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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Is the Grass Greener in Columbus?

As you can tell from my posts on the Vandy game (and many of the comments outside Benny), a good number of Michigan fans were less than thrilled with the team's performance in its 2006 opener. Yes, it was a first game but it was against a less-than-average team. Furthermore, it was also the first game this weekend for many other squads who seemed to have had no problem with inferior foes.

Case in point: Ohio State.

I caught most of there game against a decent NIU squad and thought the Bucks looked very impressive. They quickly jumped out to a 28-0 lead, putting the game out of reach early before coasting to a 35-12 victory. Yes, there were issues (Wolfe rushed 172 yards against the OSU defense and the team lost two fumbles inside the 10) but the game was never close enough for any "worst case scenario" thoughts to enter Buckeye minds.

Not true in A2.

For much of the game, Michigan had a 6 point lead which was only 13 throughout most of the 4th quarter. One crazy play and it's a one score game. And we all know Michigan's recent past with those.

This all leads to my question of any Buckeye fans lurking here on the site: Was the Ohio State victory as impressive as it seemed to an outsider? Are Buckeye fans feeling good after today? Or are they nitpicking like a seemingly vast majority of Michigan fans over their team's ho hum victory?

P.S. Oh, and did anybody else notice a certain...similarity between Northern Illinois coach Joe Novak and another coach who used to roam the Buckeye sidelines?


Pfef said...

As a Buckeye fan, I was real impressed with the team. The biggest concern on the defense at this point are two of our linebackers, Laurinaitis and Kerr. Both were just getting it handed to them consistently throughout the game. The pass rush was awesome, but NIU often sucked in the front 7 far too often on draws and screens, which is where Wolfe got the biggest chunk of his yards. After the first half, you could definitely tell that the intensity level was completely non-existent, and NIU was moving the ball with ease against us. The defense was pretty "bend, don't break," all game long, which is probably what to expect from them for the majority of the season.

matsut said...

I'll agree w/ Pfef - the LBs generally and the two he names in particular sucked...the offense looks just fine, though. I'm thinking that Beanie Wells is going to carry the Buckeyes to victory all by himself more than once this season - maybe even next week.

Also: I caught most of the Vandy game, and I'm with you, Yost - I was expecting them to be much more impressive. Hart was good, but the rest was just, well, frustrating.

Anonymous said...

The tOSU offense, for a first game, was even better than I expected sitting in C Deck in The Shoe. The fact tOSU only scored 35 points was just as much Tressel's fault as anything the players did. They were able to show flashes of brilliance despite being kept under wraps for the most part. Absolutely no worries there.

My concern remains with the defense. THe Dline showed that they are faster and quicker than last year. They were able to shoot gaps and make big plays at times. HOWEVER. they also showed no ability (or maybe willingness) to protect the LBers and allow them to flow to the ball. This is a major reason Laurenitis was invisible and Kerr was on his back so much. One of the things you can always count on from a Tressel defensive backfield is sure tackling. I haven't seen that many wiffs since Dave Kingman retired.

If the Defense doesn't improve ALOT, tOSU will be spending New Years Day in Orlando.

Glendale06 said...

I attended the tOSU game on Saturday, and was very impressed with the offense. After jumping to a 28-0 lead Tressel ball setin and we were on auto pilot for the rest of the game. Unlike the Cooper mentality of score as much as you cane, the game could and should have have been 52-12. That being said, the defense scares me to death. There pursuit angles, to put in mildly, sucked. The consistently overran the play and ended up running for their lifes to catch Garrent. Hopefully it gets better or we are in for a number of who gets the ball last wins scenarios this year in Columbus. Lastly, the changes in when the clock starts on a change in position will cost us dearly if things don't improve by 9/9.

surrounded in columbus said...

i don't about this call either. did tosu really look that good? they won easily, but impressed? looking at yesterday's stats:

score 35-12; tosu had 488 yds total offense, NIU had 343 yds.
does that really sound impressive? especially on D?

last year to start the season, soon to be 7-5 Michigan beat NIU 33-17. we had 447 yds in total offense, NIU had 411 yds. not a huge difference between the two games on paper.

i know i wasn't impressed w/ our performance last year w/ these numbers- i'm not sure i'm impressed w/ their performance this year w/ these numbers.

Anonymous said...

surronded. Trying to hold up the stat page and gather anything from a game after it is 28-0 right after the 1st Qtr. is dumb. Tressel got to a comfortable lead and put it in neutral and got a lot of different players in. If OSU would have opened it up w/ the 1st team it would have been far more lobsided.

C'mon be a smarter football fan than that and get your nose out of the box score.

OSU definitely had some issues on D for sure but I'm glad they were exposed in order to fix them (ie SCREEN PASSES!!)

surrounded in columbus said...


first, i never said your offense's numbers weren't big. they were. given the opponent, you can read what you like into that.

as for your D, you're not suggesting tre$$el put the defense in neutral?? that those safties didn't tackle or take the right angle because they were throttling back?

i don't know who's "smart" or "dumb", but i can add and subtract. and by the numbers, your D was pretty much mediocre, at best. giving up 343yds to a MAC doesn't look impressive, no matter what the score in the first quarter.

or, like so many tosu fans, do you not count the numbers you don't like?

Anonymous said...

Chiming in as a tOSU fan...

Offense looked good. Tressel ball after 28-0- give UT a look at formations, but not the playbook.

Defense looked young. Yup, Wolfe had a ton of yards, but only 57 rushing in the first half. 2nd half, different story. You've got to wonder if they started to look to Austin- not the sign of a mature football team (I can't see Hawk or Carpenter allowing that to happen on their watch, no matter the score).

I think if (IF) tOSU beats UT, it will be because they outscore them.

Michigan- Looked like a team that needs a new QB. Hart was fantastic, and is really back to form. UM has great WRs, but Henne can't seem to get them the ball.

Even though I don't think coach Carr is or should be on the hot seat, you know he's heard the rumors (how can you avoid it? It's on ESPN almost as much as MoC). As such, it didn't look like the Wolverines played with the intensity that a coach under pressure would inspire.

My $.02.

Great site... Thanks for making this rivalry fun, and for highlighting why Big T1e1n football is the best in the country.

buckeye john said...

what scares me is that UT put up 56 against its inferior team. OSU has its work cut out for them this week.

Pants McPants said...

Overall, I was impressed with the offense, but really wish NIU's defense presented more of a challenge...

Tressel will never blow anyone out, Troy Smith's passer rating was like 211 or something, he could've thrown 10 more times and we could've won 63-12, but Jim won't do that...

It's hard to make any real judgments when your team goes up 28-0 one play into the 2nd quarter...hard to believe players can keep focus in a game like that...

This week that shouldn't be an issue...