The Locker Room

Go beyond the shows!Here in The Fan Locker Room you'll get insight and commentary from your favorite Fan personalities and reporters. Everything is game here, so you're guaranteed to find out what 97.1 The Fan thinks.

When Talk Isn't Cheap

Come the start of daylight savings time, there are going to be a lot of Buckeyes wishing they could turn back the clock…to the Virginia Tech game.

Everything about the way Ohio State has played since, and everything about the way Virginia Tech has played since, suggests a rematch would result in an entirely different outcome than the 35-21 loss OSU suffered September 6.

The scab was picked last night when the Hokies fell to the Miami Hurricanes 30-6. So today might best be spent thinking about the balm that has been the play of quarterback JT Barrett.

It also might be worth questioning whether Barrett’s present performance would be possible without that past adversity.

The redshirt freshman threw 3 interceptions and was sacked 7 times that evening. In the games that have followed, he’s completed 72 percent of his passes, thrown 17 touchdowns to just one pick, and averaged 293 passing yards a contest.

Plus, he’s taken the reigns of the team.

His teammates really noticed that when Barrett gave a speech before playing Kent State.

“He kind of put the offense on his back and took responsibility for the offense,” said H-back Jalin Marshall. “He told us that he’s got us, no matter what. I think that really sunk in to everybody on the offensive side, especially me. Being young, being in the same class as him, it meant a lot to me to feel he really had my back, because I really had his.”

“You could just tell he wanted everyone’s attention, and that’s what he got,” added running back Rod Smith. “He pumped everybody up, and we went out there and executed and have just been rolling.”

The address to the team was, in and of itself, nothing new. In fact, wide receivers coach Zach Smith said he noticed some of his players, wide-eyed and mouthing “Wow!” after Barrett’s pep talk before the season opener against Navy.

This speech, following a tough loss to the Hokies, though, carried an even deeper resonance.

“Him getting hit as many times as he did against Virginia Tech, and keep getting up and going, that was when he started to earn my respect,” explained head coach Urban Meyer. “I think for someone to stand up and to give a speech or whatever, it just depends on who’s standing up and what has he shown. And I think everybody, including Buckeye nation, saw a tough nut that got hit a bunch against Virginia Tech and kept swinging.”

Expect another speech from Barrett before tomorrow’s game against Penn State. The Nittany Lions have an even stingier defense (15.2 points/game) than the Hokies unit (21.3 points/game) that caused Ohio State such problems.

And senior Nick Vannett, who’s assuredly heard his share of pregame talks is looking forward to it. “Just to see the emotion from him gets you kind of riled up as an offense,” he said of Barrett. “He gets after it. It’s probably as good I’ve seen, honestly. So if football doesn’t work out for him, he’s got a backup plan.”

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 24, 2014 0 Comments

Ready To Enter The Nittany Lions' Den

Pat Elflein details what they've done to get ready for the crowd noise and for the defense that will blitz more than any other they've faced.

A very, very confident Nick Vannett talks about heading to Happy Valley. Did we mention he seemed pretty confident?

And, you can watch it if you want, but if you're Kerry Coombs, you really should see the end of Doran "Batman" Grant's interview.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 23, 2014 0 Comments

Meyer's Midweek Update

Urban Meyer tells us how preparations for the Penn State game are going.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 23, 2014 0 Comments

Looking Forward to Invading Happy Valley

There's a lot to like in this interviews with Ohio State football players Joshua Perry, Evan Spencer and Jalin Marshall.

Perry discusses the Buckeye defense starting to acquire a swagger. Also, how much does he watch an opposing quarterback's body language to see if he's knocked the swagger out of him?

Spencer talks about how his now famous grab made for a perfect birthday present for someone.

And don't miss Marshall admitting the Buckeye wide receiving corp does feature a diva or two. His description of his teammates personalites takes you inside the locker room.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 21, 2014 0 Comments

Penn State Week Begins

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and two of his assistants, defensive line coach Larry Johnson (who spent almost two decades working for Penn State) and wide receivers coach Zach Smith, spoke to the media today.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 20, 2014 0 Comments

Urban Meyer Postgame

Here's Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer discussing the Buckeyes 56-17 win over Rutgers.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 18, 2014 0 Comments

Ohio State Players Preview Rutgers

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 17, 2014 0 Comments

Meyer and Barrett Preview Battle With Rutgers

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 15, 2014 0 Comments

Franklin's Two Cents

Penn State beat Rutgers this year 13-10, so Dispatch reporter Todd Jones asked Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin to preview the Ohio State/Rutgers game for Buckeye fans.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 14, 2014 0 Comments

Scarlet and Grey vs. Scarlet Knights

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer previews Saturday's game against Rutgers. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman talks about how their game plan would be different if Braxton Miller was still their quarterback. And co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash explains why the defense does what they do.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 13, 2014 0 Comments

Follow Friday

We know nobody does "Follow Friday" posts anymore. However, we thought it might be worth dusting off that old chestnut so you'd know where to find your favorite Fan shows, show hosts, producers and reporters!


Make sure to follow the show accounts for the most up-to-date info on guests and contests. Never miss a chance to discuss your favorite topic. And we often share breaking news via these accounts.




...And, of course 97.1 The Fan!


Mike Ricordati-Like his show, Mike's Twitter feed is full of irreverent sports talk and pop culture references.

Jonathan "T-Bone" Smith-Jonathan offers a humorous take on all our favorite local teams...and then some.

Beau Bishop-Always going up to the edge of being edgy, Beau is also famous for his "Three Things" posts, where he breaks down the latest Buckeye game in 420 characters.

Anthony Rothman-Follow Anthony for Seinfeld/movie quotes, Buckeye talk and a Feherty-level golf intellect. Plus, you'll quickly learn why he's one of the most likeable guys around, both on and off-the-air.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 10, 2014 0 Comments

Buckeye Bye-Week Updates

Ohio State is enjoying their second bye-week of the season. However, we were still able to catch up with the head coach, and representatives of the offense and defense, to find out what the Buckeyes are doing during what is only nominally a week off.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 8, 2014 0 Comments

Done Deal

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen took a few moments today to discuss the Ryan Johansen signing with 97.1 The Fan. The deal is for three years, $12 million dollars, and at the end of that time, Johansen will be a restricted free agent.

And here's what he had to say at the podium when he spoke to the media at-large.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 6, 2014 0 Comments

Get to Know: Maryland

Ohio State is preparing for their first ever meeting with Maryland. In fact, in a quirk of scheduling, the Terrapins have never faced any of their next three opponents (OSU, Iowa, Wisconsin), but have at least a little backstory with every other team they play this year.

Another notable first associated with this contest? It’s Maryland’s first ever Big Ten home game, which could provide some extra motivation to a team that is already 4-1, and only a few plays against West Virginia away from being 5-0.

To continue padding a healthy win total, though, Maryland will have to recover from a rash of injuries. A number of those are of the nagging, but not debilitating variety. Then there are those that are more significant.

Starting defensive end Quinton Jefferson? Done for the season. Starting tight end Andrew Isaacs? Done for the season. Backup linebacker Cavon Walker? Done for the season.

Starting quarterback CJ Brown? Well, that’s more of a question mark. He sprained his left wrist in the team’s most recent 37-15 win over Indiana, and head coach Randy Edsall said he wouldn’t say anything more about Brown’s status until just before the Terrapins take the field against the Buckeyes.

Brown was both Maryland’s leading passer and rusher going into that game against the Hoosiers. His backup, junior Caleb Rowe, is much more of a pocket passer.

Given that, and the fact that Rowe has more experience than a lot of backups do, Ohio State could see their pass defense tested once again.

That’s especially true given that Maryland features two of the more talented receivers in the league. Stephon Diggs has 29 catches for 398 yards. He’s also the league’s best kickoff returner, averaging 29.4 yards. (More on Maryland’s dangerous special teams in a bit.)

Deon Long has added 21 catches for another 250 yards.

And yet neither of them leads the team in touchdown receptions. That distinction belongs to Marcus Leak, who has 3 scores and is averaging 17.6 yards/catch.

As mentioned before, when CJ Brown was healthy, he was the focus of the running attack, often executing a zone-read option. Outside him, Wes Brown and Brandon Ross have combined to average 72 yards a game.

Defensively, Maryland is similar to Cincinnati, in that both teams have at times given up numerous yards, but were (up until the Bearcats faced Ohio State last weekend) clamping down in the red zone.

Illustrating this is the fact that Maryland is the top team in the league in red zone defense, while they are 13th in total defense (nearly 435 yards/game). And, as if to underline the similarity to Cincinnati, before last week, the Terps were one spot ahead of the Bearcats in total defense nationally.

Maryland managed to stifle Indiana, though.

That’s due in part to the effort of safety Sean Davis, who led the team with 102 tackles last year and continues to be a force this year. Defensive back William Likely has stretched his 5’7″ frame to record 3 picks, 5 pass breakups and one forced fumble.  Finally, Yannick Ngakoue has already tallied 7 tackles-for-loss, costing opponents 46 yards in the process.

However, it’s special teams where Maryland has really shone. They have one of the best kick returners in the country in Diggs. They’ve blocked 3 kicks and 2 punts.  Finally, their kicker, Brad Craddock is a perfect 10/10 this season with a long of 49.

Ohio State will play Maryland at noon this Saturday on 97.1 The Fan.

Posted by Lori Schmidt Posted on Oct 3, 2014 0 Comments

Mid week Buckeye football updates

Urban shares his usual midweek updates. Jeff Heuerman won't give away the team's game plan on special teams, but he very strongly hints at something we'll see this week. (Oh, yeah, you might also have heard he promised Ohio State would welcome Maryland to the Big Ten.) Vonn Bell has his interview interrupted by a trash-talking defensive lineman. Speaking of trash talk, Bell thinks there will be a little of that going on between him and Stefon Diggs. Finally, you won't believe when the first time Pat Elflein snapped a football was. 

Posted by Koby Doughty Posted on Oct 2, 2014 0 Comments