The Buckeye Watch — Aztec Annihilation
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Prior to the season, most everyone pointed to this game as being the most difficult non-conference contest on the Ohio State schedule. They may end up being right, but very little about this game would qualify as difficult.
Even with Braxton Miller going down after throwing just two passes, the Buckeyes ran through the Aztec defense like a bunch of conquistadors with the sniffles.
This game was over in the first quarter, but because I'm such a good person, I watched the entire thing.
10:30 Chris Fowler just said on Gameday that the Buckeye defense was not very good last week. He then talked about the perception that their defense has been down for a while now. That latter perception is true, but is also being fueled by the fact that ESPN is saying that the Buckeye defense was not very good last week despite holding Buffalo to just 258 yards of total offense.
3:17 Florida is going to lose to Miami. Urban Meyer's reign of terror continues. Tricking Jeff Driskel to commit to him and then sign with Will Muschamp is something that can only be done with revenge on the mind. Pre-meditated recruiting is the worst kind, in my opinion.
3:33 It is a beautiful day for football in that it is a day like any other.
3:34 San Diego State wins the toss and they want the ball. They are serious. They want to hurry up and start throwing the ball against Ohio State's soft coverage.
3:36 Bradley Roby is not starting. I wonder how many plays he sits before coming in.
3:37 There's my answer. He comes in on third down, so he missed two plays. Adam Dingwell rolls right and throws an incompletion. The defense looked good on that series, but I'm not exactly sure what's to defend. The Aztecs punt.
3:40 Third and six. Braxton Miller is in an empty set. He gets hit on the blitz, but finds Jeff Heuerman in the slot for 25 yards. That was a heck of a throw. That's what I was interested in seeing today, how well Miller stood in there and delivered against the blitz.
3:41 Fourth and one. Miller keeps it for for the first down...and he is still down. Holding his head. He lost his helmet and may have gotten hit while he was helmetless. I wasn't expecting him to leave the game with an injury this early. I think he got his bell rung. Got sandwiched by two helmets, then got hit again as his helmet was off. Buckle that chin strap, young players. He's walking off after about two minutes of being on the ground. Who knows when he'll be back. Time for Kenny Guiton to do what he does.
3:44 Miller is walking under his own power, so that's good. He finally finds a place to sit behind the bench and is getting looked at by four different trainerfolk.
3:45 Dontre Wilson comes in. The Buckeyes are in the pistol. It's a speed option pitch to Wilson and he finds the corner of the endzone easily. No catching that guy. And now you see why Urban Meyer wants as much speed as possible. That was a very basic play, but San Diego State had no chance. And you wanted Meyer to bring in more slow running backs. You are the worst. You're the type of person that shows up at Graeter's and asks for whole wheat ice cream. What's this? No swinging gate? Why did I even bother waking up today? People don't go to games to see touchdowns, they go to the games to see two-point conversions. This is lame. Buckeyes lead it 7-0. Despite the disappointing extra point kick, this was about as good as the Buckeyes could have hoped for, aside from the whole Braxton Miller injury thing, of course.
3:48 The Buckeyes are showing blitz. Dingwell gets blasted by a linebacker, and the throw lands right in Doran Grant's hands. Grant ran a perfect route on that pass. Braxton is now leaving on a cart.
3:51 Ohio State wastes the opportunity and goes three and out. Cameron Johnston's punt is fair caught at the 16-yard line. Did you know that when Johnston kicks the football, it rotates counter clockwise?
3:52 Huh? The reports from ESPN are an MCL sprain for Miller. That's pretty spectacular sideline work. I wonder if OSU told them it was an MCL deal, or if the sideline reporter got on WebMD.com really quickly and did some internet prognosing. “It's either an MCL sprain, or a fissure in Miller's colon.”
3:55 Incomplete pass to the fullback with Noah Spence in pursuit. Wide open, but Dingwell is an inaccurate quarterback. In fact, he's so inaccurate that if he was a weatherman his forecast would call for wood. “Monday will start out nice, but watch out for trees falling from the sky, and possibly some torrential two-by-fours.”
4:00 Guiton drops back and floats a perfect 27-yard touchdown pass to Philly Brown. Thank you, Urban. Three days after I drop Philly Brown, you decide to start throwing to him. You're the best. Whatever. They should have called him for offensive pass interference at the end. Buckeyes lead it 14-0.
4:01 That Guiton throw was so pretty that its dad sits on the porch at night with a shotgun waiting for it to come home.
4:02 So do they just keep Braxton out the rest of the way? Like distract him from wanting to play? “Coach, can I go back in now?” “What's that? Hey, can you run up to the press box and grab me a Diet Coke?”
4:06 San Diego State has followed up a false start with a delay of game. I'm starting to see how these guys lost to Eastern Illinois.
4:08 Third and 19. The Buckeyes are in the dime. They're showing blitz. Steve Miller on the sack? Steve Miller! I think that's his first career sack. And given the celebration between him and Mike Vrabel, I'd say that stat is confirmed. SDSU punts.
4:09 Speed option pitch to Jordan Hall for seven yards. Can they afford to get Guiton hit with this play right now?
4:11 Third and 12. Guiton drops back and finds a wide open Devin Smith for about 17 yards. They gave him a huge cushion. Speed kills, but before it can kill, it apparently terrifies first because that corner didn't want to get anywhere near Smith on that play.
4:15 Touchdown Jordan Hall right up the middle. That was a nice job by Guiton throughout that entire series. I wonder if he's getting winded from playing so much. Buckeyes lead it 21-0. Apparently the plan is to put a knee brace on Braxton and have him give it a go. I would be pretty surprised if he comes back in the game at this point.
4:18 We have reached the end of the first quarter. San Diego State has -3 yards of total offense. Michigan State is jealous of such an explosion.
4:24 San Diego State goes three and out. Apparently Miller jogged back out to the sideline. He must be back with Meyer's Diet Coke. “Here you go, Coach. Here's your Diet Coke.” “Diet Coke? I said Coke Zero! Get out of my face with this crap!”
4:29 Guiton drops back and throws it deep, and it's picked off. The receiver was never open. It was a great one-handed grab by the cornerback. I think the deep ball is where they miss Miller most. Obviously, Miller is a better runner than Guiton, but they can get running from anybody. Are the big passing plays still as available with Guiton in the game?
4:35 Second and 18. There's a swing pass to the SDSU tailback and Ryan Shazier throws him down for a loss of three with a belly-to-back suplex. It's too soon to go for the pin! Continue to weaken him. Some knife-edge chops and then maybe a European uppercut.
4:36 San Diego State has to punt. They weren't able to pick up a measly third and 21. Whoops. Roughing the punter on the Buckeyes. Was that Christian Bryant or Jordan Hall? They are indistinguishable from this perch. If an offense wants to pick up a third and long in the future against this team, just take a knee on third down and wait for the roughing call on fourth.
4:39 Third and six. The quarterback takes off, but Joey Bosa gets there on the scramble. Wow. I didn't think there was any way he would get there, but he held him three yards short. That's a pretty impressive effort from a 270-pound dude. The Aztecs punt.
4:41 Miller returns with Meyer's Coke Zero. He hands the can to Meyer. "You forgot my coozy! I'm not holding on to a can that sweats! Plus, I need my beverage to stay cold. Go get my coozy."
4:43 There's the speed option again and Wilson picks up 18 yards. This speed option has been fun to watch. It will eventually go for a home run this season. I just wonder if Miller can run it as well as Guiton.
4:46 Interesting. There are four receivers in a diamond formation to the bottom of the screen. And it's a quarterback draw and Kenny Guiton rambles on into the endzone untouched for a 44-yard touchdown. That looked like cheating. Don't be surprised if there is a rule against a quarterback keeping the ball when there is no defense there to stop him by this time next week. That wasn't a running lane, it was an entire avenue. Buckeyes lead 28-0.
4:50 The word from Ohio State is that Adolphus Washington has a “lower body issue”. If you had your pick between an “upper body issue” and a “lower body issue”, is there any man here who would choose “lower body issue”?
4:52 Whoa. San Diego State just completed a nice looking pass. Didn't realize it was possible. Like not getting robbed at gunpoint when wishing somebody a good day in Detroit.
4:54 Third and 10. Michael Bennett spins away from his block and he and Noah Spence sack Adam Kaehler, forcing a fumble and Bennett recovers it. That was impressive. I think Bennett went untouched on the interior, which an offensive and defensive line probably can't even do if they were walking in opposite directions in a large hallway.
4:56 Speed option pitch to Hall and he skates down the sideline for 25 yards. When was the last time we saw this play run so well at Ohio State? Stan Jackson to Michael Wiley? I have no idea.
4:58 Rod Smith dives into the endzone for the touchdown. Not a very pretty leap, and he actually landed on bodies and rolled into the endzone for six. Buckeyes lead it 35-0 with 3:15 to play in the half. This has been a nice answer to last week's second-quarter slow down.
5:07 The Aztecs drive the ball down inside the Ohio State 10-yard line with just seconds remaining. Kaehler finds a receiver wide, but Bradley Roby tackles him in a one-on-one situation. Roby doesn't miss those tackles. Sorry about your luck.
5:08 Third and goal from the two-yard line. Just four seconds remaining. Two tight ends? Doran Grant does a fantastic job breaking up the slant pass, and the Buckeyes go to the half with a 35-0 lead.
5:10 The Buckeyes have 309 yards of total offense to 99 for the Aztecs. San Diego State has 15 rushes for 27 yards. That's fantastic for a defense that we're still trying to figure out. The Buckeyes have rushed for 177 yards, and it hasn't been just one guy carrying the load. It's a deceptive 177 yards. (I bet it's not deceptive to the SDSU defensive coaches, however.)
5:15 The halftime show features Ohio State fans competing against “Michigan fans” in a game of Family Feud. This is the second-greatest home-field advantage that I have ever seen. Second only to every single Duke basketball game ever.
5:19 The talk turns to the Alumni Band and the older drum majors who may not have been practicing their baton twirling as much as they got older. I quickly corrected them and told them that the love of baton twirling does not go away with age. The practice is always there. You don't think Tiger Woods is going to stop golfing when he retires, do you? It's the same with drum majors. Including the secret lives and carnal escapades, probably.
5:31 Congrats San Diego State, you were just beaten 35-0 in the first half and now you get to kickoff to Dontre Wilson. Dang. It's a touchback. This has been the most boring special teams game of the year.
5:33 Speed option pitch to Ezekiel Elliott and he nearly squeaks through. He picks up 15 yards, but it's coming back because of a facemask by Chris Fields. He has 25 yards in penalties today. I wonder how many touchdowns you have to score the previous week to not have the coaches yell at you for 25 yards in penalties the following week.
5:37 Cameron Johnston punts. It goes 42 yards. Nobody is impaled by the football. This is getting old.
5:42 San Diego State goes three and out. We have reached the end of the excitement of the second half, as both teams are just trying to get home as quickly as possible.
5:44 False start on Marcus Hall. That's his third of the game, and he's not happy with the defensive line. They must be doing something to cause Hall and Andrew Norwell to jump.
5:50 Guiton drops back and throws another touchdown pass to Philly Brown, who makes a great leaping catch for the 24-yard score. He had Devin Smith on the post wide open as well, but he decided to make it a little more difficult than necessary. Good thing I dropped Philly. Buckeye fans can thank me any time now. Ohio State leads it 42-0.
5:58 SDSU is moving the ball. They're in the Buckeye redzone now. Curtis Grant is trying to scoot Chris Carter over, but he might need a back brace and some industrial straps. It's a misdirection counter pitch, and Bosa makes the stop after a gain of 14 yards. Interestingly, Trey Johnson was in for Ryan Shazier. Shazier comes back in now.
5:59 Play-action bootleg to the tight end for two yards and the score. That's the second time this season the tight end has found the endzone against this defense. That doesn't bode well for the Wisconsin, Northwestern and Michigan games down the road.
6:03 Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson are both out there on kickoff. For me, this is the ideal duo for this role right now. Wilson gets the ball and is clotheslined at the 25-yard line. He had a nice lane until it was cut off at the neck. There's a flag for the tackle. Whoa, they pick it up after they awkwardly realize that there's no actual penalty for a clothesline. You can take shots at a neck, just don't go near the head. I guess in football terms, the neck is not part of the head.
6:06 We have now reached the end of the third quarter. The Buckeyes lead it 42-7. I wonder if we'll see Cardale Jones this quarter. Or Bri'onte Dunn.
6:12 Fourth and three. Guiton keeps it and is short. SDSU takes over at their own 33-yard line. It is now their turn to give the ball back in short order.
6:18 Third and three. Empty set. Cameron Burrows and Vonn Bell are both in. Joshua Perry breaks up the short pass. The Aztecs punt.
6:21 Kenny Guiton is still in for some reason. He stays in long enough to go three and out for the Buckeyes. Cameron Johnston unleashes a nice 48-yard punt on the rollout. He seems to have done better on those types of kicks than the regular punts today.
6:23 Alright, it's time for me to head down to the field. If anything happens, I'll jot it down in my notebook, but I can't promise you that I'll be able to read it later on.
6:30 Braxton Miller finally shows up with Urban Meyer's Coke Zero and a coozy. Meyer takes a look at it and says, "You know what, I'm not even really that thirsty any more. Do they have any Skittles upstairs?"
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