Sunday, November 25, 2012

Boomer's Game Recap: PERFECTION! Buckeyes get defensive in win over Michigan

Senior Zach Boren, reacts following his sack
on Michigan's QB Devin Gardner.
Recap: Ohio State trumps Michigan to cap perfect 12-0 season

THE Ohio State Buckeyes ran the table this fall and finished 12-0, for just the 6th perfect season in school history. The Buckeyes capped it with a win over their arch-rivals the Michigan Wolverines yesterday afternoon, with a 26-21 victory. OH-IO! 12-OH!

Urban Meyer, what more can you say. The guy knows how to win football games. Since last November when he took over as the Head Coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, he was taking over a team that would finish the 2011 season with a 6-7 record and questions all over the field. Quickly, the returning players bought into Urban's plan, and this senior class, which had no chance at playing in a bowl game, came together along with a number of talented underclassmen and achieved perfection with the teams 12-0 mark this season. The number #1 objective in this bowl banned season, was to run the table and win 'em all on the schedule. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

The Offense:

It could have been a lot better on Saturday against the Wolverines, but it was just enough to pull out the hard fought 5-point win. A total of 396 yards of offense and 22 first downs, yet a number of mishaps and lack of execution (and Michigan's not too shabby on defense), forced the Buckeyes offensive attack into settling for 4 out of 5 FG's on the day. Following the Buckeyes first drive of the game, a 6 play, 75 yard drive capped off by a 3-yard TD run by RB Carlos Hyde (146 rushing yards, touchdown), the Buckeyes opened up the scoring in the game. Another 6 play drive, totaling 59 yards in the 2nd quarter was capped by a nice pass from QB Braxton Miller to WR Philly Brown for a 14-yard touchdown, which would be the only two touchdowns from the Buckeyes on the day. The rest of the scoring came from placekicker Drew Basil, who came into this game with a season total of 4 made FG's out of 6 FG attempts. Basil would finish this game kicking field goals of 41, 52 (career high), 28, and 25 yards out. His only miss came after the Buckeyes had the ball at the MICH 2 yard line, but following a sack and a snap over the head, the Buckeyes had to settle for a field goal attempt that was wide left. QB Braxton Miller finished the game going 14-18 for 189 passing yards and 57 rushing yards, and did just enough to lead the Buckeyes offensive attack. Despite not having the greatest of games following the bye week two weeks ago, Braxton made just enough "winning plays" in this one, and had plenty of supporting help. Wide receiver Philly Brown had a career high 95 yards receiving with a TD, and also added 21 yards on the ground. It wasn't pretty at times, but like all season long, the up-tempo offensive attack was effective and with a little more execution, could have blown this one wide open, with the way the Silver Bullets were playing.

The Defense:

Speaking of the Silver Bullets. Wow, what a performance, especially after halftime. Needing to come up big, with the way the offensive was playing, the Silver Bullets got defensive and pitched a 2nd half shutout against Michigan's offense. The Buckeyes D were without their best player DE John Simon, after being ruled out shortly before kick-off. Despite the two big plays in the 1st half resulting in Wolverines touchdowns, and another touchdown on a drive that started at the Buckeyes 25 yard line, following a muffed punt, the Silver Bullets, like they had all November rose to the occasion in the 2nd half. The Buckeyes D stuffed the Wolverines on a 4th and short on the 1st possession of the 2nd half. With the Buckeyes offense giving them only two FG's to work with all 2nd half, the Buckeyes D did not allow Michigan to cross mid-field. They forced two 2nd half fumbles and basically the interception that sealed the victory in the final minutes of the game. This unit was very sub-par all season long, especially the secondary due to poor tackling and execution, but played by far the best half of football when it mattered the most. The 2nd half of this game vs. their arch-rivals, they stiffened and shutout/shutdown Michigan, to win this game for the 10th time since 2001. Bring the Juice!

Next Week:
Unfortunately, Saturday's win over Michigan was bitter-sweet. Due to the NCAA's bowl banned put on this seasons squad, the Buckeyes are unable to play in a bowl game and/or Big Ten Championship Game, making the win over Michigan the final game of the 2012 campaign. However, what a fun season, it wasn't pretty at times, but as the season went along this team rose to the occasion every time out. With wins over Michigan State, Penn State, and Wisconsin, all on the road, the Buckeyes went into hostile stadiums and came out on top. From a shootout with California, to the "from the dead" OT win over Purdue, the Buckeyes gave their home fans a number of close calls as well. Now, Buckeye fans have to wait till next fall (or the Spring Game in April) to wait around to watch the football team, as they get another year better under the coaching of Urban Meyer and staff. Just think, Coach Meyer went 12-0 with Jim Tressel's players, wait till he gets his own guys into Columbus. A scary thing to think about for opposing Big Ten opponents.

Coach Urban Meyer's 1st of hopefully many more,
post-game Gatorade baths.