We’re excited to add Jason to our merry band of miscreants, and look forward to his weekly “review” of Saturday’s game. If you haven’t already, give him a follow on the old twitter-bot.
|Well here we are. September 1, 2012 has come and gone. Before we get into what we witnessed yesterday, a quick update and comment. Those of you familiar with my ramblings/writings/blogs- I can’t tell you how honored I was to be asked to contribute to this site. To our loyal readers and the great people who write here and run the site, I won’t let you down!For those of you who don’t know me, I take a different look back on the game that has just been completed. I don’t typically get in to the stats of the game, more so the atmosphere and feelings I’m left with after it.Without further ado, let’s get into the bashing that was Ohio State vs. Miami yesterday.|
Familiar Faces in New Places: Kickoff 2012
I don’t honestly know that things could have looked any worse in the first quarter. Then I think “What if Miami hadn’t dropped so many balls?” and I realize it easily could have. First game jitters and nervous energy seemed to be radiating from the sidelines all the way to the broadcast booth infecting the comments by the stooges giving us play-by-play and analysis on the Big Ten Network.
It had to be expected: New coach and coaches, all new schemes, new pregame rituals on the field, the list goes on and on of “firsts” accomplished on Saturday. All it took was a little spark from the offense and everything seemed to suddenly be right in the state of Ohio.
Carlos calms, Devin thrills
The opening drive of the second quarter made you feel like you were watching a different team. It made you feel like you were watching the Buckeyes you expected to see. When things are a little in disarray, or you need to settle down your offense, run the ball.
A 16 yard blast from Carlos Hyde kick started the second quarter and it seemed to relax the team. You could almost feel a team-wide exhale now that a play had picked up a decent chunk of yards and they looked good doing it. Thirty-eight yards to Corey Brown later and we are set up for Braxton Miller to Devin Smith for a touchdown catch I’m sure you’ve seen 100 times by now and it still looks incredible! From that moment on, the stadium, the offense, the defense, the coaches, everything wearing scarlet and grey was on absolute fire!
Up to that point, you had to wonder if Miami wasn’t going to get its act together and spoil Urban’s debut party. Or at the very least make it extremely uncomfortable. That’s why a guy like Carlos Hyde is so important.
Hyde ran like a grown man. He bullied and pushed piles, showed flashes of his speed and got tough yards when they were needed. I realize that Jordan Hall is slated to be the “Percy Harvin” in the Buckeye offense, but when they need a tough yard or want to control the game on the ground, Carlos Hyde appears ready to answer the bell.
Your anger is a gift
During the ESPN “Training Days” program, we were given a peek to a side of Urban Meyer that I think we all believed was inside him but had yet to see firsthand, at least while donning our colors. On the eve of the opening of camp, he told the players he wanted an “angry team”. He gave a few reasons that maybe would attribute to this requested anger and then moved on to tell them to be ready at 5am. Throughout Twitter and from television talking head experts, we all came up with our ideas of what this “angry team” comment would come to look like once it hit the field. Who knew it would be exemplified by Braxton Miller?
Miller didn’t come out spinning and juking when he darted off with the ball, especially early in the first quarter. Instead he seemed at times to be looking for someone to put a shoulder into. A few times as he neared the sidelines, you could almost see disappointment when the defender eased up and didn’t really challenge him heading out of bounds. While I absolutely love this attitude, is it what we want from our quarterback and is it advisable for his health throughout the course of eleven more games? Time will tell.
The anger was evident on defense as well. Etienne Sabino’s smashing hit (that drew a personal foul) on the second play of the game is proof. Ryan Shazier was all over the field laying the wood to RedHawk receivers. There was an apparent chirpiness from the defense in general. I won’t lie, I like it. I want my defense hitting people and letting them know it’s coming again.
The anger spilled into the student section as well. The usual “O-H-I-O” chant on kickoffs was amended to include “Rip his (gosh darn) head off!” on its tail end. It was tough to make out the addition to the kickoff chant on television even with surround sound on. WFAN 97.1’s Lori Schmidt thankfully was able to confirm and pass it along over Twitter. I smiled.
Urban Meyer touched on something that I think we’ve all been feeling: Angry. He knows what the players have been going through and I’m sure to an extent he understands that we the fans are angry as well. We’re tired of hearing about SEC and how Michigan is “back”.
And it goes deeper than that. We’re tired of winning games against Miami of Ohio 24-14. We’re tired of seeing talented guys not used to their full potential and put in positions to make us “ooh” and “ahh”. We’re angry about not being on top and want to be back there as expediently as possible. And we want to dominate while getting there.
Meyer knows this and he knows that as a whole we are ready to buy in to his philosophy of beating people to a pulp and not feeling a bit sorry about it. He showed it on the two yard line with three seconds to play in the first half. Kick a field goal? No way, we’re on the two yard line!
From his postgame press conference, regarding Carlos Hyde being stuffed on the goal line as time expired in the second quarter: “Ohio State should be able to knock it in from the 1. I almost forgot about that. Thanks for ruining my day. That’s bad. That’s absolutely nonnegotiable. Nonsense. And we’ll hit that with a sledge hammer on Sunday. Because that can’t happen. And I just flat looked at the linemen. I don’t know what happened. I couldn’t see. But The Ohio State University, with a 220, 230 pound tailback can smash it in from the one yard line. And that didn’t happen, without taking anything away from our opponent. The whole world knew we were doing, but it was part of the deal, at that moment I wanted to see if our line would do it.”
He was sending a message to his players. He was sending a message to us. Urban Meyer told the players prior to coming on the field they would run up over 500 yards of total offense on this glorious afternoon, they finished with 538. Aside from the above mentioned touchdown attempt as time expired in the first half, he allowed Bri’onte Dunn to score with 44 seconds on the game clock in the fourth quarter and holding a 49-10 lead. Folks, the days of getting a 10 or 14 point lead and sitting back, playing defense and settling for field goals is over. No offense to Jim Tressel, but there’s a different kind of cat walking the sidelines now.
Other Saturday observations…
I’m not sorry Penn State lost its home opener. As a matter of fact, I think it’s fitting for all the clowns in State College who refuse the thought of Joe Paterno being a mortal and making a huge mistake that hurt people for many years. Listen PSU alums, fans, whatever: You want to support the team and do the “we are…” garbage, then get behind your boys. And don’t tell me you are. Those guys see and hear all the crap that you’re spewing with your petitions and letters in the local papers. The players can’t focus on school and football because you won’t let them with your blatant refusal to stop supporting a man who in the end was only a human being, not a God.
Michigan, where do I start? How about the next time you go into a big game, you keep the offensive schemes that you’re good at and work for you in the playbook instead of taking your best weapon and rendering him useless by trying to make him a pocket passer. And that’s just a start of what your problems were Saturday night.
Youngstown State beat Pitt. Suck on that, Mark May.
I’m glad that “Sparty, No!” is still popular trend on Twitter. I had a blast watching the Michigan State- Boise State game Friday and reading all of your comments. Sparty nearly pulled another “Sparty”.
Southern California and Oregon appear to be on a collision course of epic proportions. I for one am looking forward to them duking it out. Easily two of the best teams I was able to get a look at this weekend, although Alabama doesn’t seem far behind!
Wrap it up, dummy
It’s good to be back writing again. It’s great that football season is finally here. I really don’ have much else to say except, see ya next week!
Metallica Track of the Week
It’s my first post with The Buckeye Battle Cry. It’s Urban Meyer’s first game as head coach at The Ohio State University. Fittingly, here is the first song Metallica ever wrote, performed live on June 23rd of this year at the Orion Music and More Festival at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey, appropriately titled “Hit The Lights”-