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Shock And Awe
Shock And Awe
Well, so much for those Tressel to the Browns and Troy Smith at #3 overall discussions we all expected this off-season. The Gators came. They saw. They kicked our ass. As badly as the Buckeyes were dominated on the field, it pales in comparison to the coaching mismatch in this game. Plain and simple, Urban Meyer owned Jim Tressel in this one. As painful as it was for me this morning, I felt the need to put some of my thoughts on the game into words. I give my take on last nights disaster in this morning after rant.
Just before kickoff last night, my buddy Joe asked me the following: "There any way the Buckeyes can lose this game?"
My reply? "Joe, this is Ohio. Our quarterback and star wide reciever are from Cleveland. And remember the Miami game four years ago. Anything can happen."
Then the Buckeyes took back the opening kickoff. How foolish of us to doubt the Buckeyes! The game was over already. The party we were at was in a frenzy. Strangers hugging each other, the beer flowing, high fives being doled out all over the room. Urban Meyer looked like he saw God on the Gator sideline, and Buckeye Nation Gone West was going absolutely bonkers in the stands.
The Buckeyes were outscored 41-7 from that point on, and were dominated as thoroughly as a team can be dominated. In all three phases of the game on the field, and even more so in the coaching department.
Simply put, this was the most complete coaching and X's and O's mismatch I have seen in some time. Tressel, a coach known for his ability to adjust on the fly in-game, was unable and apparently unwilling to make any adjustments in this game, on either side of the ball. Offensively, Tressel was totally unprepared to call this game with Ted Ginn out of the lineup. He abandoned the run early despite some success early. He was forced into a move out of character, foolishly going for it on 4th and 1 from his own 29, a call that effectively kicked the dirt on the graves of his previously unbeaten Buckeye squad.
Defensively, we dropped 7 or 8 guys into coverage on every play but about three by my count through the first three quarters. The times we brought pressure? Leak made poor hurried throws. The Buckeye linebackers could not have played worse tonight. The Buckeyes played that shitty safe prevent umbrella, and the quick Gator running backs and wide recievers just abused the Buckeye linebackers and defensive backs that played the slots. The Buckeyes looked terrified to make a mistake on defense last night, which is a recipe for disaster in big games. They took no chances, and appeared to be content to not try and get in Leak's head, and to give him the underneath stuff. This not only built the Gators confidence up early, but allowed their offense and offensive players to get into a flow.
In the trenches, both lines got absolutely destroyed by the Gators, a proposition Buckeye fans would have not been able to fathom before kickoff. In most cases, the team that plays better on the lines is the team that is hungrier. The team that wants it more. Clearly, the Gators were the hungrier and more motivated team in this contest. They were sick of hearing that they could not win this game. Sick of hearing about Jim Tressel and Troy Smith. Sick of hearing about how they backed into this game. Meyer was able to take all of that negativity towards that team and funnel it into passion. The Buckeyes never had a chance in this one.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the pass coverage by Florida was nothing short of amazing. No one, and I mean no one, was open all night. Troy Smith deserves little to no blame for this debacle. The Florida defensive backs were amazing, and aided by great pressure from their talented and quick front four. Troy is very good at finding open guys quickly and getting the ball out to them. He doesn't throw into coverage or trouble, and thats why many Buckeye fans at the party I was at were wrongly blaming Troy for this loss. There was just nowhere to put the ball. Ted Ginn, while not the most polished wide reciever in the nation, is clearly one of the most dangerous. He occupies the opponents best cornerback, and also forces teams to keep a safety valve deep. With him out, Florida simply had their way with us defensively. 86 total yards for the Buckeyes. 86!
This was just a complete and total ass whooping. The Buckeyes were slaughtered in all phases on the field, and Urban Meyer absolutely OWNED Jim Tressel in this game on the sidelines. Owned.
This ones gonna hurt for a while.
Jan 08, 2007 7:00 PM
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