A Different Mindset

By Alex on September 6, 2010 at 12:44p
OSU didn't need to be saved by Rolle this year

There's something to be said about the mood and mindset of a team heading into a big game. Some teams may go into a game feeling over-confident and get shocked with a back-hand to the face. Some teams go into a big match-up feeling like they don't deserve to be there or feel like they've been devestated by injury or tragedy so badly that they just fold up into a ball and take the beating that's coming to them. At times you feel like the team is going to turn a corner, but in the end gets the life sucked out of them with 16 seconds left on the clock and at other times you feel like you've finally broken through, only to suffer even more heartbreak. And then, there's the time everything finally clicks and you operate on all cylinders to finally get to the untapped potential that your coaches, players, and fanbase have been waiting four years for.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have traveled down a path of internal struggle for the last four years, but finally found the light at the end of the tunnel in the 2009 season. The Buckeye train kept heading towards that light and a new wave of confidence has swept over the program throughout the off-season and now at the start of the 2010 season. People are beginning to feel that this team is unstoppable, a la the 2006 Buckeyes during the regular season, and for the first time in a long time, the fans, critics, players, and coaches all feel differently heading into a marquee game. They feel Ohio State will get the job done. They feel that Miami is the team that will suffer the growing pains. They feel that all the heartbreak, gut-wrenching games Buckeye fans have had to battle through the last four years will finally pay-off in the form of that big time victory against a big time opponent.

Yes folks, Miami is in town this week, and you don't have to go back far to find the last time OSU took on a traditional powerhouse in week two of the season. That happened last year, of course, when #8 Ohio State took on the #3 USC Trojans in a ABC primetime match-up in Ohio Stadium. While the 2009 Buckeye team certainly was talented enough to win that game and at the end of the day should have won that game, they entered the contest in a much different fashion than the 2010 Buckeyes enter their game against "The U".

In week one of 2009, OSU took on Navy and escaped narrowly thanks to Brian Rolle by a score of 31-27. While playing Navy is a totally different beast than playing most teams, the Buckeyes just did not look that impressive. Nobody wanted to admit it at the time, but the results against Navy put a pit in everyone's stomach and set us all up as some foreshadowing that the team needed to make some vast improvements and changes before they were going to earn back some national respect. Florida fans should feel the same way this year, as their team looked horrid on offense in week one of 2010 against a Miami-Ohio team that was 1-11 last season. They will soon learn that while you can project that everything is "fine" on the outside, you know deep inside that something is wrong and you then get a Purdue Harbor to confirm your worries are valid.

Enter 2010, where the Buckeyes have Miami in week two, but have to beat a Marshall team coming off a 7-6 season and a bowl victory. The last time OSU took on the Thundering Herd they needed a Nugent special to come out on top 24-21, so this game could not be taken lightly. It certainly wasn't as OSU rolled to a 45-7 victory, a game in which the defense allowed zero points, just 44 yards on the ground, and looked like they were just munching on an appetizer before their entree of some roast Jacory. The offense came out and put up a whopping 529 yards, while the Terrelle Pryor show continued from Pasadena, as the junior threw for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns against 0 interceptions.

The feeling around the team was different this time around. For the first time in a long time OSU heads into a big game with a tremendous amount of confidence, while at the same time knowing any over-cockiness will lead to disappointment and failure like in past years. The attitude and mindset the team has coming into week two will prove to be extremely important, unlike their counterparts who seem to think beating FCS Florida A&M 45-0 annoints them as kings of college football.

Look carefully this week. You will see a different Ohio State football team than you have in the past. The team knows they need to focus on one game at a time, but also knows that they have something special in the big picture. Unlike flops against Florida, LSU, USC, Texas, and USC again, things will be different about the way Jim Tressel's squad goes about business. I can't promise you they're going to win against the Hurricanes, but what I can tell you is that this team is ready to play their hearts out for Buckeye Nation and with all of their weapons and their heads on straight, I think the fans will be quite pleased with the results late Saturday afternoon.


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themostbrian's picture

I agree that none of this guarantees a win, but I think this OSU team is ready to show-up for a big game like no team since the pre-Florida Troy Smith era.

As long as we stay aggressive on both sides of the ball, I see a victory.

Olentangy's picture

great post! greaet POV! what a great week!!

How firm thy friendship

ColdBuckeye's picture

Troy Smith to the Vikings?

Matt's picture

I feel the same way about the change in atmosphere.  However, I wouldn't characterize the Texas and second USC games as "flops", just as bad beats.  UF, LSU, and first USC were flops of the first degree.

themostbrian's picture

LSU was not a flop. That team was just better than we were and we kept it decently close for most of the game. Florida and @USC are the only OOC losses I would characterize as 'flops'.

Bucksfan's picture

I know in my drunken elation Thursday night I commented that it's maybe the most impressive start by a Tressel team I've ever seen, after saying all week that they're not going to look that good.

The situation hasn't changed just because they crushed Marshall in the opener.  I hate to be a bit of a jerk about this.  I am excited about the team, I really am...they look GOOD.  It's just that I will believe it when I see it.

There are still concerns with the defense.  They recorded no sacks, and the cornerbacks found themselves making some mistakes.  If you can't get pressure against Marshall, what are you going to do playing a team where Sentrel Henderson is a backup at a guard spot?  Also, Brandon Saine was the first to admit that he benefitted from the fact that he kept going untouched.  He will not go untouched against Miami.  Will he break the arm tackles?  We don't know.  And as far as I'm concerned, the special teams are a joke by Tressel standards.

So, let's not freak out just yet.  Stunning first half on Thursday, but let's keep it in perspective...nothing changes until it actually does.

Alex's picture

They recorded no sacks? Did you watch Tyler Moeller sack Anderson and force a fumble? Damn, beer must have been flowing REALLY heavy if you missed that. 

Bucksfan's picture

Sorry, meant to point out the d-line for sacks, not the defense as a whole. The fact that Marshall runs an offense that makes sacks difficult only reinforces my point that over-interpreting the first game is foolish. We still don't know what they are going to do.

Olentangy's picture

the majority of marshall's offense was short, quick 3-step drops with an insane amount of screens. you're not going to get a lot of sacks against that type of offense. calling out the defense for not getting a lot of pressure and/or sacks against an offense that employs the type of gameplan used by marshall is foolish. furthermore, when marshall did take a 5 step drop moeller killed the qb and cam heyward will be the 1st to tell you that he flat out missed a gimme sack as well. you cannot have an adequate sample size of the d-line's performance after 1 game versus that style of offense.

How firm thy friendship

Type G's picture

The team's change in attitude and mindset = +7 pts

TP's hairstyle = +10 pts

It's going to be a good season I reckon.

"No time for love, Doctah Jones!"

nowakkr's picture

AWESOME! Hahahahaha...I love TPs fade...he needs to keep going with the 80s flat top, kid n play style, with the fade and stripes down the side...osu should also bring back the nike swoosh that said nike above it...old school

Welcome to Buckeye City's picture

Interesting betting lines:

OSU -9.5 vs Miami

LSU -10 vs. Vanderbilt


Of course, LSU isn't national championship caliber, but the fact one of the SEC's big dawgs has the same line against a bottom feeder that OSU has against a Top 10 team (my opinion, and possibly the voters opinion when new polls come out Tuesday) in Miami.  Yet, when LSU is down, the national media isn't jumping on their backs like they would to tOSU after 1 loss.

What Would Woody Do?

BuckeyeChief's picture

Anyone catch the Glennville game? Horrible officiating towards both sides at the end; classy move by the Golden Bear's Grandson (who is a beast btw) throwing birds up at the end.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

Pam's picture

I caught the end and I was wondering who was the Dwyer kid flipping the bird.  That was the Golden Bear's grandson?  Wow.  Gramps can't be happy about that.

Normal Buck's picture

Good game, with a horrible end to the game.  Too bad the officials had such an impact on the outcome.  I had the same first thought when they showed the kid flying the bird as the broadcast signed off.  Can't say I would've reacted much differently under the circumstances though, when I was 17.   

AcrossTheField11's picture

I saw that... G'ville essentially got beat twice.  However, not starting the clock on that run play could have helped Dwyer out quite a bit in itself. 

Glenville always seems to be unimpressive when I watch their games.  The lack of dicipline and mental errors throughout their games make me grit my teeth.  I'm glad they got the W though.

So this begs the question... how long are we going to have to hear people from Florida complaining about a "blown call" in a big game against an Ohio team this time?

Go Bucks

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

BuckeyeChief's picture

Agreed; the zebras not starting the game clock would've screwed them. Nickalaus's Grandson is a MONSTER though.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

AcrossTheField11's picture

I've read on Bucknuts that we're on his shortlist.  Would be nice to have him and Vannett doing some dirty work on top of making plays in the passing game.  Start getting in his ear gramps.

BTW does anyone know if this was an OHSAA officiating crew.  Looks pretty bad for us as a state if it was.  Wonder how Herbie feels about his game ending this way.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

nowakkr's picture

If the Herbie classic made money,..I doubt Herbstreit cares or even is aware of what happened...

LizinNY's picture

Jerseys: For strippers and children under the age of 10.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I think its premature for anyone to say any team is championship caliber at this point. Even our beloved Buckeyes. I do agree with the general consensus that this was a strong start for any Tressel squad (I do remember hanging 50 on Texas Tech in the season opener of the 2002 season though) so we should giddy for that. Miami will be an early test for us. As we will be for them. But talking championships at this point is silly. One Saturday at a time Buckeye Nation.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama