First posted by Brady at Inside The Shoe.
I don’t know if I would feel better today about a complete blowout in Lincoln, NE or the way things really went down on Saturday night. On one hand, the offense looked fairly competent during the first half giving me hope for the future. On the other hand, coping with complete melt-downs like the one witnessed in the 4th quarter are a really tough pill to swallow.
Braxton Miller finally showed glimpses of what may be in store for OSU during the first 30 minutes on Saturday night. He looked more comfortable in the pocket and appeared to know when to scramble to pick up crucial first downs. His throws were much better than in previous weeks and it really looked like the rout was on when the Bucks pushed the lead to 27-6 early in the third quarter. Then Braxton showed that he is still 18 years old and gave Nebraska a cheap touchdown with a fumble deep in Buckeye territory. Things would go downhill quickly from there. The offense completely abandoned the things that were working for most of the game and the defense also began to show signs of panic.
I’m not sure who to blame for this epic collapse. Bollman and Fickell definitely showed that they are still not ready for the limelight. Conservative calls and questionable game management reared their ugly heads once again. Although, when Braxton went down with a sprained ankle there wasn’t much the coaches could do to cover up the horrendous play of Joe Bauserman. He never would have been in the game if hadn’t been for Miller’s reckless runs into the Nebraska defense. Braxton took a number of huge hits that I am convinced helped get him out of the game. I realize it was a sprained ankle but Miller had his bell rung a number of times that may have led him to second guess going back in the fourth quarter. I’m not trying to question his toughness or will to play but we all knew what was going to happen when Joey Ballgame stepped on to the field.
Even in my buzzed/homer state on Saturday night, I stated to my friends that the game was over at that point even though OSU still held a 14 point advantage. I wished I was wrong but I knew I was right.
This is turning out to be a lost year for Ohio State. The suspensions and lack of overall talent are turning this campaign into a nightmare. It is a really weird feeling as the state of Ohio is not used to football being played like this. The last decade has spoiled me and I’m not quite sure how to deal with these losses. It really sucks not being able to get amped up for games that matter on the weekend. I am literally terrified to attend the Wisconsin game in a couple weeks.
I think we can all agree that Fickell and his staff are in way over their head and are only there to hold the fort down this season. It will take a huge splash in the coaching department to stabilize this program for next year. Whoever is hired in the off season will have to have some flash to keep that recruiting pipeline open and to stop the bleeding right away. We don’t want to turn into a Michigan or Penn St. due to one bad season. I have faith that this job will attract the best of the best and look forward to starting over next season. Wait, what’s that you say? There are still 6 games to go this season? I guess I will just have to stock up on Rolling Rock and Tylenol to get me through the Fall.