Great week to be on a bye- Three undefeateds and a top ten team lost, and two other top 10 teams struggled… And, as much as I hate to admit it, only one song came to mind for Monday’s soundtrack. Enjoy.
Of course we’re going to start off in Happy Valley, where Michigan’s Brady Hoke continued his longstanding legacy of struggling on the road. As excellent as the Wolverines have been at home under his tenure *coughhomecookingcough* he’s only 6-8 on the road, including a nailbiter of a win against something called a UConn this season.
Hats off to the Penn State coaching staff, who essentially nullified Michigan’s running game- Toussiant and Green had 30 rushes for 28 yards. And big kudos to the Lion’s Christian Hackenburg and Allen Robinson, who made big plays late to tie the game and send it into what would be four overtimes.
But “player of the game” award goes to that upstanding citizen Brendan Gibbons, who missed three of four field goals, including big shanks in overtime and a kick at the end of regulation that was just short. Penn State played to win, Michigan played not to lose and still managed to do so. The Lions will now have a bye week before heading to Columbus to face Ohio State in what’s sure to be a hard fought battle.
Because I’m a petty person, we’ll be enjoying visual reminders of this game throughout the rest of this post… but let’s talk about the other games of note.
We’ve talked before about “Big Game Bob” and the pass that Coach Stoops gets in spite of some collapses on the national stage; recently, though, his Sooners have made hay in the Red River Shootout at the expense of a down Texas program. So much so, in fact, that they even tried to make a clever graphic about it- it was assumed that yesterday’s game would be the final straw to lead to Mack Brown getting the Lane Kiffin treatment on the grounds of the Texas State Fairground. Funny thing about narratives, though…
Not only did Texas dominate the Sooners from the opening snap on their way to a 36-20 victory, they also gave us that greatest of college football gifts: a fat guy touchdown. Enjoy the majesty:
After the Buckeyes escaped Evanston with a victory, let’s see how many of experts escaped with wishes that came true.
Ohio State travelled to Evanston to face Northwestern for the first time since 2008. While the previous 4 meetings ended with an average score of (51.25 – 8.5), this one seriously broke the trend with the teams posting a 40-30 final. Braxton Miller struggled tonight with 3 turnovers, 2 fumbles and a pick, but threw 15/26 for 203 yards and ran 15 times for 68 yards. Northwestern ran a quarterback by committee with Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian who combined for 24/29 passing for 350 yards 2 touchdowns and an interception. Kain Colter was amazing tonight connecting on all 11 of his passes.
Carlos Hyde was your player of the game for the night. Where the Buckeye offense was struggling, Carlos powered 26 carries for 169 yards and three touchdowns, and 4 catches for 38 yards. In the passing game, Corey “Philly” Brown grabbed 6 passes for 127 yards. Northwestern’s Venric Mark carried 17 times for 60 yards, and caught 4 passes for 57 yards, while Rashad Lawrence received 8 passes for 147 yards.
For the first time this season Ohio State began the game with the ball, and they certainly didn’t waste any time. The offense came out of the gate fast and carved up the Northwestern secondary. Braxton Miller hit 4 straight passes to the left side of the field to rapidly bring the Buckeyes inside the red zone. A fifth pass to Evan Spencer on the right side didn’t gain much, and caused the Buckeyes to switch to the run – a mistake with the defensive look the Wildcats were presenting. The drive resulted in a short field goal after a near interception on third down.
Things looked similarly easy for the Wildcats in the early parts of their drive. A screen pass to Venric Mark, and a nice toss to the sideline found soft spots in the OSU coverage and gained the Wildcats decent yardage. But the Buckeye defense stiffened and forced a punt once Northwestern had made mid-field.
The Buckeyes switched strategies on the second drive. Their first play saw Hyde run straight up the gut with some fantastic blocking from the line for 10 yards. It was the second play that things took a turn for the worst. Braxton Miller ran a zone read with Carlos Hyde. The d-lineman looked to follow Hyde, causing Miller to pull the ball down. As he did, the lineman reached out and knocked the ball out of Miller’s grasp. No-one was around to scoop up the football except for players in the purple and black. Northwesterns offense took immediate advantage of the great field position, dropping a touchdown pass from 9 yards out to Kain Colter who ran as a receiver on the play.
The Buckeyes are in Evanston to play the Wildcats of Northwestern in their hometown. The game is scheduled to kick at 8pm on ABC.
Come be a part of the 5 year tradition of Buckeye Livechats and talk football with all of your favorite Buckeye bloggers! We’ll be getting things going at around 7:30, and dutifully muting the TV for Eminem.
Plenty to amuse us with this week, let’s get Rumblin’.
There’s no doubt in my mind who the best player is on the Ohio State roster. Braxton Miller returned in a way that most people watching are saying he would be smack dab in the middle of the Heisman race if he hadn’t missed almost three whole games. I will go further and say that due to how dynamic he has become compared to last year, he may sneak his way back into it.
My reasoning is simply this. Wisconsin did not have an answer for him early or very often until the Coach Meyer version of “Tressel ball” showed up. Bear in mind he justified his actions much in the same way that JT did, just win the football game. The huge difference between the two is Coach Meyer wants to get out fast, get a big lead, and then sit on it. Coach Tressel mostly wanted to get a lead and let his defense take over.
Much of the success that took place last Saturday night was due to Whiskey’s underestimation, and evidently their players as well, of Braxton’s improved arm strength and accuracy. What is really silly about some of the throws he made are the fact that he wouldn’t have even attempted them last year. He has become more of a threat on the run than before and his accuracy really is improved.
Braxton Miller will do alot of things in the rest of his career. The most important to him will be to finish the season undefeated and have a chance to hold up the trophy and kiss it. My second place finisher for rumblin’ last week was Bradley Roby. In as much grief as he received and how poorly he played. He was still able to make some plays being alone in coverage. He is one of the best run supporters the Buckeyes have had in the secondary in a good while.
As I stated earlier about Bradley Roby being my second place rumbler, he is also the guy stumblin’ this past week. Coach Meyer pretty much called him out to everyone by mentioning the fact that he needed to have a great week of practice. Read More
It’s time for another rousing edition of Across the Web! This week, we chatted up our buddies over at Lake the Posts about the Ohio State @ Northwestern game. Enjoy!
The Buckeye Battle Cry: The Bye Week couldn’t have come at a better time for Northwestern, who’ve had some injury issues this season. How’s the health of Kain Colter and the rest of the Wildcats heading into B1G play?
Lake the Posts: Depends on who you ask. The stats for bye week teams is less than flattering. Kain Colter is fine after missing the Cal game with a concussion. The real focus has been on Venric Mark, who ‘Cats fans haven’t seen since the Cal game (he took a few snaps, but hasn’t played since). The vague “lower body” injury, which we know to be a hamstring injury, has sidelined our first All-American in eight seasons. Mark is a gamechanger. ‘Cats fans are worried that he hasn’t had game reps and now has to make his first real significant appearance on this stage after 5 weeks out. After watching OSU’s “D” against Wisconsin’s RBs, there is reason for concern.
tBBC: Pat Fitzgerald is a defensive guru by nature, but the Wildcat offense is what makes the headlines. Who are two standouts on the defensive side of the ball?
…this past Friday her new Hospice home health aid came over and when she entered the house, she saw a few Buckeye items around the room (the big cache and over-the-top Buckeye decorations are all down in my man cave), but it was enough for her to tell us that her ex-boyfriend played for Ohio State (Curtis Grant, of course). She said they broke up a few months before he left for OSU and she hadn’t really seen him since. However, she went on to say how great a guy he was and that he was the nicest guy she ever knew.
Well, she ended up taking a few pics of the man-cave and my mother-in-law, and texted them to Curtis. Yesterday, when she came by, she dialed a number on her cell phone and handed it to her. Of course, it was Curtis on the phone. They chatted for several minutes and then said goodbye. She beamed from ear to ear just from that call. She hasn’t stopped talking about it yet.
But within about an hour the doorbell rang. Curtis had called his mother and had her bring my MIL an autographed shirt and a program from Saturday night’s game. She also stayed to chat awhile. Even though she’s from the area, she had to drive about and hour and a half just to do this. Read More