Monday, January 5, 2009

Longhorns 24, Buckeyes 21

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.

The Good
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.

The Bad
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.

The Ugly
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.


Sean Filmore said...

I agree with the AJ Hawk D argument. I thinkt he problem with this team is the fact that the senior class is overrated. The leadership didn't translate in big games. I thought we showed improvements, but the passive aggressive play-calling/coaching needs to be addressed. I'm excited for new blood on the field next year, but I would LOVE new blood in the coaching department as well. The essence of being a fan is to support in good and bad times. And let's not forget how spoiled we are with Tressel after the Cooper, er I mean Dark Ages. 10-3 is nothing to be down about - Terrelle will lead us back to the promise land.

Gone with the Schwind said...

A lot of the seniors are really good players, but they almost seem too polite. Not one of them is willing to grab the other guys by the shirt and say "I am NOT going to lose this game!
And yes, a little perspective is in order. Some coaches (Charlie Weis, Rich Rodriguez, etc.) would give an arm for a 10-win season.

Sean Filmore said...

I get as disappointed and frustrated watching them as anyone, but if this is "rock bottom" than we should all be excited. 33-6, 3 Big 10 titles, 3-0 versus Michigan, 2 national runner-ups is a nice bottom. Every program goes through tough times - hell the knock on Mack Brown was that he used to not be able to win the big one - so I try as I get older to see the big picture. Thta's what I told Kristine this morning as she left for Miami - please enjoy it and have fun because these runs don't last forever and you need to savor the moment. Gary, if you can name me one coach or one of the elite 15 programs - USC, OU, Neb, Tx, Mich, OSU, Penn St, ND, Bama, UF, UGA, Tenn, LSU, Mia, FSU - that hasn't had a rough patch than by all means let's here it. Do we need to get better talent 1-85? YES. Were we maybe overrated the last few years? YES. Do we need more creative coaching? YES. Do we need to take better advantage of the talent we have? YES. I have 2 positives to take - If we didn't have Terrelle, I'd be more miserable. This kid is so much further ahead of Tebow or Young at this point in his career that as long as Tress takes the handcuffs off, I don't know what the ceiling is. And 2, the best thing about being an OSU fan is we don't accept mediocrity. The passion and intensity of OSU football will always make us competitve and matter in the world of CFB. The rise to the top again will be sweeter knowing we came from where we are at right now. I can't wait for next year. GO BUCKS!