First, I'd like to apologize in advance for any abrasiveness you might encounter below. I like to pride myself as a glass is half full type of guy, but right about now, the glass is precariously low and smells like piss.
Now, on to the topic at hand. I realize there's a small percentage of you that will wake up proud that your Buckeyes were able to hang with and lose a classic to the dominant team of this decade, but for the realists among the bunch, you're probably pretty damn frustrated.
I am as well. I just watched my once in a decade talent at quarterback get outplayed in his house by a true freshman. Chew on that for a second.
The crowd, the defense, and for the most part, the offense brought it Saturday night against as tough a team as they will likely face this season. But that's part of the problem. After getting completely embarrassed last season in LA, this was a game that was in reach -- indeed it was a game that should have been won, but instead we're left with the same turd-eating feeling that has become all too familiar of fans of this program.
The biggest question going into Saturday night was how the much maligned OSU offensive line would fare against the stout USC defensive front. While you can debate the effectiveness of playcalling in the ground game, when Pryor was put into passing situations, his line kept him clean and he flat-out did not get it done. The line, blasted by all comers for nearly 18 months came to play. Yet we're handing USC a gimme touchdown off a first quarter pick, bizarro delay of game calls (on the staff), a crucial intentional grounding call and a final drive you knew was headed for the cemetery before it even took off.
Pryor was given every opportunity to get his first signature win, but did not deliver. He will probably get it sooner than later, but right now he's the pet project of a coach that has a nice little string of big game flops going for him (six straight to top five opponents). And the pet project isn't coming along as quickly as it should be.
I mean how do you hold Joe McKnight to 3.8 yards per carry, keep the USC receivers out of the endzone and hold their true freshman quarterback under 50 percent for the night and still come up short? At home? USC gave the Buckeyes five points off a field goal that hit the cross bar and a high snap on a punt that led to a safety, the home crowd was about as incredible as you're ever going to see it and you still couldn't bring home a game that you led 90% of the time?
There are many positive takeaways from Saturday night and if your idea of an awesome season is dropping one here or there but still beating the Wolverines, then you might still have a good fall. But if you're the type that sees problems in the regime and watched the final drive in despair (Texas, anyone?), just knowing it would pay off for the bad guys, the next couple of days are not going to be easy.