Gameday: (1) OSU vs. Illinois – Semi-live Update

OSU FootballA couple things before the game starts:

  • Shawn Crable and the rest of the UM defense made some pretty dirty plays against Wisconsin. I also noticed that Wisconsin’s D wasn’t as chippy today as they were last week in the ‘Shoe. This does not compute.
  • Andre Ware is the new Trev “I miss Mark” Alberts. I’m not sure he has a left side to his brain.
  • I was hoping Michigan won today. I really didn’t want extra motivation going into next week. This is something that doesn’t bode well for Ohio State. But maybe, just maybe, they are truly beaten down and they ain’t getting up again.
  • And another thing — Mississippi State beat Alabama, the same Alabama that took LSU down to the wire. Can we now say that the SEC is not, in fact, the power conference? Please?

Now let’s go Bucks!

First Half

First play — 65 yards down the field. Uh-oh, Spaghetti-OH!

Second Half

I had to step out for a little while and now I return to this horror! Gah!!

Congrats to the Illini.

And now they fighting. Great job.

I’m not feeling so hot right now, so I’ll just let this soak.

sportsMonkey here:
It’s still a great season, everybody! Don’t fret too much.

It’s okay to be disappointed that the Bucks won’t go to the BCS game, but that’s an unreasonable expectation for any team. If it happens – hey great. But don’t forget what the real OSU goals are: (1) Big Ten title, and (2) victory over UM. Sure, it would have been nice to dispatch an overrated SEC team in the title game, but that would have been a bonus. Trust me when I tell you that, if the Bucks win next week, you won’t be so upset about today’s loss.

Still, I know some still want to blow off steam about today’s game, so here are some points for discussion:

  1. Do not blame the defense for the loss… Illinois is a fine offensive football team. The goats in this game are Boeckman and Tressel.
  2. el Kaiser will vouch for the fact that earlier this year I said that, if the Bucks lost this season, it would be due to Boeckman’s underthrown wounded ducks. Not that I’m happy about being right… but I’m just sayin.
  3. 4th down, 7 minutes to go, Illinois punting… and Tressel calls a time out?!? Worst coaching decision of his career here at tOSU. It allows Zook to change his mind, he goes on 4th… and that’s the game. Even Zook expressed puzzlement after the game; he was ready to give the ball back to the Bucks in good field position with 7 minutes left. As bad as the O-line and Boeckman were playing, OSU still had an opportunity to go for the win, but the coaches took it away from the team.
  4. The Illini football players running over to the Buckeyes to taunt them after the loss is the most classless thing I’ve ever seen, and they’d better know that the Buckeyes won’t forget that when they travel to Champaign next year.
  5. It’s a long shot, but keep in mind there are three weeks left, and lots of matchups and rivalry games between teams from the top 5. It’s conceivable that OSU could climb back up to #2, if enough teams ahead of them lose. Not likely, but possible. Remember, that same scenario was the only reason OSU was #1 to begin with.
  6. Silver-lining: OSU, UM, Wisco, and Illinois will probably be ranked in the top 25, and have all proven themselves very capable of being strong contenders in their bowl games. Add in PSU, and the Big Ten should, once again, have a very good postseason.

Sylvester Yon-Rambo here:
I truly believe the world wont end today.

With that said I honestly believe that there is no way not to blame every aspect of this game on everyone. It is the coaches fault for many blunders it is the Offense fault for not performing the plays. It is the defense fault for not stoping Illinois. It is the Speacial Teams fault for not performing better. It is the fans fault for not cheering louder all game long ….instead they sat there and thought to themselves all game long we are ok we will come back….. so they didnt get loud until it was too late.

Now onto Illinois. CONGRATS you guys are the first ones all year to watch tape of the Florida game last year. The game plan was exactly the same….. SPread us out and run on occasion and throw deep when we load the box. It was such an exact replay of the NC game that it was frightening. SO with that said kudos to ZOOK and company for calling a great game and realiseing our weakness.

Now onto the players…. you played a great game and beat us on every side of the ball. Now go over and cheer with your 3000 fans and enjoy what you just accomplished……. instead you act like thugs and morons and try and dance on our BLOCK O…. What a truly classless act. I am sick and tired of other teams being disrespectful to our team and stadium everytime they get a win here…… You will win a game here and there and get to do this but we will win 20-30 games and not do it on your field…. ZOOK this is your fault for letting the bottum of the barrel players get away with acting like they actually helped get this win.

Now onto my favorite subject….. scUM

scUM week is officially on and the winner of this game will at least get a Rose Bowl invite….. if not BETTER lol.

So in brief I will say this about this weeks game. scUM couldnt run a SPREAD if they were putting butter on bread.

Regaurdless of which QB plays this week niether can run for 2 yards let alone 20.

Thier running game will not be based on tricks and gimmicks.

So it wont matter if Hart is in the backfield or not….. we know he will run behind Jake Long.

So I see this game going the same way they have for 5 out of 6 years a complete and convincing victory for the Buckeyes.


  1. What the “f”?! You’ve got to think the defense doesn’t allow this to happen again…

  2. I can’t believe The Vest didn’t challenge that long run. It was clearly a fumble – someone fell asleep at the switch there. The defense needs to wake the fuck up and get their shit sorted out.

  3. Not sure what to tell you guys. The worst part of all thus is all the crap Buckeye fans are going to have to take. That’s the worst part.

  4. It’s one thing to lose a game. Everyone loses at some point. It’s another thing entirely to play so poorly that you embarrass not only yourselves, but your fans and the institution that you represent. That was, quite literally, the sorriest game I’ve seen the Buckeyes play in years. Not even getting waxed by Florida was more embarrassing than this.

    It’s Illinois. It’s not like they’re tricky or have a complex offense to stop. If Iowa can stop them, you’d damn sure hope the Silver Bullets could be bothered to fucking show up and play a couple downs against them. Absolutely terrible. Inexcusably poor performance.

    I need a drink.

  5. GO BLUE

  6. The worst part of all of this was that it was Senior Day.

    For a relatively young team it’s sad to see the seniors end their careers at the horseshoe on such a embarrassing note.

  7. @Beardguy – Drink one for me, too.

    @Lowery – seriously? You gonna go there?

    @C – There’s always next week.

  8. I almost could care less about the next 2 games, even though they’ve performed beyond expectations up to this game. After it was obvious they wouldn’t end up 8-4 or 9-3 in the regular season, it was all about living up to being the #1 team, controlling their destiny, and getting back to the NC game. Vindication was the theme. Their motivation was the blowout loss on January 8th. Some motivation, because the game tonight just became the worst loss at home to a Big 10(11) also-ran team ever, topping the ’98 team losing to MSU. Quite honestly, 2007 has been shades of John Cooper when you lump Jan. 8th in the mix.

    For them to come out and play that badly…at home, to one of the worst passing offenses in the nation, was an abomination. No rhyme or pun intended. Boeckman played very well in probably 10 games this year if you ignore the 2 minutes in the MSU game. He threw 3 picks, missed and missed at least 2 wide open Tight Ends for long completions and possibly scores. The defense allowed approximately 13 of 15 minutes of TOP in the 4th quarter. (I’m fairly certain of that, anyway.) The coaching staff couldn’t make adjustments for a simple QB option in the 4th quarter, and didn’t call a timeout to allow the fumble to be reviewed. (That the refs blew that is beyond abominable. You bet your arse if Beanie did that it would have been overturned in short order.)

    I just can’t wrap my head around that performance.

  9. @Tom – Vindication became the theme, after 7 or 8 games into it. I don’t think anyone thought we’d be 10-0 coming into this games. Most fans conceded and 10-2, 9-3 season this year. That would have been fine. But I agree with Monkey above. There are still plenty of opportunities to end this season on a very good note.

    As baffling as this loss was, things could be worse.

    Trust me, I know all about things being worse.

  10. el Kaiser:

    “Vindication became the theme, after 7 or 8 games into it. I don’t think anyone thought we’d be 10-0 coming into this games. Most fans conceded and 10-2, 9-3 season this year. That would have been fine. But I agree with Monkey above.”

    Yep. That’s almost exactly what I said in my comment.

    “After it was obvious they wouldn’t end up 8-4 or 9-3 in the regular season, it was all about living up to being the #1 team, controlling their destiny, and getting back to the NC game. Vindication was the theme.”

    Obviously, things could be worse. They could have a few more losses. And then, there are topics outside of football that are much worse.

    However, the reality is, we’re talking College Football, and Tressel was using the “41-14 theme” all year. And, they now have 1 loss, and it was a real stinker at home on Senior Night that cost them a shot at the National Title. The seniors now have 2 games from 2007 to look back on that will eat at them for the rest of their lives. As I said, shades of Cooper. Unfortunate, but true.

  11. I’m sorry sportsMonkey, but the D has to carry some of the load on this one as well. Look at the ToP in the 4th quarter (as Tom mentioned). No matter HOW great an offense is (and Illinois isn’t that great, they played very well today, but they are not the offensive juggernaut Oregon is) your D needs to come up with a stop at some point in the 4th–even if it’s 4 down territory. Particularly, since they were milking the clock and running nearly every down (yes, part of that is certainly on the coaching, but I don’t know how many times I saw Illinois players falling forward, which is something that was uncharacteristic of this defense up until a few weeks ago).

    The D looked bad for most of the game today and the O was inconsistent at best (during the last touchdown drive it looked like they might have everything clicking again, but those 2nd half picks killed any chance OSU had at stealing this game).

    The defensive play is unfortunately panning out like it did last year where it played solid football for the first 10 games (or so) and then began to fall apart (or perhaps be exposed) during the close of the season. I’m hoping this game was an aberration and they’ll ready to hit some people next week…but I’m not nearly as confident as I was a few weeks ago.

    I’m not saying the sky is falling, I’m just saying I hope they play up to their ability next week and the coaches improve their play-calling.

  12. sportsMonkey:

    I missed your point #5. I think you’re underestimating how far the Buckeyes will fall. They’re out of the top 10 because of their weak schedule, the now verified perception that they were pretenders, the fact they lost at home to an unranked team, and the time of the year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them ranked as low as 15 in some of the polls this Sunday.

    They have about as much of a chance of getting to the #2 ranking this year as a snowball’s chance in hell.

    Also, in case you didn’t notice, the D-line got manhandled for about the 2nd or 3rd time this season. Mike Hart will be back and much healthier than expected next week, and if it’s one thing that team can do, it’s run the ball with him in the game. I think their chance of winning in Ann Arbor now is next slim and none–and slim just left town.

  13. A couple of things the morning after…

    I’m still disappointed, but the fact of the matter is we still can still beat Michigan and go to the Rose Bowl. It isn’t the NC game, but 11-1 and a Rose Bowl isn’t bad.

    I don’t like that el Kaiser called the timeout on 4th down Tressel’s biggest coaching error ever. The Buckeyes had too many men on the field and if he doesn’t call the TO, they get the 1st down anyway. The Buckeyes had there chances on that last drive to stop the Illini with 3rd and 10 and a 3rd and 8, but couldn’t do it. Credit Illinois for executing and wanting it more.

    I for one have felt the athletic talent that Illinois has been acculumulating was going to rise the level of the Big 10. They will be on the level of the Buckeyes, scUM, Wisconsin, and PSU consistently. I just thought it was going to be next year tnat they might beat us. Congrats to them, they made the plays they had to and beat the #1 team in the country in a hostile environment. Welcome to the Big 10 Illinois, now get ready to here how much our conference sucks.

    I also don’t like the Cooper reference, because he made his entire stay in Columbus a choke job in big spots and never beat scUM. Tressel can lose the next five big games this team plays in and he a still won’t be Cooper. Why? Because he has made the Buckeyes a threat every year by winning big games.

    Hopefully the sting is gone by Monday from this lose and we can all get excited about the possibility of beating that other team we play next Saturday.

  14. Two quick comments… I was at the game, and the fans in my section didn’t have a problem with the time out when Illinois had fourth down. We had too many men on the field due to substitutions and would have given them a first down by penalty.

    As for the non-fumble, I haven’t seen a replay yet (and the end of the play was completely out of view for me), but I was under the impression that you can’t review a fumble if the refs call them down and blow the whistle. That’s why referees are instructed to call it a fumble when in doubt and let the replay process happen. Or was it originally called a fumble? Like I said, I couldn’t see the end of that play at all.

  15. @ Tom – After it was obvious they wouldn’t end up 8-4 or 9-3 in the regular season, it was all about living up to being the #1 team

    I guess my point is that expecting any team to be and stay #1 is unreasonable.

    There are too many factors beyond any team’s control that contribute to an undefeated season. Not only do you have to be better than everyone else, but all the balls have to bounce your way. All the important calls have to come in your favor. No team in the history of college football has earned the title without a little help from “luck” or the “refs” or the “voters” or whatever. Not one.

    It’s patently unfair to expect any team to be perfect. If it happens – hey great.

    Believe it or not, OSU football is about Big Ten championships and the UM rivalry. Has always been and will be. It’s not about national titles. If they happen, hey great. If all a fan cares about is titles, then that’s what the NFL is for.

    Some motivation, because the game tonight just became the worst loss at home to a Big 10(11) also-ran team ever, topping the ‘98 team losing to MSU.

    Not the worst loss by a large margin. The loss against MSU was “HOW IN THE WORLD DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!?” OSU was #1 that year by TOTAL consensus. Men playing with boys. And they dominated that entire game. MSU came back in the last few minutes and won.

    One final thought about your comment: ILLINOIS IS NOT AN “ALSO-RAN.” This is a good team that will finish the season with 9 or 10 victories. This is the team that will at least tie for second place in the Big Ten. This is the team that will be expected to challenge OSU for the title next year. Williams & company are just sophomores… the next year or two are going to be interesting.

    @ E –
    The D looked bad for most of the game today and the O was inconsistent at best

    The D did exactly what we thought they would do; it’s the offense that put them in bad positions.

    Look at my prediction from yesterday; I figured that Illinois was the best offense the Bucks would see, matchup wise, and gave them 20 points. I didn’t account for Illinois scoring 14 points off turnovers, and being able to run EIGHT MINUTES off the clock out off another turnover. Remove just one of Boeckman’s turnovers and the Bucks win. Way too many unlikely things happened at the same time for the Bucks to salvage the game.

    The OSU D was on the field for the last 8 minutes of the game. No matter how good your defense is, they’re tired after 8 minutes. Not the D’s fault.

    Oh, and both teams entered the fourth quarter tied statistically. It wasn’t a “spanking.”

    The only constructive criticism I have of the D is that often they were seen hitting, not tackling. On Williams’ last first down, Gholston caught him five yards behind the first down marker, but didn’t wrap him up, he just hit him, allowing Juice to fall forward past the marker.

    @ James & Dave –
    the fans in my section didn’t have a problem with the time out when Illinois had fourth down. We had too many men on the field due to substitutions and would have given them a first down by penalty.

    I don’t like that el Kaiser called the timeout on 4th down Tressel’s biggest coaching error ever. The Buckeyes had too many men on the field

    According to Tressel in his news conference, he “wanted that decision back.” There weren’t too many men on the field, he called the time out to apparently discuss whether they wanted to choose between going for a good return or a block. Bad, bad decision.

  16. Now that I’m done breaking things, I can be slightly less pissed off about this. Let’s be blunt here: no one on our side of the ball played well.

    On Offense, the line wasn’t doing a good job. There was pressure on Boeckman all night and the run game got stuffed routinely (i.e. Beanie had under 4 YPC). I expected Lehman to make plays (let’s face it: he’s great), but their front four really should be dominating the big hogs like that.

    Boeckman was making poor decisions under pressure. This one is equal parts poor blocking and inexperience. There were shades of the MSU game in this all night. He simply wasn’t making good decisions in the face of the pass rush. Not all of the interceptions can be pinned on him (the endzone pick was a toss-up, but he probably shouldn’t have attempted that throw).

    On Defense, there was nothing going there. OSU was clearly keyed on Mendenhall all night – and play action was their bane. As best I can remember, all 4 TD passes came on play action or scrub routes. Everyone was reading run. I am not too upset about this – UI hasn’t shown much of a passing game, and I think OSU game planned accordingly. However, not having a spy on Juice all night seems like a huge mistake. You know he’s going to run, that’s what he does. Spy on him. Seems pretty obvious.

    Outside of UI’s good gameplan to exploit play action, our defense just didn’t do fundamental things very well. There was no pass rush to speak of. I won’t complain about the routine holding that Vern received, but it was there and uncalled. However, even if he got held every play, there are 10 other guys on the field who should be doing a better job. No one tackled well, everyone was slow in pursuit, it was just ugly. I can’t find anything good to say about this performance.

    The thing that bothers me the most is that the perception is that Illinois is bad; they’re not. They’re a damn good team – if they played in the SEC, they’d be ranked where Georgia is ranked. The fact of the matter is that no matter what happens, no one from the Big Ten is going to get any respect because of the SEC hype machine that’s been running full steam for 5 years.

    After the Big Ten went 2-1 in head to head play with the SEC last year, the hype machine just ignored the two losses and focused on one win. It’s pretty much bullshit. LSU has played like a D2 school for weeks now, but no one cares. Their record is full of victories over barely .500 teams, yet they are perceived as being all powerful. It makes me physically ill. I can only hope that either LSU faces Oregon and gets thoroughly pummeled, or that LSU loses in the SEC championship game and gets locked out of the MNC. Something’s got to give, because I can’t take another year of unwarranted unjustified SEC hype.

  17. Just for the record, that was sportsMonkey who called Tressel’s TO a bad call, not me 🙂

    If there were 12 men on the field, then it had to be called. If not, then it was an unfortunate call.

    Let’s just make the necessary adjustments and beat the ever-loving pants of the Wolverines. Then get ready for Oregon or Oklahoma or whomever the BCS is going to throw at us.

  18. Sports Monkey- (apologies to el Kaiser)

    I don’t mean to continue to bemoan the point, but it was a little harsh about the T.O. being the worst coaching decision Tressel has made.

    Just to make sure that we have the entire Tressel quote (and the link), and not a snipet, here it is:

    “Well, I wish I wouldn’t have called timeout. When they had their punt team out there, we still had 12 or 13 guys out, which was — would have been a problem, but I guess hindsight, I’d have liked to have not called that because at least we would have had a chance with the ball back, but it’s hard to communicate. It’s hard to get people off the field. It’s loud out there and I’d like to have that one back.”

    Enough from me on the topic…GO BUCKS…Michigan Sucks!!!!!

  19. Stop blaming Tressel for this loss. he called TO in the 4th quarter because we had too many men on the field and would have been blown for a penalty to allow them to convert anyway.

    We lost because our QB threw 3 horribly bad INT’s, our pass D blew 3 wide open coverages for 3 TD’s and the D couldn’t stop a QB from running and converting 2 straight 3 and 10 plus situations late in the 4th to allow them to run out the clock. That’s execution not coaching.

  20. Dave, Phil:

    Thanks for the entire quote, for putting Tressel’s comment in context. However, still, most would argue that having 12 or 13 guys on the field at once is the definition of a coaching mistake. Whether it’s a bad TO or a penalty, it comes from confusion on the sidelines from the coaching staff.

    For the record, I don’t blame Tressel for the loss… I credit Juice Williams and Zook for the win.


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