Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ohio State/Northwestern recap - "I blinked, and it was over"

How much can you say about a game that was a blowout halfway into the first quarter? The Buckeyes looked dominant from the start of the game and got to call off the dogs early.

Two plays into the game, Ray Small put the ball on the ground. Most people forgot about that, because seconds after we recovered the fumble, Todddddddd Boeckman hit Brian Robiskie for 42 yards and a TD. From there, it only got worse if you were a Wildcats fan.

Several vicious hits by the defense, coupled with the Buckeyes taking advantage of nearly every opportunity, led to a 58-7 final score. Some of the key stats for the day;

- The defense didn't give up a touchdown (NW scored on special teams)
- Northwestern rushed the ball 33 times for a total of no yards
- Robiskie caught three passes all day. All three were touchdowns
- 9 different Buckeyes caught passes on the day
- Beanie Wells only carried the ball 12 times, yet still got his century mark of 100 yards
- A.J. Trapasso only had to punt once. This kid gets to go to college for free for that.
- Boeckman only had two of his passes hit the ground. 14 pass attempts, 11 Buckeyes caught them (one Wildcat INT) and 4 touchdowns.

I know that Northwestern was not a good team coming in, but nobody expected this. Most people were picking the Buckeyes to win, but how many of you would have taken the Wildcats plus 50 and a half points?

I certainly would have.

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Jim Tressel is not a malicious guy, and certainly doesn't hold grudges. But when Northwestern beat his Buckeyes in 2004, it was a black eye. Since that day, Ohio State has played NW three times. We've outscored them by a combined total of 160 to 24.

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In 2006, Ohio State had one of the most prolific offenses the University has ever seen. They sent several players to the NFL, and the word around the street was how the Buckeyes were done. "No way can they compete with this many new players on offense"....oh, really?

Through 4 games, 2007 - 37 points per game
Through 4 games, 2006 - 31 points per game

We don't rebuild. We reload.

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In my opinion, Antonio Henton is the #2 QB on this squad. But he does need work. He's got great running skills, and a QB with mobility got us far in the previous 2.5 years. Boeckman is the man for this team (and next year), but when the road clears for Henton's junior year, I hope he's had plenty of experience under his belt so he can step onto the field as our leader.

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Last week, I claimed Ohio State to be "clearly" the best team in the Big Ten. I was making a bit of a bold statement, especially considering we still had two more top-10 teams in Wisconsin and Penn State. But after a 51-point win, I was ready to pound my chest a bit.

Then Penn State got beat by Michigan...heck, they didn't even cross the goal line against THAT defense? Embarrassing. You let those guys get their confidence back, and your Big Ten hopes are swallowed up because you choked. I should have seen it coming when Buffalo passed for over 300 yards, but you put every weakness on display for the rest of the Big Ten to see.

Then Wisconsin reminded everybody why they shouldn't be in the Top 10 anymore. Iowa, who couldn't beat Iowa State (the Cyclones, whom Kent State DID manage to beat), had them on the ropes all night long....at Camp Randall Stadium, no less. Wisky ended up winning 17-13, but they had to struggle against a team with no passing game (seriously, no passing game - Iowa QB Jake Christensen is so awful, the only picture of him on ESPN's player profile is of him on his back. Go look for yourself). Wisconsin has struggled in all four games this year, and no team on their schedule thus far is anything a Top 10 team should have any difficulty with.

Is it weakness in the Big Ten? Is it "parity", like they say it is in the SEC whenever an Ole Miss nearly knocks off a Florida? I'm not sure what it is, but the Buckeyes have the pole position and are playing the best football in the conference.

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I have to take a moment to laugh at Michigan again. They whined and cried when Jim Harbaugh called them out for letting players on the squad who are "less than model citizens" and "less than academic scholars". You should have seen the explosion of outrage.

Yesterday, Harbaugh's Stanford team took it to Oregon for the first half, before the Ducks pulled away. Stanford scored 31 in the first half, which is 24 points more than Michigan scored the entire Oregon game. It would have been nice to see Harbaugh win that game.....

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Today is the one-year anniversary of the Buckeye Battle Cry. Where's my present?

3 comments:

POJO_Risin said...

Jeff,

This is Jim from The POJO Dojo. Just so you can update your links, the Dojo is still open, but I'm rolling with a new Ohio State Blog over at the Most Valuable Network (MVN), called simply THE Horseshoe. You can check it out at http://mvn.com/ncaa-ohiostate. I've updated you over there on my links...and was hoping you could add me as well. I've got another writer joining the team...not sure if you remember Lake Erie Hope, but we are joining forces. I also have the Tribe site over there, Tribe Report at http://mvn.com/mlb-indians and the Cavs site at http://mvn.com/nba-cavaliers.

As for the game yesterday...I have to admit...that was fun.

Real fun...

E said...

As a side note, Iowa DID manage to kick the crap out of Syracuse (the same Syracuse team that just knocked an "amazing" Louisville team out of the top 25).

Jeff Seemann said...

Pojo...good to hear from you! The Horseshoe was already in my link list, but I changed it to read THE Horseshoe.