As I sit down to write this I admit that I am having difficulty coming to grips with Ohio State’s win over Cal. Looking at the stats, there are some memorable performances of which to take note. At the same time, even though the Buckeyes went up 20-7 in the first half, I can’t seem to shake the fact that for almost two full quarters the Buckeyes only managed one first down. I also can’t seem to shake the fact that the Ohio State defense gave up a whopping 512 yards.
As grim as that may seem, there were bright spots in the game. For example:
Good: Devin Smith put up a career high 145 yards receiving including a few more amazing catches.
Not so good: If it wasn’t going to develop into a spectacular catch, Smith seemed pretty determined not to catch it at all.
Good: The Ohio State defense scored six sacs — twice the total number of sacks in the first two games of the season
Not so good: 512 yards
Good: Ryan Shizer made 10 tackles by himself and got help on another three.
Not so good: How many tackles did Shizer miss because he failed to wrap his arms? How many tackles did the Buckeye defense miss because of bad technique?
Good: Miller moving the ball through the air a total 249 yards.
Not so good: He only completed 16 of 30 passes. Not entirely Miller’s fault. There were a number of dropped passes that should have added to Miller’s passing total.
Good: Punt coverage resulting in six fair catches and -11 negative yards on the punts they did return.
Not so good: Fact that we gave Cal the opportunity to make six fair catches. Buckeyes kicked it away eight times, six of those on on 3 and out.
Good: Braxton Miller taking fewer hits than in first two games.
Not so good: Can you say overcompensate?!
Against a team who’s biggest weakness going in appeared to be rush defense, especially against a mobile quarterback, it seemed as though Meyer held Miller back almost to a fault. Yes, I want to see a more balanced attack but at some point you need to turn Miller lose. When Miller finally did open up in the fourth quarter he moved the ball 75 yards on 11 plays for a touchdown and he added another two points on the conversion.
Call it maturity or credit the Cal defense but there were times when Miller couldn’t find his receiver and needed to take off but ended up throwing it away.
Good: Nice to hear Meyer saying good things about the offense after the game. He’s gotten down on them quite a bit this year.
Not so good: How much of that was due to the fact that we got out coached? Maybe he was still too choked up after John Simon’s post-game locker room speech. Not too sure what Simon said but apparently he played with an injury that hurt much more than he was willing to admit. Meyer was so moved that he said he is planning to name his next son Urban John Simon Meyer.
Good: Three missed field goals by Cal.
Not so good: 11 penalties against the Buckeyes for a total 101 yards.
Good: Kicker Drew Basil making a great tackle. Best thing is that he wasn’t the last defense preventing a touchdown. Basil was right in the mix and made a great hit.
Not so good: O.K. I don’t have anything here. Basil made a good tackle. Maybe he can teach the defense a thing or two.
Count it as a win and move on
As Meyer said in the post game press conference, “…best thing about 3 0 isa chance to go 4 0 and get better.” That’s one thing we have seen from this Buckeye team under Meyer is the ability to improve. They’ve got a lot to work on this week and chances are, we’ll see changes come UAB.
Thoughts in the weekend
Notre Dame held Michigan State to three points and is now off to a 3-0 start. That puts us in a lose/lose situation. If Michigan beats Notre Dame, we get an entire season of Michigan/Denard Robinson hype. If Notre Dame wins…well…it’s just annoying.
Best we can hope for is for Michigan to beat the snot out of them making Michigan look that much better when we meet them. I’m not counting on it though. The Notre Dame defense completely shut down MSU. Unlike MSU, Michigan is completely one-dimensional. They should have no trouble with the Wolverines.
Thank you Stanford
So USC took a bow out to Stanford. It will be interesting to see how far they drop in the polls. ESPN’s fan poll on the subject has some interesting results.
Thank you Louisiana Monroe
Thankfully, last week’s Louisiana Monroe’s win over Arkansas let the world know that Alabama’s 52-0 routing of the hogs really doesn’t mean anything. If it wasn’t for ULM’s overtime win the SEC would have yet another feather in their toughest division in the world hat. Of course, ULM pushed Auburn into overtime today meaning of course that ULM must indeed be a top 10 caliber team.