Iowa game wrap-up

Ohio State is now hoarding 62 of the 65 #1 votes in the AP Poll and 62 of the 63 top votes in the Coaches’ Poll. Seriously, you guys who are still voting for West Virginia, can we talk? Has West Virginia beaten a top-ten team? What about a top-15? No? Okay, how about a top-25? No? Fine, then it’s time to start looking at the facts, gentlemen. Ohio State is now clearly the best team in the country. Let’s start voting that way.

With that out of the way, let’s talk some more about the Iowa game. Let’s start with the defense. I thought we came into the game with an excellent defensive game-plan. Getting to Tate’s fragile psyche seemed like the order of the day. Everytime he rolled out, Laurinaitis was on him, blitzing, rushing, tackling. He was being pressured from the get-go. He wasn’t getting much support from his troops but he looked like he was getting frustrated early. The defense seemed to back-off with the pressure in the second half, letting Tate hurt himself. We were hoping for another tantrum, but none was forthcoming. Too bad.

Vernon Gholston. Can we say enough about this man? He is not human. (Don’t forget these arms). Keith has a great frame-by-frame of Gholston one-arming Albert Young to the turf. That was unfair. Teams simply can not block him. I think the scouting report on Gholston looks like this:

“OSU DE #50 is very difficult to block. He’s quick off the ball and extremely strong (see Exhibit A of his lethal weaponry). But we have the law of averages on our side. If #50 lines up across from you, your assigment is simple: You hold him. You hold him like it’s your job. Grab his jersey, pull on his facemake, bear-hug him, whatever it takes. Tackle him if you have to. The referee and umpire have to keep track of 10-12 players on each down. That gives you good odds. We’ll take the occasional holding call if you can get away with it 7 out of 10 times”

The rest of the defense is coming together handsomely. We still give up chunks of yards at times, but we’re getting great pressure from the front four and we’re taking the ball away easily. If I remember the stat correctly, we had 6 interceptions last year. We already have 11, with 3 interceptions in each of the last 3 games. And we’ve scored on defense. I guess losing four starters in the defensive backfield wasn’t such a bad thing.

Losing Anderson Russel is not good, but Jamario O’Neal will step up and perform.

On offense, it’s still business as usual. Smith is guiding the offense, which is becoming a well-oiled machine. Pittman is averging 5.9 yards a carry and Smith is completing 66% of his passes. Ginn, Gonzalez and Robiskie are making Smith look very good. Everything on the offense is very business like. The O-line is simply wearing people down (as the Monkey mentioned earlier). Against Iowa, Smith looked poised and was throwing the ball very well. He never looks rushed. It was good to see Roy Hall get a touchdown, he deserved it. Chris Wells came in and showed that he can do more than get short 3rd downs. The offense is becoming a 6-headed monster. Cut one off and another grows in its place.

So bring on the rest of the Big Ten. We should have a chance now to showcase Smith for all the Heisman voters while we ramp up to November 18th. Don’t let us down, Maize and Blue! Let’s have a #1 vs. #2, in the ‘Shoe.

A quick look back at our week 5 predictions:

Who gains the most yards, Troy Smith or Drew Tate?
Tate actually out-gained Smith, 250 to 208. Out-scored, on the other hand…

None of the MotSaG prognosticators got this one.

What about their total production (o/u: 700 yards)?
This one was under – 458 yards. It wasn’t that there was a short field, either. Just conservative numbers for each QB.

Zeke took the under on this one, but was still off on his total. We’ll give it to him.

How many turnovers does Laurinaitis cause (o/u 1.5)?
Laurinaitis came through in the end, intercepting Tate’s pass in the fourth quarter. Little Animal is everywhere


Zeke and el Kaiser called this one correctly. The sportsMonkey opted not to predict, but called for 2 turnovers on defense. Close, but no cigar!

Is this the game Teddy Ballgame breaks out on special teams?
Ted Ginn is still looking for a big run back this year. He played well on offense but his returns (only 3 of them) pretty much went nowhere. It’ll come, but it looks like he’s still forcing it.

The predictions on this were a little nebulous, so this won’t go on the record. We’re just anxious for Ted to take one to the house.

Zeke (2-3)
el Kaiser (1-3)
sportsMonkey (0-3)

(I’ll take a look at the other predictions and update the season totals, along with the commenters predictions, later)

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