Ohio State’s defense has serious problems.
The Buckeyes got off to another slow start against an inferior opponent, but Buckeyes’ quarterback Braxton Miller ignited the offense in the second quarter as OSU narrowly defeated UAB 29-15.
Despite falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter, Miller rallied the Buckeyes’ offense with a couple of electric runs, leading to three Buckeye touchdowns scored in a 5:29 span in the second quarter. Ohio State led 21-12 at halftime.
Like the game against Miami, the first quarter was ugly for the Buckeyes. Ben Buchanan’s punt was blocked by about seven UAB defenders and was picked up by Nick Adams for a touchdown to give the Blazers an early 6-0 lead.
Then, trailing 9-0, Miller led the Buckeyes on a 10 play drive in 4:23 which saw Rod Smith find the end zone. It was good to see Smith get a touchdown. He’s a running back that has a lot of talent, but has had problems in his career with ball security.
Miller was the leader on offense for the Buckeyes. He completed 12 of his 20 pass attempts for 123 yards. Miller also carried the ball 11 times for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Hall chipped in 105 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Despite the win, the story of the game was the inability of the OSU defense to make any sort of plays against a bad UAB team. According to head coach Urban Meyer, missed tackles were a point of emphasis in practice this week, but I honestly couldn’t tell from watching the game. It seemed like UAB players were breaking tackles left and right. Next week against Michigan State, this needs to be cleaned up or OSU is in trouble.
Four players really stood out to me on defense–three of which play of the defensive line. Jonathan Hankins is my defensive player of the game as he recorded nine tackles and blew a bunch of plays up in the backfield. Nathan Williams finally got to start a football game and he was flying all over the field. He had a few missed tackles (but who didn’t), but overall I felt he played a very solid game for the Buckeyes. And John Simon didn’t have a huge statistical impact on the game, but his constant pressure on UAB quarterbacks Austin Brown and Jonathan Perry was felt.
Doran Grant also earned the start at corner for the injured Bradley Roby. His stat line: 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception and 1 sack. Not too bad for the first start of his career.
The Buckeyes still have a lot of work to do. The defense needs serious work and the offense needs to become much more consistent.
But, at the end of the day, the Buckeyes improved to 4-0 and will travel to East Lansing next week for a date with Michigan State.
If the Buckeyes don’t improve in practice this week, though, they could be in for a long afternoon.
Today was the football team banquet; here’s who was honored:
Congratulations to these Buckeyes and all who were acknowledged during the season ending event!
Well Buckeye fans, we are halfway home to the end of the 2011 season. Standing at 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the B1G, this year has been some dizzying highs (winning the Sugar Bowl) and far too many lowest of lows. The real question is where the Ohio State Buckeyes grade out for the first half of the season and keys to improvement. Players and coaches will be broken down and evaluated on their performance so far. So, listen up scarlet and gray clad coaches and players. Professor Schmidbauer is here to hand out some first half grades.
Breakdown: Anyone wondering what kind of faith the offensive coaches had in Braxton
Miller got a pretty good idea as to how much last Saturday in Champaign. The play as a whole has been pretty poor sans two games for the Buckeye signal callers. Joe Bauserman’s initial start against Akron was a solid debut for the resident geriatric of Ohio State. Braxton Miller’s first start against the Colorado Buffaloes was a nice debut as well. The rest of the performances have been lackluster, and I think we would all agree that is putting it kindly. Now the team is officially Miller’s and it seems like the Buckeyes can ride him as far as the freshman can carry them, well assuming there is not a strong wind anyway.
Area to Improve: If there is one key to the Buckeye season reaching eight or, dare I say, nine wins, it has to be the passing game. Ohio State proved you can win a game by only completing one pass, but it goes without saying we don’t want to see if the team can accomplish that feat again. Braxton Miller has not been able to consistently make throws in big spots in games yet, and opponents know that. You can believe that a serviceable passing will be a necessity to reach a New Year’s Day bowl game. Read More
Eric is joined by Malibuckeye, Joe Dexter and Michael of Our Honor Defend to discuss the Ohio State 17-7 win over Illinois today in Urbana-Champaign. They focus on the excellent running game displayed by Boom Herron, Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde (who retracted the twitter statement discussed in this podcast after we recroded). We also discuss the non-existent passing game, and the state of Fickell and Bollman’s employment at Ohio State.
All this and more – including some allusion to the upcoming Basketball Season – on the latest BBC Postgame Show!
Coming into Saturday’s action against the Illinois Fighting Illini, Buckeyes fans knew that it was going to take an ugly game for the Buckeyes to win. Nobody would of ever guessed it would of been that big of a possession and turnover battle with just one completed pass for the Buckeyes all afternoon long.
Wait, that’s right. Jim Bollman is the Buckeyes Offensive Coordinator. Nothing at this point should be surprising on the offensive side of the football.
The Buckeyes got the ball first and quickly got the running game going. Daniel “Boom” Herron got the start, and early used his patientce alongside fellow running back Jordan Hall to put together a methodical drive out of the I formation. After 9 straight running plays for 45 yards, Drew Basil was called upon to put the first points on board, by making his 8th straight field goal from 43 yards out as he played the wind with the hook to make it 3-0.
The rest of the first quarter would be back and forth with little or no forward progress from either team. After forcing a three and out on the opening drive for the Illini, The Buckeyes were shut out on their second attempt to get on the scoreboard. After two short runs and a Whitney Mercilus sack of Braxton Miller, The Buckeye defense took the field and got the football back. Illinois ended the first with the ball, gaining their first true offensive momentum into the second. After a solid catch by A.J. Jenkins down the sideline for 21 yards to the Ohio State 38, the Illini worked into a 4th down and 4 situation, where Ron Zook had his special teams pooch the football inside the 10 yard line.
Big Ten season is finally upon us with the Spartans of Michigan State visiting Columbus this Saturday. What do the guys want to see this weekend? Don’t forget to tell us what you want to see in the comments!
Hungry Hankins. A Michigan native, Jonathan has been playing lights out as of late (when he hasn’t been dinged up). With the injuries on the Spartan offensive line, and motivation that comes with playing one of the home teams, it’s time for a phenomenal game.
Defensive Score. I really can’t believe that Ohio State has gone this long without one. If it’s a blocked punt or a pick six, it’s time for the Silver Bullets to get on the scoreboard
Special Teams Savvy. Mark Dantonio is not afraid to try a little trickeration in the kicking game- “Little Giants” beat Notre Dame last year, and a PI during a fake punt led to a come from behind win against Northwestern. While the Special Teams battle will be a Tressel Family chess match, it will take more than just brilliance on the sidelines to get a “plus” in this category. Can we just clone Ebner ten times?
Need I Say More?. No False Starts. Pretty please??? We’re in conference now… focus should be easier to maintain.
After losing three starters from last season, one would think the secondary would be in rebuilding mode at camp. Like the rest of the defense, that has not been the case at all. The starters (with one small exception) have been set from day one.
Continuity in the secondary is important, and the Buckeyes have had plenty of it so far. Outside of the offensive line, communication and coordination is more important in the secondary than anywhere else on the football field, and having the same players together helps out tremendously.
I have been very impressed by the secondary during practice. Despite three new starters, they all play (and most importantly communicate) like seasoned veterans.
Bold prediction time: despite the attrition, the 2011 defensive backs will be better than a year ago.
Here is a player by player breakdown of the two-deep. Read More
The Buckeyes have to reload on defense more in 2011 than any year since 2006. If you remember back, the 2006 defense had to replace all time great A.J. Hawk amongst many others. The task was daunting, but players like James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins quickly emerged as the next great Buckeye defenders. A defense full of newcomers helped lead the team to a perfect regular season and a trip to the national title game.
Will Etienne Sabino be the next Laurinatis? Will Travis Howard be the next Jenkins? If anything, the players this season have more experience under their collective belts than the 2006 group did, which bodes well for the silver bullets.
Jim Tressel has received plenty of criticism on offense over the years, but on defense there is not much to complain about. The Buckeyes have been a top ten ranked D annually under Tressel regardless of attrition each year, and this season should be no different.
Here are the players to watch in the spring game who will look to continue the defensive tradition of excellence. Read More