Saturday, September 19, 2009

Buckeyes Lose Yet Another BCS Bowl Game

After leading for nearly the entire game, and holding a seven point lead late, the Buckeyes surrendered yet another big game that was theirs to win.

It was an exciting game for sure, with neither team leading by more than seven, and a number of ties and lead changes throughout, and the crowd even got to witness back-to-back kickoff returns for touchdowns to start the second half. But in the end, there were about a half-dozen plays the Buckeyes couldn't stop, and that was all the Seminoles needed.

Florida State wins the Sugar Bowl in an Overtime thriller, and the Buckeyes go home, yet again, without a BCS win.

Click for Game Stats

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Win in the Big House

Everything was on the line. A shot at a Big Ten title. A BCS berth. An outside shot at a return to the BCS title game. And most of all, pride was on the line as the Ohio State Buckeyes traveled to Ann Arbor for the biggest game of the year ... the biggest game of every year.

The Buckeyes did what they have been doing all year. They played solid defense, they ran the ball well, and they won the time of possession. That was enough.

However, one critical mistake could have turned this game around. With a 10-3 lead late in the second quarter, the Buckeyes drove deep into Wolverine territory, and were looking to score with under a minute in the half. However, Boom Herron would fumble on his way into the end zone, dropping the ball on the one-foot line. Junior linebacker Jonas Mouton would scoop up the fumble for the Wolverines, and rumble 39 yards before being tackled from behind by Terrelle Pryor. QB Nick Sheridan would hit a couple of big passes to take Wolverines into the end zone for the first time, tying the game at 10. The 14 point swing is the kind of thing that changes the momentum of any game, and with the Wolverines getting the ball back after the break, they had a real chance to take a lead, and perhaps break the Buckeyes' spirit.

But the combination of Buckeye defense and the legs of Brandon Saine (who came in for the injured Boom Herron early in the third quarter) were the difference. Saine ruched for 130 yards and three scores, every bit of it in the second half, and the Buckeye D got a couple of late interceptions, sealing the win and ensuring a successful season for the visiting team.

Buckeyes win. 364 days until we do it all over again.

Where's the D?

While all Buckeye fans were happy to see a big offensive day for the home team, the whopping 38 points given up by the Buckeye defense has folks worried going into the Michigan game next week.

For the first time this year, an opposing quarterback threw for 300 yards against the Silver Bullet defense. Coach Griffin was not happy:

"I guess some guys must feel pretty secure about their jobs, because that was a pretty lousy effort today. If it wasn't for Terrelle (Pryor), we would have ended up on the losing end of this one. The defense owes him big time."

That pretty much says it. Pryor carried the offense, and the D gave up 438 yards and four touchdowns at home. They managed to turn over the Hawkeyes three times, all of them interceptions, so this one could have gone much differently. Pryor's three touchdown passes, and two touchdown runs put the game out of reach, but the Buckeyes needed all 55 points to win this one.

Bye Bye BCS?

The loss this weekend at Penn State might be their biggest loss in years. With recruits watching, and the BCS already talking about the chance of a Buckeye-Gator rematch in the title game, Ohio State laid an egg on the road and dropped a game to Penn State that was never close.

The Nittany Lions appear to be all they are cracked up to be, as they simply lined up and ran right over the Buckeyes from the get-go. Evan Royster's 237 yards on the ground were the difference, as he broke a whopping (and perhaps AI assisted) 17 tackles in the game. It was evident from the very beginning that no one, or two, or even three guys was going to bring him down.

When Coach Griffin was asked about it after the game, he simply said:

"Sometimes, there's just nothing you can do. Penn State played a game we may never see again, and they got the win. I can't really say much more than that."

Aggies fall to the Buckeyes, 48-14

On a cold and wet Columbus Saturday, the New Mexico State Aggies, who are accustomed to playing in dryer climates, just never managed to adjust. While they managed a great first drive, briefly taking a 7-0 lead, the Buckeyes soon recovered, and left the Aggies flailing in the mud.

Most of the key starters for the Bucks spent a significant amount of time on the bench in this one. Pryor only attempted two passes, Boom Herron managed only six attempts on the ground, and TE Jake Stoneburner didn't play at all, his time being given to freshman Nic DiLillo, a freshman they Buckeyes hope to keep interested enough not to transfer, as some think he might.

Devier Posey had the first 100 yard receiving game of his career, and backup quarterback Joe Bauserman had his first ever three touchdown passing performance, going 17-19 for 231 yards in the process, without throwing a pick. Maybe it should rain more often.

Another week, another top-notch Buckeye performance. Next week, the Buckeyes travel to rival Penn State for the toughest road test so far this year.

Buckeye Pitch Shutout, Beat Gophers 58-0

There's really not much to say about this one. The Buckeyes just plain stomped the Gophers on Saturday. While Coach Griffin is usually the kind of guy who will call of the dogs when things get out of hand, but we think the firing of former Gopher head coach Glen Mason might have had something to do with this one. Apparently, coach Griffin didn't like the way his friend and fellow Ohio native Mason was treated, and decided to teach the Minnesota AD a lesson as a result.

But the real story in this one, and in the past few weeks, is the emergence of Terrelle Pryor as an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. Pryor ran for over 100 yards, and threw for 185 yards, completing 16 of 22 attempts. If he keeps this up, the Buckeyes might just reach their potential, and that potential could be yet another national title game.

Next week, the Buckeyes bring in a non-conference opponent in the form of the Aggies of New Mexico State. If it too gets out of hand quickly, look for coach Griffin to pull many of his starters so they can rest for the final push towards yet another Big Ten title, a push that includes Iowa at home, and road battles against Penn State, and of course, the biggest game of the year.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Buckeyes Overcome Weather, Beat Boilers 42-6

The Buckeyes went into a wet and rainy Ross Ade Stadium Saturday, and came out with their seventh win of the season. On the kind of day when weather can become the great equalizer, the Buckeyes just kept right on rolling, never being in much danger of an upset.

After a rather rocky start, Terrelle Pryor seems to have found some comfort in the Buckeye offense. He threw 32 passes on Saturday, completing 17 for 149 yards and three touchdowns. More importantly, he didn't turn the ball over at all, and the Buckeye offense put up a lot of points as a result.

But once again, it was the Buckeye defense that led the way. The Silver Bullets are currently ranked second in the Big Ten in total yards, and have given up only 72 points in their first seven games.

Next week, the Buckeyes bring in the Minnesota Golden Gophers. A number of highly rated recruits will be in the stands, including the Kentucky safety duo of 4-star recruits Mike Jordan and James Curry, who many expect will sign during the visit.