Buckeyes Bearly Win, Top Cal 35-28

By Kyle Rowland on September 15, 2012 at 5:10p
Devin Smith enters Buckeye lore again.
13 7 0 15 35
7 0 7 14 28

This isn’t supposed to happen. Not at Ohio Stadium. Not against 17-point underdogs.

But Ohio State found itself tied at 28 with unranked California late in the fourth quarter. The outlook wasn’t good, either. Cal had dominated the second half, holding Ohio State to barely more than 100 yards of offense after the Buckeyes racked up 234 first-half yards and a 20-7 halftime lead.

When Braxton Miller trotted out on the field with four minutes, 20 seconds on the game clock and Ohio State’s season possibly hanging in the balance, he was as confident as ever.

“Let’s go!” Miller shouted in the huddle.

On the previous possession, with the game tied, Miller threw an ill-advised interception in front of the Cal bench. The pass was wobbly and missed its desired target by almost five yards. The Ohio State defense held serve, though, and forced Golden Bears’ placekicker Vince D’Amato into his third missed field goal of the afternoon.

There was still a nervous anxiety in the Horseshoe as Miller exhorted his teammates to rally together. Sure, he had struggled in the second half, and for large portions of the game, but this was still the wunderkind who led a miraculous game-winning drive against Wisconsin last season. And the guy who put Ohio State in position to win at Purdue until an extra point was blocked.

First down: Miller threw an incomplete pass to tight end Nick Vannett.
Second down: Running back Jordan Hall – playing in his first game of 2012 – gained three yards.
Third down: Now Ohio Stadium was at a fever pitch of nervousness. Some were thinking overtime, others feared the worst – Ohio State might lose this game in regulation.

Fear not. On 3rd-and-7 with 3:26 left, Miller found Devin Smith – who else? – wide open down the Buckeye sideline. There wasn’t a Cal defender within 10 yards of him. Miller’s pass was on the money, and Smith did the rest. Seventy-two yards later, the banks of the Olentangy were shaking and Ohio State was on top, 35-28.


  Cmp/Att Pct Yds TD Int Rat
Braxton Miller 16/30 53.3 249 4 1 160.4


  Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum
Jordan Hall 17 87 5.1 15 0 0
Braxton Miller 12 75 6.3 55 1 0
Corey Brown 1 5 5.0 5 0 0


  Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum
Devin Smith 5 145 29.0 72 2 0
Jake Stoneburner 3 44 14.7 40 2 0
Corey Brown 3 31 10.3 21 0 0
Evan Spencer 1 10 10.0 10 0 0
Jeff Heuerman 1 9 9.0 9 0 0
Nick Vannett 2 6 3.0 5 0 0
Zach Boren 1 4 4.0 4 0 0

“When you see somebody open like that you at least have to put some air under it so they can run under it and get position,” said Miller, who marveled at how wide open Smith was. “You have to be careful with those type of throws.”

Corey “Philly” Brown was the primary target, and the Bears knew it. That’s why their entire secondary zoned in on him. That allowed Smith to sneak away unnoticed until it was too late.

“I have been in games before where I thought we were going to lose, where I just kept waiting. I thought someone would make a play, I really did,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “And to see Devin Smith, having an athletic quarterback to get you out of trouble sometimes, sometimes gets you in trouble.”

Cal’s hopes were finally erased when Christian Bryant intercepted a Zach Maynard pass with 1:22 left in the game.

Miller finished 16-for-30 with 249 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. He rushed a season-low 12 times for 75 yards and a touchdown.

The late-game heroics are to be remembered, but the main storyline of the day revolved around the Buckeyes escaping. Cal had 512 yards, the most an Ohio State defense has given up since the 2005 Minnesota game. Time and again, the Bears gashed the Silver Bullets for big gains.

Entering the game, Ohio State had three sacks in two games. It was a sore subject with Meyer and the defense. On Monday, Meyer said the Buckeye defensive coaches were considering blitzing more.

They weren’t lying.

Ohio State ran an assortment of packages that put heat on Maynard all afternoon. He was sacked six times and knocked down a handful of others.

But it turned out to be a double-edged sword, as the Bears took advantage by throwing numerous screens that resulted in momentum for the Cal offense.

Maynard finished 26-of-37 with 280 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Keenan Allen had nine receptions for 80 yards.

Three missed fields and a touchdown that was called back after a questionable penalty prevented Cal from pulling off one of the season’s biggest upsets. There was also a head-shaking coaching decision by head coach Jeff Tedford.

Facing 4th-and-1 from the OSU-25 with 4:25 remaining, Tedford chose to kick a field goal, despite D’Amato having already misfired on two attempts earlier in the game. Not only that, but he wasted a timeout to discuss the options. D’Amato missed and three plays later, Cal was down seven.

“When it's 28-28 on the scoreboard and there are four minutes left to play, we are going to go for (points),” Tedford said. “We wanted to put some points on the board.”

At halftime, not many of the 105,232 in attendance, even the Blue and Gold-clad Cal fans, would have believed such a scenario would have played out. Ohio State led by 13 and didn’t show any signs of letting up.

For long stretches of the first half, it looked like the Braxton Miller Show was airing for the third consecutive week. He kick-started the scoring by running 55 yards untouched down the Buckeyes sideline. Cal took the lead, 7-6, because Basil missed his extra point. But Miller came right back with a touchdown pass to Smith and Jake Stoneburner.

“Braxton is a hard guy to contain because he is so big and physical,” Tedford said. “For most of the day he made great decisions and threw some great passes. When he threw that long ball down the left side of the field, it was a perfect pass. He is fast, accurate and a great athlete.”

The second-half adjustments were all made in the visitors’ locker room, however. Cal running back Brendan Bigelow scored on the first play of the Bears’ second possession of the half to cut the lead to six. The 81-yard run was the longest against Ohio State at home in program history. Maynard then kept the ball on a sneak at the one-yard line to push the Bears ahead early in the fourth quarter.

“We just kept executing and using the playbook,” Tedford said. “That’s why we went for it on 4th-and-1 (in the third quarter). In the fourth quarter we were looking to tie the football game and just go ahead because we were playing fairly well and doing a good job running the clock.”

The Buckeyes put together their best drive of the season on their next possession. Miller guided them 75 yards in 11 plays, finding Stoneburner in the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. The play and pass was reminiscent of Tim Tebow’s famed jump pass at Florida.

“(Cal) came up, really good execution by Jake Stoneburner, blocking and releasing in the back of the end zone,” Meyer said. “That's if you're pounding the quarterback, that's a hard one to stop.”

After Ohio State converted a two-point conversion it led, 28-21, and it looked like the typical game where the favorite wears down the underdog.

Not so fast.

Bigelow scorned the Buckeyes again. In two plays – both Bigelow runs – Cal went 75 yards to tie the game with 8:10 remaining.

Bigelow finished with four carries for 160 yards.

The Cal defense contained Miller for the entire game other than his early 55-yard scamper. Miller had 20 yards on 11 carries the rest of the game.  But his receivers turned in big performances when Miller needed them. Smith had 145 yards and two touchdowns and Stoneburner finished with 44 yards and two touchdowns.

Like the previous week, Meyer didn’t want to spend too much time discussing the negatives.

“The best thing about 3-0 is a chance to go 4-0,” he said. “And that's about it. We've enjoyed a win against a very quality opponent.”


Comments Show All Comments

scottynoshotty's picture

"Bigelow finished with four carries for 160 yards."....thats everything you need to know about this defense...give the freshmen playing time..because the upperclassmen(for the most part) arent getting it done.........o and ZACH MAYNARD looked like aaron rodgers..that is all.

Well i like college and i like football...and im gunna keep doin em both cause they make me feel good!!!

741's picture

However, "Deuce" Bigelow is the shiz. Cal's biggest mistake was only giving that kid four carries.

bwh's picture

Currently - "give it to the freshman, the upper classmen suck."
With Freshman - "give it to the senior, why the hell aren't they in, the freshman are too young."
let the coach, coach.

buckeyedude's picture

I'm not so concerned that the Buckeyes didn't cover the spread.  It was good for this team to have a close game and win it. It didn't look pretty and the offense was not good at times, but they put together a drive when they had to. And I loved the two point conversion! That was frickin' sweet!
Definitely there is room for improvement, but I feel these kids are learning. For all his mistakes, Braxton is getting better. And it was great to see Jordan Hall playing again.



baddogmaine's picture

We put it all on display in this one - miserable tackling, poor receiver coverage, the lack of consistent play by our receivers (we dropped a lot), inconsistent passing by Braxton (short throws need touch, not velocity), not very good blocking on the perimeter, no reliable running game, and over 100 yards in penalties. Tempting to say we showed our class by winning anyway but we couldn't have done it without 3 missed Cal FGs, a ton of dropped passes by Cal receivers, and several convenient phantom flags thrown on the Golden Bears (Spielman is no hater and he was saying so).
This is now the third week in a row we have played matdor defense, and this week there was no excuse about a quick release. Yes, we got 6 sacks, but when we didn't get the QB he got us. And Jordan Hall, the playmaker, didn't give us the ground game we need, and there was no sign that that was because he was rusty.
And, when facing a team playing a defense designed to stop the run, and that team is over-exaggerating its box-clogging, making runs and short screens extremely difficult, a coach who is supposed to be an offensive wizard should call something other than runs and short screens. Tedford had his 4th quarter brain cramp (I agree he mishandled the 4th and 1 with eight minutes left) but otherwise arguably outcoached Meyer.
Where we go from here is anyone's guess. UAB should be a gimme. I suggested that we use this week to work on what needed improving and got criticized. If we don't do that next week it is very likely we will lose in East Lansing because we will still be too dependent on Miller's feet for our yardage (the Spartans will not get beaten deep). And then who knows?
This is a team that could be good, is 3-0, but has too many flaws to be considered elite. And until pride makes the team realize that it needs to improve it will remain a work in progress. Or regress.

Akeem96's picture

Spielman is no hater, but it's silly to call a penalty a bad call when three refs throw the flag.  If three refs all throw a flag, it is likely not just a player playing hard.

baddogmaine's picture

I don't know what it looked in the Shoe, on tv the replays of some of the fouls on Cal supported Spielman's assessments. It was not three officials all flagging the same flagrant conduct, it was one official getting unnecessarily involved in the outcome, more often to Cal's detriment than OSU's.

schooey's picture

Now we got USC and Stanford and MIST and ND. 

gravey's picture

Odds on Vrabel and Fickle out after this season?  Our LB's look like crap and we didn't seem able to adjust to that bubble screen.

rdubs's picture

Zero unless they choose to go elsewhere.  Have you seen the talent they help recruit last year and this year?  
Also I think the adjustments are more on Withers because he is up in the box and can see the schemes a lot better.

William's picture

Vrabel coaches the D-line. The D-line looked pretty good today... Shazier had 13 tackles, but he also really needs to work on his angles. Grant had a bad series and was replaced by Klein, but came in later and seemed fine. The linebackers need work, but two of our starters are true sophomores. I'm much more worried about the safeties.

741's picture

My guess is Vrabes will still have a job if he wants one next year. Fickel may need to take whatever HC coaching position he is offered elsewhere...

Crimson's picture

I think Fickel should take a HC job in the future, but I don't know why he may need to next year.

Poison nuts's picture

Line did look good. Better anyway. I thought Shazier did well too - aside from the terrrible missed tackle that resulted in a touchdown. D-backs seem to either do great or totally miss the coverage all together...hit or miss as it were...it's weird. You know what I thought the biggest problem was today? Cal really really played well. However bad tey were percieved to be, they executed well more often than not & that wins games.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

schooey's picture

Lordy, is that Sherman, from my home town, Vrabel stays and Fickel goes. Bring back Heacock!

Scott K's picture

A couple things:
I totally disagree with your statement questioning the Cal coach going for it on 4th and 1.  You take the points (you assume your kicker will make it).  If you go and don't make it, you will be crucified for not taking points.
On the radio they talked about the possibility of Storm Klein playing a larger role (did he even play a snap?) simply to add a bit of leadership to the D.  Besides Shazier, I haven't seen any of the other backers do much.  Couldn't hurt.
I know he's still not 100%, and he said so in the postgame interviews, but Nate Williams, although he did get up the field a couple times, hurt us.  He missed the tackle on the 81yd td run, and the personal foul didn't help either.  He stated that he's not getting enough reps in practice, which is odd as he's playing most of the game.  Get him some reps coach!  Love the guy, but if he's not 100%, he's giving up a step.  Get some of the yonger guys in there to help.
Anyway, it was the 2nd game in a row I've attended (after flying in from overseas) and I'm happy they pulled it out.  Shazier said it was good to face some adversity and pull through.  I think he's right and hope this helps the team continue to grow.  We have to remember this is a young team.  There will be growing pains.
Go Bucks

"There's a fine line between stupid, and....clever.  David St. Hubbins/Nigel Tufnel

rdubs's picture

Klein played quite a bit.  About 50/50 with Grant who had another underwhelming game.

baddogmaine's picture

I totally disagree with your statement questioning the Cal coach going for it on 4th and 1.  You take the points (you assume your kicker will make it).  If you go and don't make it, you will be crucified for not taking points.

I'm not sure there is a right answer, only opinions. Mine is that what to do depends on situation. In this case Cal was not losing, they were tied, and they were moving the ball and we weren't.  Their kicker had already missed twice and would be going into the wind. In that situation I play to pick up one yard, expecting that if Cal fails it would hold the Buckeyes and get another chance in the time left. And if no one scores I give OSU better chances of getting FGs in OT, but Cal better chances of getting TDs. You do take points but if you can't count on the kicker making a 42 yard FG into the wind trying it is not taking points, it's turning the ball over on downs without trying.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

I totally disagree with your statement questioning the Cal coach going for it on 4th and 1.  You take the points (you assume your kicker will make it).
That's the whole point: if Tedford assumed that, he was making a big mistake. I have to think that given what we had seen to that point, Cal's chances of converting a 4th-and-1 were much better than their chances of making that field goal. 
I actually wasn't totally shocked to see the Bears move the ball on us effectively. They have some talent on that side of the ball, arguably better talent man-for-man than we do. What surprised me was the two long touchdown runs and the failure to keep 5-10 yard slants from becoming 10-20 yards, but we've known our linebackers and safeties are below their typical caliber.
On offense, it looked like we got out of sync during the drives near the end of the first half that were sabotaged by penalties, and that kept up after halftime. It was hard to explain why it was suddenly so hard to move the ball against a defense that has been anything but stout thus far in 2012, and it didn't seem like the pass plays that were dialed up were of the "let's just move the chains" possession variety (the one exception was the third down pass to an open Stoneburner that was thrown well behind him). The simplest answer is one that's discouraging to think about: that our offensive line and Jordan Hall are just ordinary at this level, and are not going to look much better than ordinary unless the opposition is a lot worse than today's.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Menexenus's picture

Anyone have some insight as to why Urban isn't using Briote Dunn in the offensive ground game?  I understand that Hall has a lot more experience and I agree that Hall should be the starter.  I also recognize that Dunn get playing time on special teams.  Still, I would have expected Dunn to get at least a few carries today and he didn't.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

741's picture

My $0.02: We only ran 63 offensive plays today and 30 were passes, 12 were Braxton runs/scrambles, 17 were carries by Hall (who did pretty well with those opportunities). That leaves only 4 more plays and Dunn just wasn't lucky. Had we possessed the ball longer he probably would have gotten a few touches.

grcunning's picture

I'm not even sure what to think. We all knew that this team wouldn't be great, at least this year. The failure to wrap up cost us dearly, I distinctly remember seeing Etienne whiff badly on one run, and noone on the defense really had a good game.
What's up with the failure of our secondary to get off blocks??? That little bubble screen they ran about 10 times ate us up. It seems that everytime they ran outside, Howard and Roby were completely taken out by their WR's(and our safeties also).
That little bowling ball they have is the real deal. He really shouldn't have run that wild on us, but I think the PAC 10 will have some problems with him, the D can't even see him over the OL.
The play calling at the beginning of the second half had me scratching my head, sweep right, sweep left, sweep right, no yards. I really think that Meyer and Hermann got in Braxton's head, telling him don't run the ball, I don't care if you have a hole a mack truck could drive through, you give that ball to the guy who hasn't been able to run for 10 weeks. Several times I saw him hand off on the dive, when the outside was wide open.
One thing that didn't work out that well, as our recievers showed their inability to get open, but that I really liked, was Braxton willing to stand in the pocket and not just take off.  Those plays didn't really work out today, but we will need him to be able to be a drop back passer in the future.
A 9-3 record this year would be fine with me, I just want to see improvement week to week, and that's not happening. Get some more experience for the Frosh. (I don't recall seeing Taylor Decker out there, but I may be wrong). Adolphus made some bad mistakes, but they were agressive mistakes, I can live with that. Where was Noah? Grant? Don't recall hearing their names called.
A win is a win is a win, and 35 points isn't chump change, but we didn't win, Cal lost. I think a loss would probably been better for this team, teach them that they can't just show up and win by talent alone. I'm not even close to giving up on Fick or Withers....be patient my friends.
Edit: I forgot, what the f*** is up with the coaches unwilling to give Dunn the ball? Do they want him to be a freshman again next year? Give the kid the rock, get him some experience, and he really couldn't have done any worse than anyone else we gave the ball. I love Jordan Hall, but we really need a pair and a spare, and it ain't happening.

Poison nuts's picture

I agree on the Dunn thing...He should have had a few touches. Am I wrong or did he not run at all today??

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

schooey's picture

The more I think about the situation and the more I listen to folks, the more I think that Meyer is treating this season as a rebuilding one. There is no bowl game. He has traditionally won in the second year. And as much as we are disappointed and pissed off with play calling etc. I think that he is treating this entire year as practice for the next. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but that is what I am starting to think. The people is playing and the experimentation, the play calling and testing of his own coaches etc. leads me to believe he is thinking about 2013 more than 2012 like it or not. And, I suppose that makes the most sense. 

ODEEZ330's picture

i don't think we really deserved to win this game but i'll take it. d ine looked worlds better but lb's and safeties look bad. roby n howard looked pretty good too dont recall them getting beat often just the safeties mostly, wish roby coulda snagged that pick 6. tht 46 bear d they ran in the 2nd hald killed our run game. with teams focusing on shutting brax down and stopping the run we better get our passing alot better here soon. smith couldve had an even bigger day had he held on to a couple of those drops. stoneburner looked more like what we thought he'd be this season. tht fake run pop to stoney will be unstoppable in the red zone ala tebow. i was just very dissapointed in the defense adn the lack of tackling. normally when ohio state scores 35 historically its normally a comfortable win due to our historically fantastic defense. i think grant and shzr will continue to improve and will soon be making plays in the whole or backfeild on rb's. dunn aparently didnt study the playbook any not getting any carries and i'd of liked to see boren up the gut a few times. hall was solid over 5 ypc. urban said he thought he was rusty and wouldve broke a few of those longer had he been playing like he's fully capable. so i'll defer to urbz on tht. im also upset we did not adjust in the 3rd quarter when it was clear tht 46 was killing our run. but when it counted herman and urbs made the adjustment and looked good on the final 2 drives

stark county football

Alex Root's picture

I just didn't understand after the first quarter the offense was bad. I thought our front 4 on the defense played well, so did the secondary at times. The problem was so many missed tackles and taking bad angles. Our LB's have got to play better. We blitzed a lot more this game but Cal countered it every time, who ever is calling the D plays needs to mix it up more then knew what we were running at all times. 6 sacks is a good number though I did like that by 6 different guys.

schooey's picture

Stanford is hanging in there. 

schooey's picture

Give me Standford and Tennesee tonight and I will be lookin good. 

schooey's picture

That will make up for the blood fest that was WF. So much for praying to demons for deacons. 

FROMTHE18's picture

I do apologize if I insult/hurt people but Fickell is horrible as a defensive coach. That's all I got. If I see one piece of evidence to suggest he has a clue I'll agree we should keep him. Please do not flaunt members of Heacock's defense to my inbox. Heacock had the overall call on personnel and knew what plays to call, we gave up a billion yards to a terrible offense today and we've embarassed ourselves (looking at you tackling) 3 weeks in a row. Last year was a 'forgotten year' and now that realism has set in, I just hope people stop looking at Fickell as a genius/what he was as a player, and start looking at things realistically. BRING BACK HEACOCK.

Poison nuts's picture

Really? Already?

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

William's picture

Oh I'm being sarcastic.

Poison nuts's picture

I thought so - just checking...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

schooey's picture

I agree. But some want to put it on Whithers. 

Et_Tu_OSU's picture

Not insulted or hurt, but I disagree.  This has been a far cry from a perfect start to the season, but I don't think the defense's issues are schematic or due to down-to-down calls (i.e. signs of Fickell being horrible).  What I've seen is an underachieving d-line (who stepped up today) helping expose a secondary that's learning some new concepts/coverages.  What you get is a couple vanilla weeks with lots of mistakes by kids trying to play fast.  I'd say there's been improvement each week, and aside from #5 hitting mach 5 on two isolated plays, I'd say today was decent.  Tackling must improve, but the good news is that can be fixed.  Give Fickell a chance - he's not horrible, everyone's just growing at a less speedy/dominant pace than we would like...

"The revolution will be televised."

cal3713's picture

Why are we pulling Hankins on the most important play of the game?  We have three freshman linemen in on the defensive play that decides whether we win the game?  That's bad coaching.

dbit's picture

You do realize that this Heacock man you speak of was our DC last year, right?

luckynewman13's picture

So if the Walrus was calling the offense, and Heacock was calling defense...Fick was doing what exactly?

dbit's picture

He's trying to put blame for last year's defense on the HC, but this year it's suddenly on the DC. No consistency in his argument.

BigRedBuckeye's picture

You guys are making too much of this. It was good to have a game like this but still  havea win.
To me it was pretty simple. There was no problem with coaching, scheme, or even motivation here. Tackling on defense was a huge issue. Drops by receivers on offense were similar. Those are things than cannot, and often do not, continue. The tackling problems got worse as the game went on, partially because the drops and lack of drives by the offense resulted in the D being on the field a lot. If we tackle and don't drop passes, we cover the spread without issue, even if their kicker didn't have a horrible day.

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes! 

schooey's picture

Tenn. still sucks, big time. Nothing to see here folks, move along. 

schooey's picture

MIST. sucks, big time. Nothing to see here folks. move along. 

scottynoshotty's picture

watching football on fox is....painful

Well i like college and i like football...and im gunna keep doin em both cause they make me feel good!!!

setman's picture

I guess I am not understanding all of this anti Fickell sentiment that is cropping up now.  Most of the complaints over the last three games have been the poor play of the secondary.  Yet there has not been the same level of discontent with Combs or Withers.  Is it because Fickell is more laid back and not the fiery personality that Combs is? 
As far as Heacock, there were plenty of problems with last years defense when Heacock was calling the plays.  But the grass is always greener I guess.  For better or worse, last year and this year are a transition period.  Let the coaches coach.  The depth coming in for '13 especially at linebacker, but also in the db area will force the fundamentally challenged to improve or spend time on the bench. 

luckynewman13's picture

"As far as Heacock, there were plenty of problems with last years defense when Heacock was calling the plays."
No, it really wasn't this bad, not at all. Especially when you consider how horrible the offense was and our significant DL and LB depth issues in 2011. I got frustrated a lot with Heacock's soft zone...but he never would have allowed us to get destroyed on big plays like we have been for the last three weeks.

schooey's picture

Well, Musburger says that MIST linebacker is one of the smartest linebackers in football... so that much be true. LOL 

Poison nuts's picture

I don't want to sound too positive or anything, but one thing to remember is that it's Ohio State with Urban Meyer as head coach. Everyone is just dying to be the ones who beat him for the first time at OSU. It's a huge target on their backs & we will be getting everyones best efforts. Yes - that was an ugly win & there's plenty to keep working on...but I would also say that was the best Cal played in long time...People have always been motivated to beat Ohio State. They're going to be even more motivated in years to come.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

schooey's picture

That is a good point. The first person to knock off the Buckeyes under Urban will go down in history. They want it bad! Any and all of them. 

pjtobin's picture

Fickle is not doing great. Let him learn also. It will all come together. This is way different football than what I am used to. I am learning to like it. Fick has the chance to learn from another great coach. We won. Ugly or not. I don't want perfection. I enjoy a heart beating harder with each tick of game clock. Enjoy it guys. Think about last year. Then think of next year. Yes, that's it. Smile. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

klfeck's picture

I have seen Christian Bryant get burnt two weeks in a row. It seems that if a runner gets past him he just doesn't have the speed to catch them, he even stumbled on both blown plays.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

jkrk's picture

When Braxton Miller trotted out on the field with four minutes, 20 seconds on the game clock and Ohio State’s season possibly hanging in the balance, he was as confident as ever.
“Let’s go!” Miller shouted in the huddle.

To me, this is progress. Maybe not from some part of this year until this point, but this is a lot better than last year. Last year just felt like we knew we were going to get hit by a freight train so we just laid down. There was never any sense that we were going to get better than we were. It was like "Oh, that didn't work? I guess we'll try it again and it probably won't work again, and then we'll lose." I like that we have a sophomore QB who totally forgot the garbage INT he threw a few minutes earlier and went out and threw a game-winning TD. 

WiliestBuckeye's picture

Am I the only one that remembers what this team looked like last year? They were god awful, and its understandable if you blocked most of that season from your memory. We went 6-7 for a reason. This is a young team, with a new coaching staff, new schemes on both sides of the ball, and no extra motivation thanks to the bowl ban. We were never coming out and looking like a dominant team from day 1, a fact that a lot of you don't seem to be able to wrap your heads around.
Although the game was closer than we all would have liked, I think we played a better overall game this week, which is all you can ask. This Cal team played their best game, especially compared to their first 2 games of the season. Our offense looked much better, with no running backs going the wrong way and an actual passing attack to speak of, and our defense was actually putting pressure on the quarterback. The secondary had some issues, but we already knew about those, and all the miss tackling is something that needs to be corrected. You can only improve one step at a time, however, and I feel like we definitely stepped our game up compared to last week even though the score says otherwise.
We should simply be happy with a team that comes out looking a little bit better each week , because if that happens than we will be a force to be reckoned with come the last game of the season.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

cal3713's picture

Braxton looked a little better, as did the dline.  Other than that I ddin't see much improvement.  Terrible penalties (again), gift first downs by lining up offsides (haven't we done that in every game?), totally blown coverages, poor tackling, a third quarter with 26 yards and 1 first down, a missed extra point.  There are things to like about this team, but I think these things are all very worthy of concern and critique.

scottynoshotty's picture

still having a tough time understanding these posts defending the defense today..maybe im just clueless

Well i like college and i like football...and im gunna keep doin em both cause they make me feel good!!!

schooey's picture

If they can hold on, I am back to where I started plus some. Damn you WF. 

dmurder's picture

3 reasons the defense was bad today!
1. Poor tackling
2. Poor tackling
3. Poor tackling
okay maybe 4 reasons
4. Poor tackling
Poor tackling gets good d-coordinators fired

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

Buckeyejason's picture

I think thats 1 reason listed 4 times lol.


DetroitBuckeye's picture

I am not going to over react, I know how to put things in perspective.  However,  the defense particularly the run defense needs to play much much better.  I should never see any team run all over us like that.  I think with the competition we will see the coaches will improve us enough for that though.

schooey's picture

HAH, NW, Cinci and Stanford just paid my rent for the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

schooey's picture

Oh *^*(^ don't go calling any BS. 

andretolstoy's picture

Why is no one concerned about our lack of O-line play, or the fact that our offense was nowhere to be found in the third quarter?
Why is no one asking for Herman's head? Wasn't he supposed to be the Offensive guru that was supposed to make miracles happen day one? I didn't see much innovation today.
How is it that Fickell gets all the blame for last year's D play when he was HC and Heacock ran the D, and this year when he splits the D with another coach? The last time he split the D we gave him all the credit when things went good, and blamed Heacock when things went bad.
The guy willfully took over a turd last year to keep the program from falling apart and is such a cornerstone to this team that even Meyer didn't have the guts to give him the shaft. If I were Fickell, I would have passed on the offer to coach this year's squad since last years' season would have pretty much shot my nerve and confidence. But it goes to show that I'm not Fickell.
The way I see it. This entire team including all the coaching staff, Meyer especially, needs to regroup. If they're going to be whoopin' and hollerin' on ESPN and 'bringin' the juice' they all better do it on the field. Otherwise they'd better stay away from the cameras.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'm going to say that the Buckeyes looked like shit in pretty much most facets of the game pretty much most of the time - however, they managed to make the necessary play when it was completely appropriate.  I'd give the entire effort a D - and leave it at that! 
They better get their f@#$ing shit together soon or they are going to get their asses handed to them quickly!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

kdogg72's picture

Why are we asking for anyone's head? For the first time in 3 years we are 3-0. Last year we were a 6-7 football team, and it 's like everybody expects us to be dominant overnight. If you think this team hasn't improved from last year your nuts. Last year was Dave, Dave, draw, and it would have been a blessing if our team had scored over 30 points. Let alone accomplish a passing touchdown. Our defense missed tackles but the line play was much improved. I am kind of tired of these posts today. I know expectations are high but we are frickin 3-0. Let's not be a whiny fan base, let's not discredit this team for winning, let's not call for coaches jobs in a winning effort. We are buckeye nation and it's time we man up and support a winning team

andretolstoy's picture

Hey. I get it. My comments were soley direct towards those who jumped on the 'Can Fickel' bandwagon. Just testing some logic.

bhardy22132's picture

This game was needed. I think the reason Cal started this year 1-1 with two bad games in the win/loss column is because they were overlooking those teams and straight ahead to us. The Pac is pretty impressive this year. I definetly did not expect the game to be this close but that is ok.
Braxton threw some pretty good balls today, just a shame that they were dropped balls. The WR's are coming together but still need to step it up just a little more. Hall is great but I find myself alot of times trying to figure out why he thinks he is beanie sometimes when he is not. Just bounce it to the outside and turn on the burners.
D line looked lightyears better this week. Too bad the secondary is still lacking which wasnt a surprise really coming into this year. Im glad the BIG isnt exactly a passing league this year. And im still trying to figure out why we cant wrap these guys up. That is definetly frustrating.
Special teams looks way better from last year. O line looks better and Braxton is showing some great leadership out there. Its crazy how calm the kid looks when the pressure is on. A win is a win and this one was ugly but at least it keeps these guys in check. Gonna be an interesting week of practice for them. On to UAB before the BIG schedule.

zosima's picture

Does anyone think we will have trouble getting to 12-0?  Yes, today's performance left the distinct impression we are a "good" team at best.  We have major fundamental defensive issues and an offense predicated on running inside the tackles with no inside-the-tackles threat.  Nonetheless, tonight I watched Sparty wishing he could get within a Sparty of Spartying all over himself... and that was for the "best team" in the B1G...  against Notre Dame!  This is a deeply flawed team, but between UAB and the woeful B1G I have a hard time seeing a loss in the schedule, since we fortunately miss Nerdwestern this year.  Wait, what did I just say???

Kaceybrown's picture

Rewatching the game, two words regarding defense. It won't fix all the problems but make a big difference. WRAP UP. And for myself as a fan, these guys r young & have patience. It'll be great once everything gets moving in the same direction... OH!!!

AGL's picture

Months ago there was an article on 11W about Simon.  Coach Fick was quoted as saying that Simon could even play the middle lb position.  I would like to see that experiment.  Let Mr. Simon rome and destroy.


johnny11's picture

Opponents......  3  117.7  84-133-6  63.2  850  4  58  283.3 
Miller, Braxton..  3  151.8  48-78-2  61.5  611  7  72  203.7 
Opponents......  3  84  850  10.1  4  58  283.3 
Our receivers..  3  53  648  12.2  7  72  216.0  
Opponents......  3  84  447  121  326  3.9  3  81  108.7 
Our Backs......    3  137  806  93  713  5.2  9  65  237.7  
INT RETURNS: #-Yards  6-69  2-3  
FUMBLES-LOST  5-2  2-1  
Score by quarters  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  Total 
Ohio State            20   38    28   36    122 
Opponents            13   7      20  14     54 

johnny11's picture

For a young team in a new system through three games people need to chill out. I get it the defense is making mistakes and the offense stalls at some points, but really I expected a lot of this. We have talent, but it hasn't been molded all the way yet. The only thing I would be a little disappointed about until this point is the lack of consistency from the Dline. I only say that because of how beefed up they were by coach and the media coming into the season. Other than that i see us doing like we always do which is play good football in November and maybe dropping a one/couple in October. Next year will be better than this year though.