Five Things: Michigan State

By Chris Lauderback on December 8, 2013 at 2:30p
42 Comments
A failed 4th and 2 keeper by Braxton Miller ensured Ohio State would not play for all the marbles.

Playing for a berth in the BCS national championship, Ohio State dug an early 17-0 hole, bounced back to score 24 straight, then surrendered 17 unanswered points to an impressive Michigan State squad to lose 34-24 last night in the B1G Championship game in Lucas Oil Stadium. 

The loss, Ohio State's first in 25 games, was particularly painful as the Buckeyes simply couldn't get out of their own way as they committed uncharacteristically stupid penalties, surrendered a couple long scoring plays and the combo of Tom Herman and Urban Meyer seemed to outthink themselves at times on offense. 

Braxton Miller managed 243 total yards and three touchdowns against Michigan State's very impressive defense but he was just 8/21 through the air, effectively making the Buckeyes a one-dimensional team. Meanwhile, Carlos Hyde racked up a solid 118 yards on 18 carries (6.6 per carry) but with the staff electing to go away from him late in the game, some yards – and possibly points – were left on the table. 

At the same time, much credit to a well-prepared Spartan squad that deserved the win. While the Spartans will head to the Rose Bowl, Ohio State will have to wait until later today to learn their bowl destination though a match up with Clemson in the Orange Bowl looks like a solid possibility. 

Before we turn our focus to Ohio State's bowl situation, let's take a look at Five Things that stood out in last night's gut-wrenching loss to the Spartans. 

DIGGING A HOLE

The worst part about Ohio State falling into a 17-0 hole with nine minutes left in the 2nd quarter was that they did more to cause the deficit than their opponent.

On Sparty’s opening drive, facing 3rd and 8 from their own 32, Doran Grant failed to find the football and instead stiff-armed his receiver, right in front of the official, for an easy pass interference call on a ball that didn’t look very catchable. Nine plays later, now facing a 3rd and 19 at the OSU 38, Ryan Shazier lost his mind and blasted RB Jeremy Langford who was running a streak up the right sideline  for another PI call allowing Michigan State to kick a field goal three plays later and take a 3-0 lead.

Devin Smithw was one of many Buckeyes to make an uncharacteristic mistake early when he smashed into MSU's punt returner for a 15-yard penalty.

On Ohio State’s ensuing possession, on a manageable 3rd and 3, Corey Linsley inexplicably snapped the ball before Braxton was ready and the result was a rushed pass attempt to Hyde that fell incomplete, forcing a 3-and-out.  On punt coverage, Devin Smith made an uncharacteristically bone-headed play as he blasted Michigan State’s return man who had clearly signaled for a fair catch. The penalty moved MSU from inside their own 20 to the their 32 and two plays later, Pitt Brown made a horrific play in coverage, biting hard on an out-and-up route allowing Keith Mumphery to get behind him for a 72-yard touchdown and a 10-0 Spartan lead.

After a Miller fumble killed the ensuring drive that had reached mid-field, C.J. Barnett got lost in coverage and Connor Cook made OSU pay as he hooked up with Tony Lippett for a 33-yard touchdown strike and a 17-0 lead.

To their credit, Sparty executed the plays but there’s no denying Ohio State’s own football-masochism (three penalties for 42 yards in the 1st quarter alone) was more to blame for the three score hole. It’s truly a shame that such a great group of kids collectively – and uncharacteristically in some cases – made so many early blunders.

PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS

It feels like overthinking was a bigger issue last night than potentially being overrated. I typically shy away from talking about playcalling because I don’t have much experience as an offensive coordinator at a football factory but last night, Tom Herman and Urban Meyer did Ohio State no favors in defeat.

It seemed as if running straight ahead, predominantly with Hyde, was working whenever called which makes it a bit puzzling as to why Hyde was split wide so much, leaving Miller in an empty backfield.

With the game on the line as OSU trailed 27-24, Hyde touched the ball just twice on back to back possessions. The 2nd of those possessions was particularly painful as the game was essentially on the line at that moment.

Facing 3rd and 3 from the MSU 40, Herman/Meyer emptied the backfield – an obvious sign Miller would keep – and the Spartan defense stopped a keeper for one yard. Then, after a timeout to make the most important play call of the season, Meyer dialed up a Braxton run wide right, to the short side of the field no less, and Sparty blew up the play and by extension Ohio State’s dream of a national championship.

Herman/Meyer went away from Hyde with the season on the line. And they paid for it.

I get it. Plays don’t work sometimes. That’s cool. What isn’t cool is spending the last two months gushing about your offensive line being far and away the most dominant group on the team – the heart and soul of the team - then running away from your strength with everything at stake.

When the smoke cleared on the implosion from the point OSU took a 27-24 lead to before the last gasp possession in which OSU was forced to throw every down anyway, Hyde touched the ball only four times on 12 plays.

And speaking of that last possession, yes it was probably over as Ohio State trailed by 10 with 2:16 left but did it not look like Herman/Meyer had already accepted defeat? It looked the plan there was just to launch a few hail mary’s and hope for the best instead of using the middle of the field and going for sizeable chunks to at least give yourself a chance to score then worry about an onside kick.. I dunno. It just bothered me that it felt like the Buckeye brain trust had completely given up on even trying to execute a strategy at that point.

Tom Herman is a great coach and a very good playcaller, and Urban is all of that and more, but I think they will be upset with themselves when they watch the film of those last few fateful possessions – especially with how they went away from Hyde. Though both Hyde and Miller averaged just over 6.5 yards per carry last night, if you throw out the longest run by each, Hyde was averaging more than a full yard more than Miller at 5.8 to 4.7 per carry.

HAS IT COME TO PASS?

Urban Meyer has not been pleased with the play of the secondary all season long, heck even going back to last season, and now that Ohio State’s pass defense has given up an average of 64% completion and 341 yards per game with an 11:3 touchdown to interception ratio over the last four games, it’s fair to wonder if some changes might be necessary to move the program forward.

Last night, it was former 3rd stringer Connor Cook thrashing the Buckeyes for 304 yards with three touchdowns against a pick on the heels of Devin Gardner’s 451 yard, four touchdown passing performance two weeks ago.

The secondary was crushed by big plays as Pitt Brown got torched when he bit on the out portion of an out and up route for a 72-yard touchdown and C.J. Barnett, a very strong safety when it comes to run support, got lost in coverage on two touchdown tosses including a 33-yarder to put MSU in front 17-0.

Are both Roby and Coombs wrapping up their final season in Columbus?

I hate to single a player out because it is a team game and do believe the kid gives maximum effort but when you’re examining the coaching, how do you not focus in on the decision to roll with Pitt Brown, a 5th year senior who’s potential has clearly maxed out to a level that isn’t championship caliber, against a blue chip true freshman that can’t be that much worse, Vonn Bell in this instance, with an eye on development? Hell, why not even try Ron Tanner or, gulp, Armani Reeves?

I won’t question his having just five years of collegiate coaching experience but as the secondary coach, Kerry Coombs, who we all love as a fiery guy and a plus on the recruiting trail, might be someone Urban is forced to take a look at. Everett Withers, too. 

This is also the time of year Fickell is always debated by the fans and media. Might this be the year Meyer chooses to go a different direction with regard to the leader of the defense?

I have no idea what the answer is but having the 76th rated Pass Defense in 2012 followed up by the sporting the 102nd best Pass Defense in 2013, against some very weak teams, is something that needs addressed one way or another.

SOAPBOX? MORE LIKE DOPEBOX

I typically don’t bother with College GameDay but I did this week only because I wanted to look for signs created by members of our community. That part was certainly worth it but after listening to Herbie’s tirade about Urban Meyer and his handling of the Marcus Hall situation, I think it’s safe to say I’m officially done with that dude forever.

Herbie came with his usual high-horse antics talking about how disgraceful Hall’s actions were, which I’m have no problem with but he took it too far when he slammed Meyer, the fans and Hall some more when (1) this was a heat of the moment thing from a kid that hasn’t had any past transgressions that I know of and (2) Herbie still had no confirmation of exactly how Urban would handle the situation other than Meyer’s quote that Hall wouldn’t start.

Rare photo of Kirk Herbstreit - taken roughly 20 years ago - when he was a Buckeye

Because Meyer really doesn’t care what holier than thou types think about him, he elected not to talk much about the Hall stuff leading up to yesterday’s game but still benched the kid for the entire game – after he had already missed 75% of the previous week’s game – and ultimately Herbie is the one that comes off incredibly unprofessional since he went all in on the assumption that Hall would play and that Urban was a clown for planning to do so.

And how about Desmond Howard? He’s no better than Herbie for sitting there blasting Hall for disgracing the family name with his on field tantrum yet he obviously has no problem with a classless on-field move like, I don’t know, drawing attention to one’s self by striking the Heisman pose after a touchdown. I’m not saying those two actions are totally comparable but give me a break, “Des”, as Herbie affectionately calls you in between those corny parts of the show in which he’s manhandling Corso, pretending stuff is funny.

ALL IS NOT LOST

Of course you wanted to see Ohio State play for the all the marbles just as badly as the team wanted to earn the right but after watching the year play out, it might not be the worst thing in the world that the Buckeyes failed to reach Pasadena.

First, how pissed can you be about a 24-game winning streak coming to an end especially against a then 11-1 team boasting an incredibly tough defense and a terrific game plan?

Second, a realistic fan knows Ohio State would’ve been a huge underdog against Florida State and could’ve potentially gotten smoked, something that would’ve been a gigantic black eye after the national media spent the last however long disparaging the Buckeyes, only further diminishing Ohio State’s national reputation fueled by an indignant media.

Instead of that potential dumpster fire, just a month before national signing day, the Buckeyes will still play in a BCS bowl, likely against a team that have a much better chance of beating, and as fans we get to watch the seniors and a handful of juniors who could move on one last time.

It may not be exactly what we or the team wanted but what’s the best thing about being 12-1?

A chance to go 13-1.

42 Comments

Comments

bhardy22132's picture

Apparently you can be pretty pissed. Get on the forums and you would think the sky is falling. 

Jdadams01's picture

Well done, Chris and 11w.

Hovenaut's picture

Good stuff.

Glad I avoided the GameDay smack....looks like I'm staying away now for good.

It's been a great run the past couple of years, and I'm going to really miss the seniors and Roby. And I'm thinking RDS (not you Brax.....please?).

Urban has done far better than I could have imagined in raising this program up from the Tat-Gate ashes, warts and all.

I'll take a few days to recharge, and then I'll be eager for the bowl game. But I'm very much looking forward to seeing Urban get his hooks into the program, filling out the roster with his recruits, and marching Ohio State hard into the playoff era.

We may have lost last night, but this program is staying among the nation's elite.

"Success - it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Poison nuts's picture

This place can always count on good perspective from you Hovenaut. Thanks for that.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Hovenaut's picture

Thanks PN....a little tougher right now sorting the emotions after the loss, but we'll get through it.

11W sure helps.

"Success - it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Jonnferrell's picture

Add one more program to the nation's elite--the Michigan State Spartans.  We will play in one of the toughest divisions in college football starting next year, and that is with TTUN falling to middle of that division.  Dantonio and the Spartans are the best team in that state and will be for the foreseeable future.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

Hovenaut's picture

I'm okay with that, they've earned it if they keep up that level of play.

That's good for Sparty and the conference.

"Success - it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

jamesrbrown322's picture

No way Brax leaves after that performance. He is a truly awesome athlete, and wonderful college football, the living definition of "PLAYMAKER." However, he regressed as a passer over the last month, and is not NFL ready, and may never be. As it stands now, Pryor's career as an NFL starter has been longer than Brax's will be.
He's a great kid, and a wonder to behold when running, but against NFL caliber defenses, he does not currently have the skill set to succeed. I hope in the long term I am wrong, but in the short term, I am 100% confident he is not ready for the League.
I am just holding onto the sliver of hope that winning a championship means something to Shazier, and he'll return since he does not currently carry a first round grade. However, he's almost certainly gone, and who could blame him?
Defensively, there is little to no depth. Whiffing on guys like McMillan is what the program cannot afford. They have got to recruit some elite talent on D, and are likely a class or two away from having a championship caliber D.
Get ready, because even if OSU gets on a run and wins a bunch to start the season next year, the national media narrative will quite justifiably be the same as this season because their schedule is terrible.
Hopefully they can get into the top 4, stay undefeated and do some damage, if Brax can make  HUGE strides as a passer and EzE becomes who we believe he can be, because the defense most likely will not be world beaters.
I still think they'll be in the thick of it next year if they can handle the OLine departures. All is not lost.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

Poe McKnoe's picture

Jameis Winston would complete 99.5% of his passes against this defense, so we dodged having to experience that.

Boomcat's picture

I just keep thinking about that game last night, and I continue to shake my head and realize what a completely different team we were. The whole game was uncharacteristic. The Buckeye team that we saw the whole season ended up not being on the field last night, I'm afraid. 
 
Hate to say it, but the pressure got to us.

Poison nuts's picture

Well, they were there in the second & third quarters, but I tend to agree the heat was on & it may have been a bit much for the team as a whole.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

SOF_Buckeye's picture

The pressure may have been there in the first quarter, but from my seat, the pressure got to the play caller, Herman, and possibly Urban (though I think he's taking the hit for Herman on that last run). Hyde should have been fed repeatedly during and after we regained the lead. Sparty was on the verge of folding, but we couldn't capitalize on a blocked punt, Sparty's failed onside kick and an interception; and we went away from Hyde. 
Though, correctly, I don't think our defense was up to it for the NC...the results there could have been embarrassing.

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." Woody Hayes

Tim's picture

Going back and forth between denial and anger still... give the ball to Hyde!

osubuckeye4life's picture

We will be back, oh yes we will be back.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

Thanks for calling out Howard on the Heisman Pose - that was all I could think of when he was preaching up there on my tv. My dad and sister were about ten rows up from him when he did that so needless to say I have heard about it more than once since then. That was basically a barely disguised middle finger unto itself.

Poison nuts's picture

Man, that loss was a tough one to swallow, but I have to say that in defeat, this is probably the best "Five Things" I have read this year. Not only very well written, but completely accurate. Also, I love the bright side at the end. The truth is, I was a little nervous about OSU facing FSU. While I think the offense would have hung in there with anyone, it's my belief that Jameis Winston would have completely torched the secondary. Hey in 3-4 weeks, who knows, maybe these problems could have been improved upon, but I have my doubts as to how far they could go with the group they have. Losing Christian Bryant ended up hurting more than I imagined...
Anyway, very well done Chris, there will certainly be a chance at some redemption & a good bowl game to go to. I didn't sleep well last night, but the sun did come up. GO BUCKS!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Chris Lauderback's picture

Thank you, sir.

joel121270's picture

Agreed on Bryant, I think it went straight to the crapper when he went down.

Bucks43201's picture

Great observations

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

extemporary08's picture

I defended the defense earlier in the season, but week in and week out opposing QB's are putting up career #'s in the passing game. OSU is not Illinois, something should/will be done.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Second, a realistic fan knows Ohio State would’ve been a huge underdog against Florida State and could’ve potentially gotten smoked, something that would’ve been a gigantic black eye after the national media spent the last however long disparaging the Buckeyes, only further diminishing Ohio State’s national reputation fueled by an indignant media.

 
This reminds me of those people, and one sees them every so often, who say they would rather win the NIT than get into March Madness and lose in the first round. Losing the national championship game is better than winning any other bowl -- because you were in the national championship game.
 
My own five things:
1. I am really surprised at how little attention has been given to the obvious turning point in last night's game: the first play Michigan State ran after we took the 24-17 lead, a 34-yard run by Langford that immediately put the ball in Buckeye territory. This was even though the Spartans running game had done essentially nothing the entire game prior to that. That one play gave them life again and kept the partisan OSU crowd quiet. It's really a shame that we let down there.
2. It probably didn't impact the final result since after all we came back to take the lead, but winning the coin flip and deferring was a mistake. I think you always want to start with your best unit on the field, and it's pretty obvious what that is for us. There was a forum thread about this last week, and a lot of people said they wanted to defer in order to allow our defense to "set the tone." Our defense setting the tone was the exact thing I was worried about.
3. The problem with those third and fourth down plays after the blocked punt wasn't necessarily that Hyde didn't touch the ball, and it wasn't even the empty backfield (though I probably wouldn't have done it that way) -- it was that the empty backfield comes without an effective threat to throw. We did throw on third and short on our very first drive, but almost all the time, defenses are able to key on Miller on plays like that. Against most teams, we have the talent to be uncreative and still have it work, but against the likes of Michigan State, it didn't. 
4. Related to #3: was there really anything unusual about what we tried on offense yesterday? I've seen posters talking about how Michigan did things they hadn't done all season, and about how Sparty ran a few option plays that were different for them -- where were our new wrinkles? I think this is one place where the winning streak caught up with us. Competition forces you to improve, in all areas of life. We didn't try anything new because we didn't see the need.
5. Ross Fulton's preview talked about Michigan State's defensive weakness being their tackles, suggesting you could run up the middle on them. And I think that we did this pretty well, to the point that even Jordan Hall's one run was for over 10 yards. But as I posted last night, after they got the lead, the Buckeyes totally went away from the idea of starting off with Hyde up the middle on first down, and there's no good explanation for this. I don't know if Gus Malzahn is a coaching genius or not, but he knew enough to stick with his best weapon in a shootout. 

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

bigbadbuck's picture

I cant wholly agree with number 1..I don't think we let down I think more than a few tackles were missed which is different than a let down

Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won by sergeants and privates. Football is no different, the guys down in the trenches win the games, not the coach.            

Toilrt Paper's picture

#1 is on Noah Spence. He was the DE that side and he completely took himself out of the play. He was blindly rushing the passer regardless of what his key said he should do.. The MSU player that was supposed to block Spence didn't have to, because he was so far out of the play. Giving MSU an additional blocker to get Langford to the edge and down field.
#2 is meaningless.
#3 The play could have worked and usually does, but not against the MSU defense. Heuerman was thrown aside by their DE like he was a rag doll and Oho State's great down field blocking wide receivers did not block well against this defense. Their DB's covered like corners and tackled like LBs.
#4 You didn't notice the fake QB counter play and pass, that was completed to a wide open receiver? You didn't notice Heuerman lining up in the slot and making a catch for a big gain? Just 2 right off the top of my head without looking at my tape of the game, which I have no desire to do.
#5 Agree, there is no explanation why Hyde was not used running the A gaps after we took the opening kickoff of the 2nd half and ran right down the guts of the vaulted MSU defense for a TD. NOTHING is more demoralizing for a defense. When OSU got the ball back, if Hyde had been used like he was on the first drive of the 2nd half we could have broken their will to win(no mas) as Carlos says. Instead MSU broke Ohio State's will to win. THE turning point in the game.

Evansvillebuckeye's picture

Might I suggest we put some crossing routes and short passes into the play book, as well as maybe chucking a few more at the tight end? Especially when the linebackers stand 2 yards from line of scrimmage.

bafiesta's picture

"Of course you wanted to see Ohio State play for the all the marbles just as badly as the team wanted to earn the right but after watching the year play out, it might not be the worst thing in the world that the Buckeyes failed to reach Pasadena."
I couldn't agree more.  Last night was disappointing, but I think Winston and FSU would score at will on our D.  98 was far more painful for me.  That Buckeye squad really was the best team in the country, this team is not.  13-1 with a win in the Orange Bowl would still be a great season.  Clemson will be no easy out, could be an offensive fireworks show.  

andretolstoy's picture

Coombs/Withers have a little less than a month to teach our DBs to be DBs. And I'd like to hear their names for the chopping block more so than Fickell's up until then. The only place I hold Fickell accountable on this end is if he doesn't require a written up, master plan from both of them as to how they are going to achieve this objective.
No more crap talk, incessant cheerleading, firework shows, commercial appearances, swanky - shiny uniforms. Just plain old run up the middle, punch them in the mouth Ohio State football.

OSUbonobo23's picture

A lot of scared tOSU fans afraid to play FSU. Cowards.

I put the The, in The Ohio State Univeristy.

andretolstoy's picture

I agree. I think with right mindset we would match up pretty well with FSU. But then again if we handle Clemson it would be a pretty good indication if this.

Toilrt Paper's picture

SURELY you jest!! If U of M scores 41 and MSU scores 34, FSU would score 60 against the OSU defense.

Poison nuts's picture

Can't speak for others, but I'm not scared - particularly since I don't actually play the games - more concerned about what their QB might have done to the secondary. Regardless, I would have loved to see my team in the NC game, but I'm a realist enough to see it may have been a somewhat one-sided affair.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

KLF Buckeye's picture

I'm glad 11W is willing to say what I have been thinking. With this leaky secondary, there is a lot of downside involved in playing a national championship against FSU.
Almost every time we have thought our DB coaches would go to the drawing board and come back with solutions, they failed to do so. I can't imagine them finding a way to stop Winston and company if they can't stop Gardener or Cook.

NJ_BUCKEYE's picture

I tend to disagree with the position coaches being more to blame than Fickell.  My gut feeling is that Fickell was the one who wanted experience over potential in the form of possibly one of the younger and more athletic DBs.  Specifically in Pitt Brown's case it seems weird that there was never a benching to even give Powell or Bell a chance.  We will see if those players are going to live up to their hype next year I would assume.  I think Coombs and Withers both should be given more time, because they have only had the younger DBs who they can actually coach up themselves for a 1-2 years.  Barnett and Brown were already fairly maxed out as far as potential when both of them got to tOSU.  Also Roby clearly became a much better player last year under Coombs
I think Fickell's OSU affiliation is what may blind some people to the fact that he is ultimately responsible for the defense's overall play.  The pass defenses biggest issue in my opinion was the LBs anyway, which is Fickell's position group.  The LB's inability to show correct technique in their zone drops is what opened up a lot of those short and middle seem throws we saw all year.  The LBs also are the ones who are responsible for making sure TEs and inside WRs can't get off the line clean.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Coaching is easy, EXCEPT when you have players who can't learn basic skills. How often do you supposed DBa are told to keep their hands off of the receivers and TURN your head and look back for the ball when you see the receivers eyes look for the ball. HUNDREDS of times? You can't fix stupid.

German Buckeye's picture

I know I don't attend any practices, so I honestly don't know how our D coaches coach...that said, I'm pretty sure (going out on a limb) that the coaches actually do in fact teach the players how to play their position - the players are the ones on the field who must execute.  If a player consistently doesn't get the job done, then he should sit - that IS on the coaches. Reality is probably somewhere in the middle. 

PharmBuck's picture

Honestly can't help but think the better team did not win last night. Braxton overthrowing Philly in the 3rd quarter when we were up 4 was a huge turning point. If he completes that its probably a 30-40 yard gain and we are rolling our way to at least 3 if not 7. Bottom line is MSU executed way better than us, and while they deserved to win, I think we win 7 or 8 out of 10 against them. But that's why you play the game.

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

couldntgo43's picture

That being said, "Des" did strenuously defend the Bucks/B1G and their undefeated record against the SEC lovers. He said there is an "arrogance and self entitlement" when it comes to the SEC. It was nice to hear that on national TV I've got to say. 

2002osubuck's picture

I feel we could run for as many yards as we wanted against anyone this year. We could beat anyone running the ball with Hyde and Miller if we control the clock and keep opposing offenses on the sidelines. The bowl game will be a great example if we actually run Hyde behind our offensive line the entire game. By the 4th qaurter, it will be "no mas" time with Hyde pounding away for 7-10 yard gains. 

seafus26's picture

I'd be interested to see some of our defensive stats in relation with our offense's previous possession. Not making excuses for them but I'd guess theyre much better  when our team momentum and " Juice" is rolling as opposed to following a 3 and out. Especially if the opposing offensive had just put them through a grueling drive only to have our O go 3 and out

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

2002osubuck's picture

That's exactly right. The moment we stopped going 3 and out by running Carlos Hyde we scored 24pts and didn't allow any. Then the moment we stopped running him the O couldn't convert 3rd downs and MSU scored 17 pts controlling the clock the rest of the way. It make no sense, we were driving for the go ahead score and we go single back running miller and throwing with no success. We could've run Hyde the 30 yards to the end zone and gone up by 4 leaving a minute or 2 on the clock, or just kick the FG to tie up. Not converting the 4th down gave scUM momentum they would never got back if we just tie it up with 5 mins left. I think if they run the same play with Hyde, he powers  for the 1st down even with the missed blocks, he was pushing the pile forward all day.

sivaDavis's picture

Couple things. As crazy as it may sound, I wanted this team to play Bama. Yes it's not a national title game but if you think about it, "The Chase" started to specifically take down Bama and the SEC because of their dominance the past couple years. Yeah the main thought at the time was to play Bama on the NCG but playing them still in a BCS Bowl could've sparked this team up a little more than playing Clemson IMO. 
 
I love Pitt Brown but I think he was in way over his head. I would have loved to see Vonn out there or even Tyvis Powell. I think Vonn would be a good fit for the star position for now. He's hard nosed and a blue chip athlete. Always seems to fly to the ball and I'm hoping we see a little bit of that in the Bowl game but I wouldn't bet any money on it. 
 
Its hard for for me to question play calling of this staff but man, we did look way out of sorts on both sides of the ball. If Hyde can't get you 1-yard with the game on the line then the world must be ending. Defensively, a DB blitz from Roby when he's standing 10 yards off the line didn't seem to work all year, it's been close, but haven't seen it be successful enough to call in the biggest game of the year, so far. 
 
Praying that RDS and Brax come back. Along with a couple others like Bennett, guys that could potentially transfer like Brionte, Ball, Baugh, Smith. And that guys can come in and contribute like Meechy, Curtis Samuel, Webb, hopefully Kwon. 
 
Anyway, 12-1 is not bad at all. Playing in another BCS bowl for these seniors isn't bad at all. Let's see if Urban gets serious about these defensive adjustments. A win over Clemson could potentially help heal this wound from Saturday

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

RedsBuckeyeBoy's picture

I think I did a good job of not overreacting to the loss. Like most of us, I knew how bad our defense has been (dating back to last season) and I was genuinely interested to see how we would fare against a legitimate top 10 team given the dearth of those on the schedule in recent memory. I barely let any expletives fly during the game. My wife even said "Honey, I'm so proud of you for handling this as well as you have." (Trust me, that is a rarity in my household.)
Anyway, I wanted to give it a few days before I commented on anything just to make sure that I didn't have any inexplicable outbursts floating around somewhere in my psyche ready to make me look like the idiot that I usually am. Here goes:
Obviously, it was a team loss. A lot of criticism has been leveled against Pitt Brown. He certainly played a terrible game (and season), but I haven't heard a lot of chatter about Doran Grant. For awhile there, it seemed like all MSU had to do was throw to Grant's side of the field and they'd either get 15 yards and an automatic 1st down, or Doran would whiff on the attempted PI and they'd get a huge gain. Oh well, like I said it was a collective effort to lose this football game.
Beyond that, did anyone else think that the entire team- including the coaching staff- seemed to be intimidated by MSU? I don't know if it was the potential National Championship appearance (which seems likely),  the marquee matchup against a quality opponent on the big stage, or the pressure of the streak, but something was definitely going on in Indianapolis Saturday night.
A friend asked me Friday, would I rather OSU lose to sparty or lose to the seminoles. I told him I'd prefer to win both, but if I had to find out that we weren't as good as we thought, I'd rather that happen in Indy. We simply could not afford another national title game defeat. We'd never get selected by a panel to go to the playoffs if that happened.
Oh well, you know what the best thing about having a .960 winning %? The chance to make it .96153846153846 winning %! Go Bucks!!