So by now I am sure all of you know Ohio State beat Buffalo 40-20. Some of you are probably very happy with how the game went. Some of you are probably pretty upset by how the game went. Some of you are just content with how it went. So goes every sports game ever played and ever fan base ever.
That being said lets take a look at how the game went based on facts and not knee-jerk reactions. Ohio State came into the game with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Early on they showed flashes of what we all had envisioned this team to be over the long off-season.
OSU showed great speed and power in the run game. The Offensive line was blowing people off the line and opening gaping holes for Jordan Hall to have 2 long Touchdown runs of 49 and 37 yards. He finished the game with an impressive 21 carries for 159 yards and those 2 TDs.
The big question for the passing game was would Braxton Miller show improvement and would the WRs become playmakers. Braxton completed his first 7 passes and had a great early start throwing 2 TD passes in the 1st qtr. He had one really bad pass that ended up being a pick 6 by freak athlete Khalil Mack. Once the team got up big they went away from the passing game only throwing 5 total passes in the 2nd half. Braxton also suffered a lot with cramping like nearly everyone out there.
Kenny Guiton came in to spell Braxton when he had the cramping issues and led the team down the field and threw a TD pass on his first drive. Needless to say he is the best back-up in CFB IMO.
Dontre Wilson showed signs of being a star running the ball well and had a 51 yard KO return. He also had a bad fumble which isn’t surprising for a True Freshman.
Clearly the team was impressive going up big early and decided to not show their entire playbook early in the year and went vanilla for most of the game frustrating fans and media members alike.
So this part of the team seems to be taking a lot of I believe unwarranted criticism. They as a unit played most of the game with 10 new starters and played a lot of 1st year players and true freshman. Was the defense dominating? No not at all. Was the defense porous and bad? No not at all.
The only starter from last year who was able to play the whole game was Christian Bryant. Ryan Shazier missed a lot of playing time with cramping issues.
Against the run game OSU gave up 73 yards on 35 carries for a 2.1 YPC average. The longest run of the day was for 10 yards. If you take that run out of the equation it is a 1.8 ypc avg. They also had 0 TDs on the ground. Yet to hear some people talk the team was missing tackles left and right and awful. The facts don’t lie.
Against the pass game OSU gave up 185 yards on 32 pass attempts. That is 5.7 yards per attempt. Crazy right? The opposing QB completed 59% of his passes. The longest reception of the day was for 25 yards. 98% of the passes were quick dump passes that resulted in minimal gains but frustrated fans to no end. Should they have made adjustments to cut down on those quick hit passes? Probably so, I think with the young and inexperienced DBs they wanted to keep everything in front of them to not give up big plays. They had one big INT and gave up 2 bad TDs. They are young but talented and I think they played exceptionally well all things considered.
Cameron Johnston has a big leg avg 42 yards a punt on 3 punts. I wish he had more follow through on his kicks and would stay in statue form longer to take cheap penalties. But I am feeling good about punting.
Drew Basil was 1 for 1 on FGs hitting a 39 yarder. He was 3 for 3 on XPs. He seemed to be consistent on kickoffs as well pinning the team deep on them all with nice placement of his kicks tricking them into running them out and falling short of the 20 yard line by a group of sharks on KO coverage team.
Philly Brown bobbled a few punts but looked good on the others. He had 4 for 44 yards.
Dontre Wilson had a big KO return for 51 yards that he almost broke for a TD. Then they stopped kicking to him.
I enjoyed the game. I thought the team played well in all facets. I think they need to work on getting these young players more time to get the experience. Who knows when they will be needed down the road. I don’t think the team deserves the criticism but understand it. I think the long off-season combined with high expectations and last years early performances became the perfect storm for fans to be let down by a 40-20 win over a decent team. The good news is we will get some guys back this week from injury and suspensions oh and we will play a San Diego State team that lost badly to Eastern Illinois 40-19. Should be another easy game to get the players experience.