Saturday was a funny day. After the 40-20 drubbing of Buffalo, I was actually bummed. I mean, not at “ruin my day” levels, but bummed all the same. I was not alone as my Twitter feed of Buckeye fans seemed to be in mourning over a three touchdown win. As the day went on and I gained some perspective (read: WTF, Nebraska?) I felt a little better about things. Actually, I feel a lot better.
What did we expect?
Shazier was cramping and out most of the game, Roby was suspended and Barnett was hurt. This left some super-major-gaping holes in the D. That is an important point of emphasis. There was a large chunk of time where OSU was playing second and third stringers and they still held Buffalo to 20 points. Also, many of the mental lapses on offense came at the hands of a super-hyped Freshman. I mean, really, why is everyone freaking out?
Next week, Roby will be back, Barnett might be, Shazier shouldn’t have as much heat to contend with and things will be fine. As for Dontre Wilson, well, Eddie George wasn’t exactly the best at hanging onto a ball as a Freshman. He turned out OK.
Not surprisingly, OSU dropped to 3 in the AP poll and 4 in the ESPN Power Rankings. Color me shocked. They hated having OSU up there and almost tripped over themselves at the chance to put Oregon at #2 and (in the case of the ESPN Power Rankings) Clemson at 3. Of course, Oregon played an FCS school, Nicholls State, that won a whopping one game in 2012. Interestingly, OSU still has their first place vote in the AP and Oregon has none. Logic!!
OSU held onto the #2 spot in the coaches poll, which is all that really matters in BCS world.
Jordan Hall, am I right?
I’d read a lot of talk about Hall being unable to run between the tackles. You could have fooled me. Hall had an outstanding game, including a few quick bursts up the middle. Hall finished with 190 all-purpose yards. If this continues, Hyde is going to have a heck of a time getting his job back.
Khalil Mack is a stud.
Mack was an absolute force on that field. He is a legitimate NFL first-round prospect and will likely be the toughest OLB The Buckeyes will see all year. I was extremely impressed with his play and wish him the best of luck the remainder of the season.
It’s not a bad thing to have stuff to work on.
It’s easy to say that you want the first game to go off without a hitch. As a fan base, of course you do. For the coaches, however, they have a plethora of tape and coaching opportunities and that is a good thing. Stuff like that helps with complacency. “See, you can be beaten” “see, people don’t believe in you” etc, etc is a great weapon for a coaching staff. Things like that keep a team focused on getting better and playing harder. I don’t think complacency, like what was seen after the first half, will be an issue next week and as the season progresses.
Having said that, if they play every game like that first quarter, there will be much rejoicing in Buckeye Nation. Urban likes a fast start and has said as much. The offense threw some new looks out there and almost appeared to just be trying crap out. The naysayers will only make this team better, and that’s just how Urbz likes it.