What a show put on by the Buckeyes! We wrap up quite a night in The Shoe as the Buckeyes wallop Penn State and we look forward to the final four games of the regular season. We’ll also take another peak at the BCS and see where the Buckeyes stand nationally and how they can get themselves into the National Championship game. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
You can’t always get what you want
How often do we ask for the Buckeyes to perform to the fullest of their potential and show the world what we all feel they are capable of? We sit and ponder the scenarios of “If this guy can do this and that guy can do that…” in hopes of seeing it all come together. Saturday night was one of those times where it all clicked and the proverbial light bulb turned on.
As a complete unit with Braxton Miller at quarterback and Carlos Hyde at running back, this is only the third game we have seen the Buckeye offense play together. Think about that for a second. After drilling Penn state for 63 points (42 in the first half!) this is an offense that is just now, from a gelling together and games played standpoint, heading into early-mid season form.
The lyrics may say that “you can’t always get what you want”, but I’m here to tell you we are getting what we need. We are getting an offense that is about to hit their high point with four (five including the Big Ten Championship game) games left to play. You couldn’t ask for more.
Anatomy of a force
Braxton Miller is back. I don’t want to hear anything else about it. He is officially the Braxton Miller that was the Heisman frontrunner coming into the season. It took a while and some missed time to get there, but he is here. His feet are back. He looks as tough as ever taking on tacklers. His arm is like a rocket. And the most importantly, he is making great decisions and has his completion percentage is over 70%. Read More
The #4/3 Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) host the Fightin’ Ferentzs’ of Iowa (4-2, 1-1) for an afternoon game in Columbus on Saturday. Up until a couple years ago, I always considered this a match-up of two teams with similar philosophies. Now, I see the game as the “new/improved” Ohio State playing a Tressel-ball bound team with less quality athletes, in Iowa.
Iowa under 15th year coach Kirk Ferentz are 104-76 (.578). Other than the team uniform’s similarity to the Pittsburgh Steelers (thanks, Hayden), Iowa is noted for cranking out offensive linemen (Bollman, you listening?) and having a stoic note-taking, gum-chewing head coach.
Coming off an very impressive 11-2 season in 2009, Iowa AD Gary Barta decided to elevate Kirk into the Hayden Fry pantheon with a contract extension through the year 2020 at $3.75 million per year, per HawkCentral.. With this contract, that’s a lot of chewing gum and notepads. Since the impressive contract extension, Iowa has been a less-than-impressive 19-19.
Back to football: Iowa ended their non-con portion at 3-1, then opened their B1G slate with an impressive 23-7 win over Minnesota. The next week, the Hawkeyes got roughed up, physically and statistically, against Michigan State, 26-14. Since I see OSU having a better offense but worse defense than MSU, things will not improve for Iowa. Read More
After rolling the overmatched FAMU Rattlers last week, things get a bit tougher this Saturday night as Ohio State hosts B1G/Leaders leader Wisconsin in an 8:00 PM game. The Buckeyes (4-0, 0-0) look to move into 1st place in the Leaders Division by shutting down the Badgers (3-1, 1-0).
First year Badgers Head Coach Gary Andersen was defensive line coach at Utah in 2004, Urban Meyer’s last year as Utah head coach, so there is familiarity between the two gentlemen. After a 4 year stint as Utah State’s head coach, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez hired Andersen to replace the departed Bret Bielema, who was banished to coach at Arkansas.
I’m going to gloss over most of the season-to-date statistics for both teams because I don’t think those numbers are relevant for this game. Wisconsin’s wins and “numbers’ were racked up against University of Massachusetts (MAC) who has won 1 of its last 16 games, FCS school Tennessee Tech (2-2) and a not very good Purdue team. Unfortunately, Ohio State’s schedule is pretty similar.
Here are two tables that summarize both teams’ offensive and defensive performances so far this season. As I mentioned above, with both teams having sketchy schedules, use these numbers more for a general indication of performance. The first table, is relative offensive performances comparison between Wisconsin and Ohio State.
Yep, a lot of yards and points against so-so competition.
Here’s the defensive comparison; it’s looks similar.
Now that we really know that Wisconsin and Ohio State took care of their early season opponents, we move on to the game at hand.
For the first time since 2005, the San Diego State Aztecs visited Columbus to play the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Aztecs failed to score until late in the 3rd quarter, falling 42-7 in a near total domination in all phases of the game. With Braxton Miller down with a minor injury, Kenny Guiton stepped up and delivered 19/27 passes for 152 yards for 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, and added 9 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. His counterpart put up 21/34 for 207 yards, one score and one interception.
For the running game specifically, Jordan Hall ran the ball the most for the Buckeyes, who spread the ball around among their running back committee, and picked up 13 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. Most impressively, the young defensive line held an experienced running team to 60 total running yards on 24 attempts for the day, forcing them to go away from their preferred style of play.
The Aztecs got the first shot at offense but found the going troublesome early against the OSU defense. While opportunities were present for moving the ball, SDSU wasn’t able to connect on either of their first two passes. After starting with atrocious field position, they were forced to punt the ball back to OSU, giving them the ball at the 50.
Braxton Miller, taking advantage of his Heuerman up the middle, managed to keep the first drive moving. Unfortunately, Miller suffered an MCL sprain while converting a third down close to the endzone and was kept out of the game for the remainder of the day. On the next play, Kenny Guiton tossed the ball to Dontre Wilson on an outside run to the left for the first touchdown of the young running back’s career.
Dingwell tossed a pick on the very next possession straight into the waiting arms of Doran Grant. Unfortunately Guiton wasn’t able to get the offense moving, and the Buckeyes were forced to punt despite the excellent field position. But things changed on Guiton’s second drive. He made a number of good reads on the zone read with Dontre Wilson, and delivered a huge touchdown strike to Corey Brown 27 yards down the left side of the field. Impressively, the Buckeye backup QB stood tall and took a shot while delivering the ball exactly where it needed to be.
This past weekend as the Buckeyes faced the Bulls, we started a new feature here at tBBC. Each week we will feature some hash-tags on twitter and feature your responses to those in a weekly article. While we are at it, we will feature a former Buckeye each week to give their two-cents worth as well and see how you stack up to their thoughts.
#BufTopPlay Braxton Miller 47 yard TD to Devin Smith. Great throw and great adjustment by Devin.
#BufOMVP Jordan Hall. He ran his butt off today. Big holes but also showed burst and agility.
#BufDMVP Noah Spence
#BufSTMVP Dontre Wilson. Great kick return!
#BufOUnsung Offensive Line. They were creating huge holes and giving Braxton (and Kenny) time to throw for the most part.
#BufDUnsung Ryan Shazier. Despite the injury he was still effective.
#BufMorePT Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, Ezekiel Elliot, Warren Ball. Can’t wait to see what these guys can do!
Time for Wednesday’s wander through the wonderment of college sports, brought to you by music appropriate for this week
O’Brien The Lion- In today’s B1G conference call, coach O’Brien commented that they are preparing for Braxton to be healthy and leading the Ohio State offense. He spoke highly of his senior quarterback, Matt McGloin, calling him smart and tough and the reason that they’ve been so successful this season. Penn State’s “NASCAR” offense, which has been averaging 90 plays a game in conference play, is reliant on execution and communication, and O’Brien believes that his senior leadership has bought in totally- no “doom and gloom” in what could be a very dour locker-room, considering the off season events and team transfers.
“Oregon has developed into one of the premier football programs in the FBS.We are excited to add them to our future slate of games.”
Unspoken, but inferred- “Plus, we’ve sold our soul to Nike anyway with our ‘one time tribute’ jerseys and such that this move only makes sense.” Read More
Nate Williams is out, and Zach Boren has been moved to linebacker. And that’s just what we knew about heading into the game; a matchup that Ohio State dominated until mental lapses and a “never say die” Hoosier team made the contest too close for comfort late.
Since Eric is at a wedding and Tim’s got work, you’re stuck with me for the recap. Buckle up.
Braxton was able to get enough of the passing game going over the middle of the field to keep the Hoosiers honest, and found Jake Stoneburner for an early first down catch on a close call. A pass interference call kept the Ohio State drive alive, and Braxton made a good read on an option pitch to Corey Brown for the first Buckeye score. After a three and out by IU, the Buckeyes took over again and began to feed Carlos Hyde. After one first down, though, the Buckeyes were forced to punt, and IU began on their own seven yard line. The Hoosiers continued to have the dropsies, and IU punted back to Ohio State. Rod Smith reported for duty for Ohio State on their third drive. After a couple of nice runs, Devin Smith dropped a sure touchdown forcing Braxton to scramble on third down to pick up the long first. A couple of times during the first quarter, Ohio State showed a new wrinkle of a “touch pass”- they were unsuccessful in converting, though, and Drew Basil added his third field goal of the season.
Indiana got their first first down of the game, and began to move up tempo. Indiana ran an off-tackle play to Stephen Houston who ran 53 yards for the score, and the Hoosiers drew within three. Heuerman dropped the first down pass attempt, and Indiana was able to feather the option attempt and stop Braxton from any gain. A false start put OSU at third and 15; Braxton was only able to pick up five yards and the Buckeyes punted… and it was blocked by Indiana. The Hoosiers started at their own 17, and gained two yards prior to the end of the quarter. Read More
On Homecoming 2012 in Ohio Stadium before a record crowd of 106,102 fans on national television in prime time the Ohio State Buckeyes left no doubt they are beginning to arrive in new head coach Urban Meyer’s system. What was being billed as a “Showdown in The Shoe” turned out to be a “Blowout in The Shoe” as the men of scarlet and grey plowed their way to an impressive 63-38 victory.
Fire and Ice
The Ohio State offense wasn’t exactly on fire to start the game. Coming out of the locker room the Buckeye offense went four straight series of three and out, the last included a fake punt attempt. I’d like to say that Bradley Roby’s 41 yard interception return for a touchdown at the 8:29 mark of the first quarter was the spark that got the team rolling, but the truth is Ohio State found themselves down 17-7 at the end of the first quarter. Starting slow is a first quarter trend that started back in game one against Miami, Ohio and continues through week six.
So what got the proverbial ball rolling? What kicked the offense and the team itself into gear and got them on a torrid scoring pace that ended up with a 63 spot on the board for the good guys? The answer: Braxton Miller. A 72 yard burst from “XBrax360” juking defenders out of their shoes and racing to the three yard line put the stadium and the Ohio State sideline into a frenzy. Two plays later Carlos Hyde busted into the endzone (more on Hyde later) and the onslaught of scoring had begun.
After his 72 yard sprint, Miller limped to the sidelines and could not finish the series. It’s the second week in a row that Braxton has given the Buckeye faithful a near heart attack. It’s also the second week in a row he shook off a bump and got back in the game. The question of course has to be asked: Can he keep taking hits and carrying the ball at this pace for an entire season?