Sunday, November 21, 2010

Buckeyes 20, Hawkeyes 17

(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.
The Good
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.
The Bad
Offense 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.
The Ugly
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.

1 comment:

neslagle said...

Thanks Gary - I thought it was a great game. The defenses played well overall and the game was back in forth in 4th qtr. Don't often get to see an OSU nail biter? 2nd time in lat 22 games that game was closer than 8 points.
Great last drive and great last stand. And OSU is getting better in first half. In 3 key games half time deficits were 21-3, 14-3 and 7-3. I predict they will be even at halftime next week!!
Link to my web site follows and my write up on game follows link.

Ohio State beat Iowa 20-17 in a must game when little seemed to go right for the Bucks. OSU lost the turnover battle 2-0, lost yards penalized 73-25, the referees calls seemed like home cooking, the receivers dropped 6 passes negating about 170 yards of offense and they were down 17-10 in the 4th quarter. An 11 play 30yard drive led to Barclay's 48 yard field goal to cut the deficit to 17-13. On the ensuing possession a 4th and 10 conversion with about 3 minutes left and the season on the line saved the day. Posey dropped a 50 yard picture perfect pass wide open in the end zone on 3rd and 10 and down 17-13. One play later Pryor pulled one out of his playground experience to save the season. He ran right while supposedly looking for receivers, than reversed his field and found a path to a 14 yard run and a first down. "I don't know how many guys in the conference or the country could have made that play," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. Later a 24 yard pass to Sanzenbacher to the two yard line that was reviewed and finally a break (completion) setting up Herron's 1 yard TD run, (the 10th straight game he has scored a TD) and finish a game winning 12 play 76 yard drive. On the ensuring possession, Heyward sacked Stanzi for an 11 yard loss and Iowa was faced with 4th and 21. Iowa's 18 yard pass play left them 3 yards short and OSU ran out the clock for a 20-17 win. Stanzi was 2 for 7 in the 4th quarter while Pryor drove OSU to 9 first downs and 130 yards in the 4th quarter.
Pryor didn't have a good stat game (18-33 for 195 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions) but came up with the big plays when needed on two 4th quarter drives netting 10 points. Pryor also ran 78 yards on 15 plays. Of course if the 6 drops would have been completed he would have had a huge day (about 24-33 for 365 yards and 2 TD's and 2 interceptions). The two interceptions were both ricochets. He had a receiver open deep but under threw (got caught up in the wind) and two defensive backs went up to knock down the ball and it ricochet to a 3rd Iowa defender, not much different than OSU's ricochet play for a Sanzenbacher TD last week. The 2nd interception was tipped by one defender and another defender caught. But that was typical of the game where the ball didn't bounce OSU's way very often making the win even more remarkable.
Stanzi was hot early moving easily down field for a TD to take a 7-0 lead on an 87 yard drive. He was 8 of 9 early for about 70 yards. OSU was down 7-3 at the half as the defense contained the Iowa offense after the first TD to 10 points and 189 yards. The stats of the two teams stayed close most of the game until OSU last TD drive gave OSU the stat edge. OSU won total yards 353-276 and rushing yards 158-81 while each passed for 195 yards and Iowa won turnover battle 2-0. Amazingly, this was only the 2nd time in last 24 games (last 2 seasons) that OSU lost the turnover battle although they tied in turnovers 4 times in that stretch. In the other game they lost the turnover battle they lost the game to Purdue. OSU is 16-1 in last 17 games.
See next post for rest of write up.