Thursday, December 5

Buckeyes take 'The Game' in heart-stopping fashion

Ho-ly shit. In one of the most exciting games in the rivalry’s 110 years, Ohio St held off that school up north 42-41 last Saturday. The Bucks’ D was not up to par, but the offense, particularly the running game, was just enough to keep OSU’s win streak and National Title hopes alive.

Game Recap
So remember in last week’s post where I said Ohio St came right out and scored for what seemed like the 11th time? Well, I was close, it was 10/11. But that percentage went down to 83% when Cameron Johnston punted after the Bucks received the opening kickoff. The kick was downed at the one, but an 84-yard devin gardner to jeremy gallon pass play set up a quick gardner touchdown. In a theme that would confuse me all afternoon, Bradley Roby was on the opposite field as gallon and had to run him down across eighty yards to finally make the tackle. I know Roby hasn’t been his best this season, but not having him on gallon 100% of the time baffled me.

Ohio St quickly answered on Braxton Miller’s 53-yard touchdown to Devin Smith. They faced two more third downs on that drive, and I was getting nervous that our offense may be out-of-sync. The TD to Smith was foreshadowing that that was not true. The defense on the other hand…not quite as effective. bitchigan came right back with a quick fitzgerald toussaint-scoring drive. Brax responded nicely again with a 53-yard TD run and the quarter ended even at 14.

Thirty seconds into the 2nd frame, gallon caught another touchdown from gardner, again on Doran Grant and not Roby. A melee broke out on the ensuing kickoff, and Buckeye returner Dontre Wilson was gang-tackled and stood in the middle of a half-dozen wolverines all by himself. After getting his helmet ripped off, 'Tre threw a punch (who could blame him at that point?) and was ejected. Starting OT Marcus Hall came off the sideline to defend his much smaller, outnumbered teammate, and was also sent packing. He awesomely left the game giving the bitchigan crowd the double bird. No word yet on whether these two will face any further punishment. (Editor: neither player faces additional discipline from the B1G nor coach Meyer)

Miller was intercepted on the Buckeyes’ ensuing drive, but the defense finally held and forced scum to punt for the first time on the day. Both teams punted on their next series, with Ohio St getting it back pinned inside their own ten. Carlos Hyde got them out of the hole, then Jeff Heuerman caught a 37-yard pass on a drive that ultimately ended with another Braxton touchdown run. The rivals went to the half all-squared at 21.

Ohio St owned the third quarter, with their defense finally playing up to their potential - for 15 minutes at least. They forced a punt on that school up north’s first drive, then the freshman duo of Armani Reeves and Tyvis Powell forced and recovered a gardner fumble on their next. Hyde had a big run on off the later, and Miller capped the possession with his third TD on the ground to give the Buckeyes their first lead of the game.

When scum got it back, OSU held on 4th down forcing a gardner incompletion. Heuerman was on the receiving end of a 22-yard Braxton touchdown, and Ohio St looked good up 35-21 going into the final quarter.

I’ll admit, even as a fan that doesn’t take much for granted because I’ve seen too many Browns games, I got awfully complacent at this point. Possibly the Buckeye defense did as well, letting the wolverines run right down the field and cutting the margin to seven on a drew dileo TD reception. Hyde, who quietly rushed for over 200 yards in this game, made his lone mistake fumbling the ball right back to michigan. scum went 41-yards and gardner threw a touchdown to a dude aptly named butt to tie it with five minutes to play.

Brax came back with a long run on the first play of the next Buckeye series and Hyde finished at the goal line to bring OSU back into the driver’s seat. With 2:20 left, bitchigan went 84 yards in a minute forty-eight, and gardner hit devin funchess to cut it to 42-41. fatty hoke decided to go for the win, but no one was open and gardner’s pass was intercepted by Tyvis Powell at the goal line. Ohio St beats that team up north in chaotic fashion, 42-41.

Game Ball
Per tradition, Coach Urban Meyer gets the GB for the michigan win. He’s 24-0 as Ohio St football coach, but more importantly, 2-0 vs. that school up north. Braxton was also fantastic, accounting for five touchdowns, as was Carlos Hyde rushing for 226 yards. But it all comes down to your head man winning the most important game of the year, and Urban Meyer did just that, again.
Game balls to date: Guiton (4), Hyde (3), Miller (2), Shazier, Meyer

BCS Outlook
Ho-ly shit. Auburn pulled off the outrageous miracle in the craziest possible way, beating Alabama 34-28. So Florida St inevitably wound up number one, but in the much-talked-about BCS rankings, Ohio St edged Auburn for the #2 spot. Clearly I have a bias, but I think at this point it would be crazy not to give the Buckeyes a shot at the title. If both Ohio St and Auburn win their respective conference title games this weekend, the debate will rage on for weeks. Should one win and one lose, the BCS title game should be set, assuming recently rape-cleared Jameis Winston and FSU take care of business against Duke.

Up Next: B1G Championship (in Indianapolis) vs. #10 Michigan St (11-1, 8-0), 8:17, FOX

Things could not have worked out better for the Buckeyes. They finished the regular season undefeated, and have a chance to gain the big-time quality win they have coveted all season long, as the Spartans come into Indy also sporting an unblemished conference record. It will be the ultimate battle of strength vs. strength, where Ohio St will bring its unstoppable 2nd ranked rush offense against the stout #1 ranked run defense of Sparty.

There’s no question OSU won’t be able to put up the offensive numbers they’re used to, but I don’t even see NFL defenses totally shutting this unit down. On the other side of the ball, Michigan St’s offense doesn’t do a whole lot to impress, and could be exactly what the doctor ordered for a Buckeye defense that was roughed up by michigan last week. I think the D steps up and the offense does enough to complete another perfect season.
Prediction: Ohio St 30 Michigan St 21


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