(Photo of this non-penalty by Marvin Fong of the Plain Dealer.)
The good news: I've never seen a team look that disinterested and still win a game. The bad news: ummmm...the team looked completely disinterested.
It's a good thing the offense remembered (after halftime) that a game was going on. Of course the play of the game was the run by Terrelle Pryor on 4th and 10 in the 4th quarter. Finally, the offense did what I have been calling for all year: getting the ball to Dane Sanzenbacher more frequently. And not surprisingly, he came up big on the game-winning touchdown drive. Did I see that right? Pryor had a touchdown pass to a tight end? Holy moly! Enjoy that one, Reid Fragel. No one knows when that might happen again.
The defense only gave up 17 points, but that didn't feel like a spectacular performance. Credit to John Simon for rising up when the defense needed a stop, and to Cameron Heyward for his sack of Ricky Stanzi. Aside from that, it seemed like a pretty pedestrian performance.
Ummmm...how about the entire first half? Again, the offense looked like it had no interest in moving the ball or scoring points. I once heard someone say that 2nd down, not 3rd, is the most important. Yesterday was pretty good evidence of that. The Buckeyes did nothing on 2nd down the entire first half and ended up with a lot of 3rd and 6 (or more, in the many instances when there was a penalty). Oh, and someone might want to tell the receivers to hold onto a ball at all times (yes, even in the shower) this week, so they get used to the feeling. Feel free to actually catch the ball.
It seemed like the defense just could not get off the field. It's hard to believe that Iowa was only 5/12 on 3rd down conversions. It seemed like a much greater percentage. Again, the defense was picked apart by the opposing quarterback in the first half. If I remember right, Stanzi only had 2 incompletions the entire first half. I've never seen a group of defensive backs with less awareness of the field than this bunch yesterday. The secondary should not need a reminder that a game is happening. Chimdi Chekwa showed why he has received so much heat from me with two pass interference penalties.
Corey Brown goes up for the ball and not only gets a head shot, but also has his facemask grabbed, and that is not a penalty. The penalty called against Jermale Hines probably should not have been called. Of course, that could have been avoided if only he were paying attention. But the refs made up for that by keeping the flag in the pocket when he should have been flagged for pass interference.
Someone explain to me how Devier Posey dropped that ball in the end zone. I hope he bought a beer (or six) for TP, Sanzenbacher, and Boom Herron last night for bailing him out.
I'll say it for the record. I would not like to see this Buckeyes team line up against Boise State. As slowly as this team starts, the Broncos would have a 24-0 lead before the Buckeyes even knew what hit them.
Under the Radar player of the game
This one was really under the radar. For most of the game, the Buckeyes didn't really have an answer for the Hawkeyes offense. The Hawkeyes didn't dominate, but the defense spent a lot of time on the field. Finally in the 4th quarter, the defense rose up and forced a 3-and-out. Thanks in large part to John Simon, who did enough to rattle or rush Ricky Stanzi. After that 3-and-out, the Buckeyes scored the game-winning touchdown. Simon did exactly what a UtR player of the game is supposed to do.