Saturday, September 19, 2009

Buckeyes 38, Rockets 0

This was a game of surprises. No, I haven't grown so jaded that I thought the Buckeyes would lose to Toledo. However, I did think that in the spirit of the Buckeyes, the game would be much closer. (I predicted 23-13 before kickoff.) Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is the fact that all of the surprises in the game were pleasant.
The Good
OK, now I know that the defenses of Toledo and USC are leagues apart, but there was a much different approach to this game than there was to the game against the Trojans. Last week, the Buckeyes looked like a team that was truly afraid to get a first down, or even advance the ball at all. There certainly was nothing like that in this game. I had no idea the Buckeyes were capable of 500+ yards in a game. Did you honestly expect you would see the following from Ohio State: rollouts, QB draws, deep passes over the defense, passing on 1st down, passing in the red zone? Neither did I. And yet, that's exactly what we the fans were treated to. We were treated to an offense that wasn't afraid to actually try things to move the ball down the field. Amazing what can happen when the offense looks beyond page 1 of the playbook. Terrelle Pryor looked (more) like the player who has been advertised since he committed to Ohio State. It was nice to see what the kid can do if he is allowed to use his abilities. Brandon Saine looked pretty good. So did Jordan Hall. In fact, I am looking forward to seeing a lot more of Hall. The offensive line was good, and Dane Sanzenbacher had an awesome game. I can't remember the last time the Buckeyes had a 70+ yard TD pass.
Well, the Buckeyes pitched a shutout. What more can you say about that? Brian Rolle is clearly the linchpin of this defense. Heyward had a really solid game. So did Chimdi Chekwa. (I know. I don't say that very often.) I wouldn't mind seeing more of Nathan Williams. That dude plays hard and seems to find the ball.
The Bad
TP's second interception was pretty silly. Not only did he throw it off of his back foot, but he also threw into double coverage. TP, there is no shame in lobbing the ball 10 yards out of bounds in a situation like that.
The Ugly
You would think that in a 38-0 game, I wouldn't have anything to put in the ugly. You'd be wrong. The Buckeyes had 4 false start penalties. Really. And they spread them around. If I remember correctly, each penalty was committed by a different offensive lineman. I don't know that I've ever seen anything quite like that.
Under the Radar Player of the Game
In a game like this, it is often hard to pinpoint a player who fits the criteria of this distinction. After all, the game was never in doubt, so how can you say who did something unnoticed to help the Buckeyes win? Which makes this the perfect opportunity to recognize a player I haven't always praised. Chimdi Chekwa broke up 2 downfield passes that could have been big plays, and for that, he is the UtR player of the game.
Good news and bad news. The good news is that USC lost, and that's always good. Let's face it, the Buckeyes are not making the BCS championship game, so it doesn't really matter if Buckeyes opponents are good or not. The bad news is that Washington (yes, the W on the helmet also stood for Winless last season) finished what the Buckeyes could not. Ruminate on that for a moment. But keep your chin up, Trojan fan. USC probably will only drop 1 or 2 spots. You know, like when the Trojans lost to Stanford. At home.

1 comment:

neslagle said...

My comments at link below:

Most comments (stats) below:

OSU defense ruled. Toledo ran their 1st play in OSU territory with 4:35 left in the 3rd quarter. Toledo never did run a play inside OSU 27. Toledo managed 197 yards passing in 45 attempts and rushed for 13 yards in 13 attempts.

Going into game Toledo was 5th out of 120 teams offensively with 1117 yards including 742 yards passing. Defensively Toledo was in bottom 10 giving up 90 points and 986 yards.

Pryor passing stats looked ok with 17 for 28 for 262 yards, 3 TD's and 2 INT. He again made many poor decisions passing into 2 on 1 coverage many times leading to two interceptions. Nevertheless Pryor set a personal record for passing yardage in one game breaking the 226 yards he passed for against Penn State.

Pryor did look great running, gaining 110 yards in 12 carries with one TD. This tied his career high in 13 carries vs Illinois last year. After 3 games Pryor is leading OSU in rushing with 176 yards (81st nationally out of 874 listed) to Herron's 158. Pryor is rushing 6.3 (198th nationally) yards per rush (including sack losses) to 5.3 for Saine and 3.2 (588th out of 974 nationally) for Herron.

OSU had a total of 522 yards, 27 more than their highest total of last year vs Youngstown State.

USC, a 21 point favorite, lost at Washington 16-13. Stats were similar to OSU-USC game last week. USC out gained Washington 360-293 and OSU 313-264. Washington gained 1.7 yards per rush, OSU 2.95 yards per rush. Locker, Wash. QB, gained 6.8 yards per pass attempt while Pryor gained 7.1 yards per attempt. My favorite stat is Locker, who Carroll said was a better runner than Pryor, rushed for (15) yards in 8 attempts only 125 yards less then Pryor today. Pryor rushed for 36 yards in 10 carries vs USC. How did USC win? Washington won the turnover battle 3-0. OSU & USC each had 1 turnover last week. USC was also 0-10 on 3rd down.
USC 110 yards passing was the fewest since Carroll took over as coach in 2001. USC has lost to a conference team in a big upset in 6 of the last 8 years. The last two upsets in conference play have been the week after the OSU game. Ohio State can't win the Big Game and USC can't win the Little Game.


Cousins, Mich St. 14- 164.3 Pryor, OSU 57- 133.4
Tolzien, Wisc 15- 161.8 Stanzi, Iowa 72- 124.6
Clark, Penn State 22- 153.9 Elliott, Pur 77- 120.8
Kafka, NW 23- 153.6 Weber, Minn 82- 116.6
Forcier, Mich 32- 149.1 Williams, Ill 93- 110.8
Chappell, Ind 55- 134.3

SEC 19-2
Big Ten 24-7
Big East 16-5
Pac 10 19-6
Big 12 24-10
ACC 17-10

Formatting much better on web site.