There’s no way that we can start this week’s post without wishing Happy Birthday to Coach Jim Tressel. Ironically, it’s also the day of the ninja; although I can’t imagine the silent assassins being as polite or methodical as Senior Sweatervest- how would you write “Dave” in kanji?
While there were several significant games on the old telly this week, there were also off field doin’s that should not be left undiscussed. First, in this year’s addition of the River City Rivalry/Snow Bowl, Pittsburgh easily handled Ohio’s BCS team. That didn’t, however, keep the Bearcat mascot from getting arrested and escorted out of the stadium. Video and such, for those of you who are into that kind of thing, can be found here.
The Big lEast ended as it started, with a three way tie at the top of the conference. Pitt’s victory, along with West Virginia’s win over Rutgers that seemed to make their fans filled with glee, meant that UConn was still in the driver’s seat should they hold off South Florida. A late, long field goal meant that the 8-4 Huskies have earned themselves a bid to a BCS game.
As we mentioned earlier, this means that a team that only managed 10 points against the Wolverines will get to face off against, most likely, the Oklahoma Sooners. While we’ve given the Big lEast grief here in the past, it should be noted that the conference only has two teams that don’t have the requisite 6 wins necessary to go to a bowl game, a much better experience than our west coast stalwarts in the Pac-10. At this juncture, only four teams from that conference will be headed to the post season, since Southern Cal is on probation (sorry, that’s still awesome to write) and Arizona State’s 6-6 record includes too many victories over FCS schools. So, with two teams going to the BCS, this means that there’ll be four bowls looking for help with the automatic tie ins.
No press conference this week, but we do have Tress’ thoughts from after The Game and so forth
Michigan is among the elite programs and will be and their record will reflect that in the course of time but, you know, we all have our ups and downs in a period and so forth and it’s highly competitive. It’s going to become more competitive because we’re adding Nebraska. The world changed when we added Penn State. The world changes even more when we add Nebraska. The world changed when Dano (Dantonio) went over to Michigan State. There’s constantly changes, but Michigan will be back, we don’t have to worry about that.
REPORTER: Jim, obviously you talk all the time about you want to get better over the course of a year. To be 11-1, where do you feel like this team is in achieving this goal and just how good of a team do you think you are at 11-1 at the end of the season?
COACH TRESSEL: Not good enough to be the outright Big Ten champions and automatic bid to the Rose Bowl and all those things that you shoot for, but we’re pretty fair, and I believe we’re a top ten football team and probably going to get to play a top ten football team and see if we’re allowed to stay in the top ten is what I would guess, but I think it goes beyond that.
Sometimes the ball bounces funny and you end up undefeated or you end up losing however many, and our guys just kept working and whatever came their way, they handled it and pressed on and handled adversity and handled success as it came. They need a little break and they need to take a deep breath and then they need to think about playing against one of the top teams in the nation wherever we play, whoever it is. We’ve had — really we’ve had 13 games in 2010. We played a pretty good Oregon team on the first day of the year, so it’s been a lot of fun.
But who cares what I think. See ya
As always, Cole’s bringing us the plays of the week from Saturday’s big comeback victory:
The Golden Gophers, coming off their 7th straight loss of the season, ran into the #11 Buckeyes in the Twin Cities. Ohio State started slow, but eventually put the clamps down and killed the Gophers 52-10. The Buckeyes found success with a balanced attack, with Pryor throwing 18-22 for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns and Dan Herron carrying the ball 17 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. Herron’s 100 yard game was the first since Saine’s against Marshall during the season opener.
The Buckeyes came out of the gate passing the football. The strategy was exactly the opposite to the previous game when they started out with 5 straight Herron runs. Pryor found some open receivers downfield against the Minnesota secondary early on but wasn’t able to connect on a couple of his passes. Intermixed with the passing game were a few runs to Herron that gained a few yards. The Buckeyes eventually got the ball down to the 3 yard line and took two Boom runs and a Pryor quarterback keeper for the touchdown.
The balanced offensive attack almost seemed like a first first the Buckeyes this season. Ohio State traditionally would attack in the first drive with either a vast majority of passes or a vast majority (or all runs). The change was clearly another step in the development of this offense after the Wisconsin loss.
Here’s another chance enjoy Saturday’s victory, to let it soak in and give yourself a chance to “get used to it”.
As always, thanks to Cole Blaney for his great work!
The Buckeyes came back to Ohio Stadium looking for a little bit of payback and they got it in a big way. The Boilermakers were completely outmatched, falling to the Buckeyes 49-0 in the Bucks first shutout of the year. Pryor finished the game with 16/22 with 270 yards 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on the day. The Buckeye running game also made an appearance as Dan Herron picked up 74 yards on 16 carries with 2 touchdowns.
Ohio State started the game with the football on the 40 yard line after Jordan Hall allowed the ball to bounce out of bounds. The Bucks started out on the ground the first few plays, giving Herron the ball repeatedly. The strategy clearly surprised Purdue’s defense who was expecting a healthy dose of Pryor all afternoon. With 5 straight carries, Herron stuck the ball out over the goalline and scored, setting a clear tone for the game.
Purdue started the game out to surprise the Buckeye defense themselves. A quick pass over the middle gained 15 yards, though two Buckeye defenders were in position to almost make a play on the ball. Purdue switched into their more traditional running offense but were unable to get through the OSU defensive line forcing them to punt.
Cole brings this week’s highlights from the Big Ten Player of the Week- Terrelle Pryor.
He runs, he throws, he catches… That’s an action figure there, son.