Has anyone else sworn that they won't bother watching the Buckeyes next season? It's like when your friend says he's giving up smoking. You want to believe he'll do it, but you know deep down he won't. Really, it's more akin to the film Trainspotting, when Mark Renton announces that he's "off the skag" and you know for a fact that it's more likely you'll find a three-legged bellydancing gopher than to see that come to fruition. You all know that I have a harder time churning this stuff out when the Buckeyes lose, so I'll probably keep this brief.
Beanie in the first half was incredible. (Funny, we seem to say that after every bowl game). The defense was nails, allowing only 3 points in the first half. Boeckman had some good throws. TP definitely had some good runs. Robiskie had as good a game as he has all season. Anderson Russell had a big interception. Nathan Williams had some very good defensive plays. The kicking game was solid, with two field goals of 50 yards or more. The defense got some good pressure on Colt McCoy.
UT's first drive of the second half seemed to take a lot out of the Buckeyes. The Bucks responded to that by having two three and outs in the third quarter, and trailing the Longhorns by 11. TP, as good as he is now and may be in the future showed he is still a freshman with two plays in particular. The first was when he had clear sailing down the sideline and went out of bounds three yards before the marker. Instead of a first down, the Buckeyes had a 3rd and 3 which naturally, they did not convert. The other play was right before the Buckeyes first field goal. TP should have launched the ball into the the stands instead of taking the sack and making for a longer field goal attempt.
Thaddeus Gibson had three penalties called against him, two of which were for 15 yards. Penalties in general destroyed the Buckeyes. Some of them were even legitimate, although the refs really seemed to take over the early part of the third quarter. The Buckeyes "offense" in the third quarter was pathetic at best. The offensive line on some plays barely gave TP half a second to survey the field. On some of those plays, I couldn't tell if they were designed to be QB runs or if TP was merely running for his life because of the ineffectiveness of the offensive line.
Under the Radar Player of the Game
I can't really say anyone earned this. I had some good candidates...if the Buckeyes had won.
Here's the bottom line. The Buckeyes have played 13 games and I don't think anyone can say for sure what this team is. If the Buckeyes were to play another game next week, I wouldn't know if I should expect the team that smoked UM, MSU and Northwestern, the team that fought (for most of the game) against Texas, or the team that cowered in fear against USC. One question that keeps popping into my mind is "Would AJ Hawk and his defensive teammates have allowed Texas to score with 16 seconds to play?" Just think about that. The Bucks were about 20 seconds away from a big bowl win and just let it slip away. Which is why of course, I'm not going to bother to watch the Buckeyes next season. Yeah right, the Buckeyes are our drug. We think we can walk away, maybe we even want to, but they always seem to draw us back.