Saturday, November 21, 2009
Buckeyes 21, Wolverines 10
Well, that game was:
d) as exciting as the average soccer game.
I don't necessarily want to be critical. After all, the Buckeyes just capped a 10-win Big Ten championship season with a win over the hated Wolverines. However, when you look at scUM's schedule only Western Michigan (7), Eastern Michigan (17), and Delaware State (6) scored fewer points against the maize and blue than Ohio State did. How's that for elite company? That was the sort of game that gets erased from memory as you're watching it.
And what are we to think of Tresselball? The whole point of this conservative style of play is to win the turnover battle and therefore win the game. The Buckeyes certainly won the turnover battle, but if your opponent turns the ball over 4 times more than you do, shouldn't you win by more than 11 points? In other words, what's the point of focusing so much energy on this when you only punt after forcing your opponent into a turnover?
Again, the running game was spectacular. Brandon Saine and Dan Herron both had a solid effort, as well they should have against such a poor defense. Terrelle Pryor had some excellent runs. And of course the success of the running game can be attributed to the offensive line doing its job.
Brian Rolle is THE MAN. He has to be the defensive MVP for the team this year, with Kurt Coleman running a close second. Coleman's 2nd interception was a very good and athletic play. I liked Thad Gibson's interception even better. He was just sitting there waiting for Forcier to throw it to him. Pretty sweet for a defensive lineman. Frankly, the defense did everything it was supposed to do. It limited UM's offensive output, forced 5 turnovers, and even scored a TD. It would have been real nice if the offense could have done more with those turnovers.
Can you say the passing game was bad when it was so negligible? Certainly, Terrelle Pryor's interception falls into this category. It's tough to complete a pass when your wide receiver is carrying a DB on his back.
The Buckeyes are really going to have to learn about pass patterns that go beyond the first down marker. On the first 3rd down of the game, on 3rd and 8, the Buckeyes threw a 3-yard pass. Next, on 3rd and 5, they threw a 3-yard pass. And then, when the Buckeyes actually had a 3rd and 3, the play was a QB sweep. Brilliant.
I have to ask again, why is Brandon Saine being so limited? They seem to put a cap of 12 carries on him, even when he averages 7+ yards per carry.
I don't want to seem like I am singling out Chimdi Chekwa, but that guy just looks lost on the field. I don't even have a valid theory for what he was doing on scUM's one TD of the day.
9 punts? 9 punts? Are you kidding me? Against a team that had been giving up 28 points a game (and that includes the games against EMU, WMU, and Delaware State)? Just once, I would like to see the offense play a whole game. Why does the coaching staff feel the need to absolutely call off the dogs after the Buckeyes get a lead? I mean, a 7-point lead is pretty substantial with this defense, but it would be nice to think that the offense actually puts forth effort for the entire game, and I just don't get that feeling at all. Somehow, the Buckeyes manage to drag the rest of the Big Ten into this 1950s style offensive morass, but does anyone think it will be effective against a team like Oregon?
Under the Radar Player of the Game
Well, every one of the wide receivers was under the radar in this game. Rolle, Coleman, Gibson, and Ross Homah all had amazing games. However, since TDs were so rare, I have to give credit to someone on the offense as the UtR player of the game. And I will do just that. On Saine's TD, Jim Cordle sealed off the edge and allowed Saine to get down the sideline and into the end zone. Congrats to Cordle for being the UtR player of the game against scUM.