First posted at Inside The Shoe, by Brady
That's all folks. The curtain has dropped, the seas have un-parted and the fat lady has belted her last note. That last "game" against the Spartans effectively ended the 2011 campaign before it even had a chance to get going. The Miami game a couple weeks back was a tough pill to swallow but many, yours truly included thought that the Big Ten season would offer a new beginning of sorts and allow Ohio St. to play meaningful football this season. That ship sailed in my head after the first 3 offensive series last Saturday. This team is bad. Not average or mediocre... bad. It pains me more than anyone else to type those words but it's time to face reality.
There will still be some good games against inferior opponents in the coming weeks but anyone with a pulse in the Big Ten has to be smacking their chops in anticipation of their game with OSU. I guess "bad" isn't a fair term to bestow on the whole team. I thought that the defense played their collective tails off (per usual) and kept the team in the game all afternoon. They let Cousins get off some decent throws and there were some missed tackles but when the D is on the field that long, the Baltimore Ravens would've given up some yardage. With an offense that pathetic there is no room for error. For OSU to have won that game, the defense would've had to been the unit to put it in the end zone. IS there any other conclusion to be drawn from that contest? Let's take a look at the 3 most glaring problems even though one could write a book on all that is wrong with OSU these days. The quarterback play is just awful right now. Joe Bauserman should never, and I mean never, pick up a football ever again.
As I have stated before, I am sure Joey Ballgame is a swell guy and a great citizen but I can't stomach one more snap with him under center. This is one of the most prestigious football programs in the country. Mr. Bauserman, and to an extent Braxton Miller, have reduced our offense to Saturday morning JV territory. Thankfully Fickell came to his senses and declared the Freshman our starter for the MSU game. Then he went and F'd it up by putting Bauserman in during the 4th quarter. Not only does that mess with an impressionable youth trying to find his way on the football field, but it also opens up another weeks worth of quarterback debate.
Listen, Fickell. The season is lost. Your job is lost. Assuming that you still love your alma mater, keep the future quarterback of this program in the game for some more live reps. There is nothing to be gained by watching old anchor foot wobble passes 5 yards short and 10 yards out of bounds. NONE! We can all live with the growing pains of Braxton during this lost year of 2011. I hope we can at least because there is no help coming in behind him.
Braxton's recruitment scared everyone else off so we have to play the hand we were dealt. That's another column for another day so let's just move on to some more positive feedback. Not to be outdone by the guys taking the snaps, their "protection" up front has been almost as bad. There is no question that a portion of that ridiculous sack count was due to the quarterback play. That defense smelled blood in the water all game. They were sending multiple blitzes and showing different fronts the entire afternoon.
That is a lot to put on a young offensive line. That's where Mike Brewster needs to step up. He is the All-American and seasoned vet on that line. I'm not claiming to be an offensive line savant or anything but it just didn't look like the right protections were being called. Guys seemed to be confused and out of place all game. Gholston was a one man wrecking crew for the Spartans. We have a talented young group of linemen that I have high hopes for in the future.
It will help when Adams gets back (if ever) but it seemed that no corrections or adjustments were made to the line or playcalling all day. What a great segway to talk about the 800 lb gorilla in the room, coaching. WTF is Bollman doing out there? I seriously think that I could've called a better game texting in plays from my couch. I get that we really can't throw (LOL) but the illusion has to be there right? There has got to be a handful of passing plays that a group of Division 1 college football players at Ohio F'n State can run right? Somebody answer me PLEASE! Watching 3 and out after 3 and out literally made me sick to my stomach. I have never felt so hopeless watching a football game and I am a die-hard Browns fan.
At no point did I have any hope that we could get a first down, let alone a touchdown. Praying for the defense to get back on the field in hopes of scoring points isn't the way football games were meant to be watched. Luke Fickell is in way over his head. I was as guilty of anyone this offseason of pumping sunshine up my own ass in hopes of convincing my brain he was the answer. He obviously is not. I was under the impression that he would be in guy's faces and jumping around in all his youthful glory on the sideline. Instead he looks like he is watching the game in an out-of-body experience.
Seriously, it looks like his mind isn't even there. That isn't what recruits want to see and it's definitely not what the fans want to see. I feel for him though. It was an almost impossible situation to be thrust into. Especially on a national stage at Ohio St. I hope he uses the rest of the season to improve his demeanor and game management so he might be able to land a job this offeseason. If it keeps going the way it has, he may be hard pressed to do that. Time will tell. It starts in Lincoln on Saturday night football. SWEET!