Sunday, September 7

Ugly Win

Ohio St.'s 26-14 win this Saturday over Ohio was certainly not pretty. I'm talking like Sarah Jessica Parker ugly. For three quarters the offense looked horrendous without star tailback Chris Wells. Losing most of the game, it took a 20-0 run to end the game to win it.

1st Quarter
This was the worst quarter I've seen Ohio St. play in a long time (not including National Championship embarrassments). The Bucks averaged 2 yards per play and managed only one first down. It was tough to watch. I hated the play calling. They refused to throw deep, which is Boeckman's strong point. They didn't throw to Hartline or Robiskie once. Not once in the entire quarter! These guys are All Big Ten caliber, get them the ball. The one bright spot in the quarter was a Lawrence Wilson interception, which he almost took to the house. Of course the anemic offense couldn't punch it in and settled for a field goal. 3-0 Ohio St.

2nd Quarter
I was taking notes during the game for the purposes of this blog, and my notes for the second was simply this: "What?" Editor's note: this should read: 'WTF'?" As bad as the first quarter was, this may have been worse. The offense continued to look pitiful, and when Erie PA's own Donte Harden ran one in from 15 yards out, halfway through the quarter the Bobcats were up 7-3. Early in that drive, backup QB Boo Jackson somehow scrambled away from a Lawrence Wilson sack and completed a 31 yard pass on 3rd and 14. No, not Bo Jackson. Boo Jackson. OSU finally had a decent drive on the next possession, but after Hartline and Robiskie each dropped passes which could have been touchdowns, they settled for another Pretorius FG. 7-6 Ohio.

3rd Quarter
Shortly into the quarter, an Ohio punt pinned the Bucks inside their own 10. On 3rd and long, center Jim Cordle snapped the ball over Boeckman's head. Boeckman appeared to grab the ball and was tackled in the end zone for a safety. You can imagine my surprise when the ref signaled touchdown. Apparently Boeckman lost the ball as he attempted to scoop it, and Ohio recovered. Things were getting real bad. On the last drive of the quarter OSU drove down the field easily, led by the running of Daniel "Boom" Herron. Herron finished off the drive with a 1 yd TD run. Instead of going for 2 to tie the game, Ohio St elected to kick, which Pretorius promptly missed. 14-12 Ohio.

4th Quarter
Again, Ohio St. drove right down the field and scored on a Brandon Saine run on their first drive of the quarter. Finally having the lead, OSU's defense took care of the rest. A Teddy Ginn-looking punt return by Ray Small put the game out of reach. 26-14 Ohio St.

Where's T.P.?
Terrelle Pryor saw very limited action. I'm assuming it was because Tressel doesn't want USC to see anything, which makes sense, but you need to get him some experience. When the game was in doubt, he played only one drive, which resulted in a three and out. He was also in the last series when the game was over. He finished the game going 0/2 and had 5 carries for 37 yards. It will be very interesting to see how he's used against So Cal.

Final Thoughts
There wasn't a lot to cheer about in this game, but a win is a win. Obviously, things will need to change against USC. The Bucks can play twice as good as they did against Ohio and they will lose by four touchdowns. The defense did look good however, coming up with four picks. Lawrence Wilson was everywhere. It was clear that the offense isn't much without Wells. He won't be 100%, but he needs to be effective enough to get the job done or we don't stand a chance against SC.

Looking Ahead
Next on the schedule is the showdown with USC (8:00, ABC). The winner of this game could be well on their way to Miami for the championship. Two of the most storied programs in the nation. Two of the best coaches in the game. Tressel and Carroll both took their respective positions in 2001; Tressel's 75 wins since that time is second only to Carroll's 76. This is gonna be a war. Beanie needs to play, and he needs to do well. Hopefully I'm not too drunk by the time the game starts and I remember it.

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