Wednesday, October 8

Close Call

In shades of the 2002 team, Ohio St needed a thrilling come-from-behind victory to beat Wisconsin this past Saturday. Led by another incredible game by Chris Wells and a gutsy performance by Terrelle Pryor, the Buckeyes came home from Camp Randall with 20-17 victory, improving their record to 5-1 and 2-0 in Big Ten play.

Ohio St came right out of the gate with a score yet again on a 33-yard run by Wells, only three minutes into the game. Obviously it's great to score early, but after the Florida, LSU, and USC games, maybe this isn't such a positive for the Bucks. Maybe they should start on defense from now on. Either way, it was 7-0 OSU in no time. Unfortunately, Ohio St failed to move the ball effectively for the rest of the half. Their two longest drives were a mere 24 and 27 yards, one ending on a Pryor interception and the other on a Dane Sanzenbacher fumble. An Allan Evridge to Mickey Turner TD pass tied the game at seven, then Wisconsin added a field goal in the closing seconds of the half to give the Badgers a 10-7 lead at the break.

Other than Beanie making the Wisconsin defense look like little girls, there was not much action in the third quarter. The only score was a Ryan Pretorius field goal midway through the quarter which tied the game at ten. The fourth quarter is where things got real interesting. OSU drove the ball downfield on the first possession of the frame, ending with another Pretorius FG. The way the defense was playing, it looked like that 13-10 lead was going to be good enough for the W. Not the case. The Badgers came right back with a long drive of their own, capped off with a P.J. Hill TD run. Ohio St took the ball with six minutes to go trailing by four. The drive was led by a few good run by Wells and a BRIAN HARTLINE SIGHTING! Hartline came up big with two first down catches, both on third and long. He fumbled on the second one, but luckily Brian Robiskie had his back and picked up the loose ball. With just over a minute to go, TP took an option keeper 11 yards into the end zone for the score. Malcolm Jenkins quickly ended any thought of a Wisconsin last minute drive by picking off Evridge's first pass. Bucks win 20-17.

Game Notes:
-What a difference a healthy Chris Wells makes. Beanie ran the ball 22 times for 168 yards (7.6 per carry) and one touchdown. Tressel really rode his Heisman candidate (yeah, that's right, I'm putting him back in the race) in this game, giving the Maurice Wells-Dan Herron-Brandon Saine combo only one carry. You may remember me calling for Saine to get more touches earlier, but if Beanie can do this then why bother giving it to anyone else?

-We saw a "Jekyll and Hyde" type of performance from Terrelle Pryor in this game. He was effective enough passing, going 13/19 for 144 yards with 0 TD's and 1 INT. He ran the ball 15 times for only 20 yards (1.3 per carry). He also showed that he is in fact a freshman, taking some bad sacks where he could have easily thrown the ball away and forcing that pass while taking a shot near the end zone in the first quarter. However, he showed flashes of brilliance, especially in the game-winning drive. TP showed excellent poise, precision passing, and of course his running ability throughout that 12 play, 80 yard drive.

-Congrats BYU, as you now hold the second spot (behind Oklahoma's 21) on the longest current home win streak list. The Badgers had won their previous 16 games at Camp Randall before OSU came to town.

-Tressel improves his mark to 3-3 against Wisconsin. Going into the game, the Badgers were the only conference team to hold a winning record against The Sweater Vest. Take that, Big Ten.

I will be in attendance for this week's game against Purdue (3:30, ABC). My record currently stands at 5-1 at The Shoe. (Screw you Vince Young. I was in the corner of the end zone where Limas Sweed caught that damn pass. I still have nightmares.) Purdue has been so-so this year, with a record of 2-3. They hung with Penn St last week, but still lost by two touchdowns. I should also note that the Fighting Tillers haven't won in Columbus since 1988. The Road to Pasadena should continue this week with another conference victory.


1 comment:

Andy said...

Big win, putting us right in the Big Ten title hunt.

Hey, I'll be at the game as well. Send me an e-mail (to the FCF account or if you have my personal account) with your phone # and maybe we can meet up beforehand.