A familiar feeling this morning as once again a Halftime Adjustment favorite is denied a championship.
The Buckeyes were outplayed and out coached last night, losing to LSU 38-24. The only bright spot for the Scarlett and Gray was Beanie Wells, who had an outstanding game rushing for 146 yards on 20 carries. The Buckeye passing attack was grounded, and Boeckman found himself running for cover as wide outs Robiske and Hartline struggled to get open. Boeckman was not exactly sharp when a receiver did manage to find some room, not hitting players in stride, and under throwing the deep ball several times. One of those under throws was picked off, and another should have been. Todd finished the game with 2 picks and a lost fumble.
The Buckeyes made way too many mistakes to have a chance in this one, and to LSU’s credit they made the Buckeyes pay for those mistakes. Ohio State’s special teams were terrible. The blocked field goal and roughing the punter were responsible for at least a 10 point swing in this game. In addition, the kick-off return team was awful. LSU kicked the ball to the up-back all night, and we looked confused on how to return a kick from the 15 all game. When the kick-off fails to reach the 10 yard line you should end up with good field position. At least the Buckeyes managed to boom the ball into the end zone eliminating LSU’s return game.
Credit LSU’s Flynn for reading the Ohio State defense correctly all night. When we brought pressure he knew exactly where to throw the ball. I’ve read in game summaries that Ohio State failed to put pressure on Flynn. I think that is inaccurate. Flynn didn’t have tons of time to throw the ball, but he used three step drops and quick slant patterns to get the ball to his players in stride. Ohio State failed to make adjustments to stop him.
What I am about to say I want to be very clear- I am not blaming any part of the loss on the officiating. Are we clear on that? Ohio State was not the better team on the field yesterday. Now that I have made myself clear on that I have to ask- did anyone else see a lot of holding penalties not called? I’m just wondering if I was imagining things. I haven’t watched the game again, and probably won’t for a little while, but watching it live I shouted for a holding penalty on at least four occasions that never got called. I also saw a blatant block in the back that was ignored. It was a little frustrating that the only penalties that seemed to be called were for personal fouls. The wide outs for LSU were either the best blocking unit or something extra was going on. I know I saw a tackle of Vernon Gholston as well, but to no avail. For all I know they were allowing the Ohio State players to get away with these things too. Like I said, I was wrapped up in the game and haven’t watched the tape.
This has been a very disappointing year for Northern Ohio sports fans. The Buckeyes have lost 2 football championships and a Final Four. The Cavs were erased in the NBA finals, the Indians were a win away from playing the Rockies in the World Series, and the Browns came within a tiebreaker of their first playoffs in an eternity. Here’s hoping 2008 is better.