It won’t go down as the prettiest win in Ohio State history, but the Buckeyes shut down Akron en route to a 20-2 victory. Ohio State improved to 2-0 on the season, and extended its regular season win streak to 15 games, and their win streak against Ohio teams to 30 games. The game ball most certainly belongs to the defense for this one. They held the Zips to a meager 69 total yards for the game. The Zips managed only 3 first downs, being held to 3 and out an amazing 12 straight times. If only the Buckeye offense was as efficient.
The Buckeyes turned the ball over 5 times. Todd Boeckman threw 2 interceptions, and the Buckeyes fumbled 3 more times. Usually a team that turns the ball over that much does not win by 18 points. The Buckeyes would not be denied however. Leading 3-2 at the half (yeah, I know) Jim Tressel and the coaching staff made the necessary adjustments to get the team back on track. (In case you were wondering, Tressel’s ability to make changes to his game plan inspired the name of this blog.) Chris Wells decided to wake up in the second half and broke off long runs of 25 and 40 yards, the latter included a beautiful stiff arm pictured here. But the key pays of the game as I watched it were consecutive sacks on the Zips first drive of the second half. The first was by James Lauriniatis, and was more of a scheme blitz sack, as James wasn’t touched on his way to the QB. The second was by Vernon Gholston as he simply beat his man and pulled Jacquemain down. It was the first time the ‘big name’ players stepped up in this game and showed what the team leaders are supposed to do. The Zips were toast after that.
Some random notes from the game-
- In the first half the Buckeyes were arm tackling. They need to work on open field tackles.
- A couple Buckeyes went down with strange looking injuries (both returned to the game) that appeared to me to be caused by the turf. For example in the first half Chris Wells came down hard and looked like he was favoring his back or side.
- What gives with the helmet stickers? How did Wells earn like 8 or 9 last week, and Brandon Saine had only 1? Seems to me they had the same number of TD’s, and Saine figured into the offense almost as much as Wells did.
- Kurt Coleman (defense #4) talks an awful lot of smack out there.
- Why did the Buckeyes not take time outs at the end of the first half? They should have taken 2 when the Zips had the ball. They would have had another 1:30 when they got the ball to try and score before the half.
- Too many times it seemed we were only sending 2 or maybe 3 receivers. Not too tough to defend with 5 DB’s.
- The tackling improved dramatically in the second half. (I’m guessing there was some discussion of that in the locker room.)
- Chris Wells was having a terrible game until he broke loose with three good runs in the second half. He began to run with some authority.
- Every time we needed 8 yards on third down it seemed like Robiskie was the target.
- Maurice Wells looks like he is running hard, but he isn’t very effective right now. He also needs to tuck the ball away.
As I write this Michigan is down at the half 32-7. Another embarrassing loss in the Big House? The fire Carr talk certainly won’t go away this week. I know Oregon is a decent opponent, but the Alumni can’t be very happy about the way this season is turning out for the woodchucks.