Wednesday, November 3

Buckeyes Whack Gophers

Immediately after reading that title, I realized that it didn't make sense because the arcade game I was attempting to reference was actually Whack-a-Mole, but you're just gonna have to use your imagination and deal with it anyway. Ohio St continued to rack up style points in this 52-10 beatdown, now having outscored their last two opponents 101-10 since the loss to Wisconsin. The competition gets much tougher after the bye week however, as OSU closes the season with Penn St, at Iowa, and michigan. If they can continue to impress in those games, they can all but lock up another BCS appearance.

Game Recap

Jordan Hall's kick return set the Buckeyes up near midfield on their opening drive, which was highlighted by a couple of DeVier Posey catches and some bruising running by Boom Herron, resulting in a 1-yard Terrelle Pryor TD run. Minnesota interim coach Jeff Horton said that the Gophers would not be intimidated by Ohio St, and it appeared that way when QB Adam Webber completed two long passes to set up the tying touchdown less than two minutes after getting the ball. Unfortunately for Horton's club, those 67 yards in the air would be more than a third of what Webber would throw for all game.

Ohio St just pounded Herron on a methodical 13 play, 92 yard drive, eating up over 7 minutes of game play and ending in a Pryor TD pass to Brandon Saine. The two teams' next possessions were almost mirror images of each other, other than the end result. While Eric Ellestad missed Minnesota's field goal attempt, Devin Barclay knocked Ohio St's through, putting the Buckeyes up 17-7.

J-Hall was at it again after a Gopher three-and-out, returning the punt 70 yards to the two-yard line. Pryor threw to the end zone on the first play, and completely didn't see the Minnesota defender who intercepted his pass. UM quickly punted (away from Hall), and the Bucks didn't even worry about throwing this time. Boom carried the rock on five of the six plays, finishing the drive with a 10-yard touchdown.

With under two minutes to play in the half, Minnesota went three-and-out then continued to struggle in the kicking game when punter Dan Orseske shanked one off the side of his foot for ten yards, setting OSU up at the 47 with 0:36 to go. Pryor only needed 12 of those ticks, hitting Dane Sanzenbacher on a quick out then hooking up with Posey for a 38-yard score. Led by Herron's 114 rushing yards, solid defense, and some mistakes from a 1-7 team, the Buckeyes cruised through the first half, up 31-7.

A Jermale Hines face mask penalty early in the second half helped set up Minnesota's second score of the game, a 33-yard FG by Ellestad. Brandon Saine was back at tailback for Ohio St and marched the offense right down the field, but the drive ended with a rare missed field goal from Barclay. All hopes for a Minnesota comeback ended when Jonathon Newsome blocked a punt that OSU recovered in the end zone, making it 38-10.

There were a few more Ohio St highlights to close out the game - Brian Rolle had a sack/forced fumble/fumble recovery trifecta, Jordan Hall scored on a 16-yard run, and Chimdi Chekwa came on a corner blitz and just crushed Adam Webber, forcing a fumble that was scooped up and taken to the house by John Simon. The end result as the Buckeyes taking Minnesota behind the woodshed, 52-10.

Game Notes

Game Ball
Minnesota had no defense for the running of Dan Herron in this one. He didn't do anything flashy, just ran between the tackles and couldn't be brought down. Boom had 17 carries for 114 yards (6.7 ypc) and one touchdown...all in the first half. With the game already decided, Herron watched the second half from the bench, or else these numbers would have been off the charts.
Game balls to date: Pryor (4), Herron (2), Defense, Moeller

Big Ten
There were a couple of biggies in conference play this week, and they both went Ohio St's way. Iowa trounced then-unbeaten Michigan St, 37-6. This brings us to a four-way tie atop the Big Ten standings. I was in Happy Valley last weekend; michigan's defense was not. Penn St jumped on that school up north early, and held on to a 41-31 victory. In case you were wondering, at 1-3 in conference play, the wolverines are not in the aforementioned tie for first. Also, Illinois (the next team that gets to beat michigan) continues to impress with a 44-10 pounding of Purdue, and Northwestern edged Indiana, 20-17.

The Decision: Part Deux
I hadn't heard anything about whether or not Terrelle Pryor would stay for his senior season until the commentators in this game briefly mentioned it. They were under the impression that he was coming back for sure; I tend to disagree. I have been taking the worst-case scenario approach all year, just assuming there was no way he was going to play another year for the Buckeyes. Certainly, there are aspects of Pryor's game that are not NFL ready, and there is no way he will be an instant success in the pros.

But let's keep in mind, the guy is a physical freak, and I GUARANTEE he would be a first-round pick in this year's draft, just like Tim Tebow last year. Like his homosexual Florida counterpart, Pryor is probably third- or fourth-round material, but he will kill at the combine and his stock will soar as the draft approaches, as teams will get more and more concerned about someone else jumping the gun on him, and he will eventually get picked in the first round. Let us also not forget that Terrelle is often arrogant and immature, and he may see those dollar signs and not have to think twice. That all being said, this is also a guy that really wants to win, and even the slightest notion of him returning gives me goose bumps. Let's just hope that he doesn't tell us whether he's coming back or not during an hour long fiasco.

Quick Hits
- Ross Homan was out again in this game. Hopefully the bye week will give him enough time to recover and be ready for Penn St.

- The defense continues to roll along even without Homan, shutting down the 10,000+ yard passer (5th in Big Ten history) Adam Webber to the tune of 162 yards. While DE Cameron Heyward isn't making as many big plays as he did last year, guys like Nathan Williams and Andrew Sweat are stepping up in big ways.

- DeVier Posey caught 6 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Get this guy the ball as much as you can...dude is a freak.

- Seven different Buckeyes scored a touchdown!

- OSU has won eight straight against Minnesota, and a stupid 24 out of 25. Do we really need to play these guys anymore?

- ann arbor is STILL a whore.

Up Next: 11/13 vs. Penn St (5-3, 2-2), 3:30, ABC
Ohio St gets this coming week off to get ready for their toughest stretch of games of the season, starting with the Nittany Lions. Penn St began the season with high hopes, was crushed by some early loses against tough teams, and now seems to be back on track after notching back-to-back conference victories. It will be interesting to see what happens with their quarterback situation. Starter Robert Boldin showed promise but inconsistency in the first half of the season, then was injured and replaced by sophomore Matthew McGloin. McGloin's performance against michigan has some people talking QB controversy even when Boldin is healthy again. What those people need to realize is that he was playing against a J.V. High School (at best) defense.

Regardless of their QB, the Lions are going to have to start tackling better and playing better defense in general if they want to compete with the Big Ten's top squads. You typically never hear this about a PSU team, but they are a sub-par tackling club. I expect to see Boom Herron early and often in this one, setting up for some big play actions later in the game. Penn St comes to play in The Shoe, but are simply overmatched.
Prediction: Ohio St 30 Penn St 21


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