Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ohio State nips Sparty 17-16

The Ohio State Buckeyes managed to get just enough out of their offense and a better than expected effort out of their defense to nip 20th ranked Michigan State in East Lansing 17-16.
Braxton Miller's 63 yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith late in the third quarter gave the Buckeyes a 17-13 lead that they would hold onto until the final gun.
Miller finished the day with 179 through the air and 136 yards on the ground for the now 5-0 Buckeyes.
Ohio State will host 4-1 Nebraska next Saturday night.

The Buckeye State

1) I thought this was a pickem game that I gave Michigan State the hairline edge for being at home.
The real hairline edge was Braxton Miller.
Miller still needs help with his passing touch,but trust me-in the next three years,Braxton Miller wins the Heisman Trophy.
Book it with your wallet.

2) My biggest worry with a running quarterback almost came true with Miller in this one as twice he left the field shaken up.
Miller fumbled once on a play that left him groggy and only the turnover likely gave him enough time to recover.
Kenny Guiton had to run a play in Miller's absence and had Guiton been the QB that finished this game-Michigan State wins....

3) The running game has been erratic this season,but give the team credit-the running game got the needed first downs to end this game.
Michigan State punted with under five minutes to play and they would never see the ball again,thanks to Miller and Carlos Hyde running the clock out.

4) Hyde's run on third down ended the game and it was a tough and physical run,but it was Hyde on the field at all because of another injury to Jordan Hall.
Hall came up gimpy after a catch in the first half and did not return.
Not good news for next week....

5) A key difference in the win was the through dominance of the Ohio State defensive line.
The Buckeyes held Le'Veon Bell to 45 yards on 17 carries.
That made the Spartans have to win through the air and they were not going to do that...

6) It all was not perfect for Ohio State,who once again showed poor tackling techniques on the only Sparty touchdown of the day.
Keith Mumphrey got through several tackles that saw players trying to strip the ball instead of taking the ball carrier down.
The strip has become more prevalent in football,but it still does not take the place of good ol' tacklin'!

7) Special teams has been an issue in the early season,but they did step up in this one as Bradley Roby blocked a punt.
The block did not result in any points for the Buckeyes,but it was nice to see the ST squad step up with a big play...

8) Ohio State blitzed Andrew Maxwell more times than I can count from the linebackers and even occasionally from the corners and safeties.
The Buckeyes blitzed very seldom in the non-conference schedule,which makes me think that they were saving a lot of looks for the Spartans.
This does make me wonder if they have anything held back for Nebraska next week...

9) Ryan Shazier had his typical big game,but senior Etienne Sabino finished with eight tackles and a sack.
Nice to see Sabino finally getting a chance to play full time and being productive doing it...

10) I always feel bad picking against the Buckeyes and I feel worse when they win,feeling that I didn't faith in my team.
But this time,I don't feel that bad because I know that I would have picked the Buckeyes if this one would have been at Ohio Stadium.
These two teams were that close,especially with a one point game and Michigan State missing a field goal in the game that could have reversed the result.

Photo Credit: Marvin Fong:Cleveland Plain Dealer

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