Monday, October 1, 2012

Boomer's Game Recap: Buckeyes nearly escape Spartans, 17-16

D. Smith #15, with another GW touchdown reception.
Recap: Braxton Miller, #14 Ohio State hold off #20 Michigan State
Box Score: Ohio State 17, Michigan State 16 Final

Just Win, Baby! The Buckeyes again not the prettiest performance improved to 5-0 under 1st year Head Coach, Urban Meyer. It's Big Ten football! What a game to kick-off the start of conference play. Traveling up to East Lansing for their first road test/trip of the season, the Buckeyes prevailed with a one-point (17-16) victory. It was nice to see them get a road win vs. a quality Spartans squad, that with the lose, fall to 3-2 on the season. This game started out quick with both teams scoring on their first possessions, Buckeyes scoring a touchdown on the games opening drive, to set the tone for the rest of the game. The Spartans had to settle for a FG, along with making three out of four on the day (you lose games kicking FG's, haha). Despite, having three turnovers, the Buckeyes showed some grit down the stretch, and continue to built confidence on each sides of the ball heading into the grind of the Big Ten schedule.


Braxton Miller. What more can you say about him. Thankfully, he was alright after going down twice in this game with apparent lower leg injuries. The kid, is the Buckeyes offense at this point, and without him, I can't imagine what the Buckeyes would look like offensively. He continues to use his legs, just as much as his arm (if not more) and he needs to trust his supporting cast around him, if he wants to finish this season. However, for what all he does, 300+ yards of offense, one passing touchdown, he did have three turnovers (two fumbles, INT) that cost the Buckeyes a couple scoring chances. His decision-making at times, still gets him in trouble in the pocket and needs to work on trusting his running backs to carry the ball more. Carlos Hyde made his return back into the Buckeyes backfield, after missing the previous two games. Jordan Hall after missing the first two games of the season, went down with a apparent knee injury and missed the 2nd half of this game. The depth at running back has been an issue all season long, and is one reason why Miller has had to carry the ball more then what Urban probably would like. Philly Brown & Devin Smith were Braxton's targets out wide all game. With Philly Brown catching 12 passes for 84 yards, and Smith contributing a 63-yard catch and run, that proved to be the game-winning score for the Buckeyes. Again, this offense revolves around Braxton Miller and as long as he stays healthy, the Buckeyes will have the best player on the field when they have the ball.


All for one play (MSU touchdown), I thought the Buckeyes D played well. Their biggest objective was slowing down the Spartans RB Le'Veon Bell. Bell, who had already ran for 200+ yards twice this season, was held to just 45 yards on 17 carries. That's less then 3 yards a carry, and in my book, that's shutting him down. The Spartans were able to throw for 269 yards which was a surprise and used multiple screen plays to move the ball on the Buckeyes. However, the Buckeyes bent, but did not break, forcing MSU into three out of four FG attempts on the afternoon. The only black eye on the day, was the poor tackling (or lack of) on the Spartans lone touchdown catch/dash to the end zone, as several players continue to try and tackle with their shoulders, instead of wrapping with their arms. Another concern is the defensive backfield, gosh, they were lucky on a couple occasions, with Spartan wide-outs dropping the football. There's no question this defensive backfield likes to chatter it up during the game (I'm talking to you Christian Bryant), but that means nothing if you continue to let WR run free down the field. Let's just say, that this unit is still a work-in-progress and is no where near being what they can be. In the end, the Silver Bullets made the plays down the stretch that needed to be made and I look for them to continue to get better as the Big Ten season moves on. Bring the Juice on Saturday Night!

Next Week:
Ohio State (5-0) has their Homecoming Game this upcoming weekend, when they welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-1) into Columbus. The Cornhuskers come into this game after a come-from-behind victory (30-27) over Wisconsin this past weekend. The Buckeyes will have revenge on their minds after blowing a 21-point lead a season ago in a 34 to 27 lose in Lincoln.