Tuesday, November 8

Three 100-yard rushers lift Buckeyes past Indiana

Ohio St didn’t have their best stuff in The Shoe this past Saturday, but it was enough to beat the Indiana Hoosiers for the 17th consecutive time - and that’s all that matters. Braxton Miller had the most inefficient passing game of his young career (5/11, 55 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT), but he combined it with his best rushing game. Brax ran the ball 14 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns, including an Ohio St QB record 81-yard score. Miller wasn’t the only runner able to carve up the Hoosier D, as Carlos Hyde had almost identical stats (15 for 105 and 1 TD) and Boom Herron went buck-wild (14 for 141 and 1 TD). It was the first time since a game against Northwestern in 1989 that three different Buckeyes topped the century mark, when Scottie Graham, Carlos Snow, and Dante Lee did it. I think we all remember that powerful Graham/Snow/Lee attack well.

Occasional off days from your run-first, true freshman quarterback are acceptable - especially when you get the W anyway - but I’m not as quick to give the defense a pass on this one. The typically vaunted OSU defense let Indiana control the ball for over 30 minutes while gaining 333 yards and picking up 19 first downs. While these aren’t game-changing numbers, they are up from IU’s averages, and we have come to expect nothing less than dominance from this Buckeye D. Let’s hope that this was just an anomaly and they are back to top form this upcoming week.

Game Recap
Drew Basil started the game off by kicking the ball out of bounds and setting the Hoosiers up with good starting field position. Indiana’s own true freshman starting quarterback, Tre Robertson, led a good drive deep into OSU territory, but John Simon stuffed Robertson on third-and-short from the 15 and IU was forced to settle for three. Ohio St gave the ball right back to Indiana when Braxton was sacked and fumbled on their third offensive play, giving the Hoosiers another early opportunity to score. And score they did, when Stephen Houston took a draw five yards through a massive hole and into the end zone, putting Indiana up 10-0.

The 105,000 plus in Ohio Stadium (myself included) didn’t have to wait long for another big play. On only the second play of the series, Braxton ran a QB draw up the middle and was quickly off to the races for an 81-yard touchdown to put the Buckeyes on the board. A holding penalty put Indiana in a 1st and 20 hole that they couldn’t get out of, and quickly Ohio St was back in possession. Carlos Hyde saw his first action in two games on this series, which ended with Drew Basil’s 11th straight FG conversion to tie the game. The big play came on a 26-yard completion to Chris Fields on 3rd and 19.

Following another quick Indiana punt, Boom ran 48 yards up the middle on the drive’s first play to set up Basil with another field goal. Indiana kept the ball in Robertson’s hands on their next possession, as he either threw or ran himself on seven out of the ten plays. John Simon had another third down stop, and Mitch Ewald knocked through his second FG of the game to knot it up at 13. After Ben Buchanan’s first punt of the game, the half ran out on the Hoosiers and we went to the break all tied up.

Another long Herron run to start the second half had Ohio St in position to score again, but Miller turned the ball over for the second time in the game when he was intercepted by Alexander Webb on the two-yard line. Indiana didn’t want to take any chances in the shadow of their goal line, and went three-and-out at once. OSU didn’t waste any time once they got the ball back in Hoosier territory. Braxton had a 13-yard run followed by runs of 20 and 15 from Boom, the latter putting the Buckeyes across the goal line and back on top.

Every time I was ready for the Ohio St defense to bury Indiana, Robertson would bring them right back. This time was no different when he hit Kofi Hughes for a 34-yard score to draw even again. When OSU got it back they held it for nearly seven minutes (the longest drive of the game), going 80 yards on 13 plays. Brax capped the drive with another quarterback draw, this time scoring from 20 yards out. The third quarter ended with Ohio St on top 27-20.

Indiana tried to match Ohio St with a long drive of their own, only they couldn’t finish theirs as Ewald missed a FG attempt. Miller had a 13-yard first-down run on third-and-long to run some time off the clock but was later sacked and the Bucks were forced to punt and give the ball back to the Hoosiers with about six minutes to go. Finally, the Buckeye D came up with the big play we were waiting for when Travis Howard picked off Robertson near the OSU 30. It was the only turnover caused by the Bucks, but it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.

I was hoping for Boom to come in and run the clock out, and was not happy to see Hyde take the field. I’ve liked Hyde all year long and was glad to see him get his carries in this game, but this just felt like a drive that had #1 written all over it. Carlos quickly shut me up, however, as soon as he broke one for 47 yards to set up his own score to put the game away, 34-20.

Game Ball
Obviously the running game won this game for Ohio St, so top rusher Dan Herron will take the honors this week. Herron averaged 10.1 yards per carry in this contest. Yikes. I used to think that Boom was just a very good college running back that benefited from a great line and a run-oriented offense and was too small to make it in the pros. But he has been running with a purpose in his three games since returning from his suspension and really has me thinking that he could be a great value for an NFL team that takes him somewhere in the middle rounds. Even if he doesn’t succeed at the next level, he is rapidly approaching the historic fraternity of great Buckeye RB’s - Eddie, Archie, and Beanie.
Game balls to date: Miller (3), Herron (2), Roby (2), Simon

Big Ten
The biggest headline in the conference over the weekend had nothing to do with the football field, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The headliner (game-related) was Iowa knocking off michigan 24-16. To make things even better, can’t-tie threw three incompletions from the three-yard line to end the game. For the life of me I can’t figure out why he wasn’t running on at least one of those plays, but I’ll take it. Three weeks ago, when that school up north was 6-0, I said I still like my chances on my bet of under 7.5 wins this year. Here they sit at 7-2, traveling to Illinois this week before getting Nebraska and Ohio St in the gay house. I stand by my bet.

Michigan St and Nebraska both got scares from inferior opponents at home - the difference being that Le’Von Bell’s late TD helped MSU defeat Minnesota, where the Cornhuskers weren’t so lucky as they went down 28-25 at the hands of the Dan Persa-less Northwestern Wildcats. The only favorite in the conference that didn’t have a hiccup was Wisconsin, who took their frustrations of a two-game losing streak out on Purdue in 62-17 fashion.

With bitchigan and Nebraska losing, the Legends Division is Michigan St’s if they want it. The Spartans still play at Iowa and Northwestern (with a home against Indiana in between), which will not be cupcakes, but they will certainly be the favorites heading into both. If Iowa were to pull another upset this week over Sparty, a four-team, two-loss cluster-fuck would ensue, which I have no idea and don’t care enough to attempt to figure how that would play out.

The Leaders side looks the same as last week, with idle Penn St still unbeaten at the top and Ohio St and Wisconsin two games behind (which is ironic, seeing as is sounds like PSU is usually the one from behind - FACE!).

More like Pedophile State University
Although I did just get two rips on Penn St there, the scandal surrounding Penn St and former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is no laughing matter. This is one of the worst things I have ever heard involving a college football program. It appears Joe Paterno will be on his way out before these last few games of the season, and certainly the NCAA is going to come down hard on the Nittany Lions (kind of like how Sandusky ca…never mind) once everything is out in the open.

Ohio St may have a situation here similar to when you did something wrong and your parents were pissed at you, then a sibling of yours did something WAAAY worse and they suddenly forgot about whatever it was you did and focused solely on punishing them. C’mon NCAA, free tattoos? Is that really what’s important here?

“Simon and Goebel on the tackle.”
Being at the game often made it difficult to see who was making plays for the Bucks due to being far away from the action and the lack of replays, so I frequently had to rely on the PA announcer. It was unbelievable how many times that he uttered the above phrase. I started keeping a running count at some point in the second quarter, but had been tailgating all morning and forgot what I got up to. Either way, for an overall team defensive performance that I already mentioned was subpar, John Simon and Garrett Goebel were animals out there.

Up Next: @ Purdue (4-5, 2-3), 12:00, Big Ten Network
The Boilermakers are coming off a slaughtering at the hands of Wisconsin, and I don’t see things getting any better for them this week. Ohio St’s defense wasn’t itself against Indiana, and I expect them to come back and completely shut down this weak Purdue team. In fact, I’d be surprised if they allowed a single point.
Prediction: Ohio St 33 Purdue 0



Andy said...

I'm pretty sure you meant it sarcastically, but I absolutely remember Graham and Snow - not as much Lee. I am old, after all.

In a historical rarity, you actually didn't rip on michigan as much as you should have. Can't-tie actually threw FOUR straight incompletions; they didn't sun because they were out of time outs and a failed rush could have ended the game. It's fun to look at it written out:

1st and Goal at IOWA 3 Denard Robinson pass incomplete to Junior Hemingway.

2nd and Goal at IOWA 3 Denard Robinson pass incomplete to Junior Hemingway.

3rd and Goal at IOWA 3 Denard Robinson pass incomplete to Vincent Smith.

4th and Goal at IOWA 3 Denard Robinson pass incomplete to Roy Roundtree.

John Simon is a monster - defensive MVP this season, I vote.

In your analogy, Miami was the one who did something waaay worse, and Penn State was their big brother.

I hope OSU fans are respectful about it when Penn State visits in a couple of weeks. Why couldn't this have happened to DickRod instead?

Figgs said...

I did mean it sarcastically, but I'm glad you know who those guys are.

I didn't actually see any of the michigan game since I was in The Shoe, so I'll blame my inaccuracies on that. But that's hilarious he threw 4 incompletions. It really does look funny when you write it out like that. I still would have tried to run with him once, even if it meant getting only three plays instead of four.

Seeing as how Boom has only played three games so far, Simon may be overall team MVP.

Good point about Miami. So really we should be at the very bottom of the NCAA's list, they should just throw our case out.