Tressels, Fickells and Urbans,
Last weekend, I realized it's time to pay close attention.
I had to count a few times before I believed it.
...only 7 times this year? It has to be more than that?
...and if all the games end in regulation, only 7 hours all year...is that really right?
Something seems off here...I'm not sure how much time I spend talking about, thinking about, reading about, wondering about and writing about Ohio State football over the course of a year. But, it seems a little disproportionate to the amount of time Ohio State actually takes the field in Ohio Stadium. The tally has to be incorrect; there must be some hanging chads that will dramatically change the result.
I realized it's true...and it's time to pay close attention...or you might miss it.
In fact, just last weekend I blinked and now it is 6 hours and counting.
The first hour decided that it's better to have the grand finale at the beginning. Why wait? Let the fireworks fly early. Put up 23 points before people even settle into their seats.
As my friend Phil says, it was disorienting after watching Tresselball offensive "rhythm" for so long. I didn't have time to get a beer, make a few calls to the cable company and slow-cook ribs between plays. The offense ran a play, made a big gain, came right back to the line and snapped it immediately.
You saw what could be if the Urban/Herman offense is firing on all cylinders. And, for the most part, it was the same cast of characters we've seen in the past making these big gains - Jordan Hall, Philly Brown...even Chris Fields.
It was interesting that the offense really lost steam the moment the center, Corey Linsley, left the game. Linsley played the first three series and all those were touchdowns. The center is the captain of the offensive line and reads teh defense before each snap. With Linsley, the blocking assignments were fluid, the offensive line had everything under control. Linsley left the game and the next three series were disjointed resulting in turnovers (fumble, interception and turnover on downs).
An Urban/Herman (Urbman or Hurban...not sure which I like better) offense needs execution and timing. If blocking assignments are sound and the plays are run in rhythm the result is very good...and if not...
It was exciting to see some of the new players. Dontre Wilson will be a superstar...and maybe even this year. Watching him run reminds me of Teddy Ginn...defenders have trouble with pursuit angles. I was also pleased to see Dontre has "north-south" instinct/speed. He looked to turn it up field at every opportunity.
The special teams piranhas were awesome too...Devan Bogard, Cam Burrows and Von Bell. They closed on the ball quickly, hit hard and wrapped up. The defensive backfield will be loaded in the future.
Also, another player to watch is Joey Bosa, the freshman defensive lineman from St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Liquordale. It looks as if he has a motor and nose for the ball.
The Bucks will start to get some of their defensive stars back this weekend for San Diego State, so the D should tighten up. You can tell these guys haven't played much together. When Shazier was out with cramps, the defense had only 1 returning starter on the field. At the very least, the defense tackled well (which was a huge issue last season) and played aggressively. I think the defense will come around by the time Big Ten play starts.
It took the first game of the season to bring me up to the present. I'm paying full attention now. I'm ready...and I won't waste it. I'm ready to take a jog around Ohio Stadium early Saturday morning...seeing all the tradition-tailgaters frying bacon and eggs...and drinking bloody marys. I have the lucky Buckeye from the tree in my Grandma Winters side yard. Good friends will be in town this weekend for the annual College Football celebration. Most likely, I'll wander into the Varsity Club mid-day Saturday and take in the festivities. And by mid-afternoon, I'll be in Ohio Stadium enjoying the game with a friend and viewing it with "C-deck eyes."
I'm ready to take it all in and enjoy the second hour fully...
Touchdowns: Braxton, Hall, Philly, Fields, Rod Smith, Devin Smith, Dontre
OSU 52 SDSU 49
Go Bucks! Beat SDSU! Jack Mewhort for Heisman!