Ohio State 17
Michigan State 16
Urban Meyer hugged his players and assistant coaches as they left the field in victory after a hotly contested Big Ten game Saturday afternoon. While at times it didn’t look pretty, the Buckeyes prevailed vs. a quality opponent on the road. Once again Ohio State needed Braxton Miller to be the focal point of the offense and he came through despite 3 turnovers in MSU territory.
Miller ran wild vs. the best defense in the Big Ten and the 6th best defense in the entire country. He had 134 yards rushing and 179 yards passing and the deciding touchdown to Devin Smith. Miller was battered and bruised all day vs. an aggressive MSU defense that typically doesn’t like to play nice. Miller had his head rocked into a metal case on the sideline in the 1st quarter than lead to Kenny Guiton coming in to finish the drive for a TD thanks to a Jordan Hall dive across the goal line to make it 7-0.
Miller also looked like he hyper-extended his knee in the 4th quarter as he surrendered the ball for his 3rd turnover in the game. While I absolutely love Miller, he cannot simply drop the ball due to pain. The ball wasn’t forced out by a defender or touched by any other player…Miller simply dropped the ball on his own and it could have been disaster for OSU.
- The Ohio State offensive line was for much of the game dominant vs. an elite defensive front. Last year OSU gave up 9 sacks and had 178 total yards and 35 yards rushing. This year OSU amassed. 383 total yards and 204 yards rushing.
- Braxton Miller…once again was the best player on the field. He out rushed Le’veon Bell by over 80 yards and threw the game winner. Another gutsy performance. Urban Meyer called Miller a family member after the game.
- Carlos Hyde. Hyde had multiple 1st down runs on the final drive to run out the clock. He ran with power AND vision. Glad to have him back.
- The defense stepped up big time vs Bell. The defensive front was outstanding, lead by Jonathan Hankins who is proving he could be an early NFL pick come April.
- Linebackers stepped up finally. Sabino had his best game of the year and Shazier had some key stops as well. This was the best we have seen the OSU defense play thus far.
- Seeing Danonio’s smug face after his team lost.
What To Work On:
- File the under “no kidding” but Miller cannot turn the ball over 3 times. He potentially wiped away points on three separate drives. Luckily OSU won. He had issues with fumbling to start the season last year, let’s hope this doesn’t become an issue.
- Tackling is still an issue. The lone MSU TD was a sloppy slap fest at the ball as the MSU tailback took it in from 29 out. OSU has caused very, very few fumbles and missed about a million tackles. Just tackle the guy and play team defense. That play was embarrassing.
- What is going on with Jake Stoneburner? He was a player that was overly hyped coming into this season. We all heard he would be the next Aaron Hernandez. So far he hasn’t done all that much. Through 5 games he has 7 catches for 92 yards. Last year at the same time he had 10 catches for over 100 yards and last year he missed a game as well. What is going on with the tightened production?
All in all it was an outstanding win that put the Buckeyes in the drivers seat in their division. It will be difficult for OSU to get up for every game like they did vs. MSU and must keep the train rolling vs. Nebraska at the Shoe this Saturday.