Saturday, November 8, 2008

Buckeyes 45, Wildcats 10

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.

The Good
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 Bad
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.

The Ugly
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.


neslagle said...

My comments and stats on game:
Pryor’s stats were 16-25 for 226 yards and one interception at the end. However, being at the game it was quite apparent that he doesn't’t hit his receivers soon enough. Receivers always have to wait for the ball on both long passes and sideline passes. He had Ballard wide open down the middle for an easy TD and didn’t see him. The line protected Pryor well and he also scrambled giving him additional time and lots of guys were open but Pryor didn’t see them or didn’t connect ,
Beanie Wells had 10 caries for 11 yards in the 1st half and finished with 55 yards in 22 carries. Pryor picked up 6 yards on 9 carries. Penn State stopped the run and forced OSU to pass to win and it worked well.
Penn State and no penalties and no turnovers. A team is hard to beat when that happens but OSU had game in hand with a 6-3 lead and driving when Pryor has his first lost fumble of the season. That turned out to be the big play of the game and season

neslagle said...

Corrected comment:
Pryor has best game of season going 9-14 for 197 yards and 3 TDs despite 38 degree temperatures and wind. On a 12-play, 90-yard drive just before the end of the first half, Pryor found Dane Sanzenbacher for a 14-yard pass on third-and-8, scrambled for 15 yards on third-and-13, scrambled for 21 yards on third-and-17 and finally rolled away from would-be tacklers and hit Brian Robiskie with a perfectly thrown 15-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone.
Beanie Wells had run of game turning a no gainer into 55 yard TD including his patent stiff arm to gain last 10 yards. He rushed for 140 yards on 28 carries.
Laurinaitis leads team in tackles for 7th straight game with 11 tackles. He has 10-12 tackles in each of last 7 games. He is 14th in nation with 10.10 tackles per game.
OSU offense scored season high 6 TD's and had no turnovers for 3rd time this season.
OSU has defeated Northwestern 28 of last 29 games by and average of 33 points. Last 4 games: 48-7, 54-10, 58-7 and 45-10.
Michigan State 6-1, OSU 5-1 and Penn State 5-1 lead Big Ten. Michigan and Wisconsin were last two teams in standings, but both got victories today leaving Purdue and Indiana as only 1 win teams.
NCAA stats: Pryor's 153.55 QB rating would be good for 16th if enough attempts, best in Big Ten. He is in top 120 in attempts and completions but still not listed (in error?) in QB rating. Top 120 QB all have 4+ Interceptions - Pryor has 3. OSU still 104th in passing yardage per game, but 56th with 26.6 points per game. OSU defense 6th in points allowed per game at 13.0. USC 1st at 6.7. OSU 6th in turnover margin.

Sean Filmore said...

Terrelle Pryor is going to be truly legendary barring injury or criminal activities - he is so far ahead of VY, Tebow, Dixon at this stage - Look how far we have come as a program that a potential 10-2 Big 10 title, Michigan beat down season will be bittersweet - I shutter to think how good Pryor will be in 2010 if Tressel takes the handcuffs off...

Gone with the Schwind said...

9 completions for nearly 200 yards is pretty sweet. It will be nice to see what TP can do once Tressel takes the wraps off of him.
Nelson, I had no idea the Bucks are 6th in TO margin. That's pretty awesome. That must be why they seem like they win in spite of themselves.