Tuesday, November 16

Defense Lifts Buckeyes Past Penn St

Ohio St seemed to be just as drunk as I was in the first half of last Saturday's game against Penn St, trailing 14-3 at the break. Thankfully, the team and I began to sober up at halftime, and the Buckeyes rolled off 35 unanswered points in the game's final 30 minutes for a 38-14 victory over the Lions.

Game Recap

The Buckeyes were on the board first after a DeVier Posey 50-yard catch set up a Devin Barclay field goal. Little did we know, that would be all of Ohio St's scoring in the first two quarters. Terrelle Pryor and the OSU offense just couldn't move the ball a lick, while Penn St QB Matt McGloin looked fantastic. McGloin hooked up with Justin Brown and Derek Moye for touchdowns, putting the Nitany Lions up 14-3.

Meanwhile, Ben Buchanan was on to punt on all four of Ohio St's drives following the FG. The Buckeye defense was shaky at best in the first half, but they did come up with a huge play that may have turned the game around. With halftime just a couple of minutes away, Penn St decided to go for a 4th and 1 at the OSU 20-yard line. RB Silas Redd was stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no gain, leaving Ohio St thankful to only be down 11 as the teams headed to the locker room.

The second half was a completely different story. McGloin looked lost, PSU could not tackle Boom Herron, the ball started bouncing Ohio St's way, and I was coherent. Penn St punted on their first possession of the half, and pinned OSU back at their own 4-yard line (the 2-yard line after a false start penalty). Ohio St marched the length of the field in 11 plays spanning five and a half minutes, while only putting the ball in the air twice. Herron did the majority of the work and finished the drive with a touchdown, but was also helped out by a couple of nice runs from Pryor and Brandon Saine.

At this point, I leaned to the racist old man sitting next to me (He was actually a really nice guy that I ended up having several pleasant conversations with, but he was one of those people that was definitely a racist without realizing that they are. Let's just say that while referring to Terrelle Pryor throughout the game, the word "ghetto" was used about a dozen times.) and said, "This is where good Ohio St teams would come up with a defensive touchdown." True story. This apparently is in fact a good Ohio St team, as Devon Torrence tipped McGloin's pass to himself then took it back 34 yards to put the Bucks on top for the first time all game and making me look like a genius.

Boom ran well on the next OSU possession, but Pryor ended the drive by being intercepted near the goaline. Luckily, Ohio St's defense was not going to be denied. They gave the ball right back to TP after a three-and-out, and lady luck proved to be wearing scarlet and gray when Dane Sanzenbacher caught a 58-yard TD pass to put Ohio St up 24-14. Pryor's pass was intended for Posey, who was instantly met by two PSU defenders. The ball squirted out and directly into the hands of Sanzenbacher, who took it the rest of the way.

If that play didn't seal it, Travis Howard's pick-six two plays later certainly did. Pryor added another touchdown, this one to TE Jake Stoneburner, late in the game for good measure. Ohio St scores the last 35 points of the game and gives Jim Tressel his largest comeback victory of his career, 38-14.

Game Notes

Game Ball
Goes to...Dan Herron/Devon Torrence. It was a good day to be wearing #1 for the Buckeyes. Herron finished the day with 21 carries for a career-high 190 yards and a touchdown. On a day where Terrelle Pryor was largely ineffective (8/13 for 139 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT), Ohio St just pounded their horse and he responded beautifully, gaining nine yards per carry. Old Man Racist and I agreed that it was the quietest 200-yard game you will ever see. It didn't look like he did anything spectacular, he just couldn't be brought down.

With all that being said, who knows how this game turns out if Torrence doesn't get that pick-six. It was a total game-changer, completely swinging the momentum towards Ohio St, getting the crowd back into it, and shaking McGloin's confidence for the duration of the game.
Game balls to date: Pryor (4), Herron (3), Torrence, Defense, Moeller

Big Ten
It was a pretty boring day in the conference outside of Ohio Stadium. The biggest news came when Northwestern upset Iowa, 21-17, knocking the Hawkeyes out of the Big Ten race a week before we could do it. Exceptional QB Dan Persa threw the game-winning touchdown for the Wildcats, but ended his season on the play when he ruptured his Achilles. That's a tough blow for N'western, as at 7-3 they are having one of their best seasons in years.

Elsewhere, Minnesota got their first conference victory with a surprising win at Illinois, Wisconsin continues to roll by putting up 83(!) against Indiana, and that-school-who-must-not-be-named beat a bad Purdue team. But I'm a glass half-full kind of guy, so instead of looking at scUM's win, I choose to focus on the fact that Can't-Tie had more turnovers (4) than he did yards per carry (3.1).

The Horseshoe
Man, is it ever a blast every time I am in Columbus. The weekend began with my buddy and I polishing off a bottle of Black Velvet on the four-hour trip down Friday night, and of course was headlined by Ohio St's victory. The win brings my Horseshoe record to 7-1. (I get more and more pissed at Limas Sweed every time I have to put that "1" there.) Let me say this, it is definitely a good idea not to sell beer at college stadiums. (Does anyone know if that is that a nation-wide rule, or on a campus-to-campus basis?) I was pretty far gone at the tailgate, but was able to re-group at the game by not drinking for four hours. If I would have had access at the game, I still may be passed out in the stands.

Up Next: @Iowa (7-3, 4-2), 3:30, ABC
The stakes for Ohio St are simple. Beat Iowa and they are a victory over michigan away from being Big Ten (co)Champions for the sixth-straight year and more than likely on their way to a sixth-straight BCS appearance. Lose to Iowa and they drop to 4th in the Big Ten standings and could be looking at playing in a second-tier bowl game.

Iowa's strength is their ability to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, as DE Adrian Clayborn is meaner than Big Ben when you take his roofies and RB Adam Robinson is closing in on the 1,000 yard mark. QB Ricky Stanzi can be mistake-prone, but has some big time weapons in receivers Marvin McNutt and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. It won't be easy to run against these guys, and the game may come down to whether or not Terrelle Pryor can make the big plays. I'm betting that he can.
Prediction: Ohio St 24 Iowa 16



Andy said...

Quite a weekend in Ohio's capital indeed. I was starting to get a bit nervous towards the end of the 1st half, but that Buckeye 2nd half was dominant.

Your comments regarding your own state of (non) sobriety help me somewhat understand how we went from winning three straight games of pool to losing four straight. It certainly wasn't the blazing skill of Dave and Nick :)

For quite a while I wanted to see Saine as the feature back and have less Herron - the past few weeks have shown this view to be incorrect.

Talk about an improbable cover (OSU (-18))!

My Dad told me that McGloin was mocking the Buckeye sideline in the 1st half and that the TV feed showed quite a few shots of him dejected in the second half. Don't talk smack mid-game, son.

The no-beer thing is not an NCAA rule; I went to a Syracuse-Iowa game in the Carrier Dome a few years back and they serve beer there. OSU is wise not to, I think.

Should be quite a game on Saturday - I'm excited.

Figgs said...

Yeah, the little pool talents I have really went down hill there.

I was with you 100% on Saine. I felt that Herron would be a good change of pace at times, but that Saine was definitely the go-to guy. I guess that's why players play, coaches coach, and fans cheer.

Great cover, unfortunately I didn't bet it.