COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — What's brewing with the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes ...
BUCKEYES BUZZ: Michigan State has 28 players from Ohio. Ohio State has two — RT Reid Fragel and DL Johnathan Hankins — from Michigan.
Annually, there's a lot of talk about the native Buckeyes who were either overlooked or unrecruited by Ohio State.
Spartans coach Mark Dantonio says it works in both directions.
"Reid Fragel and Hankins are both guys from the state of Michigan. I'm sure they'll be ready to play as well," Dantonio said. "I think it goes back the other way, as well."
Fragel, a native of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., agrees. Saturday's 3:30 p.m. start at Spartan Stadium is one of the highlights of his year.
"That's a game I've been looking forward to for a while," he said of the impending clash with the Spartans. "Obviously, it's my home state. I have some friends and family who'll be at the game. That in itself will be cool. At the same time, it's a team I kind of watched growing up. It's a game I've had circled for a while on my schedule."
Dantonio, a native of Zanesville, said the emigres just add to the rivalry.
"It makes it an even more exciting atmosphere because when you are from that state or you are from this state, then you have your entire families (involved)," he said. "There's a lot going on there in terms of a lot of people that you know, things of that nature. You sort of play for respect from those areas. I'm sure it will be exciting on both sides."
SLEEPING IN: After four noon starts to open the season, the Buckeyes must get accustomed to a 3:30 kickoff at Michigan State on Saturday.
"A 3:30 start you have a little bit more time," S Orhian Johnson said. "You can actually watch games on TV while you're waiting around, so you get a little anxious. You want to go out there and you want to perform right now, but you've got to wait and control your feelings."
COACH ON COACH: Ohio State's Urban Meyer was asked about Dantonio, who once worked for current Alabama coach Nick Saban and uses many of the same defensive and offensive tenets. Meyer got to know Saban well when Meyer was the head coach at Florida.
So what are the things Saban and Dantonio have in common?
"Commitment to stop the run," Meyer said. "Coach Saban is a little more complicated in the pass defense. But a very similar pro-style, pound-you offense. Very similar. I didn't think about it, but a very similar type mentality."
Dantonio was asked what Meyer brings to the Big Ten. He referenced one of his mentors, Jim Tressel, who was forced out of the Ohio State job after it was discovered he knew of NCAA violations and still played ineligible players.
"There's a lot of great coaches in this league," Dantonio said evenly. "The one who left two years ago (Tressel) won a national championship. So the Big Ten Conference has always had great coaching. It's just another great coach coming into our conference, doing his thing."
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