respective greatness had brought innumerable moments of joy for their fandom and awe from outsiders.

Fiesta Bowl opponents have a lot in common
Burnt Orange Beat
The #3 Texas Longhorns (11-1) are headed to Glendale, Arizona to face the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Both schools enter the contest as at-large BCS selections and as two of the most storied programs in college football history. The two programs have only played twice in their long histories but they have more in common than many people realize.

Can the Horns Halt the Buckeye Ground Game?
Burnt Orange Beat
It's readily apparent to anyone following Ohio State football that Coach Jim Tressel prefers running the football to throwing it. Like the long shadow of Woody Hayes that falls upon any Buckeyes' coach, Tressel too is an old school, play for field position, win with run and defense kind of guy.

Six things you should know about the Buckeyes
Burnt Orange Beat
The #3 Texas Longhorns (11-1) are headed to Arizona to face the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Before the schools play in several weeks, here are six things you should know about the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ohio State Football from Buckeye Sports

Boeckman Continues To Be Stand-Up Guy For OSU
Buckeye Sports
OSU senior quarterback Todd Boeckman fielded questions at Fiesta Bowl Media Day, including what his role would be Monday night and how he dealt with being replaced as the starter by freshman Terrelle Pryor. Also, Texas head coach Mack Brown talks about the similarities between Pryor and former UT quarterback Vince Young.

Pryor Noticeably Absent From Fiesta Media Day
Buckeye Sports
Thirty members of the Texas team and a like number from Ohio State participated in the annual Fiesta Bowl Media Day this morning, but OSU starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor was a notable absentee.

Maybe Two Quarterbacks For OSU, Maybe Not
Buckeye Sports
Will Ohio State use Terrelle Pryor and Todd Boeckman at the same time in the Fiesta Bowl against Texas? Get the roundabout answer to that question along with what OSU expects to see from the Longhorns. Beanie Wells also talks about his future.

Game Preview: No. 3 Texas
Buckeye Sports
The 2008 season for the No. 10 Ohio State football team concludes where five of the last seven have: in the desert. The Buckeyes face No. 3 Texas in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday, and this is the BuckeyeSports.com preview including players to watch for the Longhorns and a look at how the teams compare heading into the contest.

Fiesta Bowl Teams Favor Divergent Styles
Buckeye Sports
Either the Buckeyes or Longhorns will earn for their school win No. 2 in the relatively new series between longtime powers, but will the game be won by land or by air? The regular season indicates both will try to take decidedly different routes to the Fiesta Bowl winner's circle.

Holiday Break A Double-Edged Sword
Buckeye Sports
The good news for the Ohio State football team is that its members now have a few days off to celebrate the holiday and clear their mind before the Fiesta Bowl. The bad news is they have to stay sharp both mentally and physically. How the Buckeyes balance those truths might go a long way in determining their success come Jan. 5.

Buckeyes Talk Big 12 Defenses
Buckeye Sports
For much of the season, talk about the Big 12 has been about the outstanding offenses most league teams boast -- and the defensive shortcomings that have allowed those teams to prosper. With that in mind, Ohio State defenders talked about what they've seen on film and how they are preparing for the Longhorns.

Time Running Out For Buckeyes
Buckeye Sports
It might not seem like it, but Ohio State's date with Texas in the Fiesta Bowl is right around the corner. In a week dubbed the most important part of the team's bowl preparation, find out how the Buckeyes -- and senior co-captain Malcolm Jenkins -- are approaching these last days heading into the season's final game.

Smith, Buckeyes Learning Some Discipline
Buckeye Sports
Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel likes to think of himself as a teacher of young men before a football coach, and that viewpoint was proven this week. The head coach has used two transgressions of varying severity to hammer home points of discipline to his team as it prepares for the Fiesta Bowl.

Rea's Say: OSU Deserves Underdog Status
Buckeye Sports
Why is Ohio State such a prohibitive Fiesta Bowl underdog to Texas? We'll try to explain along with a veritable holiday festival of notes from Around the Country and the first Fearless Forecast of the bowl season.

Bowl Practice In Full Swing At Ohio State
Buckeye Sports
Ohio State's 2008 bowl media kicked off with Jim Tressel briefing reporters on a variety of topics, including the health of his star tailback and the status of a freshman who had a brush with the law last week. The head coach also revealed which Buckeye juniors have inquired with the NFL about draft prospects.

Newspaper Coverage from Texas, Ohio, and Arizona

Outgoing seniors overachieved in many ways, but losing big games might cast them as underachievers
Columbus Dispatch
They came to Ohio State at a time when the glory of the 2002 national title was fading and the star of Troy Smith was rising.

Tressel, Brown thriving in football-mad regions
Toledo Blade
Mack Brown and Jim Tressel struck up a conversation on the Ohio Stadium field as Texas and Ohio State warmed up before their first-ever meeting in 2005.

Leap Year: 12 months in the life of Terrelle Pryor
Cleveland Plain Dealer
He went from delaying his college choice to Ohio State's first freshman starting quarterback in 30 years, from the most hyped football recruit in the country to Jim Tressel's pet project.

Leap Year: 12 months in the life of Terrelle Pryor
Cleveland Plain Dealer
He went from delaying his college choice to Ohio State's first freshman starting quarterback in 30 years, from the most hyped football recruit in the country to Jim Tressel's pet project.

OSU players face emotional hurdle
Columbus Dispatch
Letdowns in big games have damaged their national reputation

Will Pryor be the real McCoy? Texas' star provides a good role model for Buckeyes' QB
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Texas is living the payoff. Quarterback Colt McCoy started as a freshman, hit his bumps, including a big one against Ohio State. Now two seasons later, the Heisman runner-up is in any argument as the best player in the country and the Longhorns are in any argument as the best team.

Painful loss last season got Texas rolling in '08
Columbus Dispatch
The seeds for Texas' success this season were planted 12 months ago before a bowl game that meant more for 2008 than 2007. A 2007 regular season that began with high expectations ended with a humbling loss to rival Texas A&M and a trip to the Holiday Bowl. A trip to San Diego in December is not exactly torture, but Longhorns coach Mack Brown did his best to make it feel that way for his three-loss team.

Buckeye buzz is lacking for Fiesta Bowl
Austin American Statesman
Rain fell from slate gray skies Monday and the temperature began to drop toward freezing, but fans in Buckeye Land had the upcoming Fiesta Bowl date with Texas to create some sizzle.

Buckeyes aiming to not get bowled over once again
Austin American Statesman
After a pair of very conspicuous failures in BCS championship games, the Ohio State Buckeyes hope they've hit on a cure for the holiday season bowl blahs — some increased hitting at more spirited workouts.

Ohio State-Texas Has Big Recruiting Implications in Valley
Arizona Republic
Oho State and Texas in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan.5 has huge recruiting implications. Texas is one of three schools Desert Vista defensive end Devon Kennard is favoring. The others are California and Southern California. Ohio State is one of three Scottsdale Saguaro defensive lineman Corey Adams is considering. The others are Arizona State and USC.


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