Bauserman Frustrated by Poor Performance
By Brandon Castel
MIAMI — The numbers don’t lie.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Of all the important people missing from Saturday night’s game in Miami, none left a bigger impact on the game than Terrelle Pryor, who’s absence resonated through Sun Life Stadium with every Hurricane warning siren.
This was supposed to be the year Pryor led the Buckeyes back to the promise land. Instead, he left them high and not very dry against a Miami Hurricanes team that could not have been less afraid of Ohio State’s frail passing attack.
How else can someone explain the fact Miami was putting eight and nine men in the box with a 17-6 lead in the fourth quarter?
“It was frustrating for everybody,” senior Joe Bauserman said.
“We ran the ball well. I thought we had a balanced attack. It's just one thing.”
Photo by Dan Harker
That ‘one thing’ turned out to be everything for the Buckeyes in a game that could not have been less balanced offensively. With a big boost from the return of Jordan Hall, Ohio State managed 174 yards on the ground and just 35 yards through the air in a 24-6 loss.
If that’s balance, then the Buckeyes might be the most balanced of all the balanced offenses in the country. Bauserman and backup Braxton Miller combined for just four completions in 18 attempts—and both of Miller’s came in the final 33 seconds of the game.
“We didn't see a ton of crazy coverage’s or a bunch of blitzes, we just didn't execute,” Bauserman said after the loss.
Photo by Dan Harker
That doesn’t even begin to describe what happened out there. The Buckeyes did not pick up a first down through the air until Miller’s pass to tailback Rod Smith on the second-to-last play of the game.
“It's tough. You're gonna think about it on the whole ride back,” Bauserman said.
“Come in tomorrow, grade the film and move on. You have to. You can't sit here and dwell on it.”
Right now, that’s actually all anyone can do.
It was the kind of unspeakable performance that only comes around every 5-10 years. The last time an Ohio State quarterback was this bad in a game was the 2007 BCS National Championship loss to Florida.
Remember that? Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith supposedly hit the buffet circuit too hard and ended up with the single worst passing game of his career. He was 4-of-14 for 35 yards—oddly enough, the same exact total of Saturday’s game against Miami—and one interception.
At least Troy had an excuse. Florida defensive ends Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey made him their personal piñata that evening in Glendale, Ariz.
Everything went wrong for the Buckeyes that night.
To find another statistical anomaly like the one Ohio State quarterbacks had Saturday night, one would have to go all the way back to Jim Tressel’s first year as head coach. In fact, it was Tressel’s first road game in 2001 when quarterback Steve Bellisari single-handedly turned the game over to UCLA.
He completed just five of his 23 pass attempts for 45 yards, while throwing a pair of interceptions in a 13-6 loss to UCLA at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
At least Bauserman avoided the turnovers against Miami.
“Some of the things I didn't like and didn't want to force it,” said the guy who has quickly become a master of the throwaway.
“You just don't want to turn the ball over, especially to a team like that. They'll drive down the field and make you pay.”
The problem was, Miami already did that. The Buckeyes went three-and-out on their first two possessions and the Hurricanes were up 14-0 before the end of the first quarter.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Bauserman said.
“We didn't execute, plain and simple.”
Ohio State’s receivers didn’t do him any favors. Without DeVier Posey and Philly Brown, the wideouts struggled to make plays for the quarterbacks. They dropped a handful of catchable balls that could have helped move the chains, but none of that masks the dreadful performance by Bauserman in a game that otherwise could have been very winnable.
“I didn't execute to my fullest ability today,” he said.
“It sucks. You want to be perfect. You want to be the best. But it just didn't happen today.”
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