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Buckeyes Buckeye Archive Zips & Flashes & Penguins, Oh My!
Written by Mike Furlan

Mike Furlan
Just like that it is over. Ohio State’s horrid non-conference schedule has mercifully ended, and not only did they win the state championship, but now the Buckeyes find themselves in the driver’s seat for a second consecutive trip to the BCS title game. Furls says he wouldn't buy tickets to New Orleans yet, but the Buckeyes are now the #1 ranked team in the country, and control their own destiny.

Just like that it is over.  Ohio State’s horrid non-conference schedule has mercifully ended, and not only did they win the state championship, but now the Buckeyes find themselves in the driver’s seat for a second consecutive trip to a BCS title game.  I wouldn’t buy my tickets to New Orleans yet, there is still half a season to go, but the Buckeyes, by default are now in control of their own destiny. 

The Golden Flashes came to play and Doug Martin had a pretty nice game plan for the Buckeyes.  Unfortunately, it will be lost in the final score and overall statistics.  In spite of the 48-3 final score, the Buckeyes did not come to play at least not in the first quarter. 

Kent State started the game with a respectable opening drive, moving the ball to the Ohio State 25 before a holding call backed them up.  The drive would ultimately stall out after a Robert Rose sack on Ohio State’s 37 yard line.  The Flashes moved the ball on the ground, in the air, by penalty, Fed Ex, however they wanted.  It was sobering and it continued for the entire first quarter. 

Eugene Jarvis did his best Garrett Wolfe impersonation for the first quarter ripping of runs of 14, 13, 8, 8, and 5 yards.  He would go on to finish the game with 84 yards on 16 carries, and the Flashes would go on to post a total of 161 yards on the ground.  Most of them right up the gut in running formations.  Missed tackles, sloppy play, bad angles, it was sobering. 

Also sobering, the offensive line’s inability to move a middle of the pack MAC team off the line of scrimmage.  On paper it will appear as though the Buckeyes did a reasonably good job on the ground, but in reality, well not so much.  The Buckeyes had 136 yards rushing on 36 carries, but 96 of those rushing yards came in the fourth quarter after the game was out of hand, long after Kent State’s starters hit the showers. 

So, while it is likely that Ohio State will ascend to the number one spot in the poles tomorrow, it appears as though they are as vulnerable as any of their predecessors this year.  Could they run the table and win it all?  Sure.  Will that prove they are the best team in the country?  I am not so sure, for they will have only played one decent team outside of the Big Ten (presuming their BCS Title Game opponent is decent). 

Grading the Positions: 

Quarterback:  A.  Boeckman was efficient, on time, and accurate.  He made some scary throws, but he executed them well so I guess they weren’t that scary. 

Running Backs:  B.  Beanie’s Ankle:  D.  Beanie only had four carries and saw limited action, presumably to give that ankle some time to heal.  Brandon Saine showed a lot of versatility, catching five passes for 75 yards in addition to his 69 yards on nine carries.  Saine’s power has got to be one of the most surprising aspects on this team this year.  Maurice Wells’ indecision and slow movement to the hole continue to make him infuriating to watch. 

Wide Receivers:  A.  No horrible drops, although Sanzenbacher did throw an illegal block, but at least he was blocking.  Hartline single handedly broke the game open with a great catch and run on Ohio State’s first touchdown and a record setting 90 yard punt return. 

Offensive Line:  C-.  Yep.  The Buckeyes won big and Boeckman had plenty of time to throw, but this offensive line has not yet shown the ability to consistently open holes in running situations.  Do you have any confidence in the Buckeyes ability to pick up 3rd and two against Penn State in Happy Valley on the ground from a running formation?  I don’t. 

Defensive Line:  B.  The play was adequate upfront but not exemplary.  The defensive line was able to record its first big sack game of the season as the Buckeyes as a whole recorded five.  Most of those sacks could be attributed to a quarterback holding on to the ball too long, as the pressure was not imposing and not immediate. 

Linebackers:  B.  The backers settled in nicely after the first quarter and made some pretty nice plays, although there was enough sloppy play from the linebackers in the first quarter to last the season.  Marcus Freeman was impressive, running down Jarvis from behind from the backside on one play.  His early season play has to be the biggest surprise of the first half of the season.   

Secondary:  B.  Donald Washington’s interception and subsequent touchdown iced the game, but overall the play in the secondary was not as sound as it had been earlier in the season.  The secondary held Kent to 6/15 passing for just 62 yards, but it was still a bit surprising to see the Buckeyes give up a 25 yard pass to Kent State on the first play of the game.  Kurt Coleman missed a couple of tackles early, but he wasn’t the only player to do so.  The whole defensive looked as bored playing the game as I was watching it.  Fortunately Anderson Russell’s injury was not as serious as it first appeared, but the sprained ankle will still likely cost him a couple of games.   

Grading the Grader: 

I warned you to stay away from the over/under and I think that was pretty sound advice as the game finished within a field goal of the line.  Too close to call in my opinion, so I accept no responsibility for any money’s or esteem you may have lost.  Ohio State –30 was a solid easy cover, as predicted.  Still, I did miss the over so I get a B.

I said, “Don’t be surprised if -Ohio State throws a shutout today. The Buckeyes Defense was clearly disappointed at losing last week’s shut out in trash time. I am not sure that they will do that this week.”  That game should have been a shutout.  What kind of self esteem bull crap was that, kicking a field goal down 48-0 with 2 minutes left in the game?  B for me.

I said, “Don’t be surprised if -Jim Tressel runs up the score in the last game that Doug Martin will be allowed to coach in Ohio Stadium. I think that if Coach Martin is not going to work to give the Buckeyes a work out than Coach Tressel will.”  Coach Tressel, to his credit, stopped throwing deep in the third quarter.  He is much classier than I am.  C-.

I said, “Don’t be surprised if -The game is more interesting than I have painted it. The score won’t be interesting, but I think there will be enough big plays to keep Buckeyes fans watching the trainwreck.”  A 90 yard punt return?  A 70 yard pick-six?  Yeah there were plenty of big plays to go around.  A.

I said, “Don’t be surprised if -Brandon Saine becomes a featured back this week. He will not replace Beanie, but given Wells’ current health, the Buckeyes must realize that Saine will be a key to this season. Look for Brandon Saine to rip off a few big plays and 150 yards on the ground.”  Saine ripped of a 29 yard run and a 35 yard reception.  This kid is special and by the time it is all said and done, he will probably be Ohio State’s most complete back since Eddie George.  Well, Saine did not get 150 on the ground, but he did get 145 between his carries and receptions.  Pretty good.  A-.

Props to the Prognosticator of the Week

Peeker… Again.  Nice Job Peek, with your 47-7 prediction, you edged me out by one freaking point with a total point differential of 5!

Next up:  Michigan State!

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