I think the answer is quite simply “yes, yes we were”.
Ring the Bell.He wasn’t necessarily worn out, but he was reduced to what will possibly be the least number of yards he’ll gain all year – 17 carries for 45 yards. The Silver Bullets definitely locked down and eliminated him as a viable part of MSU’s gameplan.
Speed it up. They sure did on the first drive. The rest of the game was played a bit slower, probably due to Michigan State’s defense blitzing and disguising what they were doing.
3rd down. Yea, not so much yet. They figured it out at the end of the game, but there’s a reason the recap say “Don’t talk to me about Third and Long”.
XBrax360. Braxton Miller did his thing, but he didn’t take care of the football particularly well. That’s something he needs to work on.
College Gameday. You got your wish, the Buckeyes are now 20-10 when College Gameday visits. (Though, that makes them .667, not .500, just sayin’.)
Under 80. Is 45 yards less than 80? Oh it is? Well then, wish granted!
Hall and Hyde. We saw it early, but unfortunately Hall tweaked his knee. Hopefully we’ll see him back again soon.
Wrap Up. For all but one play, the Buckeye defense did a great job wrapping up. That one play went 29 yards for a touchdown though, so I’m still not happy.
Picks, picks and more picks. Andrew Maxwell threw 0, count em’, 0 picks in this game. In fact, the Buckeyes were -3 in turnover margin on Saturday. That’s less than acceptable.
A dynamic offense. The offense looked pretty dang good at times. There’s still a lot of growing to do, but we’re making headway.
An “off” day for Le’Veon Bell. Le’Veon bell only picked up (I really will never get tired of repeating this) 45 yards on 17 carries. That’s 2.6 yards per carry. He wasn’t even running well enough to gain first downs. Great job defense!
A strong return for Carlos Hyde. 11 carries for 49 yards wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but those yards came when they mattered most. As Urban would be quick to point out, Hyde’s 5 yard run on 3rd and 4 late in the game won us the game.
The Mark Dantonio Scowl. It wasn’t as present as I would have liked, but there were hints.
Training Wheels Off. Some new wrinkles, yes. Particularly successful wrinkles? Perhaps we have to wait for a defense that’s less stout than MSU.
Bombs away. We only went to this well once, but when we did we struck gold.
Press and Pressure. The Pressure was there. Maxwell spent a large portion of the day on his backside, even if he did get the pass off. Kudos for his fantastic, and tough, play.
Special Specialness. You got your blocked punt Mali. Congrats!
I’m not going to say it. I don’t recall a false start. I think you may have finally gotten your wish.
XBrax360 from the beginning. Well, he wasn’t limited much, but his three turnovers could have cost us. The rest of his numbers, while not Geno Smith numbers, were impressive.
Pressure on Andrew Maxwell. There was plenty of pressure on Maxwell, but he’s a much tougher nut to crack now than he was earlier in the season.
Hurry Up Offense. We saw it on the first drive. Not so much on some of the later drives, though. We only totaled 67 plays for the day, an improvement over last week, but not as high as we saw against Miami.
Just win. Ok, anything else you would like with that?
Win #5. We got the win by the skin of our teeth, but there it is.
Braxton hitting the deep ball. We went to it once, and hit it once.
Making MSU beat us through the air. And they very nearly did. The three turnovers helped their cause, but we stopped them cold up front. Their receivers dropping passes probably negated the turnovers.
No More Vanilla. Hard to say exactly how vanilla we were, but there were definite signs of non-vanilla play from the offense.
Freak Show. The freak show put up a blocked punt. There’s still some concerns in the special teams, but this was a heartening sight.
Bombs Away! One successful vertical play as already mentioned. Baby steps.
Get Off Coach Fickell’s Back. The defense did enough, and Urban Meyer came out in defense of Fickell. This should quiet the rumblings.
Bend but Don’t Break. They broke once due to poor tackling, but generally they bent but didn’t break.
Hurry Up Already. It was faster than before, but still slower than the Miami game.
On Target. Braxton was mostly on target on Saturday. He still has a lot more work to do, but he’s still young.
Containment. You wanted at least under 150 yards for Bell, and would have liked under 100. How about under 50?
Free Braxton! There were plenty of designed runs, and a few excellent scrambles. It seems like they unleashed him a bit more this week.
4 sacks. We got pressure on the QB, but may have only picked up 3 sacks on the day.