Pass the ball!There was definitely some passing, though perhaps not quite as on-target as we may have hoped. 16-30 for 249 yards and 4 touchdowns (with a pick) is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Run it up. Not as much of a “cakewalk” as you expected, was it? We did pick up more than Cal’s defense was averaging, but only by 4 points.
Bri’onte scoring again. Mr. Dunn did not even touch the ball on Saturday – except on a 22 yard kick return – let alone house it.
Pass rush. Definitely a significant improvement here! The pass rush was much more aggressive than we’ve seen in previous games, and led to more than a few sacks.
Braxton getting less than 15 carries. This is a case of “careful what you wish for”. Braxton got less than 15 carries, but it seemed terribly contrived, and may have caused him to hesitate a bit longer than he should have a couple times.
Secondary issues gone. I think this one speaks for itself. I’ll spare you the hideous laughter…this time.
Down field passing. Ignoring the types of routes, we definitely saw some downfield passing. We even saw a couple completions – one big one to Smith for 72 yards, another to Stoneburner for 40, and one to Philly Brown for 21.
No False Starts. Mali jinxed it again. He just cannot help himself sometimes.
Special Teams Excellence. The coverage teams were solid most of the day, other than one return that required Basil to channel his inner Middle Linebacker. The special teams on a whole, though, were rather…special. Missing an extra point in particular means that I’m going to ding you on this one.
Pick Six. Pick? Yes. Pick in a critical, game-changing/winning moment? Yes. Six? No.
Not Braxton. 94% of the offensive plays depended on Braxton either moving the ball or making a decision with it (h/t to Jeff Amey for the numbers!). He also accounted for 79% of the yardage gained, and all 5 touchdowns (4 passing, 1 running). That’s definitely “The Braxton Show” (TM) right there.\
100 yards running from a Buckeye other than Braxton. Jordan Hall came closest with 87 yards, but not even Braxton himself made it to the century mark. He ended with 75 yards on the ground.
Improvement from the Defense. Giving up 500 yards for the first time in Ohio Stadium since 1999, and giving up the longest TD run against a Buckeye defense in Ohio Stadium, and with all the missed tackles….Epic Fail.
A few more receivers step up. Not so many stepped up. Smith picked up 5 receptions for an incredible 145 yards and 2 TDs. Stoneburner also had 2 TDs on 3 receptions, while Brown picked up 3 receptions for 31 yards. Everyone else? No more than 2 for any of the four other targets.
A significant day for Jordan Hall. We sure saw that. Jordan Hall had the majority of the carries with 17 (just more than 50% if you’re keeping score at home) and the majority of the rushing yards as well. He’s not 100% yet, but that was a significant day to be sure.
A W for Michigan State. Well, I didn’t get what I explicitly wanted, but I did get the next best thing. It’s fun watching Michigan State fans wallow in misery. It’s almost the definition of the gift that keeps on giving.
Dunn grow up fast. One touch, and not even a run, does not qualify as “Dunn growing up fast”. Not this week anyway. At best the jury is still out.
The Arrival of the D-Line. Oh they arrived in a big way. Johnathan Hankins is a beast on the inside, and John Simon was a monster despite being hurt. They got winded later, likely due to the coaches not being 100% comfortable with their depth, but the D-Line definitely stepped up.
More passing downs than running downs. Kinda sorta. There were more running plays (33) than passing plays (30). However, you also asked for Miller to have more completions (16) than carries (12), so you were partway there..
Notre Dame getting some early payback. You got your wish. What a massacre.
Pass Rush. Ask and you shall receive. Lots more pressure on the quarterback this week – until they made adjustments and the defensive line got tired, anyway.
Less Carries for Braxton. As I said above, careful what you wish for. 12 carries is inside the range Meyer would like to see, but it seems like it’s forcing Braxton to stick with the ball in the pocket longer than is healthy.
Scoring, and Lots of It. Well, they put up the 31 and some, but not by much.
Secondary. The big plays have to stop, eh? I think I know what you’re asking for next week, because Santa sure didn’t bring it for you on Saturday.
Running game. Considering we still ran the ball more than we threw it, I’ll consider that you saw the running game. How effective it was is a different matter. Missing Carlos Hyde hurts a little more than we care to admit at the moment.
No turnovers. We gave up one in a crucial moment. Give the Cal kicker a Buckeye for each one of the field goals he missed, because that saved our bacon on the turnover. We ultimately matched the turnover numbers on the game, and ours turned out to be the more valuable of the two in the end.
Silver Bullets. You ask for better than average defensive play, I give you less than average defensive play – and that’s being generous.
Hall-mark moment. He didn’t see limited time, but he didn’t have a spectacular moment either. A couple decent runs, but did not look to be his full self.
Back to the future. Neither of the two future backs even sniffed the ball on offense.
46 for real? Cal didn’t run it exclusively – they didn’t even start using it until the 2nd half. When they did, they switched into and out of it intermittently to wreak havoc with Braxton’s reads. It was surprisingly successful for the 3rd quarter, and much of the 4th.
Communication breakdown. Get them worked out? Maybe sometime down the line, but not quite yet, no.
Passive aggressive. We got a bit more aggression, but it may have led to a lot worse tackling. Oops.
Get LOUD. As I understand it, it was pretty loud towards the end of the game – when the game was in question of course.
Running Back….anyone? You asked for Dunn to blow the doors off the defense. Jordan Hall was the guy, but it was anything but “blowing the doors off” the defense.
Drive ‘em Back. We maybe had that once, but I don’t think we would say you got what you wished for here.
APB Out for the Secondary. Oh, the secondary is there. They just don’t entirely know what they’re doing there.
Continue to Grow. Perhaps this is a better thing to ask for against UAB. The growth may have happened against Cal, but we won’t really see it until next week (and hopefully then).
Beat Them Up. Mouth smacking was not so much the problem. Keeping them down afterwards was a bigger issue. Perhaps a bit too much aggression from the defense as a whole?
Braxton Show w/o So Much Braxton. Nope, you got the Braxton Show in all of its glorious glory. The other guys will step up in their own time. If it makes you feel better, though, Devin Smith was definitely the guest star this week.