“We can do that. We don’t even need a reason (except that they are on the schedule).”
There is no better way to wrap a Buckeyes game than with a quote from Bill Murray. It is becoming extremely hard to get motivated to write anything about these games. At the beginning of the season some of these games looked like they might be competitive for a half, but that really has not been the case the last few weeks.
In my preview, I wondered aloud if gophers make a crunching sound or a squishing sound when you stomp them with a size 15 jackboot. The answer, I was at the stadium, and that was definitely a squishing sound.
It has been a long time since I have seen a team take a pounding like the Gophers did and week after week it becomes more apparent that the Buckeyes are the most dominant team that the NCAA has seen in a few years. They are probably 2-3 touchdowns better than anyone in the NCAA and probably have 7 first round picks playing on the offense right now (not necessarily in 2007 draft). I would guess that there are probably five more on the defensive side right now.
There were a couple of significant coaching changes in the game that were worth noting. It seems that the Buckeye’s coaching staff has acquiesced to the players and has allowed them to work on their stats a bit. Following the Malcolm Jenkins fumble late in the second half the defensive coaching staff sent the starters back out onto the field to retain the shutout. This is a huge philosophical change for the ultra conservative coaching staff which has allowed a couple of near shutouts to be lost during mop up time. What does it mean? Well it means that the coaches want this defense to start getting some respect. They are actually leading the nation in scoring defense, and when push comes to shove that is what ultimately wins football games.
How good is this defense? Well, they are on pace to not only eclipse last season’s defensive numbers for points allowed, sacks, and ints, but they are also giving slightly one half the points (14.4 in 2005 vs 7.3 in 2006). So much for the irreplacibility of nine starters on defense. I guess the Buckeyes just reloaded.
At the beginning of the season, the run defense caught a lot of flak from the national media, but they have grown considerably since the beginning of the season. After giving up nearly 120 yards per game through the first four games of the season the Buckeyes have nearly cut that number in half, down to just over 70 yards per game over the last five games.
Troy Smith continues to roll. I eagerly await his “Sweater-vest like” acceptance speech in New York this coming December. The only way he will lose this award is if Notre Dame can win out and while Troy Smith plays miserably against Michigan. I have seen Notre Dame’s schedule and winning out is a very real possibility. I have also seen Troy Smith play against Michigan, and Smith playing poorly against the Wolverines is not a very realistic possibility.
I guess this is the part where I grade the positions:
Since Ohio State essentially stomped on an elementary school team, everyone gets a “Check Plus.” They do not give letter grades in elementary school. 44-0, my only complaint is three fumbles. Can we get some duct tape to adhere that ball to Beanie Wells?
Grading the Grader:
I said, “Don’t Be Surprised If the Buckeyes do not even allow a moral victory this week. Don’t be surprised if the Buckeyes shut them out.” 44-0 is a shutout. I win! A+.
I said, “Don’t Be Surprised If the Buckeyes put 500 yards of offense.” 484 is pretty damn close to 500. A-.
I said, “Don’t Be Surprised if the Buckeyes put up 250 yards on the ground.” 270 > 250. I win again! A+.
I said, “Don’t Be Surprised if The Buckeyes record 7 sacks or more.” Well, Brian Cupito didn’t give them much of a chance to get those sacks. He just kind of chucked a duck into the air anytime he had any pressure. I’ll take 3 sacks and 3 ints though. Unfortunately, I was not very accurate here. D.
I told you to take the Buckeyes -28 and that cover was never in doubt. Had you followed my advice since the beginning of the season you would be doing pretty well right now.
Props to the Prognosticator of the week:
Someone please come and unseat me, it is getting hard singing my praises every week. I called a final score of 48-0 giving me a point differential of four. Register for your free boards account and make your prediction here, and you could be getting your props as the Prognosticator of the week.