Saturday, September 11, 2010

Buckeyes 36, Hurricanes 24

Well, no one is going to say it was a perfect game, but a 12-point win over a top 15 team is a good thing.
The Good
Thank goodness for Terrelle Pryor running the ball. Although that is sort of a good news-bad news sort of deal. It's good that he ran for 113 yards, but it's not great that the running backs weren't very spectacular. Boom Herron looked pretty good running the ball too. Aside from that, the offense was really pedestrian.
If you look at the stats, you wouldn't necessarily see a great performance by the defense. However, this is one of those games where you need to look beyond total yardage. The Buckeyes defense not only forced four turnovers, but also held the Hurricanes offense to only 10 points. I think any of us will happily take that. John Simon had a really good game. So did Nathan Williams and Cameron Heyward. And Chimdi Chekwa. I mean, he has been a favorite target for me (and opposing offenses) as long as he has been a Buckeye. But you have to give the guy credit for his two interceptions. I sure didn't have that one pegged before the game.
Special Teams
Devin Barclay made five field goals. The end.
The Bad
For all his offensive heroics, Pryor completed only 12 of 27 passes. And some of those pass attempts were downright awful. Like the time he threw the ball and the four (yes, four) closest guys to the ball were wearing Miami jerseys. Brandon Saine averaged a robust 0.6 yards per carry. Ouch.
Also, this wasn't really bad, but I was a little disappointed that the Buckeyes didn't try to hang 40 on the 'Canes. I get it. It's not Tressel's style, plus the Buckeyes have to play in Miami next year. Still, I kind of feel that if you get the chance to put 40 on the board against Miami, you do it. You know Miami wouldn't be shy about tacking on another TD.
Again, what can you say other than the defense gave up more yards than we're used to seeing.
I know what you're thinking. How can I criticize the officials when Miami had eight penalties and the Buckeyes had two? Just answer me this. How many times did you see a Buckeyes defender get molested (or tackled) by an offensive lineman and nothing was called? If I can see it 2,200 miles away, how come the refs cannot see it on the field.
The Ugly
Oh, I don't know. Some of TP's passes. Saine gaining less than one yard per carry.
Special Teams
Um, did you see the game? It wouldn't surprise me if both special teams coaches were looking for work after this game. Two return touchdowns in a game? Yeesh!
Yes, loyal reader. It's a new feature here on the weekly write-up. This will be my unique spin on something about the game. After the game when Jim Tressel and Randy Shannon were shaking hands, I couldn't help but think that each one said the same thing to the other: "You'll have a solid club once you get a real quarterback."
Under the Radar player of the game
There are some good candidates here. Nathan Williams is a solid player who had another good game. Cam Heyward was really good also. But I have to tell you the player that is most deserving of the award this week is John Simon. He harrassed Jacory Harris for a lot of the day and just seemed to be around the ball a lot.


neslagle said...

Enjoyed article. Agree both QB's had average games at best, but certainly disagree with your Schwindinjection. Harris had 4 INT with 3 the fault of the receiver per Miami coach. 1-2 INT's are too many but stats of 22-39 for 232 yards are not good but not terrible against a very good defense.
Agree that TP had many terrible passes - sure didn't have any accuracy or touch on short passes today (which is often a problem for TP). But he did average 8.6 yards per pass attempt despite completing only 12 of 27. For comparison TP avg 7.1 yards per attempt last year and opponents averaged 5.3 yards per attempt. 8.6 looks great in comparison.
And Pryor total yardage of 346 (233 passing and career high 113 on the ground) was also impressive. TP exceeded that once last year (vs Toledo) and only had 338 vs Oregon as MVP! No opponents QB had 346 yards total offense last year. And the bottom line is TP did more than enough to win and is now 21-3 as a starter.
And what about that last drive that took 7:30 off the clock while never passing and running the play expected almost every play!! TP just kept picking up first downs on 3rd down. Not sure any other QB in history could have done that!! And the two big plays of the game was TP two play drive to tie game at 10-10 on two perfect passes. I am sure Tressel wouldn't trade Pryor for any other QB in college FB. And most coaches will take Harris. Both QB stats at end of year will be near the top in the nation.
Also I was amazed at the kick off yardage. As bad as kickoff coverage was, both teams returned 4 kickoffs and OSU avg 38 yards a return and Miami only 31 yards. Berry avg 43 yards on two returns. Another positive for special teams.
But OSU gave up a kickoff and punt for TD's in the same game for the first time in OSU history! Not good!
With 4 supposedly weak opponents coming up, OSU could be one of highest scoring teams in nation going into Wisconsin game (even with TP!).

Gone with the Schwind said...

Nelson, as always you are on top of the stats. 8.6 yards per attempt is good. Certainly a 62-yard pass helps with that. I'm not saying TP should be benched. All I'm saying is that when he throws the ball he often looks more like Stanley Jackson than Troy Smith.

David said...

As great as TP has the potential to be, he's no Steve Grogan, am I right?

Trane said...

or Justin Zwick, the "gunslinger"

Gone with the Schwind said...

David and Trane, you are both right. He certainly is no Steve Grogan, and thankfully he is no Justin Zwick.