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Ohio State University Big-10 Collegiate Athletics



Former Mansfield Senior coach Speaks at Buckeye Bash

Former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes when asked by a reporter how come there wasn’t a trophy associated with the Ohio State-Michigan game like some other Big Ten rivalries he replied, “There is son, they can it the Big Ten Championship.” And so is the best rivalry in sports.

Ohio State, already with Big Ten East title in hand, but trying to land a spot in the College Football Playoffs, travels to Ann Arbor on Saturday. They have been installed as an early 13 point favorite.

The annual “Beat Michigan Buckeye Bash” was held on Monday night at the Mansfield Liederkranz. It is organized by the Alumni Club of Richland County.

One of the speakers was Stan Jefferson, the former Director of Player Development at Ohio State and also a former football coach at Mansfield Senior, along with former players Doug Worthington and Drew Basil.

Jefferson says the game is something special. “It is a very special week with all of the tradition of all of the years that the Buckeyes have played “That Team Up North.” I think it really got going from the 10 year war between Bo and coach Hayes. That 10-year war wretched it up even more so, it was always there from the day Francis Schmidt started with the “Gold Pants Club,” but it really got accentuated during the 10-year war,” said Jefferson.

There is normally something on the line for one of the teams and often both, but Jefferson says there is always pride at stake. “It is a big deal, it’s a huge deal, it is everything. You want to have an unblemished record going into that game, but even if you didn’t there are so many implications to the game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “Who wins the Big Ten, who goes to what, if you look at the 70’s that game determined who was going to go to the Rose Bowl, now we talk about who is going to play for the Ben Ten Championship, who is going to go to the College Football Playoffs, there is so much involved. More so that anything it is representing the great State of Ohio and fighting for a sacred brotherhood of men among those players.’

When it comes to Saturday, Jefferson says both sides will be prepared. “It is going to be a great game. I know the Buckeyes are going to be prepared because that is what the Buckeyes do down there. I’m quite sure “that team up north” is going to be prepared as well. It is always going to be a great game. Like in any game it is going to come down to execution, fundamentals, the basic concepts of football are always played out in that game. The elimination of turnovers, playing great defense and doing the things you are supposed to do in order to win,” said Jefferson.

Basil kicked four field goals in Ohio State’s 26-21 victory over Michigan in 2012 and he says kicking in pressure packed games in both mental and physical. “It is a lot mental, but it is also a lot muscle memory. You can compare it to shooting a free throw. It’s the same thing over and over. It doesn’t matter if it is an extra point or at the top end of your range, every kick should be the same,” he said.

Unlike a lot of kickers, Basil liked to be part of kick coverage and he says you could feel the difference when it was Michigan. “Running down on kickoffs, yes it was different. I was always that kicker that loved to run down and try and make the tackle. In Michigan once you were in on a tackle you really didn’t want to get up. You just wanted to keep laying on them and pushing them further into the ground. I don’t think that is possible being the kicker,” said Basil.

Published 11/21/17

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