Football Hayes & Cannon

The Grumpy Old Buckeye: Ohio State vs. TTUN

Demario McCall Michigan 2018 Ohio State football

It’s the regular season finale of the Grumpy Old Buckeye, the column that aims to be the voice of negativity, even when things are going great (and let’s face it, most everything was pretty great yesterday). It’s where I point out the things from each game that make me want to walk out onto my lawn in my bathrobe and yell at people about it. This week we’re talking about THE Game.

True or False?

While much of the offensive line play was the truth against Michigan, there was a false start on the very first OSU drive. It ultimately didn’t cost the Buckeyes, but it wasn’t the only one, and by now I’m sure everyone is as sick of seeing this as I am. It would be interesting to go back and find out the length of Ohio State’s streak is with at least one false start. It’s probably a pretty long streak and if I got paid to do research I’d absolutely look it up.

Actually, the Spots Were Bad

I’m not going to come right out and say there was some conference incentive to call a lenient game for the Wolverines (you all saw the game). What I will say is that on Michigan’s third drive, the visitors were getting some spots that forever remove any Wolverine fan’s right to complain about spots. There were three on the drive that were a full yard beyond what was earned on the field and helped Michigan get into field goal position.

Who’s Fouling Who?

Ohio State’s third drive bogged down and resulted in a punt after a ridiculous personal foul was called on Malcolm Pridgeon. J.K. Dobbins had run for eight yards to set up a third-and-1 but Pridgeon was flagged for a late hit on the play. First of all, if that call was toilet paper, it would be Charmin. Second, Pridgeon was pushed from behind by Chase Winovich on the play before making contact with the other Wolverine.

No Human Knows What Targeting Is

Whether it was ultimately targeting or not, Noah Furbush is not allowed to hit a sliding quarterback. Actually that rule isn’t just for Furbush, it’s for any defensive player. The fact that he hit Dwayne Haskins — who slid and gave himself up — in the helmet could have been called targeting. At the very least it’s a personal foul. Instead of the flag coming out for Furbush’s hit, the flag came out for Urban Meyer running onto the field to yell about Furbush’s hit. Meyer got an unsportsmanlike conduct call and it backed up the Buckeyes into third-and-17. Thankfully, Michigan committed pass interference on the next play.

Speaking of Pass Interference…

Ohio State’s cornerbacks have been problematic with PI infractions all season. On Saturday, both Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield committed pass interference when no contact at all would have resulted in Michigan bringing on the punt team. They were completely unnecessary because Shea Patterson’s throws weren’t close enough for them to get to, although not so horribly off target to be deemed uncatchable by the officials. Arnette’s first such penalty kept alive Michigan’s touchdown drive near the end of the first half. Sheffield also got nailed with one such call that was awful, as he and the receiver each had hold of the other’s arm and it might have actually been Sheffield’s best coverage play as a Buckeye. The Wolverines scored on that drive as well.

McCall’s Mistake

I know I don’t have to point out this play but if I had omitted it, you’d have all yelled at me. I don’t like being yelled at. It makes me want to yell at people. Obviously Demario McCall didn’t mean to drop the kickoff, and the ball somehow managed to bounce over the arm of C.J. Saunders, who was trying to swipe it out of play before Michigan recovered. The play allowed the Wolverines back into a game they’d been almost completely run out of before halftime. It was an awful mistake but I took exception to people calling for him to be benched for it. It was a mistake, yes, but an execution mistake. I’ll always give a kid a chance to make up for an error like that, and McCall made a big reception moments later to set up an OSU score. If you bench every player who makes an error, you’ll end up with no players on the field.

Obvious Tate Play is Obvious

If there are no pass plays with the Tate Martell package, then there’s not much use in running it. It’s too predictable and a good defense will stop it more often than not. Joel Klatt had a great suggestion of running the old Urban Meyer jump pass play out of that package and that would have been fantastic.

Facemask: An Abstract Concept

Grabbing and pulling on the facemask is supposed to be a foul in football. Apparently when a receiver does it to Jordan Fuller, it’s defensive pass interference. When Jonathan Cooper’s finger brushes the outside of the bottom of a facemask on a sack, the referee behind the quarterback can obviously see it and throw a flag for it, giving Michigan a first down. In fairness, the refs gave that back to Ohio State later when a Wolverine’s hand brushed Mike Weber’s facemask, but how about just calling it the way the rule is written?

That’s what stood out to me most in the Buckeyes’ destruction of No. 4 Michigan on Saturday. Honestly, the game put me in such a good mood that I didn’t even feel much like writing this column this week. But thinking back, I could have pointed to other things, like Weber giving up a 3-yard gain to run backwards and end up losing one instead; opting to call a simple run play instead of picking on David Long’s replacement after the Wolverines’ defensive back went off with an injury; or the incessant chatter by Gus Johnson about Meyer’s brain cyst.

Instead, I’d rather think of Weber’s 96 rushing yards, Parris Campbell’s big day, the blocked punt for a touchdown, nearly everything Chris Olave did, or simply showing up Jim Harbaugh for the fourth straight year.

Which of the above bugged you the most? What else bothered you? Let’s get it off our chests because we’ve got a B1G Championship Game to prepare for.

14 Responses

  1. You just about nailed all of the frustrating things from a game that wasn’t perfect but was still fantastic. A couple of others for me were

    1. seeing on a few septate occasions Michigan defenders standing healthy after a play is over and then a few seconds later they’re lying on the field hurt. Were they stalling to kill momentum or did Tonya Harding run out on the field and take them out with a lead pipe? 2. Twice Haskins got hit while sliding and one was a clear targeting miscall. Both shoulda been flagged and the guy that shoulda been ejected for targeting later on made a key tackle that forced us to kick a field goal if I remember correctly.

    But let’s be grateful. This game could of been an ugly loss. Instead we ruined our rivals season like they had OSU many times in the past. This team showed heart and vast improvement from a few games back. They still need improvement but the progress is there. Let’s just hope they take care of business next week and improve from this week.

  2. Hard to believe so many negative comments above. I must have watched a different game. Yes there were mistakes but the game plan, execution and effort were outstanding. How do these armchair QB’s know more than the coaches? Urban isn’t perfect but he has one of the best records in the history of college football.
    The only thing that upset me was hearing some of our rabid fans boo when the Michigan QB was lying motionless. Head injuries are a serious issue in football.

    1. Point of this article is to air what bothered you during this particular game…to “Grump” ….sorry if you didn’t understand the concept

  3. Was Victor’s catch a touchdown?

    1. The ball never crossed the goal line.

    1. First of all…credit where credit is due..this team was PREPARED to play Saturday. That is the first all tear. I saw some passion that has lacked all kudos to the team and staff…Now the “grumpy” in me….I still am in disbelief that at this point of the season , and the fact that these 2 corners have enough game experience, that they still can not cover ANYONE without getting beat or committing a pass interference.. IF they would just PLAY THE FREAKING BALL..they would tip away or pick off the pass. I don’t give a flying F–K what philosophy you by into as far as pass in the air coverage…Those who DON’T look back at the ball , get beat…period. I hate calling out kids, but Sheffield and Arnette can not cover a CHAIR…poor technique, and VERY POOR coverage skills. If it had not been for so many unnecessary PI calls against our DBs, scUM would have had drives stalled instead of us gifting them extended drives for points…I also will say other than a few times, our LBs played well. They read, reacted and ran to the ball very well.. D-line was stellar…I have been one that has been hard on this team all year..but i will say..i saw something yesterday that gives me hope that this team has some heart….GO BUCKS

  4. The defense has to find a way to shut down Northwestern completely. The only way that is going to happen is to work on defending the long pass without PI all week because you know they will be trying it. When our DBs were not called for PI, they gave up huge passing plays even in double coverage the last two games, that is. I am still in la la land from yesterday…I still can believe it.

  5. I’m just shocked (and disappointed) Meyer hasn’t figured out how to go for three.

  6. Weber got his penance in that those 4 yards would have given him a 100 yard day vs TTUN.
    12 penalties, 150 yards.
    When not committing PI the DBs still didn’t cover all that well.
    Tackling was so much better that no one wants to gig ’em, but it still wasn’t up to Silver Bullet standards. I can count several plays where TTUN would/should have been stopped that they got the 1st down on 2nd effort or a missed tackle. A couple is a function of playing a really good team, ‘several’ is not being where you need to be defensively.
    There are a couple other things I could mention but those, really, would be nit-picky. What we saw was historic. Literally and not hyperbole. Savor it!

  7. Tate was a good decision, however, just don’t run up the middle with him and with our Rb’s. . As said many times, no one watched him throw, so they only know him to run. At least have him scramble to the outside. Before anyone knocks that remember how our O did just two weeks ago and remember, we had to kick two FG’s while we had 1st and goal inside the five.

    1. Kurt, the “Martell” was good, but I think he poorly misread the DE at least once. Which probably means he’s not ready under stressful conditions.

  8. My wife had to leave the room each time they trotted out Tate. Are you kidding me? Haskins is a legit Heisman candidate, has been on fire in the last two games, and you are replacing him with someone who hasn’t won a single game in college? Tate doesn’t bring another dimension to our offense, he takes one dimension away as he will not pass. If he is our future, our future does not look bright. Stop hampering the O Meyer, and just play the damn game.

  9. Unfortunately, I can’t help you out this week. Except maybe to point out the defence gave up 39 points. That’s about all that makes me feel grumpy.

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