[Photo of Brian Rolle by Jeff Mills]
Ah yes, there is nothing quite like the first Buckeyes game of the season to inspire hysteria. It is truly one of the things the Buckeyes do best. That's where I come in...to at least attempt to be the voice of reason. So, back away from that ledge, put away that ladder and industrial-strength extension cord. And for crying out loud, do not take that toaster into the bathtub with you. Oh, and Mark May? Put away that barbecue fork because the Buckeyes are not done yet. Doctor Gary is here to help.
Let's look at some facts. First, Ohio State did not schedule a patsy. This is not Charleston Southern, Louisiana-Monroe, or San Jose State. Navy is a team that wins 8 games a year. Granted, some of those wins are against lesser opponents like Army, Air Force, and Notre Dame, but there are a lot of teams that would love to win 8 games. (Yes, I am looking in your direction, Ann Arbor.)
Second, Ohio State will be better equipped to deal with other offenses this season. How can I say that after such a lackluster performance? The Buckeyes do not face many teams that run the triple-option. And let's face it, it is tough to stop a good option game. I dare say that Navy probably has the best option game in college football. Now, teams like USC and Penn State have way better players than Navy, but I think the Buckeyes are in a better position against more common offenses. Whether they execute is another question altogether.
Terrelle Pryor had a really solid game. He completed 2/3 of his passes and really only had one mistake. And let me just throw this out there. Am I the only one surprised by the fact that TP had more than 12 pass attempts? And don't even try to tell me that I'm the only one surprised by the fact that the Buckeyes threw so many times on first down. I didn't even realize that was allowed at The Ohio State University. Brandon Saine had a good game, making the most of when he got the ball. Dan Herron had a good, but not great game.
Erm, well, Kurt Coleman forcing two turnovers was pretty good. Aside from that, Brian Rolle was pretty much the lone defensive bright spot.
There was one drive where the offense just imploded. I mean, false start, delay of game, and then holding? Consecutively? Well done indeed.
The 1st drive, the 4th quarter, 3rd downs, no pressure on the QB, allowing an 85-yard pass to Navy, allowing a 99-yard drive by Navy. I think you get the idea.
I think we all know what goes here. That 4th down play in the 4th quarter. And the thing is, it was so unlike Tressel to not go for the points. It was an uninspired play, poorly executed and I'm willing to bet the Buckeyes don't attempt another 4th down conversion all year.
I'm not quite sure what Anderson Russell was doing on that 85-yard TD play. Then again, I'm not sure he knew either. What I do know is that Navy's offense is not designed for quick-strike capability.
The Under the Radar Player of the Game
OK, so he wasn't really under the radar after intercepting the 2-point conversion and returning it for 2 points (and thereby preventing overtime). However, as I mentioned before, Brian Rolle was the lone bright spot on the defense and for that he is the UtR player of the game.