Ohio State vs. Miami


For a better part of a decade Miami Hurricane fans have been complaining that the passing interference call vs. OSU was BS. Let’s get this out of the way early:

Now, onto Saturday’s primetime game.

The Al Golden era has begun in Miami. They lost their first game of the season to a Maryland team that quite frankly isn’t all that good. The Miami defense was without most of their starters and that was a real issue, as Maryland amassed 499 yards of total offense, however only scored 32 points thanks to a sputtering red zone offense.

Also missing from that game was Jacory Harris, Miami’s starting QB for the last couple years. As most Buckeye fans remember, Harris threw 4 interceptions last year in the Shoe and struggled most of the day with constant pressure from OSU’s defensive line. For those counting on Harris to fork over footballs to the Buckeye’s defense like douche bag politicians handing out campaign bumper stickers… it’s not going to happen. Either he will play a mistake free game or at the first sign that he is going to turn into an interception machine Golden will yank him for ultra talented sophomore Stephen Morris. Morris showed flashes vs. Maryland but threw 2 costly INT’s of his own including a pick six that sealed the game.

Miami runs a pro style offense very similar to USC. Which ever QB Golden goes with they will surely rely on their running game, or try to with tailback Lamar Miller. Miller averaged 6.6 yards per carry last week on his way to a 119 yard, 1 TD night. He kept the Hurricane’s in the game and should be productive come Saturday night.

The OSU defense needs to be great. That will be difficult because their best pass rusher Nathan Williams will be out after having a minor surgery recently. OSU does get back the suspend Travis Howard, their #1 corner. The big eaters up front need to clog those running lanes and that means Garrett Goebel, Big Hankins and Johnny Simon need to continue their stellar play. Look for Andrew Sweat to have 8987 tackles in this game.

The OSU offense last week was, well, offensive. They barely managed 300 total yards and scored only 3 touchdowns. Braxton Miller didn’t get a single rep and was held out because he missed practice time the week before the Toledo game. He is full go this week and could play a big role in the offense. Also back from suspension is Jordan Hall. Jon Gruden called Hall the best player on Ohio State’s team during a recent visit. Having Hall running and running well will open up Stoneburner on playaction.

I have to think that last week OSU was playing conservative on purpose, for multiple reasons. Not only to protect Joe Bauserman with an injured and ill practiced Miller on the bench, and also to not show their cards come Saturday vs. Miami. I see Miller, Hall and Berry all getting meaningful playing time and being used primarily out of the gun. Ohio State’s offense desperately needs playmakers on the field and Miller, Hall and Berry all fit that description. Berry average 8.3 yards per carry last year and NEEDS to be on the field far more often.

If Ohio State can figure out how to play special teams — you know, learn how to block for your punter and actually make a field goal I see OSU winning this game. But only if those skill players play early and often. I think Harris will play better than last year but make a critical error at the worst possible time.

OSU: 31
Miami: 20

OSU pictures above curtesy of Josh Winslow at jwinslow.com


  1. OSU 37
    Miami 24

  2. OSU 24
    Miami 13

  3. Because I don’t know which OSU team will show up, I have two predictions:

    Akron OSU (Baus/Miller combo, passing accuracy, and swarming D): OSU 35-17

    Toledo OSU (QBs low accuracy, defense slow to respond, coaching and playcalling failure): Miami 24-14.

    I guess that leaves “the middle” where a little bit of everything happens, which implies OSU 24-20 in a close one. But I don’t like that score because it requires Basil to kick a FG, which we know won’t be happening much this year… (and everyone else seems to be including FGs as part of their score. Have you all seen Basil these past few years? Multiples of 7, ya’ll.)

  4. The Buckeye D is due for a safety, sportsMonkey 🙂

  5. Comparatively speaking:

    OSU vs. Toledo vs. BSU vs. Toledo:

    Total Offense vs. Toledo:

    OSU: 301
    BSU: 610

    Total Defense vs. Toledo:

    OSU: 338
    BSU: 349

    Eric Page:

    OSU: 215 total yards, 2 TD’s, 1 2 PT conversion
    BSU: 172 total yards, 0 TD’s

    What lesson was learned? QB play needs to be FAR better, and the best skill players OSU has needs to be on the field at all times. BSU forced Toledo away from their strength which is the short passing game, namely screen passes. They forced Toledo to throw the ball down field which the Rockets couldn’t do to save their lives. How did they do this? They had a varied and potent attack….they forced Toledo respect the passing game and not stack the box.

    This killed Toledo.

    OSU desperately needs some imagination on offense. They need to get players out of the box and force teams to respect the pass.

    If they continue to rely on their running game…they will get blown out vs. Miami.

    OSU has to take chances with their offense….or they will be in a hole EARLY.

  6. sportsMonkey says

    @Kade – I’m not sure you can draw that conclusion based on the Boise game. OSU’s problem against Toledo wasn’t the failure in the power rushing game – it was the lack of any attempt to use it.

    Every time OSU played power football (off-tackle, Iso, or “up the gut”), they were blowing Toledo off the line and getting 4-5 yds. Yet Fickell refused to let them do this, and instead utilized a stretch rushing scheme – sweeps, bootlegs, end arounds, etc that weren’t working. Then the passing game became deep home run attempts.

    I kept screaming at the TV “just go for the first down and you’ll get it” while Baus on 2nd and 7 would throw 20yd pass after 20 yd pass.

    In my humble opinion, the game was close because they showed TOO MUCH offensive imagination, instead of just pounding Toledo into submission in the first half and then doing what they wanted to the remains in the 2nd.

  7. I didn’t see very many 4-5 yard runs period. Toledo was stacking the box 1st and 2nd down. And I’m not sure the power running game was as successful as you think it was. This is a break down from the ozone:

    Run Type Breakdown

    Counter/Trap–2 (6%) for 5 yards–2.5 ypc

    Jet Sweep–3 (9%) for 8 yards–2.7 ypc

    Lead Zone/Iso–1 (3%) for 0 yards–0.0 ypc

    Option–3 (9%) for 46 yards 1 TD–15.3 ypc

    Outside Zone–10 (29%) for 32 yards–3.2 ypc

    Power–9 (26%) for 15 yards 1 TD–1.7 ypc

    QB run/scramble–2 (6%) for 7 yards–3.5 ypc

    Toss Sweep–2 (6%) for 1 yard–0.5 ypc

    TEAM—2 (6%) for -3 yards–(-1.5) ypc

    All in all, the running game was shut down by Toledo having 8-9 guys in the box. The deep throws were an effort to get those players out of the box. There were people open, but Bauserman either overthrew them or waited too long to throw the ball.

    Here is another great offensive analysis:


  8. sportsMonkey says

    I stand corrected about the YPC, but still maintain that fancy plays and homerun bombs are NOT the way to go with this offense. They need to do the exact opposite of taking chances.

    OSU’s best chance is to rely on the size of their O-line and pound pound pound. Had OSU done that last week, then the YPC would have averaged out in the 2nd half when the opposing D got worn down.

  9. sportsMonkey says

    Not sure how Miami game is going to work out, but so far (early in 2nd qtr) my point is being illustrated. All the constraint and stretch plays, along with the creative passing game = bunches of three-and-outs. Merciless pounding = long drive, lots of success, first points of game.

  10. What creative passing game?

  11. sportsMonkey says

    Forget “creative” – what PASSING game period?

    Until the garbage time drive in last 33 secs, OSU had ZERO 1st downs via the pass. Someone should find out if that’s ever happened to an OSU team before.

    Does Schoenhoft still have eligibility left?

  12. sportsMonkey says

    One more thought before I stop beating this dead horse. There is a silver lining to this beatdown: the offensive assistant coaches will probably be fired (finally). So if it takes a Miami loss to get Bollman out of here… that seems like a fair trade IMO.

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