Football Hayes & Cannon

The Grumpy Old Buckeye: Ohio State vs. Washington

2019 Rose Bowl stadium Ohio State Washington

Welcome back to the first Grumpy Old Buckeye of 2019. If you’re new to this column, welcome! The aim here is to be the voice of negativity, even when things are generally pretty great. 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 Ohio State vs. Washington in the Rose Bowl.

Pre-Snap Penalties Start Before First Play

Oh, Wyatt Davis. Why you gotta hurt my heart? If you’ve read this column this season, you’ll know of my disdain for the pre-snap penalty and the game had barely started before it happened yet again. Davis’ penalty before the first play from scrimmage led to a three-and-out. Josh Alabi got one to start a drive later after a Washington field goal drive. What is it with the first play of the drive that is so difficult?

Prince also got one on a key third-and-short play early in the second quarter. Thankfully, Dwayne Haskins threw a touchdown pass to Johnnie Dixon on the next play. Prince did screw things up on the next drive by taking one on third and nine, with the Buckeyes unable to pick up all of the necessary 14 yards.

Malcolm Pridgeon got in on the action later as well and there were a couple on defense. There were a lot more of these than we usually see and we usually see too many.

Dwayne Haskins: Still Not a Zone Read QB

The Buckeyes got the ball back after scoring and had a chance to seize early control of the game. But Ohio State called a zone read play on third-and-two on the third possession. Haskins was baited into keeping the ball by the defensive end and the play blew up in the backfield. A hand-off may have netted the two yards but I hate the play call either way.

Chase Gets a Loaf

Broken plays on offense kept Washington in the game in the first half and one such play seemed preventable if not for some nonchalance on the part of Ohio State. Jake Browning scrambled out of the pocket and despite his speed and freak athletic ability, Chase Young just kind of…followed. He didn’t run; he didn’t sprint; and he certainly didn’t live up to his first name on the play. He just sort of followed along at a jog and watched the Huskies pick up a first down. Maybe he wouldn’t have made the play, but that was some poor effort and it’s not what we expect from Young.

You’re Late, Chris

Late in the first half, Haskins threw his 50th touchdown pass of the season. Afterward, play-by-play broadcaster Chris Fowler seemed duly impressed by the feat and by Haskins’ body of work on the season in general— as well he should be. Fowler then went on to marvel at the lack of Heisman ballots that had Haskins’ name on them. This should not have come as any surprise to a guy who works for the ESPN machine, which largely helped create the Tua-vs.-Kyler narrative in the run-up to the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Fansville Commercials

OK, seriously, these are the worst. Every single one of them makes me grind my teeth. I rarely used the product (which I won’t name here) before, but I’m off it forever now. Let’s move on.

The Entire Fourth Quarter

I don’t think Ohio State meant to take its foot off the gas but everything about the team was discombobulated in the fourth quarter. Play calling, execution, offense, defense, special teams. Everything was bad and it allowed the Huskies to — well, not threaten, so much as close the gap to where they nearly, but not quite, had a shot at completing the comeback. When tight ends are having balls just stick to one of their hands while battling in midair, things are not going your way. When the normally accurate Haskins is missing open receivers, it’s all out of sorts.

“Six-Inch Line”

Look, there’s no such thing as a six-inch “line.” It doesn’t exist, but both Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit said it. I’m tired of hearing announcers use a term for anything that is less than a yard from the end zone as some kind of line. The lines are clear for all to see and they are spaced a yard apart.

Down the Stretch Officiating

Ohio State may have done everything possible to allow Washington to avoid embarrassment, but the Huskies had a little help late. There was an iffy pass interference, another that was so soft that you couldn’t even call it iffy, and a free touchdown awarded by an official who ran himself out of position to avoid contact with the players at the sideline. The latter was too close, apparently, to overturn, but it was a late holiday gift for which the Huskies should be thankful.


That’s what stood out to me in the Buckeyes’ final win of the Urban Meyer era. Obviously the good outweighed the bad, including a great night by Jeffrey Okudah, Haskins reaching 50 touchdowns on the year, Parris Campbell setting a receptions record and reaching 1,000 yards, and a good final game from Mike Weber.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the Grumpy Old Buckeye posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them this season. If The Ozone lets me come back, we might just do it all again next year as we start the Ryan Day era.

21 Responses

  1. Fansville isn’t that bad … “are you wearing a wire? ARE YOU WEARING A WIRE?”

    1. I like Fansville too. It might just be me and you tho.

  2. I love the ‘Grumpy Old Buckeye’ — Its great! He reinforces what I get grumpy about in every game — Its Amazing! Please keep the ‘Grumpy Old Buckeye’ — its the best column on the site!

  3. I look forward to reading many articles on this site each week. “The grumpy old buckeye” being one of them. Really hope I see you back next season

  4. My grumpiness revolves around the bad taste “late Urban-era” teams left in my mouth. First, so that there is no misunderstanding, I totally appreciate the incredible success Urban brought to Ohio State: 90-9, 3 B1G titles, one national title, bowl/playoff wins over Alabama, USC, Notre Dame, Washington, and plenty of big regular seasons wins – and most of all 7-0 against TTUN. Add in recruiting at an elite level and very few discipline problems, and it would be absurd to complain.

    But I’m going to complain anyway in a narrow way. Urban is so intense, I have wondered if we have watched a brief burst of brilliant energy that then starts to ebb. The ebb came in the form of inexplicable performances vs. teams that had no business beating them on a miracle play, let alone by 30 points. It came via Urban professing love for certain players to the point where he had a “blindspot” (seems I’ve heard that term in other situations).

    It came in the form of peeing on my head and telling me it is raining. “Our defense really played well, overall. That was an excellent team we just played, elite, one of the best in the country, a top 20. We have great leadership on this team.” And other assorted nonsense that was asking me to believe what I was told or what I was seeing.

    It came in the form of, even, winning games, but not looking good in the process. The game has changed with the playoff era. Winning by 1 point and looking like crap used to be less important, but nowadays you have to win and look impressive as you do it. In last year’s Cotton Bowl, Ohio State played a great half, did nothing in the second half offensively and ended the season with a solid victory but not the greatest feeling about playing a struggling USC team to a 0-0 tie over the last 30 minutes. In this year’s Rose Bowl Ohio State plays impressively for 2 1/2 qtrs. and then… nothing – except a bad taste for how they finished the game.

    So, thank you Urban. Love and appreciate all that you have accomplished at Ohio State and the ridiculous expectation level you created. Most of all, thank you for getting out before the mood turned for you not being able to meet the expectations you set.

    I look forward to seeing where some new energy will take OSU football. I suspect that it will be very difficult for Ryan Day to match the last 7 years, and that my complaints about the end of the Urban-era will also ebb during that time. I just want to see some impressive football performances. 🙂

  5. Personally, I like the “Mayhem” commercials best. Even my wife likes ’em.

    And yeah, that start of the game reminded me of the National Championship game against Miami in 2002. Before we got the first snap off, we were flagged for (I believe it was) delay of game. Dan Fouts was all over it: “talk a bout a bad omen”. Poor Dan Fouts, he was in agony watching OSU crush the Hurricanes and – literally – b**** slap Winslow Jr. into a mediocre NFL career.
    Go Bucks!

  6. O-Zone please bring back The Grumpy Old Buckeye, I feel his pain.

  7. O-Zone please bring back Grumpy Old Buckeye, I feel his pain!

  8. I hate the Fansville commercials, but I hate them slightly less than Larry Culpepper.

  9. Are you wearing a wire???????????

  10. Have enjoyed the reality of this column as a source of balance to the gloss usually associated with the program. Your “everyman” viewpoint is always welcome on my computer.

  11. The Buckeyes offense disappeared in the fourth quarter. Washington took over the game at that point and if they had three or four more minutes of playing time, they would have beaten Ohio State. Just glad that didn’t happen!

  12. I thoroughly enjoy this column Michael and I hope its back next year. It gives those of us who dont look at things through scarlet colored glasses a platform to voice our displeasure and objectively comment on what we see. The best part is you can comment without someone calling you negative or an ungrateful fan or my favorite “if youre so smart why arent you coaching”?

  13. Love your column. Read it every time. Please come back next season.

  14. I’ve read the O-Zone almost as long as there’s been an O-Zone (pretty sure I started in ’98 and the Zone started midway through ’96), and I, for one, hope they have this column next year. The O-Zone has had a few writers that just chapped me along the way, but this column is a good ‘palate-cleanser’ offering some perspective.
    Nice things said, you apparently missed the last 8 minutes-and-change of the 3rd quarter after the Buckeyes’ last score. The putrid began right after that touchdown, not the 4th when the decay was well underway! Seemed to me that “the fire” went out after that TD and the Buckeyes coasted, which I didn’t think I’d see in an Urban Meyer team.
    I suppose I should give the line a pass on the false starts, but it’s been a problem all year whether new starters like Davis and Alabi or old hands like Pridgeon and Prince.
    Two teams who get to play Charmin schedules will be playing for it all when if the Buckeyes played an SEC-styled schedule then instead of Purdue they could have beaten up on The Citadel like ‘Bama. As for Clem, there’s a reason it’s called the “Almost-Competitive Conference”!
    Now get offa my lawn until next Fall! 🙂

  15. I hope the Ozone brings this feature back next season; this has been a fun addition to the regular post game wrap up.

  16. I don’t believe in being grumpy about a bowl game, other than a loss, completely not showing up or referees who always make me grumpy. That being said, I take great exception with your Fansville comment. I’m not sure I can recall or even pay attention to many but one and this isn’t Buckeye bias but the Eddie George one is hilarious! I understand humor is subjective but Eddie’s face while the dude tries to flip the burger is makes me crack up as much on the 30th one as the 1st.

    1. If “That’s his Dr. Pepper hand!” or “His hot dogs are AMAZING!” is your brand of comedy, we definitely have different viewpoints. And I love Eddie and don’t begrudge him the opportunity to make a few bucks. His face is fine but it doesn’t crack me up or anything. It’s maybe the brightest spot in an otherwise unwatchable commercial.

      1. From the comments I read on here everyday and associating them with the people that would make such comments, I have NO DOUBT that anybody here would find those commercials funny or share my sense of humor. Thought, better yet hoped, that maybe I’d find one like minded person. I will definitely start keeping my opinions to myself as far as this site is concerned.

        1. I don’t even own a telly, Bill, so I can’t help ya out. If I’m at a bar or at a friend’s watching the game I talk to them during commercials instead of watching that swill.

        2. “I will definitely start keeping my opinions to myself as far as this site is concerned.”

          Well that would suck if everyone just stopped commenting because someone merely disagreed with them. I find the ads to be trash, you don’t. Pretty simple difference of opinion really, and no hurt feelings on my part.

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