Saturday, September 26, 2009

Buckeyes 30, Fighting Illini 0

Photo of Dan Herron running (courtesy of the offensive line) by Jeff Mills.

Another game, another shutout. But since the Buckeyes only won by 30, that should be good for a 3-spot drop in the polls. The Buckeyes keep up this pace and they are liable to drop out of the top 25 completely.
The Good
The Buckeyes scored 30 points and only had 13 passes in the game. First of all, you don't see stats like that very often. Secondly, if you can score 30 points when everyone on the other side knows what you are going to do, you must be doing something right. The Buckeyes had 3 players (Herron, Saine, Pryor) average at least 5.4 yards per carry. That tells you that the offensive line did its job. OK, so maybe it was the kind of offense that set football back 30 years, but it worked. If the Buckeyes can roll up 30 points using Army's playbook, I'm all for it.
Are you kidding me? Two consecutive shutouts. That in itself is incredible. But take an even longer view and you'll see that OSU's opponents have scored 18 points. In other words, in that span, the defense has surrendered nearly half as many points as that team up north allowed to Indiana today. Oh, and Brian Rolle is a freak. Ditto Doug Worthington who got a sack by jumping over an offensive lineman. That was the best play of the game. And no, I won't be jumping off the Thad Gibson bandwagon anytime soon. And how about that interception by Lawrence Wilson. He was held, tipped the ball and intercepted it. Very impressive.
The Bad
Well, it didn't take long to see the bad on offense. One yard on the first series? Way to keep Juice Williams off the field. Pryor is, well, how to say this delicately? He is still very raw. I'm not sure he has a grasp on when to run and when to make plays with his arm. His throws often have very little on them, and he makes far too many poor decisions. Like that play late in the game when the Buckeyes were driving and TP nearly threw an interception at the goal line.
There is not a lot to put here after another shutout. That being said, Chimdi Chekwa is shaky at best. He actually did the right thing by committing pass interference late in the 1st half (after Ray Small's fumbled punt return), but I'm not sure it was what he really meant to do.
The Ugly
This game is proof that a 30-point shutout does not equal perfection. The Buckeyes lost 2 of 3 fumbles. Ray Small's fumble was more than a little nerve-wracking. That was the sort of play that can turn a game. Luckily it didn't, but not for a lack of trying. On the next play Juice went deep and got a pass interference call against Chekwa.
Under the Radar Player of the Game
There are a lot of good candidates here. Todd Denlinger had some really solid stops in the first half. Any of the defenders mentioned in The Good would be a decent selection. However, when an offense rolls up more than 200 rushing yards, you have to give credit to the offensive line, and that is exactly what I am doing with the UtR players of the game.


neslagle said...

Great to see you at Busters. Write up follows - easier reading at my website link below:


OSU held Juice Williams to 15 for 29 for 82 yards and 3 interceptions with another dominating performance by the defense . Total yardage allowed has improved each game with opponents gaining 342 by Navy 313 by USC, 210by Toledo and 170 today by Illinois. That was the lowest total yards since Youngstown State was held to 74 yards in last years season opener. Neither Toledo or Illinois started a drive inside the OSU 27 yard line as OSU pitched back to back shutouts for the first time since 1996.

A downpour in the first half led to some unusual stats. Juice Williams and Terrelle Prior were 6 for 16 for 34 yards in the first half. Brian Rolle intercepted one Juice pass and returned it 39 yards, 5 more yards than the combined passing game of the two teams. Pryor threw incomplete passes on the 2nd and 3rd plays of the game and never attempted another pass until the 3rd quarter. It was the first time OSU had no completed passes in a half since the Michigan game in 2007.

The rain stopped at half time allowing Pryor to go 8 for 11 for 82 yards and a late TD in the 2nd half. Saine and Herron both had good games gaining 156 yards and 2 TD's on 27 carries. Pryor added 59 yards in 11 carries. Pettrey is now 9 for 10 in field goals this season after making 50, 46 and 27 yard field goals. His only miss this season was the shortest attempt that hit the upright against Toledo.

Locker, Washington QB, picked up 20 more yards on 7 carries. 62nd is passing efficiency

Pryor is 6th QB in nation in rushing with 235 yards. 11th QB in nation with at least 10 carries averaging 6.0 yards a carry.

OSU is now 33rd in nation (out of 120 teams) in rushing yardage per game. Defense is 10th in nation on tackles for loss and 17th with 6 interceptions. Pryor 55th in nation in passing efficiency. Clark dropped to 52nd after Penn State loss. Tebow 7th, McCoy 28th, Barkley 32nd.

New AP poll: USC 7th, OSU 9th, Iowa 13th, Penn St 15th, Michigan 22nd . Four top 10 teams lost this weekend.

Gone with the Schwind said...

Nelson, good breakdown. I like the trend of fewer yards with each opponent.