MotSaG Roundtable – Penn State

OSU FootballA few thoughts from the Buckeyes tough win over Penn State.

As those that were at the Horseshoe can attest, it was sloppy weather most of the game. Rain came down in buckets at times and seemed to make a mess of things. That being said, the Buckeyes still came out a little flat in the first half and didn’t really move the ball against Penn State’s defense. While I wasn’t impressed with Posluszny’s play, Dan Connor played very well. The running game didn’t get going until later and Troy Smith’s passes weren’t crisp. He had a few tipped at the line and a few fly higher than his usual, accurate, passes fly. Zeke mentioned that he wasn’t setting his feet before he threw the ball. He was on the run more than once, but that usually isn’t a problem. A wet ball may also have affected his accuracy, but he still had a handful of passes dropped. He had Ted Ginn flying down the middle of the field, working the DB to the outside and Troy’s pass went outside and was intercepted. After an 100+ passes without an interception, it was weird to see the ball go the other way.

The second half was all Buckeyes, or more accurately, all defense. The Buckeyes went on the attack on the ground, grinding out yards with Pittman, who had another solid 110 yards on 20 carries. Smith’s touch came back to him when he scrambled out of PSU’s hands to hit Robiskie in the end zone. Penn State made a move in the fourth quarter, driving down to the goalline, but the Buckeyes stood tall and held them to a field goal. The defense then had a field day, intercepting two passes and returning them for touchdowns.

So what was the issue in the first half? Was it the weather? I’m sure that was some of it. Penn State played inspired defense to start out, but OSU wore them down eventually. Troy’s numbers weren’t great, which concerns me a bit. He needs to get that accuracy back before Iowa next week.

The defense still gave up a lot of yards on the ground, but only 106 yards through the air. Holding another opponent under 250 yards total offense and less than a touchdown was a solid effort. Three interceptions was good to see and getting pressure on the QB looked easy. The defense is continuing to improve and should be ready for Iowa’s challenge.

Should be a great one next week.


  1. The fact that our defense prevented any touchdowns from being scored speaks volumes to me. Go Bucks!

  2. “Its all the same, not an impressive win by the number 1 team in the nation. We’ll just have to wait and see how USC does tonight”

    John Saunders’ wildly inappropriate prediction about the direction of tomorrow’s polls should USC manage to eek out a win against Arizona. ABC is worthless, even with ESPN as its patron saint.

  3. Observation:

    This is EXACTLY the type of offense we’ve been seeing for five years. This was pure Tresselball: play great defense, win the field position battle, and take the opportunities given to you.

    We’ve been spoiled for about six/seven games in a row now, and have gotten used to wide-open offense. Not today. Sure, Troy was a bit rusty in the bad weather, but the play calls were decidly conservative (as they should ALWAYS be against a JoePa team).

    I know Saunders’s comments were anti-OSU, but everyone else (GameDay, Fox Sports, etc.) is running the Troy Smith TD touchdown pass and calling it his “Heisman highlight.” Numbers not so impressive, but only one or two QBs in the country could make that pass – thread that needle, especially after moving the pocket and dodging three tackles.

    The more I see that play replayed, the more impressed I am. The ball was within inches of where it was supposed to be, and had been in the air for over 55 yards. THAT’s a great QB.

    Also, a buck for Pittman is great against this defense.

    Still blows me away that JoePa can direct a competitive game from the crapper. If he had some Pepto Bismol, he might have won today!

  4. I thought that Penn State came up with a very good pass rush/defense scheme yesterday and the offensive line and Troy struggled with it all day. Once again, they had trouble with speed rushers. Something to keep in mind as we move along further in the season. On the other hand, they let the beef on the left hand side of the line (approx. 660 lbs. worth?) establish the run and that help save the game. Well, the defensive guys were the real stars yesterday. And yes, Saunders has been and always will be anti-Buckeye. The ABC/ESPiN broadcast of the Notre Dame-Michigan State game last night was just pathetic. Greatest ND comeback ever? Our local high school team could have done what they did if given the chances handed to them by MSU. Here I was under the impression that NBC was the ND network. Guess I had it all wrong.

  5. Its easy to come back and win when you’re trying to get your sister out of purgatory for sucummbing to the throbbing loins of A.J. Hawk.

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