This was written by Brady, first at Inside The Shoe
It’s amazing what one win can do for your psyche in this kind of a season. Food has tasted better this week, it has seemed brighter outside (which is hard to do considering the amount of rain that has fallen over northern Ohio) and I have generally been nicer to those around me. All of this because of a football game. It’s hard to explain to those outside of our OSU fanatic niche how much a football team can mean but it really is one of the most important things in my life. As long as family, friends and my job are all humming along as expected, football is pretty much the next item on the list. I guess what I am trying to say is.. THANK GOD WE F’N WON A GAME! I was beginning to think I might never feel this way again in 2011.
The Buckeyes had been playing uninspired and sloppy football for the last couple of weeks which added two more losses to the one already collected in South Beach a month ago. If you’re counting at home, that is 3 freakin’ losses only half way through the year. Under normal circumstances that is like two years worth of losses. Unfortunately this season is anything but normal and OSU desperately needed a win in Champaign to get that Herpes B infected monkey off their back (too soon?). I think we all expected some growing pains this year but nobody predicted the horror show err... offensive production witnessed thus far.
Heading into windy Champaign, the OSU football team was still reeling from the 2nd half collapse in Lincoln. The game against Nebraska could have been a season changing victory on the road. Instead, it turned into the latest chapter of despair for this team and its’ fans. I really didn’t know how they were going to react following that second half against the Huskers. My blind Buckeye allegiance was telling me that OSU would be pissed and come back to give the Illini hell. My brain said otherwise and believed that there was no way this team won on the road against an undefeated ranked opponent. I feared that Illinois would be another loss in a long line of potential losses to finish out the year. There was hope because Braxton was cleared to play but the passing game was still only pre-Woody at best so I didn’t know what to expect.
The defense showed as usual and the running game looked good for most of the afternoon.
Seriously though, WTF is up with passing game? This is still Ohio State right? ONE pass completion! That’s all we got? It was a good pass to complete but how can Bollman or Fickell look themselves in the mirror and be happy with one pass? The most damning stat I saw concerning our “passing game” was a tweet from 11W’s Ramzy on Sunday. He found that 2 RB’s and 1 WR had more completions on Saturday than the Buckeye’s. I didn’t even know how to react to that one. Braxton is definitely you and is probably in a little over his head but there is no rational argument to be made as to why you can’t get more than one pass completion.
That one completion did go for a score on a beautiful toss over the middle to Stoney. Miller had a clear throwing lane and managed to lead Stoneburner with a perfect spiral. My point is that it wasn’t like Braxton was launching Bauserbombs into the next county. He showed the ability to complete a college throw and should’ve been given the opportunity for more. I realize the running game is the horse we rode in on but don’t put the air attack out to pasture just yet.
We are going to need that passing game if OSU is going to have any chance of upsetting the Badgers. Wisconsin will be selling out to top the run and you can’t blame them for implementing that strategy. There is absolutely no reason to fear an all out air assault next weekend. If Bollman wants any chance of leaving Columbus without a police escort at the end of the season, he HAS to come up some throws to loosen up that defense. Wisky won’t be as easy to push around as the Illini were. Fickell basically told Zook that he was going to run the ball on every play and they still couldn’t stop us. That’s a testament to the RB talent on this team but that strategy won’t fly against the 4th ranked team in the country. Stopping the Badgers on the other side of the ball is a whole other column unto itself but that is another column for another day.
Before the season started, the best Sister and Brother-in-law on the planet decided to present me with an early Christmas gift. They opened up a package that contained tickets to every OSU home game with instructions to pick my favorite game to attend. Naturally I chose the Wisconsin game figuring that the Buckeyes would be 6-1 and in the hunt for another BCS bowl game bid (obviously that was WAY off but that’s what being a blind OSU supporter is all about). Little did I know the hornet’s nest the Bucks would be facing that late October evening.
Anything can happen but it’s going to be tough sledding against those corn-fed brutes from Wisky. That’s not the point. I will be able to spend some quality time with my brother Tony who is usually overseas helping to keep this country safe. As a bonus, we get to spend that time with 105,000 of our closest red-clad friends (wear RED to the game if you haven’t heard already). I wanted to use this public forum to thank all of those who serve in the armed forces. They enable us average Joe’s to enjoy great sporting events like the one on Oct. 29. Thanks again for the gift Alison and Tony. Go Buckeyes!