Tuesday, September 20

Just Give Me Some'n To Break

The amount of times I listened to Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" this weekend may have set a record. This past weekend was not a fun time to be an Ohio St fan. In fact, it was downright embarrassing. The Buckeyes were steamrolled in Miami, 24-6. It’s not even just the fact that Ohio St lost; it was how pathetic they looked while losing. I was confident going into this game, because I didn’t think Miami was any good. I wasn’t entirely wrong. Their defense is better than I gave them credit for, but Jacory Harris is not a quality starting quarterback, not by a long shot. Where I was misguided, was thinking that the Buckeyes were a good football team. It became clear during those 60 minutes last Saturday that they are not.

Four completions for 34 yards - that’s all Ohio St could manage through the air in this one. Ouch. With eight defensive starters from the 2010 squad moving on and some big-time offensive players being suspended for the first part of this season, I think we all expected OSU to take a few steps back this season. On Saturday night in South Florida, they didn't take a few steps, they took a whole bunch of giant leaps back. I won’t spend too much time reflecting on this awful game, but more so take a look at what’s next for The Fighting Brutus’, especially regarding the QB situation.

Game Recap
Ohio St began the game with two three-and-outs, and Miami capitalized both times for touchdowns. Lamar Miller’s 54-yard run on the Canes’ first play from scrimmage set up the first Harris to Allen Hurns TD pass, while a methodical 11-play drive put them in position for the second. Ten minutes into the game, it’s quickly 14-0.

Jordan Hall rushed for a couple of Buckeye first downs on their next series before Braxton Miller was intercepted. Not to be outdone in the quest to show who was a worse passer, Harris threw an INT right back. OSU finally had a good drive to start the second quarter, going 64 yards in 16 plays spanning almost seven minutes. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the end zone as the drive stalled at the five and Drew Basil was forced to settle for a short field goal. After another Jacory pick, the same thing happened as the Bucks couldn’t get past the seven-yard line, but at least they were back in it at 14-6. Miami moved the ball well on the ensuing drive and added a FG as the first half expired.

If you tuned in to this game expecting to see good football, this second half wasn’t for you. Having to come from behind, OSU mostly abandoned the run game as Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller switched in and out and threw incomplete pass after incomplete pass. Harris wasn’t much better, as neither team put a point on the board for the first 29 and a half minutes of the 30 minute half. The final nail in Ohio St’s coffin came when Braxton led the Bucks into Miami territory with a few good runs, but fumbled the ball away to the Canes. Miami wouldn’t give Ohio St another shot, as they controlled the ball for nearly all of game’s final 10 minutes, scoring another touchdown with 33 seconds to play. The game mercilessly ends, 24-6.

Game Ball
As usual, no one gets the game ball for a loss, but Joe Bauserman was so inept during this one that I’m taking away his GB from the Akron game.
Game balls to date: Simon

Big Ten
While the conference’s overall record was better this week, the Big Ten still didn’t look great, as they were dominated in their two biggest games - Ohio St’s loss to the Hurricanes and Notre Dame beating up on Michigan St. The other big one also should have been an L for the conference, but James Vanderberg, after looking like Joe Bauserman for three quarters, looked like Joe Montana in the fourth to lead Iowa in a comeback win over Pitt. In another big victory, Illinois upset #22 Arizona St.

Elsewhere, Purdue and Indiana beat FCS schools, Minnesota got by Miami (OH), Wisconsin rolled Northern Iowa, and Nebraska beat Washington, although the Black Shirts did give up 38 points. Northwestern was the only other loss, getting beat by Army. Not a whole lot to rip michigan about this week, as they were 31-3 winners over Eastern Michigan, but I’ll give it a shot. The wolverines were trailing 3-0 midway through the second quarter - to the EMU’s. The offense looked awful for most of the first half as cant-tie missed a lot of wide open targets again.

The QB Situation
This is the main thing I wanted to get into this week, as it’s certainly the biggest issue in Columbus right now. Braxton Miller needs to start this week against Colorado, and play every snap for the rest of the year (barring injury) unless things get really, really bad. I’m not basing this solely on the Miami game, because both quarterbacks were bad (although Bowser’s 2/14 for 13 yards does stand out). My point here is simple - we know what we’re going to get from Joe Bauserman. Not many people were optimistic about him going into the season, and now after his less than stellar performance in a narrow victory over Toledo and his gang raping on the 7th floor in Miami, it’s time for him to take a seat.

Will Braxton Miller be the next big thing? I cannot answer that, no one can right now. And that’s exactly my point. We don’t know what this guy can bring to the table yet. While he was ineffective against Miami, let’s not forget the enormous expectations he came here with just a few months ago. I think it’s a little drastic to consider him a failure after the 12ish snaps that he took against a good Hurricane defense. Maybe he’s not quite ready yet, but I’d rather he take his lumps now in a down season for the Buckeyes and (hopefully) show some progress as the year goes on.

And no more of this flip-flopping shit, either. I hate that. Go with Braxton, and stick it out. I was ok with the back-and-forth for the first three games, because they had to try and get a feel for the two new quarterbacks. Well, we’ve felt Joe Bauserman. We felt him up like we were at an after party of an 8th grade dance - and he’s flat as hell. (I am aware how little sense that analogy made, but you see where I was going there). Let’s just hope that Brax is more like the chick that developed earlier than her friends. Let’s also hope that he can eventually be good enough and badass enough to be called “Brax.”

Up Next: vs. Colorado (1-2), 3:30, ABC
Regardless of who starts this game under center, the game plan will be simple - run, run, then run it again. Or at least that should be it; Luke Fickell hasn’t proved competent enough yet to show me he can do this. Jordan Hall came back from suspension and averaged 6.2 ypc against Miami, and Carlos Hyde has looked unspectacular but very solid thus far. Jaamal Berry still isn’t seeing any carries, and I’m not sure why. I’d like to see him get more involved this week as well. Just let these guys run. Colorado has played three average teams so far (Hawaii, Cal, Colorado St.) and stands at 1-2, so they seem, well, average. I know things look awfully bleak after last weekend, but we’re still above average, right?
Prediction: Ohio St 30 Colorado 17



Andy said...

"This song in its entirety, is not meant to disrespect any women in its entirety."

Joe Figgs said...

Ohio State is going to be just fine. Scandals, suspensions, starting QB abruptly leaving before the season starts, best coach they've had since Woody being the scapegoat and fired all have led to some obvious growing pains. This was expected. They will have their ups and downs this year, but should be a lot better when they get Boom, Posey and the others back. They will still probably win 8 or 9 games this year, with 10 not being out of the question, in a down year for them. Then next year they will be back to the front of the pack in the Big 10 as usual. Calm down Buckeye fans, everything will be fine sooner rather than later.