Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sugar is sweet as Ohio State stuns Alabama!

This is over a day late by the time that I finish this,but given the surprise,the significance and wanting to review the tape-better to have a good column to start 2015 than a rushed one as the Ohio State Buckeyes stunned the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 42-35 in New Orleans to win the Sugar Bowl!
Even more importantly,the Buckeyes advance to Dallas next week to meet the Oregon Ducks,who destroyed Florida State in the Rose Bowl for the National Championship!

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 230 yards and two touchdowns with the final crushing blow,an 85 yard run for the eventual winning score,while Cardale Jones threw for 243 yards and a touchdown in the victory....

Olentangy Offerings

1) Once again,I apologize for being so late,but wow,watching at work and then coming home to break down tape,I just wasn't up for it.
What a thrilling game to watch and with apologies to Minnesota's Jerry Kill-all things considered,how could anyone give the Big 10 coach of the year to anyone other than Urban Meyer??

2) The Buckeyes had so many great plays in this one,but the 85 yard run up the middle by Ezekiel Elliott will be the one that stands the test of time.
It was Elliott that was the main difference in this victory....

3) When I left for work,Alabama had just moved their lead to 21-6.
Ohio State would score the next four touchdowns with two passing scores (one by Evan Spencer on a trick play),a Elliott run and an interception return,
When those things all click,it's a good night..

4) Speaking of the trick play,the Evan Spencer pass to Michael Thomas for the touchdown at the end of the first half was inspired.
Yes,Thomas did a tremendous job staying in bounds,but calling a play like that near the end of the half with time ticking down took some guts..

5) Wish that sanity had prevailed with under three minutes to go and with Alabama having two timeouts to not have thrown a deep incompletion on first down.\
Had the Buckeyes just run the ball,Bama would have never been able to make the last desperate drive as they would have far less time to do anything with the ball...

6) Cardale Jones looked a little rattled for the first quarter and a half,but began to get into rhythm and cadence a bit after that.
The one thing that I like about Jones that so many quarterbacks with far more experience do not do?
He recognizes when a play is not going to work out and throws the ball away.
A underrated trait that is going to help his development as a passer.

7) Alabama's MVP was punter JK Scott with five punts inside the 20.
If Alabama would have won this game,I would have voted Scott the defensive MVP/

8) Lane Kiffin has never been a favorite of ours,but we must give Lane credit for helping the Buckeyes to the win.
Wait,Lane coaches for Alabama? Oh well,that must be why the one thing that worked for Alabama was the running of Derrick Henry and Ohio State couldn't stop Henry at all.
Kiffin quit running Henry in the leader for puzzling decision of the day.

9) Give the defense credit as they picked off Blake Sims three times and sacked him three more.
I've been critical of Luke Fickell in the past,but his squad has progressively gotten better.
With three players that shape up as future award winner candidates and all-americans in Darron Lee,Joshua Perry and Vonn Bell even the defense as Urban Meyer said "The Future is bright at Ohio State"...

10) 10 of 18 on third down against Alabama?
I wouldn't have believed it before hand,but the third down conversions might have been the biggest offensive stat...

11) Had to feel good for Steve Miller and his interception for a touchdown.
Miller is overshadowed by Michael Bennett,Joey Bosa etc and it's always nice to see the steady but solid guy catch a break...

12) So it is onto Dallas and the waiting Oregon Ducks.
Lots of parallels between the offenses and the coaches-this shapes up as a fun game...

13) Liking the playoffs? Think of this-last year the BCS would have given you Alabama vs Florida State.....

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