Monday, September 17, 2012

Boomer's Game Recap: Buckeyes survive scare from Cal

#15 Devin Smith (above) snatches his 1st of two TD's vs. Cal.
Recap: Ohio State holds off California
Box Score: Ohio State 35, California 28 Final

Al Davis couldn't have said it better "Just Win, Baby!". That is exactly what the Buckeyes did on Saturday afternoon at the Horseshoe vs. a gamed-Cal Golden Bears team. It wasn't pretty, and for most of the 2nd half (especially defensively) was ugly, the Buckeyes came out on top with a 35 to 28 shootout victory to improve their record to 3-0. At times during the first three games of the season, you can see signs of good (maybe even great things) happening, but then you see stuff that make you remember, oh yeah...this team was 6-7 a year ago. The past two weeks the Buckeyes have raced out to take comfortable leads, but then have made it stressful on their fans by allowing their opponents to hang around with their sloppy play at times. However, the Buckeyes are 3-0 and have one more non-conference game on their schedule to iron out a couple things, before jumping into Big Ten Conference play up in East Lansing (Sept. 29), when they take on Sparty. After watching the Irish go into Spartan Stadium and come out of there with a 20-3 win, that road trip, not looking as difficult as expected. An imperfect team with a perfect record, hey! things could be worse, we could be Arkansas fans.


Braxton Miller continues to amaze everyone, but at the same time, frustrates Buckeyes fans with his decision-making/play at times. Braxton didn't have to use his legs as much in this game as he had the previous two outings, however, I thought in this latest game, he wasn't trying to run as much. I thought at times he was waiting in the pocket or behind the line of scrimmage too long, instead of taking off down field. I don't know, the kid is still young, still trying to learn the position of QB at the college level, and it will be fun to watch once he finally "gets it". On the day, Braxton accounted for all 5 TD's (4 passing, 1 rushing) for the Buckeyes, and made the plays down the stretch when he needed to. It was good seeing RB Jordan Hall back in the mix, rushing for almost 100 yards, as he's only going to get better as he works his way back into "game shape". The receives (esp. Devin Smith) after a couple early drops, continue to improve and its nice to see a balance of passing/rushing from this unit. The Play of the Game goes to both Braxton Miller and Devin Smith, for their 72-yard hook up, for the GW-touchdown. This offense has one more tune-up (vs. a dreadful-UAB squad) before heading into conference play, where they will have to play a notch or two better, if they want to continue having success.


Man, oh man, did I see some ugly/bad/sloppy defense out of the Silver Bullets this week. Giving up 28 points in a game is unacceptable from the Buckeyes defensive unit. In years past, you always could count on the defense to shut-down the opposing teams offense. Now, it seems like the Buckeyes might have to outscore their opponents more often then normal, as this unit continues to show its ugly self from a year ago. Giving up big plays, being out of position has cost this unit, for the last season or so. With nine returning starters from a season ago, I was in hopes that I would see some improvement thus far in the 2012 season. However, on Saturday they were gashed for 512 yards of offense giving up scores of 81-yards and 59-yards. In the end, they were able to get a timely interception to seal the game, but I shiver every time I see Coach Fickell & Coach Vrabel walking the sidelines. There's a lot to improve upon with this unit, and Urban's not going to tolerate a sub-par defensive unit heading into conference play. I'm calling you out, "Silver Bullets" I want to see a ZERO under UAB at the end of this weeks game. LETS GO! BRING THE JUICE.

Next Week:
The Buckeyes (3-0) play their final non-conference game this week, when UAB (0-2) comes to Columbus. Look for the game preview in this weeks edition of Urban Renewal.