Turning Points, Volume 11: Beanie Saves The Day

By Jeff Beck on July 11, 2013 at 4:00p
As the game turns

The 2007 Buckeyes squad was in an interesting position. Just coming off an embarrassing loss in the National Championship Game a year before, there was a sense that many of the players on that 12-1 team had something left to prove.

The squad lost a number of players from the 2006 group including Teddy Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Quinn Pitcock, Antonio Pittman, and Heisman trophy winner, Troy Smith. Even with the heavy losses, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, the 2007 team returned formidable talent.

On defense the Bucks welcomed back LBs Marcus Freeman and James Laurinaitis as well as DE, Vernon Gholston and CB Malcolm Jenkins.

The offense returned WR Brian Robiske, LT Alex Boone, LG Steve Rehring, and RT Kirk Barton. QB Todd Boeckman was tasked with the unsavory job of replacing Smith, however he would be backed by the former freshman phenom Beanie Wells who had proven he could provide a number of yards on the ground.

The team started the season at No. 11 in the country. The ranking seemed unfavorable for a squad coming off a National Championship berth the year prior, but it was unclear to pollsters what their offensive identity would be heading into the 2007 season. Troy Smith was the engine that made 2006 run, without him there was a great deal of uncertainty.

The Bucks came out and waxed Youngstown State 38-6. The following week they did the same to Akron, 20-2. In week three they traveled to Washington to take on the Huskies who they defeated 33-14. The game was the first real test for the team and the Boeckman/Wells duo passed with flying colors combining for 360 yards and 3 TDs.

Relying on a stout defense and a veteran offensive line to clear holes for Wells, the Buckeyes went on to win their next six games by a combined score of 220 to 58.

Their 9-0 record combined with a number of teams ahead of them dropping games resulted in a No. 1 ranking for the Scarlet and Gray; a position they held for three weeks leading up to their Nov. 3rd tilt with Wisconsin in Columbus.

Setting the Stage

BeastingPutting in work.

Ohio State received the ball and immediately executed like a No. 1 team, needing only 7 plays to find the end-zone via a Boeckman to Robiske 30-yard toss.

Wisconsin answered with a FG on their next drive to make it 7-3 Buckeyes. That’s where the score would stay heading into the second quarter.

The two teams would go on to trade possessions until OSU kicker, Ryan Pretorius nailed a 27-yard FG with roughly 2 minutes left before the half to increase the lead at 10-3.

To start the 3rd, Wisconsin quickly found pay-dirt powered by a Zach Brown rush for 22 yards and a Tyler Donovan pass to Paul Hubbard for 50-yards. The drive was capped by a Donovan to Travis Beckum TD for 28 yards to tie the score at 10.

Unable to answer on their next drive, the Buckeyes were forced to give the ball back to the Badgers after a three-and-out. Once again QB Donovan went to work hitting Hubbard for 17, Beckum for 46 and then Chris Pressley for a 2-yard score. All of a sudden it was 17-10 and silence fell over the ‘Shoe. With the exception of their opening drive, the Bucks had mustered only 3 points for the better part of three quarters.

With a No. 1 ranking and undefeated season hanging in the balance, Coach Tressel went to his bread and butter: Chris Wells. On the team’s next nine plays, JT ran Wells five times moving the ball all the way to the Wisconsin 31-yard line. On the 10th play, Tressel handed it to Wells again.

Turning Point: Wells For 31

Boeckman wheeled and gave it to #28 who saw nothing on the right side then quickly cut it up the gut. This was the result…

The score knotted the game at 17 and the Buckeyes never looked back. On their next possession Wells would reel off another 30 yard TD run to make it 24-17. The Buckeye D would go on to stuff a Badgers fake punt attempt on 4th and 3 at the Wisconsin 27 then use the short field to their advantage scoring via a Boeckman to Robiske 8-yard pass. 31-17 Buckeyes and the rout was on in Columbus.

Wells would add one final score with roughly three minutes left to make it 38-17, and the Buckeyes improved to 10-0.

The win would mark a B1G best 20th straight conference win as the Buckeyes looked primed and ready to make another run at a National Championship. Unfortunately their string of conference wins would come to an end the following week with a 28-21 loss to Illinois, dropping them to 7th in the polls.

A defeat so late in the year would normally spell GAME OVER for any title hopes, but a win over Michigan in the final week of the season followed by the defeat of Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, LSU, Missouri and West Virginia over the next two weeks catapulted OSU right back to the top of the rankings.

We all know what happened next, but let’s not think about that. Let's remember this fondly instead.

Thanks for the stiff-arm and the Turning Point Beanie.

Until next week, Turning Points…out.


Comments Show All Comments

BierStube's picture

Can anyone tell me why we quit running Beanie in the 2nd half against LSU?  I don't remember him being injured, but I do remember thinking the very same thought as Boeckman was getting sacked virtually every play in the second half.  Wish Robiskie could have held on to that TD.  Seemed once we failed there, our destiny was sealed.

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

Wilkins78's picture

^ This.  Still completely clueless as to why Tress abandoned the run completely in this and a few other games where success had been had, yet kept slamming in to brick walls in others.

sathey's picture

Tress also gave up on the run when we got the ball back trailing 21-14 in the NCG against Florida! We had just made it 21-14 by running the ball down their throats, got our first defensive stop and then Tress calls 3 pass plays, all incomplete! Then the route was on! 

fear.the.nut's picture

"To start the 3rd, Wisconsin quickly found pay-dirt powered by a Zach Brown rush for 22 yards and a Tyler Donovan pass to Paul Hubbard for 50-yards. The drive was capped by a Donovan to Travis Beckum TD for 28 yards to tie the score at 10."
I was interested how these 3 plays combined for 100 yards on the same drive.  Turns out there was a 15yd penalty before the touchdown.

BuckeyeSki's picture

SAoJ sighting!

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

BuckeyeChief's picture

can we get the Gmen to sign him?

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

unholy bucknut's picture

Beanie always did have such an epically punishing stiff arm. Fun to watch.

Hovenaut's picture

When needed, and when given the rock, Beanie came up big.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Beanie is a beast!!

Haybucks's picture

We could've used Beanie the following season at southern cal.  Wells played through injuries to be in every game in 2007, but missed 3 games in 2008 due to the "toe" injury which occurred during the 3rd quarter of the Youngstown state game.  I understand getting the season off to a good start is important, but he was the Heisman leader playing against Youngstown State in the 2nd half!  Our 2008 fortunes changed drastically with the best back of the past decade on crutches and protective boot.

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


OSUs12-OH's picture

Dave right...or....Dave left.  Now these are the EA sports NCAA plays that I remember;-)
In all seriousness, I still can't believe that Tress and Co. went away from running him in that fashion.  That game could have been much different if he would have designed different plays for him.  Keep that defense of LSU's off the field.  Oh well...

"I want a hungry team. I want a team that can't wait to get out there. I want an angry team! You're the Ohio State Buckeyes. You're an angry football team. You're a hungry football team and I'm proud to be your coach." UFM