OSU/Minnesota – Semi-live update

OSU FootballAs we were worried about yesterday, the weather looks to be terrible for this game. The rain that has been steadily falling for the past 48 hours has stopped, but the damage has probably been done on the Shoe’s terrible “grass” (otherwise known to football players as “dirt painted green”). It looks more and more like OSU is moving to field turf at the end of the season.

It’s an odd afternoon. Many places in Ohio are under a high-wind warning. Sustained winds in Columbus are 29 mph, with gusts to 50. The Sun comes out for 20 minutes, then a hard five minute rainshower follows. November weather, without the cold or snow (it’s pretty warm at ~50 degrees).

I’m expecting short punts, a rough passing game, and problems with FGs. Still, OSU should own Minnesota’s defense today… so I don’t think the weather will affect anything other than the final score (might be a bit lower than usual).

End of First Half
Score: 17-0
OSU is dominant, even through a pretty sloppy effort offensively. Six drives, three scores, no punts. Two drives stopped by sloppy fumbles, one by an offensive penalty when OSU was preparing for another score right before the half.

Pittman is an animal – I don’t have his stats right now, but he’s got near 100 rushing already, plus about another couple of dozen receiving.

Disgusting how the broacasters “blamed” Ray Small for being on the bad side of the helmet-to-helmet hit. “Yes, it was helmet-to-helmet, but Ray has to get his head out of the way.” WTH?!?! If that wasn’t the worst logic of the century, the analyst went further by blaming Troy Smith for it! “Smith should have been the eyes for Ray Small.” Vomitous. It’s been years since I’ve seen Tressel so angry at the officials.

Defense dominant as always. I doubt Minnesota has any positive rushing yards. Getting it done in the middle, on the ends, and in the secondary.

End of Game
Final Score: 44-0

Wow. The past four games or so, the OSU defense has come within one play or so of a shutout, and it was great to see it finally happen today.

Five rushing TDs today. Troy Smith, Pittman (2), Wells, and Zwick. Those who “complain” about the lack of Troy Smith’s passing numbers should consider that today’s game plan was all about the rush. Still, Smith had another “Heisman highlight-reel” moment when scrambling for his TD rush. He totalled 226 yards & 2 TDs (one pass, one rush).

The best moment of the second half was the elation on Smith’s face when backup Justin Zwick rushed for a TD. He cheered & hollered for Zwick, who, after leading a flawless, long (mostly on the ground) drive using only second/third stringers, dived across the line for the last TD.

Still, I feel the Bucks were a little sloppy on offense overall, but it’s hard to tell how much of that was due to the weather.

Seeing the Golden Bear “dotting the i” with tears in his eyes is a historic Buckeye moment. I was hoping he would take a golf club & make a few practice swings, but his simple wave & tip of the hat was unbelievably classy. Not many outside of Columbus know this, but it was Woody Hayes who told Jack Nicklaus to stick to golf, and supported him by attending when Nicklaus played his US Opens. Hayes even served as a sports reporter for Jack when he played competitively, since papers weren’t sending reporters to follow OSU’s best golfer! Hayes served as Jack’s journalist, sending reports and updates to the local papers.

Back to OSU, it’s great to see another Tressel defense peaking toward the end of the year. This team keeps getting better every week, and it’s refreshing.

Comments

  1. I’m glad to finally hear someone claiming Pittman will be in the talks for the Heisman next year. Except when Mark went into the commercials with “It’s Pittman time!”. That sucked.\

  2. Could they be anymore inconsistant with helmet to helmet hits? That was bullshit. Seriously. Sorry to post twice in a row, but that was violent and clearly helmet to helmet.

  3. As an OSU fan, part of me wants Pittman to stay… but my money would be on him going to the NFL. He’d be a pretty-certain first rounder.

    But if he stays… oh, boy. How exciting would that be?

  4. sportsMonkey – he’s been saying he wants to stay. SYR said he was quoted as saying “I want to bring a Heisman back to Akron.” Good for him. And it was great seeing Smith hopping up and down for Zwick. That was a great moment.

    As for the helmet-to-helmet, what is the official rule? I thought it was only illegal to go h-t-h with the QB?

  5. I don’t think Pittman will go to the NFL yet. He isn’t quite there yet, plus he isn’t big enough to make an immediate impact (5-11, 195).

  6. Just another thought on the Ray Small hit. When Chad Johnson was laid out by Brian Russell of the Browns earlier in the year, ESPiN said that they will never show a hit in which a player is injured. Tonight on Gameday Final, when they have the segment where their little rock band plays, “Lights Out”, or whatever the title of that song is supposed to be, the last hit they featured was the Ray Small hit. I guess that their rule only applies to NFL wide receivers that they like a lot and who will make commercials for them. It doesn’t apply to wide receivers from universities they really don’t like and give less than two minutes per week to. Maybe if the Buckeyes would just change their name to USC-at-tOSU.

  7. I don’t think the announcers blamed Ray for the hit. I think it was more an observation that because he was trying to stop, his head went down and it was right in the way. I don’t think they laid “blame” on either one. Hits like that just happen.

    They were slightly justified with their comments about Troy, because he really did leave Ray out to dry. *However*, if you watch the reply, the DB didn’t pounce until after the ball was in the air. It looked like Ray had some clear yards … plus I think Ray might have been shielding the DB from view.

    All in all, just another football play.

  8. Yeah… hits like that do happen. That’s why they wear the helmets & pads, right?

    What bothered me about the hit wasn’t so much the helmet-to-helmet thing, but rather that the Big Ten has been so inconsistent with the call. OSU’s been on the short end of that call when it wasn’t justified, and if there was ever a case that justified the call, it was the hit on Small.

    The DB wasn’t trying to simply make an open field tackle, he was going after Small with a violent intent. And I have no problem with that, so long as the officials let OSU do the same thing to its opponents. But they don’t (read: Richardson’s hit on McCoy in the Texas game).

    Either don’t call it or be consistent when you do, is all I’m saying.

    All the same, I bet a hit like that makes Ray Small a better WR. Welcome to the Big Ten, dude!! 🙂

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