Tressels, Fickells and Urbans,
We finally saw a glimpse of what could be...
As I've mentioned before, this is the year. As Ohio State fans, we are rooting for a path to clear to the National Championship game. THIS is the year for OSU to go, if the stars happen to align.
Last Saturday, we finally saw a fully-healthy Braxton playing with one of the top running backs and offensive lines in the country. The offense at full strength, executing a deep playbook with Braxton making good decisions has the ability to put up 40 points on anyone. They can attack through the air or run right over you with Carlos carrying the rock.
I was pleased to see the defense finally playing competitive football. The pass defense still has a way to go, but they finally put pressure on the QB....something we haven't really seen this season. Just like last year, it took a while for the defense to find its way, but they were eventually fairly sound. It looks as if the D is coming around this season a little bit and has the potential to hold national powerhouse teams under 40.
Noah Spence was a difference maker last weekend. An outstanding defensive end can completely take over a game even when the supporting cast is mediocre. We've seen it from some of OSU's opponents the past few seasons...think Ryan Kerrigan from Purdue or Kahlil Mack from Buffalo. If Noah continues to play like he did last weekend, Ohio State will be just fine. I hope he was not saving it all for his home-state school and it's a one-time deal; Penn State was the school Noah de-committed from a couple years ago. Hopefully, Spence is ready to repeat that performance six more times this year.
OSU now heads over to Purdue. An OSU fan said he bought a ticket for $8. Historically, Ohio State has struggled against Purdue, especially in West Lafayette. For whatever reason, Purdue and Illinois both give Ohio State fits. If these guys are really ready to make a run, then the Buckeyes won't make this one a game on Saturday. Recent OSU assistant coach, Darrell Hazell, is now running the show for the Boilermakers...and his team is really struggling under the first-year coach.
This is one of those games that is all about focus and attitude for Ohio State.
While watching warm-ups last Saturday before the Penn State game, there was just a different vibe to the team. I was thinking to myself that there is something really different about the Buckeyes. It was an attitude. How to describe it? They looked...I guess the word is ready...really ready.
There are moments when you can just tell that something is going on. As Buffalo Springfield said, "there's something happening here." But, in this case it WAS exactly clear.
I hope the team that took the field against Penn State keeps showing up..and getting better. That's the team that gave us a glimpse of what could be right now.
If the defense can continue to progress like they did last weekend, then Ohio State is on the cusp of something spectacular. I would love to see the Buckeyes realize that potential over the next few games...and see a path clear for late this season.
Touchdowns: Hyde, Philly, Hyde, Hyde,Devin Smith, Dontre, Heuerman
OSU 52 Purdue 49
Go Bucks! Beat Purdue! Jack Mewhort for Heisman!