Northwestern: Let's play that one again!

ExpatBuckeye's picture
October 7, 2013 at 11:21a

What a great trip to the Windy City for a great game and another great turnout by the Scarlet Invasion.  I really expected to the Buckeyes to play better and win handily but given the near panic I was having realizing we were nearing a loss, I was thrilled with any victory.  Gone are the days, when we can simply physically overwhelm the Wildcats when all else fails.  I theorized before the game that if worst came to worst, Ohio State could still go back to the power running game and simply bulldoze Northwestern off the field.  In some ways, Carlos Hyde did just that - but not in any overwhelming fashion.

There's still no QB controversy in my mind, but my big concern is around Braxton Miller.  I've gotten nearly all my downvotes from defending Braxton against those that say he's not tough enough but now I wonder if there's a legitimate concern that he's not far enough along with his arm (or head) to win from the pocket AND he may not be far enough along with his knee to beat (or at least constrain) opposing defenses, like he did last year.  Did anyone see him get close to breaking a 50-yard run?  

Speaking of constraint, where were all the plays to spread the defenses sideline to sideline?  We did use a short outs to the WR, but not much in the way of the step-back or "bubble" screens.  And where was Dontre Wilson on the edge?  Seems like the "Percy Harvin position" didn't make the trip to Evanston.  At least Noah Spence showed up ... later in the game .. but his "unblockable" pants were at the cleaners.  Yes, I'm calling you out Noah!

As I pointed out last week, there's no need to worry about the margin of victory.  I hope the nation got to see how good Northwestern really is.  Even their fans were great, grousing less about the controversial calls than I would ever imagine.  If I had to choose right now between playing the Team Up North on back-to-back weeks, Nebraska or Sparty -- I'd choose a replay with the Wildcats.  Let's play two!

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cjmgobucks's picture

Good post but all I have to say is...Be careful what you wish for...

"When I look in the mirror, I want to take a swing at me."

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

tennbuckeye19's picture

Thanks. But no thanks. 

AirForceNUT's picture

Yeah I don't want OSU to play them again lol.  Hats off to the 'Cats!

hail2victors9's picture

I don't want to play any team twice, let alone OSU or NW. 

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

Unky Buck's picture

It's always a lose lose for the winner of the first meeting. First, they could lose to the other team which negates the first win. Second, winning again creates a "well, they already beat them before so what does this prove?" kind of thought.
Now for UM and OSU to square off twice, that would be pretty insane given the rivalry and national clout, but I'm still with you, Hail; I don't want to face teams twice if it can be avoided.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

4thandinches's picture

A rematch always favors the loser. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

CC's picture

Based on what?  Seems to me it would favor the winner considering they won the first game.
See UCLA / Oregon 2011

Jonnferrell's picture

Just think of it.  One chance to be the team in the OSU/TTUN rivalry to win twice the same year.  Bragging rights for eternity.  I like it.  It will probably be Northwestern, though, and it's not nearly as cool.

"I miss Brady Hoke."

Hoody Wayes's picture

I could play scUM, all 14 dates on the schedule.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Braxton now runs a 4.6 and is only good for one juke move per run.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Good chance that it will be Northwestern.  MSU might be the team to go to the championship on that side with their tough defense and their O getting better.  I think TTUN is probably 3rd on the list as far as being in the championship game, but it is still entirely possible. 
The next few weeks will be very interesting. 
Go Bucks!!

BamBamBuck's picture

I would love to see the Wildcats again. Giving them a ton of credit as they played lights out against us, IMO, they also unloaded their arsenal on the Bucks. The Buckeyes on the other hand have a lot more in the bank we did not reveal in this game. Imagine a Braxton that is more secure in the run game, a healthy Hall, speedy end arounds with Wilson, Hyde being Hyde, and some better hands with our WR/TE corps, throw in a little diamond formation, etc. IMO, on a neutral field, I think the Bucks have the ability to beat this team by a considerable amount and while I think NU "can" beat the Bucks, me thinks NU may have thrown their very best at the Bucks and could not get it done at home.


Poison nuts's picture

The interesting thing about the game is that NW ended up playing the way I thought OSU's offense would play in the beginning of the year & OSU went back to the power run game but with a few dynamic wrinkles. I guess when you have a guy like Carlos Hyde who can do what he did to NW, you ride his ability..I'm just glad they won & it was an exhilarating game to watch although a little hard on the heart...
This year so far, I think I may have enjoyed the Cal game the most. Watching all the weapons this team has get their touches & seeing all the offense the team is capable of was nice. We all have talked about Braxton & his ups & downs. I love Braxton. He's the rightful QB but I do wish he played more like KG in that I want to see all the playmakers make plays. I guess we should all consider that the field was wet but I really missed Dontre in the NW game & hope that was a blip on the radar. Anyway, here's to my Buckeyes! The country & media can say what they want but it's an 18 game streak & the B1G, regardless of America's hivemind mentality, is not a bunch of kindergartners. OSU is the real deal & I'll be watching every week, fingers crossed, hoping they get their shot at shutting the mouths of the doubters.

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

MN Buckeye's picture

If we play NW again, I think we blow them out. I agree with Bamabuck that they threw everything they had at us. At a neutral site, it is a very different game.

Knarcisi's picture

We need Nebraska to show some breadth on our schedule and need them at 10-2. 

Dirty419Boy's picture

I was thinking MSU but you're probably right.  Nebraska does do a really good job of making their opponent look like the '85 Bears in the B1G championship game.