The Ohio State Buckeyes faced the biggest test of their season thus far inside the Big Horseshoe as the 23rd ranked Wisconsin Badgers hit Columbus for the Big 10 opener.
The Buckeyes now 5-0,(1-0 Big 10) passed the test as they defeated Bucky 31-24 Saturday night before a national television audience.
Braxton Miller returned to the lineup off his knee injury and threw for all four of the Ohio State touchdowns.
The Buckeyes will now face undefeated Northwestern next week in Evanston in what should be their toughest road test before the finale against that team up north.....
1) I know some fans thought that Urban Meyer should have mixed Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton after the strong stint by Guiton in Miller's absence.
I didn't and neither did Meyer,who used Miller and was rewarded for the decision.
Braxton Miller might have won the Heisman without his injury and with the right run,might still.
2) The rap on so many running quarterbacks in arm strength.
I have no doubts with Braxton Miller.
His deep throws are not lame ducks and he fires darts to open receivers too.
I think Miller has a chance at the next level...
3) The secondary did not play up to par as Joel Stave threw for almost 300 yards and Jared Abbrederis went over 200 yards receiving.
Bradley Roby was often beaten in this one and the secondary will have to improve their play.
4) The Buckeyes caught a bad break near the end of the game as senior safety and captain Christian Bryant broke his ankle and ended his season.
A unit that saw questions arise against Wisconsin will have another one to answer.
5) Carlos Hyde was the main ballcarrier with 17 carries for 85 yards,but where was Jordan Hall with just one carry?
I still maintain Hall is the best back on the team....
6) Ohio State shut the Badger ground game down by holding Melvin Gordon to 74 yards.
The game was the first this season for Gordon held to less than 100 yards.
7) Wisconsin was able to throw the ball,but the pass rush was decent enough.
The player that I thought played very well was Noah Spence and I see Spence developing into more and more of a dominant pass rusher as the season moves on...
8) I loved the aggressiveness of taking the ball with under 90 seconds and the score 17-14,to go down the field after a score.
On fourth down,Braxton Miller fired a 40 yard touchdown to Corey Brown that essentially ended the game despite the final score.
I liked Jim Tressel,but Tressel would have likely called a few running plays and allowed the clock to run out at the half...
9) Always a plus when the ABC A broadcast team is in the house. Brent Musberger,Kirk Herbsreit and Heather Cox are top to bottom my favorite broadcasting crew in all of sports.
Musberger can sometimes be a flawed announcer but he brings the big game feeling better than anyone else to the table.
10) I know I generally am not a huge fan of alternate uniforms,but I liked the brand against Wisconsin.
They took the best of the current unis and added some aspects of the Woody Hayes teams with the wide stripe down the helmet center.
I liked the chrome gray helmet as well and I wouldn't be against seeing more of those in the future.
Photo Credit;Cleveland Plain Dealer