Well, the Buckeyes took care of business, and in the process found themselves right back in the thick of things for the Big Ten championship.
This seemed to be one of those games where the offense was able to put up points in spite of itself. Beanie bounced off of some defenders afor some nice long runs. Dan Herron and Terrelle Pryor looked good running the ball as well. This is the first game I can remember where the receivers really showed up. Brian Hartline had the 2 long receptions. Brian Robiskie had the 2 touchdown receptions, plus another catch that converted a long 3rd down. Even Rory Nicol had 2 receptions. Think about this. TP completed only 9 passes, but he completed those to 5 different receivers. I thought the fake punt was genius, and AJ Trapasso showed some shifty running ability. when it looked like he could have had the 1st down running right, he bounced it back to the inside, then left for a nice gain of 9.
Here is something to chew on: the Buckeyes were 8/13 on 3rd down conversions. When was the last time the team had a percentage that good?
Here's all you need to know about the defensive performance: Nader Abdallah had 8 tackles and .5 tackle for loss. Overall, the defense was really solid after Northwestern's initial drive. I really enjoyed seeing Nathan Williams get a sack on consecutive plays. I think that kid is going to be a really good player. Also, kudos to Malcolm Jenkins and Cameron Heyward for forcing fumbles. I'd like to see more of that from the defense.
The Buckeyes seem to have a hard time breaking away from this 1954 offense. Do you want to know why Beanie had no running room at the beginning of the game? It's because the NU defense was onto the pattern: run left on 1st down, run middle on 2nd down, pass on 3rd down. For crying out loud! Try mixing it up once in a while.
I didn't realize the Buckeyes were playing against Fran Tarkenton. looking at the stats, I can't believe Mike Kafka had 18 completions. For much of the game it seemed the NU offense was 10 offensive linemen and Kafka. And the Buckeyes still couldn't stop him.
Fortunately, there isn't much to put here. The Wildcats were assisted on their first drive by a couple dumb OSU penalties. Overall the Buckeyes had 6 penalties for 62 yards, so there is definitely room for improvement. the only other thing I can think to put here is the look of utter chagrin on Tressel's face when Herron scored the last TD. Look, if you don't want your guy to score when he has a wide open path to the end zone, then tell him to take a knee before he scores. Northwestern couldn't stop it, so there is no need to feel bad about putting a 35-point victory on a lesser opponent.
Under the Radar Player of the Game
There are a lot of good candidates for this, not the least of which is Abdallah. He showed up bigger than in any game I can remember. James Laurinaitis again had a good game. however, I have to give the UtR player of the game to Malcolm Jenkins for causing the first fumble of the game, when NU was still within easy striking distance. Keep forcing those turnovers.