Wednesday, September 22

Buckeyes Roll, Fans Yawn

There was a lot to be happy about, but not too much to get excited about, during Ohio St's 43-7 victory over Ohio this past weekend. In the first half, Terrelle Pryor had an Ohio St-record 16 straight completions, but other than that the game was pretty boring to watch. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not complaining - I would love another 11 games just like this this year.

But there were still some concerns, even if we did win by five touchdowns. The defense was exceptional as always, no complaints there. But the running game never really took off as Brandon Saine had his second straight mediocre game, Boom Herron continues to struggle to get yards, and Pryor only added 35 on the ground. Speaking of Pryor, while he had another terrific game, he had two bad interceptions that looked eerily similar to his '09 self. The most glaring weakness was again in the special teams department. The Buckeyes had a punt blocked and gave up a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown that was called back. I said last week I didn't think the special teams was going to be an ongoing problem, but now I'm not so sure. This is something they will really need to work on, in order to avoid costlier mistakes like this against good teams.

Enough bitching about boringness and mistakes, let's get back to the fact that OSU won by 36 points and did just as I asked them to do...go out there and TCB.

Game Recap

As I said, this game was never in doubt and wasn't the most entertaining, so I'll move through this pretty quickly. Just as in the Marshall game, Ohio St forced an immediate turnover and never looked back. Tyler Moeller (did I mention how much I love this guy?) intercepted a pass on the second play of the game and Devin Barclay hit a field goal when the Bucks couldn't cash in. The Buckeye defense forced three consecutive three-and-outs, all leading to points for their offensive mates. The first came on a Brandon Saine 9-yard catch from TP, the next on a Pryor 13-yard run, and the last another Barclay FG. The interesting thing about the last possession was that it was led entirely by the second-string, linemen and all. Jim Tressel knew he had this game, and wanted to give Joe Bauserman and company a chance to play some meaningful minutes, not just at the end of the 4th quarter. I like the call, and while they didn't score a touchdown, they picked up a few first downs and gave Barclay a chip-shot attempt.

To start the second quarter, the Ohio St D thought being on the field for three plays per drive was too long, so they decided to force fumbles after only two plays on the next two possessions. The first was forced by Ross Homan and the second by Moeller. With a short field, the Bucks cashed in both times with TE Jake Stoneburner catching a TD and Boom running one in. After scoring on their first 6 possessions, Pryor made his first big mistake of the season at the end of the half when he threw an awful pass that was intercepted in the end zone. I guess we'd have to settle at only 34-0 going to the locker room.

The third quarter was pretty sloppy for both teams, as each quarterback was intercepted (Homan being the OSU beneficiary this time), Ohio lost a fumble, and Cameron Heyward tackled OU running back Vince Davidson in the end zone for a safety. The drive following the safety ended in another Herron TD run and Ohio St was done scoring for the day at 43.

Boo Jackson replaced the very ineffective Phil Bates at the helm for the Bobcats in the 4th quarter, and I have no idea what took them so long to make this move. Granted, OSU was in cruise control as the point, but Boo went 5/8 for 69 yards and led Ohio to their only points when he hit Terrence McCrae for an 11-yard TD (compare that to Bates' 4/9 for only 13 yards through 3 quarters, ouch). That completed the scoring with the Buckeyes taking home a 43-7 win.

Game Notes

Game Ball
I didn't really want to give this to TP because of his two INT's, but no one else really stood out, so Pryor gets his second consecutive GB. Led by the 16-straight completions, he finished 22/29 for 235 yards with 2 TD's and 2 picks. He didn't do too much on the ground, adding 8 carries for 35 yards. He did a great job spreading the ball around, hitting 10 different targets. Tight end Jake Stoneburner had his best game as a collegiate athlete, grabbing five balls for 61 yards and a TD. The TO's scare me a little, but still another solid game from TP.
Game Balls to date: Pryor (2), Moeller
Not much else to talk about in this one, let's look ahead to next week.

Up Next: vs. Eastern Michigan, 3:30, ABC
There shouldn't be too much to say about this game either. I can't say I know much about the Eagles of EMU (0-3), other than the fact that after just writing that they absolutely should be nicknamed the Emu's. I should start a petition to the NCAA. Anyway, Ohio St will continue to roll along and get ready for conference play.
Prediction: Ohio St 48 Eastern Michigan 0


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