Ohio State finally did to a bad opponent what it should.
The Buckeyes have seemed to play up or down to their level of competition this season, but not today as OSU downed Illinois, 52-22.
Illinois (2-7, 0-4) is a bad team. But, you still have to be encouraged by some things you saw today.
1. Ohio State’s defensive line is really, really special. Every player that is involved in the rotation can make plays against both the run and the pass.
2. Braxton Miller is the most exciting player in college football. He still has a ways to go as a passer, but the plays he makes with his feet. In the first half, Miller completed just five passes, but threw for 152 yards and one touchdown. His final numbers on the day were 12 for 20 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 18 times for 73 yards and one touchdown.
3. Carlos Hyde is a touchdown machine. Hyde added three more touchdowns today, bringing his season total to 13. Hyde finished the day with 18 carries for 137 yards and the three touchdowns.
4. Ryan Shazier is playing himself into an All-Big Ten linebacker. Over the past three games, he’s been absolutely tremendous for the Buckeyes. Today, he finished the game with 14 tackles.
It’s hard to be picky in such a one-sided game, but my main concern with this OSU team as that it continues to get off to very slow starts. Today, they allowed Illinois to score first as it kicked a field goal on two of its first three drives. The Buckeyes led just 7-6 after the first quarter.
There also were too many penalties for Ohio State that extended Illinois drives. For the game, the Buckeyes had six penalties for 79 yards.
With the blowout victory, the Buckeyes will head into the bye week with a 10-0 record. OSU’s final two games (at Wisconsin and vs. Michigan) are all that stand between a perfect 12-0 record in Urban Meyer’s first season as head coach.
Not too shabby for a team that finished 6-7 a year ago.
Tim checks in again looking at the guy behind the guy behind the guy across the B1G
Throwing the forward pass is a big question mark for the majority of Big Ten quarterbacks. Their athleticism, though, is not.
Many of the 2012 Big Ten starting quarterbacks are doing everything they can to fight the stereotype of “game manager.” For a conference usually classified by others as boring, I see only four of the 12 projected starters as “pro-style” quarterbacks; the rest can be classified as “dual-threats” or “athletes.”
With that said, I give to you my 2012 Big Ten quarterback rankings.
12. Matt McGloin (Penn State): McGloin has started ten games in his Nittany Lion career, but just hasn’t gotten any better. However, he’s far and away PSU’s best option at quarterback. Last year, McGloin threw for 1,571 yards with 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. With the Penn State program in such turmoil, it would be nice if they had a savior at quarterback. Matt McGloin is not that.
11. Tre Roberson (Indiana): Although he was just a true freshman, Roberson struggled as Indiana’s starting quarterback last year. His rushing ability can make him a dangerous player for defense to account for. And in Roberson’s defense, he plays for Indiana.
10. Andrew Maxwell (Michigan State): Maxwell sat behind Kirk Cousins for two seasons, not getting many opportunities to show off his talent. Inexperience is the reason why I have Maxwell ranked where I do. He’s got the physical skills, but just simply hasn’t played in enough games yet for me to rate him any higher than ten.
9. Kain Colter (Northwestern): Colter may not be the best natural quarterback for the Wildcats, but he’s definitely their best athlete. In addition to quarterback, he also spent time playing running back and wide receiver for Northwestern. In 2011, Colter threw for 673 yards and six touchdowns, ran for 654 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 43 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns. For Northwestern, it is simple: Get him the damn ball.
8. Caleb TerBush (Purdue): From everything I’ve heard, Purdue doesn’t even know who its starting quarterback is going to be. It’s a race between TerBush and Robert Marve, who has been playing college football for about fifteen years now. My guess is the Boilermakers will go with TerBush, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
7. MarQueis Gray (Minnesota): Gray has all of the physical tools to be an All-Big Ten selection. The 6’4” 240 quarterback has a deadly combination of size and speed, but he hasn’t lived up to all of his hype—now entering his senior season. He did take major strides last season, though, under coach Jerry Kill. Gray threw for nearly 1,500 yards last season and ran for 966, scoring 14 total touchdowns. But, like Roberson, Gray does not have much help as he plays for a team that finished 3-9 last season.
6. Nathan Scheelhaase (Illinois): Illini fans were left wanting more from Scheelhaase in 2011. After a very promising freshman campaign in which he threw for over 1,800 yards, ran for 868 yards and scored 22 total touchdowns, Scheelhaase showed little improvement in h is sophomore season. In fact, many Illinois supporters say he took a step backwards during his sophomore campaign. He threw for just 13 touchdowns and ran for 624 yards. Losing superstar wide receiver A.J. Jenkins won’t make things easier for him either, but Scheelhaase is another dual-threat quarterback that has the ability to drive opposing coaches crazy.
The Buckeyes managed to put together a decent 17-7 win on the strength of some great defensive play, and some solid running from the offense.
Seriously, who needs a passing game? It’s not like anyone really asked for it anyway.
Lower The Boom. I don’t think the balance was quite right, but you simply cannot argue with 23 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown for his first appearance after suspension. It would have been nice to see a bit more Carlos Hyde in this one, but I’ll take a 100 yard rusher and a win any day.
Solomon’s Wisdom. We got him involved, and he was involved quite a bit. Unfortunately, he wasn’t involved in good ways from what we could see. Clearly Thomas was suffering from the rust.
No Injuries. The jury is still out on Travis Howard, who was injured during his interception return. That may be the only significant injury of the day.
Smooth Jazz. OSU was never in control enough to risk putting any other quarterback in the game, nor were they forced to do so due to injury or poor play. Braxton Miller got the job done and did everything that was necessary to net the win.
NFS. Well, apparently abbreviating it managed to keep JB Shugarts from false starting! That’s something! Too bad we had 2 or 3 other flags for it too…
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.
The Buckeyes travel to Urbana-Champaign this weekend to take on the undefeated Fighting
Zookers Illini. What do the guys here at the BBC want to see this weekend?
Lower The Boom. I don’t know if it means special teams or in the backfield, but Daniel Herron has waited long enough. The challenge will be in finding out how to balance his touches with Jordan and Carlos, both of whom have demonstrated amazing persistence and talent over the past half season. Wishbone, anyone?
Solomon’s Wisdom. I know he’s recovering from leg injury, but the last time we saw him was making a game saving INT in the Sugar Bowl That Supposedly Didn’t Happen. With Williams out for the year, it’s time to get him involved.
No Injuries. Please… play hard, but stay healthy.
Smooth Jazz. Kenny G, come on down. This would either mean that Ohio State has the game in control or that Braxton is getting a breather (not injured, see above) and he’s getting valuable backup time. Joe B, we love you, but it’s time to move on. It’s not you, it’s us.
NFS. Maybe if I abbreviate it. Ed. – Yea, right. Keep dreaming.
Nate Scheelhaase has become a great dual threat quarterback much like Juice Williams. What are Ron Zook and his staff doing to ensure Scheelhaase doesn’t fall prey to the same problems Williams did in the latter part of his career?
Well for starters, at this point Nathan Scheelhaase is already a much more developed passer than Juice Williams ever was. Juice was thrown in as a starter halfway through his freshman season, fresh out of the Chicago Public League and was completely new to the offense. Scheelhaase has been allowed to redshirt, won the position last year in camp, and has had the benefit of an offensive coordinator that has utilized his running game as an excellent compliment to his passing game. Aside from all that though, the pressure has never been as high on Scheelhaase as it was on Juice to “save the program” Read More