Buckeye Watch - Indiana
By Tony Gerdeman
It became apparent on Saturday that Ohio State can absolutely dominate an opponent, but because the offense is so one dimensional, they're not explosive enough to build up enough of a lead to blow a team out right now.
If this defense isn't going to force turnovers and give the offense a short field two or three times per game, they seem unlikely to go up by a certain amount of points and never look back.
In other words, this team is always going to have to look back.
That doesn't mean Ohio State isn't going to win out, it just means that every game is going to become more treacherous than the next. When a 1-8 Indiana team makes life difficult, there is nothing easy left to come in 2011.
But then that shouldn't be anything new for this team. Nothing has come easy to these guys since the first half of last year's Sugar Bowl.
Though I guess since 2010 never happened, they haven't had anything easy come their way since the Michigan game of 2009.
Really, you can't expect anything to ever be as easy as a Michigan game, so it's best to not even try. Just prepare for the coming difficulties and prepare accordingly.
Think of the coming win over Michigan as a reward for facing all of those difficulties.
11:28 Captains have still not been announced. At this point it's a forgone conclusion that the captains will include Mike Adams and/or Boom Herron. Maybe the reason for all of the secrecy is that Joe Bauserman is also a captain. That would make the father and son that hate Bauserman unbelievably happy.
“Papa, you remember when Joe Bauserman used to play and we would boo him. Those were the happiest moments of my life.”
“Mine too, son. Mine too. That's why I bought tickets for Senior Day. We are gonna boo that miserable bum until our throats give out.”
“I love you, Dad.”
11:31 I just found out I'm a captain today. You'd think I could've gotten a little bit more notice.
11:37 Pretty disappointing start to the day here in the press box. I was planning on having brisket and eggs, but when I arrived there didn't appear to be any eggs, so I started my plate with cole slaw. Then I saw the eggs. I immediately thought of dumping the cole slaw back in the bowl, but felt that would be frowned upon by the press box elite, so I ended up having to forgo the eggs, which was a tragic measure to have to take. Those chickens gave their unfertilized lives to feed me and I let them down.
11:42 Well, for those of you hoping to see Ohio State throw the ball around today, I've got bad news for you, there is a slight breeze which will completely negate any thoughts of passing.
11:59 Indiana loses the toss and Ohio State defers. Luke Fickell has finally earned that long-term extension.
12:00 Game time. Drew Basil's kickoff goes out of bounds. That's two in a row out of bounds. I love directional kicking. It never fails.
12:05 Third and eight. The Hoosiers go five wide. Ohio State blitzes and Tre Roberson finds Jamonne Chester on the slant for ten yards. That's a pretty nice read by the freshman quarterback. He's been great with the zone read on this drive as well. Watching him this season, he's reminded me a lot of Antwaan Randle El, and nothing I've seen on this drive so far would dispute that.
12:07 Third and two from the Buckeyes' 16-yard line. Roberson hands off to Stephen Houston and he is dropped for a two-yard loss by John Simon. Simon has obviously had enough of this Hoosier horseplay.
12:08 Mitch Ewald lines up for a 35-yard field goal...and it's good. Indiana takes a 3-0 lead. The Hoosier coaches should thank the kickoff out of bounds for their first three points of this game.
12:13 Braxton Miller drops back, gets hit and fumbles. Indiana recovers. Couldn't tell if that was a pass or not. Nope, replay shows that it definitely was a fumble. Indiana takes over at the Ohio State 41-yard line. Kevin Wilson had Chinese food yesterday and his fortune read: “You will have incredible luck soon, and your defensive line will somehow be mistaken for LSU's.”
12:15 Hoosiers are going with the hurry up. Roberson hits Hughes on a slant for eleven yards. It's pretty amazing how calm this kid is.
12:16 Roberson rolls out and has to throw it away out of bounds. There was nobody open and John Simon was coming to de-skeleton him.
12:18 First and goal at the five-yard line. Touchdown Roberson on the quarterback draw. It's amazing what an almost-innovative offense is capable of. Indiana leads it 10-0 and hasn't had a drive of longer than 42 yards.
12:20 Devin Smith and Chris Fields back to receive the kick. The Hoosiers take the field by chirping at the Buckeyes. Is Kevin Wilson going to call a timeout and have his team's picture taken in front of the scoreboard?
12:21 Boom Herron gets the ball and goes wide for two yards. Indiana has no concern for Ohio State's passing game. Though neither does Ohio State.
12:23 Buckeyes come out in the shotgun. Braxton drops back, then runs a quarterback draw and he could be gone! He is gone! 81 yards. Wow. He was running out of steam a bit there, but he followed his blockers and was crafty about it. Boom Herron sprung him and his receivers kept him clean down the field. That's an incredible individual effort by Miller, but it was a total team effort to get him there. Buckeyes now trail it 10-7. That was the type of run people expected from Terrelle Pryor, but never saw.
12:25 That was the longest run by a quarterback in Ohio State's history, and the sixth-longest rush overall.
12:29 Indiana's offense is back on the field. I wonder if they brought a punter today. Hey, a penalty! Holding on the Hoosiers. It was a late call and pretty blatant, so I can understand why it was almost missed.
12:35 Indiana goes three and out. Things are starting to return to normal around here. The Hoosiers' punt is downed at the Ohio State 41-yard line.
12:36 What wind the Buckeyes have is going with them now. Play-action bootleg right into a sack. It's almost as if the Hoosiers knew what was coming.
12:36 Third and 19. Miller drops back and hits Chris Fields for a skinny post for 26 yards. Funnily enough, Miller can complete passes when allowed to throw. Who knew?
12:39 Shotgun. Miller looks, can't find anybody so he dumps it off to Zach Boren, who is wide open as an outlet and he picks up 26 yards. Wow, they should call that play ALL the time. Okay, that was fun, but now it's time to get back to running into the middle of the line.
12:39 Carlos Hyde gets the ball and runs into the middle of the line for a yard. We have reached the end of the first quarter with Indiana leading 10-7. Indiana has done a great job of getting something positive on each play offensively, which makes second and third down even more unpredictable. Roberson and Stephen Houston will probably end up being the best Hoosier QB/RB combo since Randle El and Levron Williams back in the day.
12:40 Completely forgot I was starting Boom on my fantasy team today. Now I understand the offensive struggles.
12:45 Third and ten. Five wide. Miller throws an incompletion to Philly Brown, who was interfered with, but there was no flag thrown. He was pushed out of bounds, so apparently the pass was considered uncatchable, but since he caught it, how is it uncatchable? Look at me trying to crack the thought process of a Big Ten official without the proper amount of LSD in my system to get it done. I'm so stupid.
12:46 That leaves Drew Basil with a 36-yard field goal, and he of course nails it. The game is now tied at 10-10. Every field goal by the Buckeyes today is a win for the Hoosiers.
12:51 Ohio State blitzes and Roberson gets sacked. Sabino came on the blitz, but he couldn't get there before John Simon and Michael Bennett had already consumed him. Scraps is all Sabino could get.
12:53 Indiana goes three and out again. The punt is downed at Ohio State 20-yard line. Finally, somebody has normal field position. I was getting tired of the 50-yard field we had been playing on.
12:55 There goes Boom! Dancing and dalliancing in between the hashes for 48 yards. It's amazing how much moving he does in the fray to avoid tacklers. The vision over the last twelve months from Herron has been as good as any Buckeye running back in recent memory.
12:58 Third and three from the Indiana 25-yard line. Buckeyes go with five wide. There is a quick, pre-determined pass to Boom for a loss of three yards in the slot. The first time we've seen it this year, but Indiana was still ready for it somehow.
12:59 That leaves Drew Basil with a field goal attempt from 45 yards out....Good. No worries. The Buckeyes now lead it 13-10. When was the last time Ohio State had to wait until the second quarter to get their first lead against the Hoosiers?
1:04 Third and seven. Roberson drops back and finds Chester for nine yards on yet another slant pass. Hate the slant.
1:06 Roberson is going deep, and he finds Kofi Hughes on the deep post down at the eleven-yard line. There's a flag for pass interference on Christian Bryant, but Hughes caught it on him anyway. I'm starting to wonder if maybe Bryant isn't better suited to play the star next season and let somebody else play safety. He has had some rough moments over the last few weeks in coverage.
1:09 Third and eight from the Ohio State nine-yard line. Roberson hands it off to Houston who picks up a yard. Indiana is happy to take the field goal here. It's good for Ewald. The Hoosiers tie it up at 13-13 with 4:30 to play in the half.
1:12 If the Buckeyes are smart, they'll finish this half with a score and then put Indiana away by starting the next half with a score. At least that's what I would do. Devin Smith is two yards deep...he gets tackled at the 27-yard line. Ouch. There was nobody to his left. If he would've kicked it out another five yards or so, it looks like he would have scored.
1:14 Play-action bootleg for Miller turns into a two-yard gain on the scramble. There were only two receivers on the route because the Buckeyes have to go max protect against the Hoosiers for some reason.
1:16 Third and eight. Shotgun. Miller goes downfield to Fragel, but it was just a bit high. Jake Ballard wouldn't have even caught that one. Miller was a bit wild on that possession. Best to never let him pass again. Ben Buchanan's punt goes out of bounds at the Indiana 21-yard line.
1:17 Houston runs up the middle for a yard. There's 2:08 left. How about a timeout here? Nope.
1:18 Hughes picks up four yards on the wildcat. How about a timeout here? Nope. Now down to 1:17 left in the half.
1:19 Ooh. Indiana calls a timeout. I bet Luke Fickell is ticked.
1:20 Third and five with 1:04 to play. Timeout again by Indiana. They're icing the defense!
1:21 The Buckeyes blitz and Roberson finds Hughes at the 39-yard line. Great call by Fickell to not call a timeout, because the Hoosiers are now moving.
1:23 The Hoosiers are just letting the clock run out. They call a timeout with one second to play because the play clock was a second ahead of the game clock. I'm torn—I want to leave for halftime food and not wait in line to do so, but I don't want to miss a hail mary. Eh, I'll risk it.
1:26 I take it nothing happened? The score is still 13-13. Roberson probably found Hughes at the one-yard line and it was reviewed for a couple of minutes and found to be short of the goal line. What a great play!
1:29 I still haven't reached the point of the game where I think Ohio State can lose. That will come after the halftime adjustments.
1:37 John Simon has eight tackles at the half—seven of those are solo tackles. The dude is a monster.
1:39 As far as halftime adjustments, there aren't going to be any offensively, so the Buckeyes are just going to have to block better and run better. But really all they'll need to do is establish possession of the ball. They just haven't had the ball enough.
1:46 Alright. The game is back on. It's time for Ohio State to establish some stuff. I'm still puzzled as to why there has been no pistol today at all. Buckeyes open in the I-formation with three receivers. The give is to Boom and he finds a HUGE hole and gets shoestringed after a 40-yard gain. Boom is killing me today. Finish those runs in the endzone, please. I thought he was gone. It's a good thing that he didn't score because there's no cheering in the press box and I probably would have done a little clapping.
1:47 Braxton Miller gets sacked. There was nobody open, he tried to scramble, but couldn't get free. Five defenders on three receivers. You're not gonna find anybody open that way. At least he didn't force it and get it picked.
1:48 Third and 18 from the Indiana 39-yard line. Play-action (why?), and Miller gets intercepted throwing a corner route into double coverage. It's actually a tremendous punt down to the two-yard line. A perfect coffin corner interception thrown by Miller there.
1:54 Third and seven. Christian Bryant just dropped yet another interception. Is that his third dropped pick six of the year? Eventually he has to start catching those, right? Indiana punts and it's downed at the Hoosiers' 48-yard line.
1:55 Miller keeps it on the read option and just juked the entire defense for a 13-yard pick up. The east-west agility on this kid is amazing. The north-south ain't bad either.
1:57 Touchdown Boom Herron! He kicked it out to the left side and scooted on inside the pylon from fifteen yards out for the score. The Buckeyes now lead it 20-13. Is this the beginning of Indiana's end?
1:58 I have no idea where the pistol is today, but the I-formation has been pretty dang impressive.
2:03 Third and three. Roberson going up and down the line. Isn't it about time for a turnover here? Roberson drops back...and finds Hughes for the first down. Oh, that's right. It was time for him to find Hughes again. I completely forgot.
2:05 Wildcat. No gain. Big Hank eats it up. He likes wildcat. Tastes like chicken.
2:06 Third and seven from the 34-yard line, and Roberson finds Hughes for a touchdown down the slot. He was completely uncovered. How does one get that open? Was Christian Bryant involved? It was as busted a coverage as you will ever see. Or as busted a coverage as we have been seeing every week of late. What happened there? This game is now tied at 20-20.
2:07 What a thoroughly noon game.
2:10 Nice hole for Hyde who picks up seven yards up the middle. The Hoosiers can't stop the running game. The offense has to carry the team today—which is kind of scary.
2:11 Hyde busts a tackle and gets to the Indiana 40-yard line. Uh oh, J.B. Shugarts is down and injured. There was a holding penalty on Chris Fields. That will negate the run. Of a more serious nature, Shugarts is leaving the field. Antonio Underwood comes in.
2:14 Quarterback draw. Miller kicks it out and picks up seven yards for another first down. There is no reason to throw, which will just encourage them to not throw even more than they were already not throwing.
2:16 Buckeyes line up with one receiver. Bootleg...Miller is throwing the post to Evan Spencer, but he is grabbed and interfered with. Their one-receiver route was double covered, but fortunately they grabbed him. Also a roughing the passer call. Take the personal foul and move into field goal territory!
2:18 Boom gets the ball and absolutely fights for eight yards. He's breaking tackles like people break promises to strangers. Reward that man with another touchdown for me!
2:21 Second and goal from the eight-yard line. Five wide. Five wide? You're killing me, Bolls. Hoosiers blitz and Miller gets sacked because he had no where to go. Huge loss of twelve yards.
2:22 Third and goal from the 20-yard line. This should be pleasant. Holy crap, it is! Quarterback draw and Braxton Miller fractured a pair of ankles on his way into the endzone for the touchdown. That was an awesome display. You have to feel bad for the defender that he froze carbonite. Buckeyes lead it 27-20.
2:23 How could Indiana have known that Ohio State wasn't going to throw on third and twenty?
2:25 We have reached the end of the third quarter. The Buckeyes are up 27-20 and looking to crush Indiana's hopes and dreams. Generally, reality takes care of that for them, but sometimes Ohio State has to take reality into their own hands.
2:28 Rollout and Roberson finds Hughes for 14 yards. I think Ohio State thinks they win the game every time they score. Meanwhile, Indiana just responds.
2:29 Eight more yards up the middle for Houston. It's pretty amazing when you keep thinking that the Buckeyes need a turnover to stop the Hoosiers.
2:31 Roberson keeps it for 17 yards on the read option. Ridiculous. I am completely impressed by Indiana's offense today.
2:33 False start! False start! Oh my God, a false start! Finally a mistake for the Hoosiers. How are these guys not ranked. They're like the third-best team the Buckeyes have faced this season. What's that? They're 1-8 on the year?
2:36 Third and nine from the Ohio State 18-yard line. Roberson's pass is dropped by Bolser on the sideline. The Buckeyes dodge a Hoosier bullet. What? Really? The Hoosiers have bullets now? And teams need to dodge them?
2:37 Here comes a 40-yard field goal attempt for Mitch Ewald. Wide left. Buckeyes hold! Buckeyes hold! Indiana finally did something wrong. I don't believe what I just saw!
2:40 Whoa. Boom loses a couple of yards, then fumbled it and Braxton had to dive on the ball after a seven-yard loss or so. Boom is limping off of the field, and Braxton is stretching out. Loss of ten on the play. The Hoosiers' moxie-ometer is redlining right now.
2:43 Third and eleven. Braxton is in the pistol. They go with the speed option to the left, Miller reverses field and picks up thirteen yards and the first down. That was pretty awesome. Very Barry Sandersy.
2:45 Third and sixteen. Let's see what kind of crazy escape Miller can pull out here. Actually, he's throwing, but it's dropped by Philly. Braxton is down and hurt. Like he's done this week, hurt. Kenny Guiton is warming up. Hit right on the hip. I expected Hyde and Guiton to be playing in the fourth quarter today, but not like this. He walks off. Could be two terrible losses. He looks okay-ish, though. Buchanan's punt is fair caught at the 28-yard line with 5:49 to play.
2:46 Time to head down to the field. If Barry Alvarez is waiting for the elevator again, I'll know he just stuck around for the eggs and barbecue today.
2:50 Third and ten. Hey, guess what, Roberson finds Hughes for 19 yards. No wonder the Hoosiers kicked Damarlo Belcher off the team—they didn't need him anymore with Hughes emerging.
2:51 The Hoosiers are headed right towards me. Roberson drops back, surveys the zone and throws an interception right to Travis Howard! Howard was watching Roberson the entire way and simply stepped in and snatched the ball to possibly seal the game. I called it before it happened because I could see it developing. Howard was probably begging that throw to be made.
2:52 Braxton Miller returns to the game, which is hugely positive.
2:53 And Carlos Hyde is gone! Or not. He stepped out at the seven-yard line. He went behind the right side of the line and did his now customary zip down the sideline. It's amazing that the Ohio State offense is so loaded that entire weeks go by where the Buckeyes can't find snaps for Carlos Hyde.
2:54 Boom comes back in! That's awesome for me! And him. Whatever. He takes it down to the two-yard line. The right side of the offensive line has done well this drive, which is notable because Antonio Underwood has been playing right tackle since Shugarts left. Crap, Hyde is back in. They're going to reward him with a touchdown carry.
2:55 Yep, Hyde scores. He seals the victory for the Buckeyes, who now lead it 34-20 with 2:41 to play. But have the Buckeyes scored too soon?
2:56 “Hoosier Daddy” chants are now raining down from South Stands. This might be the latest an anti-Indiana chant has begun in Ohio Stadium. Generally they start in the first quarter and are over by halftime.
2:58 Buck-I Guy is over my left shoulder. I would love to walk over with a camera to act like I'm going to take a picture of him, and then when he starts shooting his finger guns at me, I'd ask him if he can move aside because I'm trying to take a picture of the fans behind him.
3:01 I just found out that I was right about my prediction that the Buckeyes would have three 100-yard rushers if Carlos Hyde got enough carries. That's the first time it's been done by Ohio State since 1989.
3:02 Michael Bennett sacks Tre Roberson on fourth and fifteen to end Indiana's chances. The Buckeyes take a couple of knees and this game is over. Ohio State wins it 34-20 and they won't care. Any win in November is a good win, regardless of score.
3:04 It looks like there won't be anything easy for this team the rest of the way out. The good thing about next week at Purdue, however, is that they won't be playing Tre Roberson.
3:06 Michigan just lost. The planets are realigning to their normal spots in the sky. All is right with the universe.
3:07 Well, it's time to head up to Kevin Wilson's post game. Can't wait to hear about how this wasn't a moral victory for Indiana, and then have everything spun in a moral victory manner the way coaches do.
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