Northwestern: Let's play that one again!

ExpatBuckeye's picture
October 7, 2013 at 11:21 am

What a great trip to the Windy City for a great game and another great turnout by the Scarlet Invasion.  I really expected to the Buckeyes to play better and win handily but given the near panic I was having realizing we were nearing a loss, I was thrilled with any victory.  Gone are the days, when we can simply physically overwhelm the Wildcats when all else fails.  I theorized before the game that if worst came to worst, Ohio State could still go back to the power running game and simply bulldoze Northwestern off the field.  In some ways, Carlos Hyde did just that - but not in any overwhelming fashion.
There's still no QB controversy in my mind, but my big concern is around Braxton Miller.  I've gotten nearly all my downvotes from defending Braxton against those that say he's not tough enough but now I wonder if there's a legitimate concern that he's not far enough along with his arm (or head) to win from the pocket AND he may not be far enough along with his knee to beat (or at least constrain) opposing defenses, like he did last year.  Did anyone see him get close to breaking a 50-yard run?  
Speaking of constraint, where were all the plays to spread the defenses sideline to sideline?  We did use a short outs to the WR, but not much in the way of the step-back or "bubble" screens.  And where was Dontre Wilson on the edge?  Seems like the "Percy Harvin position" didn't make the trip to Evanston.  At least Noah Spence showed up ... later in the game .. but his "unblockable" pants were at the cleaners.  Yes, I'm calling you out Noah!
As I pointed out last week, there's no need to worry about the margin of victory.  I hope the nation got to see how good Northwestern really is.  Even their fans were great, grousing less about the controversial calls than I would ever imagine.  If I had to choose right now between playing the Team Up North on back-to-back weeks, Nebraska or Sparty -- I'd choose a replay with the Wildcats.  Let's play two!

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