Keys to Victory: Colorado

Written September 22nd, 2011 by Jim

Rocky Mountain High

BREAKING NEWS: Coach Luke Fickell has confirmed that freshman Braxton Miller will be the starting QB against Colorado.

After last week’s performance, the main key to victory this week will be coming down with a strong case of amnesia.

Like a star cornerback who gives up a big completion, the Buckeyes need to move on, continue to play at a high level, and eliminate (forget) any uncertainty that may be lingering in their minds and affecting their play.

Moving the team forward will largely fall on Luke Fickell and the senior leadership. If there hasn’t been enough of them already this season, it will be another major hurdle to overcome.

Momentum has not been on Ohio State’s sideline for two straight weeks and another slow start against the Buffalos will be hugely frustrating for fans and players alike.

Nothing will be better for the Buckeye Nation’s collective football soul than starting fast, gaining some momentum, and perhaps most importantly, having some fun again.

The road to recovering starts this week.

Here are my keys to the game.

Offensive Keys

Start Fast, Don’t Look Back

This will be the first things I look for out of the gate on Saturday. How the team plays early will be a gauge for the team’s morale as well as Coach Fickell’s ability as the head coach.

This is also a game that I will be attending personally, so how the fans respond will be something I monitor as well.

In order to erase any lingering doubts, the Buckeyes absolutely need to get something rolling offensively.

They don’t necessarily need to score on their very first drive (although it wouldn’t hurt), but establishing momentum as soon as possible is a must.

Being down or struggling late into this game would be devastating for the teams confidence moving forward.

Whether it is through a new QB, establishing a new identity, going crazy with play calling and trick plays, or something else; offense, we need it early and often.

Continue to establish the run.

One of the few bright spots last week was the running game.

With a passing attack that, to put it nicely, continues to be a work in progress at best, establishing the run is more critical than ever.

It will be almost impossible to do worse passing the ball, so improvement is almost a certainty. How much improvement will be the big question.

With a mangled QB situation and young receivers,  expecting a drastic turn-around immediately is a fools errand.

So, run the ball. Run it a lot and run it well.

Defensive Keys

Stop Colorado’s Playmakers

In particular, Rodney Stewart.

The Buckeyes gave up big yardage to Toledo’s Eric Page two weeks ago, and avoiding a repeat performance would be preferable this time around.

Have Fun

It sometimes gets lost in the shuffle why we all enjoy the game of football so much. I’d like to see the defense make some plays, have some fun, get the crowd involved, show some excitement, and remind us all why we started loving Buckeye football in the first place.



  1. NathanNo Gravatar
    September 22nd, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Release the Braxton!

    Now if someone could just photoshop Fickell’s head onto Zeus’ body, we’d be in good shape.


  2. C-DogNo Gravatar
    September 22nd, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I think this is a good decision to put Miller out there and turn him loose.

    Joe Bauserman is a good guy who has paid his dues, but it appears that the Akron game was an exception. He has since reverted back to the guy who rarely did well even in mop-up situations, due to his inaccurate passing and a seeming agitation at the least sign of pressure.

    as many mistakes as Braxton Miller might make, his potential upside is higher than Bauserman’s present. It’s a good idea to get Miller out there against inferior non-Big-Ten competition or the Buckeyes will clearly have no shot in the conference.

    If I were Fickell and I was trying to earn a job, I would rather go down swinging than take the safe route.


  3. Buffman1No Gravatar
    September 23rd, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I love the confidence of the Ohio State faithful. I am so looking forward to this game. Good luck to you guys… Go Buffs!!!


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