Trying to gameplan against this Ohio State team must be some kind of special hell.
The 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes on offense are like some kind of brilliant perpetual motion cyborg from a future ruled by hyper-intelligent clones of Henry Ford. A leg motor breaks, it gets replaced with a coil from a toaster and works just fine. Arm falls off, well screw it, weld a big rake on there and move on. Exhaust system on the fritz? Stick a bunch of drinking straws up there and let's get it done.
Every time this team has faced some kind of supposedly insurmountable problem, every time, it has used that problem as a goddamn pommel horse and vaulted over it to the next challenge.
There is no logic behind a team with a nobody offensive line and a quarterback who hadn't played a game in two years at any level going on to be one of the most dominant offenses in college football. There is nothing rational about said quarterback going on to become a Heisman candidate despite losing what was perceived to be his best playmaker early in the season. And in no universe did anyone fathom that after losing that Heisman candidate for the rest of the season, the third string quarterback would come in and completely dominate one of the best defenses in the country as four and a half point underdogs.
Ohio State under Urban Meyer has become a unrelenting force of nature; injuries and suspensions and early season losses be damned, this is a team that takes the hit, sets its jaw, and keeps punching you right in the face.
It has to be demoralizing, from the perspective of the rest of the Big Ten, to realize that there isn't really anything they can do to stop this, to stem the rising tide of a Buckeye team that is about to put the conference back on lockdown. The team as you see it now is a young group that just learned that they can outlast anyone and overcome almost anything. You guys are screwed.
"What is dead may never die... but rises again, harder and stronger."
Let's talk about our hero du jour.
So far, Cardale is showing a ton more accuracy than he did this spring & fall. Has always had the cannon, but now has a guidance system!— Matt Finkes (@MattFinkes) December 7, 2014
I believe I believe Cardale I believe Cardale Jones I believe Cardale Jones ain't come to pic.twitter.com/WGsaOkkYwC— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) December 6, 2014
Cardale Jones, he of the extremely regrettable Tweet, looked like a guy who had just spent a decade in that one time room gym thing that Goku had in Dragonball Z to get in years of training in a few days. 257 yards of passing on only 17 attempts. Three touchdowns, and most importantly, zero freaking mistakes. Fazed by nothing, Cardale "Prez Sez: School Is For Losers" Jones kicked enormous amounts of ass and was the well-deserved MVP of the game.
can't be legal to shoot your running back out of a cannon but urban does what it takes, I guess.— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) December 7, 2014
My personal opinion is that Ezekiel Elliott should've gotten the award, however. Not to take anything away from what Cardale accomplished, but EzE completely overshadowed his Wisconsin Hesiman candidate counterpart. 220 yards of rushing on only 20 attempts, including a tone-setting 81 yard run, broke the back of Wisconsin and forced them to play guys like Devin Smith more conservatively than they wanted.
Elliott, by the way, might've just had the quietest 1400 yard rushing season in history, but honestly I'm okay with that as long as we can keep the dude under wraps until the bowl game.
Vonny FootBell— in excelsis mayo (@dennymayo) December 7, 2014
A "borderline hold" that goes uncalled that hurts Wisconsin = 100,000 adorable puppies were just conceived and will go to good homes.— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) December 7, 2014
I guess initially Badger fans had some small things that they could quibble about, like uncharacteristic interceptions or unseen holding penalties. But this was a complete dismantling of a really good Wisconsin team that pretty much had zero shot of winning the game after about midway through the second quarter.
Then Bennett created a fumble, and Joey Bosa rumbled into the endzone to end the half. Welp.
Luke Fickell: "HOLY SHIT" https://t.co/jtVsaSSQjF— Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) December 7, 2014
Defensively, Ohio State played brilliantly against probably the best running back in the country. Melvin Gordon, who coming into this game had been held under 120 yards rushing by Western Illinois (somehow) and nobody else, was limited to 76 yards on 26 carries for an average of 2.9 yards per carry. To put that in perspective, this was only the second time in the last two seasons anyone held him to under even 3.5 yards per carry.
Joel Stave was similarly stonewalled, getting picked three times and only completing 17 of his 43 attempts with no touchdowns.
95 IS THE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYER OF ALL TIME— Jonathan Thoma (@JonThoma) December 7, 2014
Oh, and punting! Cam Johnston's 73 yard punt bent time and space, and for a brief moment in Indianapolis, we were one with Uluru. It's almost a little sad that he plays for such a good team, because if he was on some middle-tier B1G sad sack like Iowa or Michigan, he'd be getting a Ray Guy tattoo on his butt as we speak. But he doesn't so he won't. Sad.
But with all that said, this game was over by halftime and turned into a giant party as the game went on. To paraphrase the forward from A Confederacy Of Dunces, initial incredulity about what was going on soon gave way to just a wave of giddiness that was infectious, kind of like a happy panic attack that lasted about three hours.
THIS IS SO FUN AND SO WEIRD I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF I LOVE LAMP— Elika Sadeghi (@steakNstiffarms) December 7, 2014
I mean hell, it's 3:30 AM as I'm typing this, I'm watching the BTN's recap for the fifth time in a row, and I'm still riding high. I don't envy these guys today:
Live look at the selection committee: http://t.co/YF4A1JwC7h— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) December 7, 2014
But seriously, either way, I'm pretty enormously happy with this season. Give us a bowl or playoff or whatever. We'll go out and win it, because screw it, that's what we're going to do. Here's a bunch of happy tweets.
Hmmmm...so far my player of the game is EVERYONE.— Michael Citro (@11W_Michael) December 7, 2014
Perhaps the "Ohio State QB Position" will get an invite to New York.— Jerod Smalley (@JerodNBC4) December 7, 2014
Time and change will surely show, how firm thy friendship, O-HI-O! pic.twitter.com/Ou0ccMzs7l— Mattaritaville (@Mattaritaville) December 7, 2014
Unreal how this team handles adversity. Love buckeye nation, this university, and this team. BIG10 CHAMPS. #GoBucks— Tommy Schutt (@TommySchutt) December 7, 2014
no— has wisconsin scored (@WisconsinBlows) December 7, 2014
Put an obstacle in front of us, and we'll run it over.
After a little Advanced Warfare.
Gunna get about 6 hours of cod in tomorrow— Joey Bosa (@jbbigbear) December 7, 2014