Wednesday, September 8

Mr. Marshall, Meet Mr. Woodshed

While the only thing on the mind of any Ohio St player, coach or fan right now is the Miami Hurricanes, I'd like to take a few minutes to enjoy the 45-7 pounding that the Buckeyes gave Marshall this past Thursday. I am well aware that Marshall is a pretty talentless team that won't even contend in the lowly Conference USA, but boy was this game ever fun to watch. Terrelle Pryor was in Rose Bowl form, the running game was completely unstoppable, and the defense was more shutdown than Drake at the mall.

Game Recap

The game was essentially over when Marshall's Andre Booker fumbled the opening kickoff. After that it took Ohio St only 10 plays and three and a half minutes to put up two touchdowns. The first was a six-yard toss from Pryor to a wide-open DeVier Posey, the second a Brandon Saine 4-yard run after the Herd's quick three-and-out and a 40 yard run by Saine. Right there you could tell how overmatched Marshall was and how ugly this was going to be.

Later in the first quarter, the Thundering Herd got on the board by blocking a field goal for a touchdown. While Devin Barclay will be OSU's kicker the majority of the time, freshman backup punter Drew Basil will attempt some long FG's. He tried this one from 53 yards, and kicked it too low, right into the Marshall rush. Basil also kicked off the whole game and did relatively well.

Ohio St got those seven points back immediately when Pryor hit Dane Sanzenbacher for a 65 yard TD strike. Marshall couldn't even come close to keeping up with OSU's speed all game. This was the case midway through the second when Saine took off on the outside again, this time scoring from 45 yards out. The very next play from scrimmage was an intercepted pass guessed it, Brian Rolle. Rolle took it back to the house to put Ohio St up 35-7 at the half.

The starters played more than I expected them to in the second half, but I guess that makes sense considering it was the first game and they wanted to make sure everything was on point for Miami. On point they were, as Posey caught his second touchdown on the first possession of the half. Marshall actually followed that up with a good drive, but fumbled inside the OSU ten, securing my bet on the 28.5-point cover. The second and third-strings took care of the rest, and Barclay added an unnecessary field goal to finish the scoring at 45-7.

Game Notes

Game Ball
There were too many Ohio St offensive stars that put up huge numbers (Pryor went 17/25 for 247 and 3 TDs, Saine ran for 103 yards and two scores, Posey caught two touchdowns, and Sanzenbacher had 113 yards receiving) so I decided to go with someone on the defensive side of the ball - Tyler Moeller. I mentioned Moeller in my preview article. He was a linebacker that played occasionally in 2008, was out all of last season, and came back this year as a safety. Moeller was a beast on Thursday night, recording six tackles, two for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble, earning himself Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors. If he can play at this level on a defense that was going to be top-notch without him, look out. I'm not saying he's going to be the next Kurt Coleman, but he certainly looks like a more than viable replacement right now.

Running It Like Chris Brown
Ohio St just ran all over the Herd in this game, to the tune of 280 yards and 6.8 yards a pop. 6.8 ypc is just stupid good. The offensive line deserves a ton of credit for these numbers. They were opening holes Peter North wouldn't have trouble getting through. Brandon Saine actually got the ball. Wait, let me type that again with caps lock on to emphasize my surprise and delight. BRANDON SAINE ACTUALLY GOT THE BALL!! And I would say he delivered pretty well, carrying nine times for 103 yards (11.4 per carry!) and two touchdowns. Hey coaches, this guy is good, scary good. With him getting the start and the bulk of the first half carries, it finally looks like this guy is option #1.

That doesn't mean Dan Herron will be completely forgotten. He still had seven carries for 44 yards in this contest, and will continue to be the short yardage and goal line back. Redshirt freshman Jaamal Berry looked very good once the game was already decided, getting seven carries for 80 yards, matching Saine's 11.4 ypc. Look for him to get more and more meaningful touches as the year progresses. Jordan Hall also added 5 for 32, and true fresh Carlos Hyde got one carry. I don't know the exact rules about redshirting players, whether it's how many games you get in, how many snaps you're on the field for, how many touches you get or what, but that will be something to watch for with Hyde as the season goes on. With the talent we have in the backfield already, I see no reason to give up a year of his eligibility.

Terrelle Pryor, Pocket Passer
You may have noticed one person I didn't mention at all when talking about the running game - Terrelle Pryor. He did run eight times, which is still high for a QB, but only gained 17 yards and just seemed to be looking to throw first. There are several possibilities for the reasoning behind this - he is maturing and becoming more comfortable in the pocket, the rest of the offensive was playing so well there was less pressure on him to make the big play, or Ohio St did not want Miami to get any looks at different packages and play calls in a meaningless blowout. I think (and hope) that it was a combination of all three. While I'm all for Pryor making safer, smarter choices with the ball, the thing that makes him most dangerous is his ability to get out of the pocket and make something happen. Expect to see him doing a lot of that next week.

The apple fell far from the tree
You may have noticed that Duron Carter was not on the field against Marshall. The only way to watch him play football this year will be to travel to Kansas, unless ESPN plans on picking up a few Coffeyville Community College games. Apparently Carter couldn't cut it in the college life, and transferred to CCC to try and get his grades up and his act together while still playing football. Since he is a transfer student, he no longer has any commitment to Ohio St, and could re-open the door to a whole new recruiting war next year, although he said recently, "I'm a Buckeye in my blood. I'm a Buckeye all the time."

I'm sure we all saw new michigan QB Denard Robinson last weekend. I will say this, he definitely looked good and is a prototype Dick Rod QB, but UConn's defense looked really slow, so hopefully he won't be that good every week. But I'm not here to talk about his game, I want to talk about how he is a grown man and does not know how to tie his shoes! Being a scum quarterback, I was destined to hate this guy to begin with, but I hate him so much more because of this, and even more so because these michigan morons are actually EMBRACING this fact. Idiots had t-shirts that actually said "Shoelace 16" on them. Are you kidding me?! I'll tell you what D-Rob, before next week's game I'll send some of my kindergartners over to lace 'em up for you, that way you don't have to worry about it.

Up Next: Miami, 3:40, ESPN
The Buckeyes will look to avoid having their title hopes end on the second week of the season at the hands of a big-time program, as it did the past two seasons. Miami (1-0) comes into The Shoe after a tune-up of their own last week, beating FAMU 45-0. The Hurricanes have been looking for revenge ever since the '02 BCS Championship when OSU ended their 34-game winning streak in double overtime. Ohio St's main concern will be stopping QB Jacory Harris, just as The U will look to contain TP. The 10-point spread is a little high for me, but I expect Ohio St to get the non-conference monkey off their back and continue their road to a National Title.
Prediction: Ohio St 32 Miami 24


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