Tuesday, November 17

Buckeyes Top Iowa in Thriller

The Ohio St Buckeyes are headed to Pasadena for their first Rose Bowl in 13 years. Well, the specific Bowl is only speculation, but it is a certainty that the Bucks are headed to a fifth straight BCS Bowl game after their 27-24 overtime win over Iowa last Saturday. It looked like the Buckeyes had it wrapped up at the beginning of the 4th quarter, but a late Hawkeye rally forced the game into OT, where OSU needed their 26-year-old backup kicker to clinch the Big Ten. Let's talk details.

Game Recap

It was a pretty boring first quarter, with the only score coming off a Daniel Murray 32-yard field goal for Iowa. Freshman QB James Vanbenberg, filling in for injured Ricky Stanzi (or Lance Harbor) looked very sharp to start the game, but Joey, Pacey, and his other targets dropped some easy balls and the Hawkeyes only led 3-0 after one.

To begin the second, OSU ran the ball over and over on a 17-play, 73-yard drive that took up almost nine minutes of game play. You would think a drive of that caliber would end in a touchdown, but unfortunately the Buckeyes stalled at the 10 and had to settle for three to tie the game. After an Iowa three-and-out, Ohio St continued to keep the ball on the ground, and this time Brandon Saine broke one for a 22-yard score. Zach Boren, who I praised last week, led the way for Saine with a crushing block on an Iowa defender. Jonathon Moxon responded by bringing Iowa into OSU territory, but was picked off by Anderson Russell to more or less end the half, 10-3 Bucks.

In the locker room, Vandenberg told his team that they had "To play the next 30 minutes for the next 30 minutes" and to "Leave it all out there on the field." The Fighting Ferentzes got the ball to start the second half, and Mox hit Derrell Johnson-Koulianos for a 55-yard bomb to put them deep in Ohio St territory. Continuing to squander opportunities, Trey Stross dropped a potential TD catch on third down and, to make things worse for Iowa, Murray missed the chip-shot FG.

The teams traded a few punts, then Vandenberg connected with Marvin McNutt, who I will now refer to as "Tweeder," for a touchdown to tie the game at 10. On the ensuing drive, Duran Carter made a nice catch on third down to keep the drive alive, and Boom Herron notched a TD run to put the Bucks back on top. Ross Homan then picked off Mox to set up OSU at midfield, and it only took Saine one play to go 49 yards to the house, seemingly making the Buckeyes Rose Bowl-bound.

This was not the case, as Wendell Brown (the Varsity Blues references might be getting a little much here) took the kickoff back 99 yards to counter the OSU TD. With the Buckeyes up by seven with seven minutes to go, Devin Barclay had a chance to put Iowa away with a 47-yard FG, but missed. This next Hawkeye possession was very frustrating to watch, as Ohio St should have ended the game numerous times. Thaddeus Gibson had a pick-six that was negated by an offsides penalty, and Mox threw a ball directly to two defenders, but they hit each other, the ball went up in the air, and eventually was caught by Iowa. The drive was completed when Tweeder went over top of Chimdi Chekwa to catch his second touchdown of the game, and we headed to overtime, tied at 24.

Iowa got the ball first. After a short gain on 1st down, Iowa was stuffed on second down by Austin Spitler for a six-yard loss. Now facing an already long FG attempt, Vandenberg was too busy thinking about whipped cream bikinis and not enough about Doug Worthington, and was sacked for a loss of 10, pushing Iowa out of FG range. Mox just launched up a prayer towards the end zone on 4th and a mile, and Russell got his second INT of the ballgame. Even with a backup kicker, Tressel-ball was in full effect, as Herron went up the middle three times for two yards. Ohio St's hopes were on all the foot of former MLS player Devin Barclay, and Barclay responded by nailing the 39-yarder and sending the Buckeyes back to Pasadena.

Game Notes

Game Ball
The GB goes to the offensive line. This unit has suffered many injuries and has been shuffling guys around all year, and because of it has been very shaky, and even flat-out bad at times. They have turned things around the past few games, however, as Terrelle Pryor has had much more time in the pocket, and the running game has been simply unstoppable. Saine led the way for OSU in this game, with 103 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 carries. The team as a whole rushed for 229 yards, marking the 4th consecutive game they topped the two-century mark.
Game Balls to date: Pryor, Defense (2), Saine, Coleman, Posey, Heyward, O-Line

It's michigan Week
My favorite week of the year! As always, I'm currently rocking my "Ann Arbor's a Whore" shirt, and will be all week long. I will also be taking my annual trip to Columbus on Thursday, to be a part of the Mirror Lake experience. Although the game is in michigan, it's still a great weekend, especially after we embarrass them...again.

5 Time, 5 Time, 5 Time, 5 Time, 5 Time Champs!
With this victory, Ohio St has now owned at least a piece of the last five Big Ten titles. That is just unheard-of. They also clinched their fifth straight BCS game, an NCAA record. Regardless of the outcome against michigan (like there's more than one possibility), Ohio St is seemingly a lock for the Rose Bowl (the first time since '97!), where they will play the Pac 10 champ. Right now the conference is completely up for grabs, with Oregon and Stanford being the front-runners. One team who is definitely out of the picture is USC, which is hilarious to me. Both the Ducks and the Cardinal have high-powered offenses, and either looks like a good matchup against the Buckeyes.

Up Next: @ michigan, 12:00, ABC
micigan (5-6, 1-6 in Big Ten) needs this win just to become Bowl-eligible. It will be a great feeling to keep these jackasses out of a bowl game for the second straight year. Ohio St has beaten their rival 4 straight times, and 7 times in the last 8 contests, if you can even call it a contest anymore. No matter how many times we do it, beating that school up north never gets old.
Prediction: Ohio St 77 michigan 0


(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

1 comment:

Andy said...

Great recap. I especially like the um prediction!