Raise your hand if you didn’t feel that one coming.
My eternal optimism had me hoping and wishing that the Buckeyes could somehow overcome all of the off-season turmoil this fall, but that house of cards came crashing down on Saturday night with a thud.
The writing was on the wall all along, and it wasn’t even dry from it’s initial application following the 2008 season when this all happened before… or at least most of it.
Prematurely losing nearly all of the top offensive weapons wasn’t a part of the equation in 2008 (Beanie’s injury gets us part way), but nearly everything else lined up in an eerily similar fashion.
Starting QB that struggles in the face of pressure? Check (and as an aside, let me say that Todd Boeckman was a significantly better option at QB than Joe Bauserman).
Barely beating a MAC team the week prior to going on the road for a major out-of-conference challenge? Check.
Thoroughly embarrassed with absolutely no offense to speak of? Yep, that’s how this story ends.
The comparisons between the first three games of this season and 2008 are too obvious to ignore.
So where do we go from here?
After a beat down like that, the response is the most important thing moving forward. As Woody said, nothing cleanses the soul like getting hell beat out of you.
Ohio State had the hell beat out of them all off season, and it just happened again on the field. Will the team’s soul be cleansed and their focus renewed this week? We can only hope.
The silver lining to this whole thing is the elimination of any excuse to keep Joe Bauserman as the starting QB.
Is there any reason not to start Braxton Miller at QB moving forward? I am honestly curious if anyone can think of a good reason, so speak up if you’ve got something in mind.
Braxton Miller as the new starter is the most obvious response to the offensive debacle this week.
In 2008, that was exactly the response that Jim Tressel chose and the Terrelle Pryor era at Ohio State began.
There were certainly some ups and downs during the transition, but overall it seemed like the right move then and it certainly seems like the appropriate response now.
Miller won’t be the answer to all of the team’s problems- far from it. He will still be throwing the ball to an extremely inexperienced group of WRs.
When Pryor took over back in 2008, he had the benefit of two experienced NFL caliber WRs in Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie to make him look good and cover up some of his mistakes .
I am not saying Ohio State’s current WRs don’t have NFL talent, but being in their first or second year of college, we won’t find out one way or the other anytime soon.
The return of Devier Posey will help out tremendously, but there are still two games to go before that happens.
The passing game will get a jolt with Braxton Miller under center, but it won’t instantly turn to sunshine and flowers for Ohio State’s offense.
There are obviously plenty of things to be negative about (and also some positive things that I am not hitting on), but the bottom line after a game like that you must turn the page and continue to focus on getting better each week.
Offensive troubles or not, the Buckeyes have a lot of soul searching to do. Luke Fickell’s young coaching career will be put to the test once again as he leads the team this week in practice.
Let’s hope he handles that test slightly better than the trip to Florida this past weekend.
This week starts a new chapter in Ohio State football, and there is a lot on the line for Coach Fickell and his team.