Here we go again…another Big Ten title hangs in the balance. Let’s see what the staff thinks we need to win this game;
Number Five! - A win on Saturday gives our fifth consecutive Big Ten title, as if you didn’t know that already.
A large supply of fans holding roses – Back in the day, we used to bring a handful of roses to late-season games, to signify our forthcoming visit to the Rose Bowl. The BCS changed the Big Ten/Pac-10 only symbolism of that game, and with our consistent appearance in BCS Bowls, we haven’t been there in a while. Thus, a win would send us to the Rose for the first time in Tressel’s tenure. Let’s see if the fans know how to prepare for it at game time.
200+ yards for Terrelle Pryor – The more time the Iowa defense spends tracking down Pryor, the more holes will open up for the rushing attack. The Hawkeye defense is somewhat strong (38th against the run), but we put up BIG numbers against Penn State’s D (14th against the run). Pryor gaining yards early is the key to splitting this game open.
An all-out assault on the newbie – James Vandenberg is being praised as a fast learner who knows the playbook. Let’s show him some silver bullet action and make him use the Google to find a spiritual healer for Ricky Stanzi while he curls up into a fetal position somewhere under the south stands.
The same defense we brought to Penn State – One incredible stat that has not been mentioned much is how we held Penn State to one side of the field for most of the game. This will impress you;
|1||3||Penn State’s 16|
|2||3||Penn State’s 33|
|3||3||Penn State’s 27|
|5||9||Ohio State’s 45|
|6||3||Penn State’s 34|
|7||6||Penn State’s 47|
|8||3||Penn State’s 20|
|9||3||Penn State’s 18|
|10||3||Penn State’s 38|
|11||2||Penn State’s 40|
|12||4||Penn State’s 36|
|13||5||Ohio State’s 47|
Of Penn State’s 13 offensive drives, only THREE of them even crossed midfield (one of them garbage time). Hell, they only crossed THEIR OWN 40-yard line on four of their 13 drives. That’s stellar, and it’s the type of defense that wins titles. Let’s see more of that, please
At least one non-offensive Ohio State TD – They wanna play like Wisconsin did, let’s show them the pain that Wisconsin felt….
No– A guy can dream, can’t he?
More of the offense that played in Crappy Valley – Just about the time we got frustrated with the play-calling, everything changes: long bombs on first down, a lot more diversity, even play action off of “Dave”. Good times.
– As far as I’m concerned, it will be the second in a row.
Special Teams excellence – Win the battle of the hidden yardage…
LOUD ‘Shoe – This is the Big T1e1n title. Buckeye fans need to create a 12th man welcome for the Iowa QB’s first start.
Roses for seniors – Send them out in style… and get the party ready for Pasadena.
Pressure the quarterback - It really seems unfair for poor Mr. Vandenberg. The Northwestern defense gave him all sorts of trouble last week (9 for 27, 82 yards and a pick) and he was only sacked one time… let’s just say that it should be fun to watch what our line can do to him.
Stop the run – Given what I said above, I imagine theare going to try like hell to establish some sort of running game so that Vandenberg doesn’t get his head taken off, if we can shut down their running game the Hawkeyes are in serious trouble.
Offensive line redux - Can we please continue to see the offensive line that we saw last week? Iowa has one of the better defensive lines we’ll face all year, so it would be great if we could grind out 200+ yards on the ground and not give up any sacks, similar to last week. It’s amazing how much better everyone plays on offense when the offensive line plays well.
Good special teams - Given that Iowa is probably going to struggle moving the ball on offense, if we can win the field position battle with good special teams play (I’m looking at you Small and Thoma) we could be in for a classic Tresselball ass kicking.
Special side note here….I have been a big fan of Tresselball these past two weeks. It works great when your offensive line is opening up holes and protecting the quarterback (who in turn makes good decision with the extra time), your defense is dominating, and your special teams are executing well.
A 27 to 10 victory may not be too exciting in the box score, but when you go back and see that the other team only got the ball across the fifty yard line three times the entire game, I would argue that a Tresselball victory is even more demoralizing for the other team than a Big East style 56 to 28 blowout.
I digress, but teams like Iowa and Penn State are perfect candidates to get smashed Tressel style. Elite out of conference opponents? That is for a different post.
The full force of the OSU defensive might – We’re all aware that Iowa has an offense that is severely depleted due to injuries. I want to see the defense take full advantage of it and leave nothing in their wake. A shutout should serve nicely here.
A continuation of Pryor’s growth – We saw good things from Pryor last week against a solid (if not spectacular) defense. More please.
More Hurt Coleman – With the offensive line dominance, Coleman didn’t have much of a chance to shine against Penn State. While I’m not complaining, I do have a fever and there’s only one prescription.
A positive turnover margin – I asked for it when it counted last week, so I’ll continue it again. Granted, given the way Iowa likes to protect the football, this shouldn’t be hard to achieve.