The off-season continues, so to fill the void, I rewatched the OSU victory over Bama on the way to a Natty in 2015. In the spirit of reminiscing, here are some things I had forgotten since I last watched the game:
-OSU entered the game 1st in opponent starting field position and 2nd in own starting field position. Bama completely flipped that around in their favor that day.
-In retrospect, OSU gets a lot of flack for Bama having a “weak” QB that year but Sims was a 2nd team all SEC player, the leading yards from scrimmage QB in Bama history, and had the best receiver in CFB with 115 catches and 1600 yards coming into the game. That receiver, Cooper, would break the all-time SEC record with 118 catches on a TD grab in the first quarter. There were worse “game manger” QBs that won Nattys. Sims was a game college QB.
-Evan Spencer was absolutely robbed of a one handed catch that resembled the famous Odell Beckham catch.
-OSU had all early momentum until Zeke fumbled the ball leading to a big D. Henry TD run.
-Cardale started the game 0-5 but would end up very much redeeming himself.
-An announcer kept calling
Cardale Jones “Cordale”.
-Bama kept running plays away from Bosa’s side to avoid the big man.
-Billy Price playing guard nearly gave up a safety at the end of the first quarter. The ball was placed on the 1 and it was ruled that the defender pulled Jones into the end zone.
-Zeke had 100+ rushing yards by the start of the second quarter, Bama had not allowed a 100 yard rusher since the Iron Bowl the year prior!
- The OSU kick return team was bad all day but we were gifted a 15 yard penalty for taunting after a big hit by Foster on Samuel.
-Jalin Marshall bailed OSU out on several third downs with great catches. Michael Thomas came alive as well and caught everything that came his way including a laser from Jones about ten yards out that any normal human would have certainly dropped.
- Evan Spencer laid the hard legal block on Collins that took him out of the game initially. With Collins hurt, the Buckeyes began scoring in abundance.
-Zeke scored our first TD with three minutes left to go in the second quarter. Long awaited but we didn’t know there would be many more to come.
-Collins was back in during the long scramble by Cardale Jones and he had no interest in tackling the steam engine coming at him. He kind of stood in front of him and was likely thinking “aw, sheeiit”.
-The Evan Spencer to Thomas throw and catch for a TD was one of the greatest I’ve ever seen on such a big stage. We should remember it for centuries. Thomas making that very difficult catch while still getting a foot down inbounds was an NFL Hall of Fame level grab. Still don’t know how he slipped to the second round.
-At half OSU had a 348-139 edge in yards and a 7/10 vs 1/6 edge on third down. Two turnovers that led to Bama TDs during productive drives kept the game close.
-Have to give Bama credit for hanging in the whole game. It was never a runaway and there was a time where it seemed as though we were about to pull away after Zeke’s 85 yards through the heart of the south. We were a Bama hail marry away from overtime at the end.
-My final assessment is that this Bama team was not as weak as what some try it make it in retrospect. I would wager money that in a hypothetical world where they could compete against other Bama teams, they would beat some of the teams that went on to win National Championships. They were good enough to win it. Everything just came together for OSU that year. Do I think we could have defeated Bama if it was JT instead of Jones? I personally do not. We needed that Jones cannon and his running style, which consisted of long strides, straight line running, a massive amount of weight to bring down, and the runs usually were not planned. Bama’s D-line was built to stop the run that year and would have likely rendered JT ineffective like Clemson did during 31-0. I will admit that we’ll never know and I don’t think it’s impossible that we would have beat them with JT, just my opinion. Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. Anything else that you recall from that game that you had forgotten? Any hot takes?
If you want to watch the game, here it is: https://youtu.be/QwwdM-RwdfQ