Playing it out: Eddie or Desmond at OSU?

July, 15, 2012
7/15/12
7:12
PM ET
Ohio State can’t go to a bowl game this year, but that doesn’t mean BuckeyeNation can’t have fun.

BuckeyeNation's Scott Kendrick and Brad Bournival unwrapped their "NCAA Football 2013" games the day they came out and simulated a season.

So what, right?

Well, the two wanted to see who would be better if Eddie George or Desmond Howard played for the current Buckeyes, and we played out this fall’s schedule. Kendrick got Howard. Bournival snatched up George. They both kept Ohio State's offense and let the computer take over.
Week 1: Miami (Ohio)

Eddie George team: “Give me the rock,” George screamed following Game 1. While he had 22 receiving yards and a score, he toted the ball just seven times for 56 yards. Enough still to give the Bucks a 35-14 win.

Desmond Howard team: In the first game, Desmond stands for decoy. Braxton Miller was the star. Howard's line: two catches for 19 yards and a drop. But the Buckeyes rolled in the rain 28-0.


Week 2: UCF

EG team: This is more like the workhorse George for the Buckeyes. He finishes a 30-7 butt-kicking with 228 yards and two scores on 35 carries and adds one reception for 8 yards.

DH team: No scores for Howard, but more production as the offense gets in gear. As Howard occupies the safeties, deep balls to Jake Stoneburner and Devin Smith go for scores. Howard has four catches for 78 yards in a 44-10 rout.


Week 3: Cal

EG team: A 38-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds left secures a 21-14 win. George puts in another workmanlike afternoon with 226 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. He moves up the ranks to No. 4 in the Heisman watch.

DH team: Howard catches a 14 yarder on the first play, but the drives stall. The Buckeyes lose Miller to injury in the third quarter as Kenny Guiton takes over. Howard finishes with three catches for 27 yards in a shockingly bad 42-14 loss.


Week 4: UAB

EG team: Somebody has been watching tape. This time, George is handed off to 36 times and gains 238 yards and two scores as UAB is embarrassed 38-0. George now leads the Heisman charge.

DH team: Miller returns, Carlos Hyde puts OSU ahead with a short TD, and they hang on for an ugly 17-14 win to go to 3-1. Howard: Three catches, 9 yards and a 10-yard run on an end around.


Week 5: at Michigan State

EG team: It’s the No. 14 Buckeyes vs. the No. 8 Spartans. This one turns into a dogfight with Sparty giving Brutus everything he has. In the end, George is still too much, finishing the day with 204 yards on 26 carries to go with two more touchdowns.

DH team: The star of the game is Howard -- Travis Howard, whose interception on the final drive sews up the 26-21 upset. Desmond Howard does deliver the key block on a run by Philly Brown to take the lead in the third quarter, and another downfield on a Smith score.Howard in his return to Michigan: 1 catch, 19 yards.


Week 6: Nebraska

EG team: Someone got a little too big for their britches after a big win over Michigan State as the Cornhuskers come in and dump a 24-17 loss on the Buckeyes. George has a very “ordinary” 128 yards on 24 carries.

DH team: Finally, a Heisman-worthy performance, but in a 36-29 shootout loss. Two early turnovers and a goal-line stand by Nebraska equal a 21-3 halftime deficit. Howard finally scores his first TD, taking a slant to the house for a 24-yard score, and then a 75-yard ball on a fly route in the fourth quarter, and another long TD catch that gave Ohio State the lead before Taylor Martinez led the Huskers to the winning drive. Howard: 4 catches, 156 yards, three TDs.


Week 7: at Indiana

EG team: Sorry Indiana, you paid the price for some grumpiness. Ohio State wins 31-7. George picks up 177 yards on 30 carries and scores two touchdowns. He was used as a decoy a lot. That’s why the passing game was so good.

DH team: A lethargic effort in a 24-17 Buckeyes win, but Braxton Miller's three TD runs are enough to hold off a late comeback by the Hoosiers in Bloomington as the Buckeyes improve to 4-2. Howard: 3 catches, 36 yards.


Week 8: Purdue

EG team: This is the Eddie George that Buckeyes fans remember. No. 27 runs for 273 yards on 30 carries – 9.1 yards per carry – and finds the end zone four times. It’s Ohio State over the Boilermakers 31-21.

DH team: Not much for Desmond after Miller injures his shoulder, but the Buckeyes have no trouble with Purdue at home 41-14. Howard: 1 catch for 43 yards, and the news is bad. Miller is out for the season.


Week 9: at Penn State

EG team: George is congratulated on the sideline after scoring five times in a 41-10 smashfest win in Happy Valley. He finishes the day with 236 yards to go with the five touchdowns on 31 carries.

DH team: Kenny Guiton is the hero. The Buckeyes score first on a short pass to Jordan Hall, Howard makes a couple of clutch plays and the Buckeyes pull off the 24-14 road upset of a team that came in 8-1. Stats aren't great, but Howard job gets done. Two catches and 26 yards, but it was a rushing-type game.


Week 10: Illinois

EG team: They give George a little break after the game against Penn State. He picks up a pedestrian 106 yards on 14 carries and adds a touchdown. It’s still a 48-0 win for the suddenly hot Buckeyes.

DH team: With Guiton still at the controls, the offense is still a little run-heavy, but with a couple of deep balls thrown in. Howard catches one pass for 16 yards, but it does go for a touchdown in a 45-21 victory.


Week 12: at Wisconsin

EG team: The fifth-ranked Badgers go 76 yards and score with seven seconds left to tie things up at 21. Ohio State manages just a field goal in overtime. Wisconsin wins 27-24. George has 35 carries, 155 yards and two touchdowns.

DH team: After a bye week, the Buckeyes take their road-warrior mentality to Camp Randall Stadium against the Badgers. Guiton leads the Buckeyes to four TDs, but Howard is held to two catches for 37 yards as Wisconsin improves to 11-0 with a 35-28 victory.


Week 13: Michigan

EG team: The Buckeyes win a nail-biter by scoring a touchdown with seven seconds left. It’s Ohio State 31, Michigan 27. George has 186 yards on 25 carries with a score and hauls in a screen pass for a 57-yard touchdown.

DH team: You had to see this one coming. Howard catches a deep ball for a score to give Ohio State a 14-7 lead at halftime, then a 75-yarder in the fourth quarter to put away his old team 24-14. Guiton throws three TDs and Howard has four catches for 160 yards. He's still undefeated in the rivalry. Michigan finishes 8-4.


Final tally

EG team: George runs away with the Heisman in Bournival’s version despite the fact Ohio State goes 10-2. George finishes the season by eclipsing his own school record with 2,213 yards on 326 carries with 25 total touchdowns. Utah – yes, Utah – knocks off Kansas State 33-24 to win the national championship and is the only undefeated team in the country.

DH team: Howard's final numbers: 626 receiving yards and six TDs, and we never could spring a great return. It's tough for a receiver to stand out in the spread, especially with a QB who loves to run. The Buckeyes finish 9-3 and No. 10 in the country and alone in second place in the Leaders Division behind undefeated Wisconsin and Montee Ball, who wins the Heisman. Wisconsin is the odd team out in the national title race, despite finishing undefeated. The Badgers beat Utah in the Rose Bowl. Oklahoma beat South Carolina 35-14 in the national title game.

Scott Kendrick | email

Editor, RecruitingNation

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