Buckeyes Win Ugly Against Ohio University

The other Ohio school called the Ohio University Bobcats came to Columbus wearing shirts that said O-S-WHO?  

Although the final score was 26-14 Ohio State, they certainly made a point as the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes needed to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win against the 35 point underdog Ohio Bobcats Saturday afternoon.  Ohio University was not victorious, but they definitely had a moral victory and played with more heart than the Buckeyes did on September 6th.  

Here is a breakdown of how the Ohio State Buckeyes quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offense overall and defense performed Saturday afternoon.

Quarterbacks – Todd Boeckman played most of the game throwing 16-of-26 for 110 yards for 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.  Definitely not a very impressive performance by Boeckman against a MAC team.  His longest pass in the game was 25 yards and he only averaged 4.2 yards a completion. He will need to play much better and bring his A game against #1 USC.

Terelle Pryor only played two series resulting in a three and out with a punt and no result as he came in the last series to runout the game clock. In the two series, he threw 0-for 2 and rushed 5 times for 37 yards. It was a suprise that Pryor only saw the field for two series. In his first two games playing quarterback, Pryor’s first natural instinct is to run the football before throwing a pass. This is okay in certain situations, but he will need to improve on looking more for the open receivers before thinking about running the football. Pryor is the best quarterback if Ohio State runs the spread offense. This gives Pryor a chance to be more dangerous while getting outside the pocket and having the ability to confuse opposing teams’ defenses.

Running Backs – The three running backs Herron, Wells, and Saine rushed 26 times for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. Daniel Herron carried the ball 12 times for 50 yards and 1 TD, Maurice Wells rushed 9 times for 48 yards, and Bradon Saine had 5 rushes for 15 yards and 1 TD. One of the running backs quoted that he gave their performances as running backs a B-. I would agree that they did decent overall and I don’t know if the outcome of the game would have really made a signficance difference if Beanie Wells was able to play.

Receivers – The two go to receivers, Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie combined only had 5 receptions for 22 yards. Hartline was not afraid to speak how he felt to reporters after the game remarking how pathetic their performance was and that Ohio University should have won the game and didn’t know how they came out winning. Besides the 25 yard catch by tight end Jake Ballard, the longest pass reception by a receiver came from Dane Sanzenbacher for 12 yards.

Offense – The offense overall struggled and played poorly and I would give them a D grade. On third downs, the Buckeyes only converted 5-of-15 times overall. One series in the game, the Buckeyes gambled on 4th and 1 and were stopped. The other turnover was a high snap that went over Boeckman’s head that Ohio University recovered in the end zone. Boeckman had trouble throwing passes longer than 10 yards. In fact, the only two passes greater than 10 yards were Sanzenbachers 12 yard reception and Ballard’s 25 yard catch. The offense combined for 272 total yards on offense. Ohio University turned the ball over 5 times in the game, but the Buckeyes could only score 19 points on offense (excluding Small’s touchdown punt return).

Defense – The defense played a little above average and I would give them a grade of B-. They forced Ohio University to turnover the football 5 times, and 4 of those 5 turnovers were interceptions in the game. They defense only gave up 7 points, while the offense gave up the other 7 points. The only cause of concern would be Ohio’s 9-of-17 third down efficiency. The Buckeyes will have to step it up a notch on third down when they play USC. Sometimes, when Ohio ran the spread the Buckeyes looked a little lost and they reminded me of how they played against Illinois. They also had a few key missed tackles and a few missed sacks in the game.

The next game against USC will be a challenge. This game is a similar matchup with Texas during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. If the Buckeyes lose, their chances are more slim than last year that they still have a chance to make it to the national championship game. Ohio State comes into the game as 11 point underdogs. The last time I can remember Ohio State being a double-digit underdog was when they won the national championship against Miami in 2003. If the Buckeyes bring their A game, I see them either winning by less than 10 points, or I see them getting blown out by at least 2 or 3 touchdowns in the Coliseum. Let’s hope they bring their A game and beat #1 USC.

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