Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Baron, Jul 21, 2011.
The Buckeyes opened the 2011 season ushering in a new era at Quarterback, with the first start of true freshman quarter back, as Braxton Miller led the Buckeyes to a resounding 45-3 win against the Akron Zips.
Miller's sterling performance, accounting for 2 rushing touchdowns and 2 passing touchdowns was, however, marred by two interceptions. However, Buckeyes head coach, Frank Baron pointed out that the Buckeyes were 8 for 9 on third downs during the game and pointed to Miller's 69 yards rushing on 7 carries.
Also adding a spark to the Buckeyes scoring was Return specialist Jamal Berry, who returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score, and took a punt all the way to the Zips three yard line. In addition, Berry was able to pick up 131 yards, 1 TD on the ground during backup time, which began at the 2:30 mark in the 3rd quarter.
Drew Basil also had a 57 yard FG.
The Buckeyes defense were able to hold the Zips only to a field goal, but allowed nearly 200 yards, many of which coming on busted plays. The Buckeyes will look to shore up their passing game (only 114 yds on 11 attempts by Miller) and defense as they face Boston College next week.
In a game that personified the cliche of being far closer than the final score would indicate, the Buckeyes won their home opener against Boston College, 41-17. The game was tied, or within one possession, all the way until 2:48 left in the 3rd Quarter, the Buckeyes Defense stepped up after another rough performance from true freshman starter, Braxton Miller. Miller was 9 for 21 with 133 yards passing with 2 TD's and 1 INT.
But the Buckeyes Defense picked up the slack and then some, forcing 5 turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns. The Silver Bullets were actually on the board before their offensive counterparts as CB Dionte Allen returned an Interception with four and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
From there it was a constant battle for the Buckeyes as the BC Eagles linebacking corps reasonably contained the Ohio State backfield. But at the 1:51 mark of the 3rd quarter, the flood gates opened. After a Miller touchdown pass to TE Reid Fragel, the Soloman Thomas, filling in for a concussed Nathan Williams, laid the lumber to BC's QB Chase Rettig, forcing a fumble that was scooped up by DE John Simon for the score. The next two BC possessions ended in turnovers, with Boom Herron finally hitting his stride and racking up chunks of his 121 yards and 1 TD.
The Buckeyes will need another outstanding defensive performance next week, as they travel to Eugene to take on the explosive Oregon Ducks offense in a battle of top 5 teams.
In a game eerily resembling last year's loss to Wisconsin, Ohio State, according to an irate head coach Frank Baron, "S*** down our pants," to start the game, as the Oregon Ducks stormed to a 24-0 lead to start the game. "I don't know what in the hell they were expecting," said Baron of the Buckeyes. Baron took turns taking every part of the team to task. "But to be fair, our play calling and scheme were s*** too, so that's my fault."
But the Buckeyes did not lay down, as a Braxton Miller touchdown pass to Jake Stoneburner got the Buckeyes on the board. "Yea, he threw 3 Touchdowns, but that first interception didn't help anything. And then our defense let them romp right down the field for an end of the half field goal."
Coming out of halftime, down 27-7, the Buckeyes received "Some signs of life and competency at the game of football," when Jamal Berry took the opening 2nd half kickoff 99 yards for a score, shortening the game to 27-14. But then the Ducks took the ball and marched down the field on a "soul-crushing, clock eating, nut shot of a drive," taking 6:05 off the clock, eventually scoring to put the game nigh on out of reach at 34-14.
But the Buckeyes struck quickly, as they got their ground game going, with Boom Herron's rush of 22 yards eventually setting up a touchdown pass to Reid Fragel as the 3rd quarter came to a close with the Ducks still up 34-21.
The Ducks then took even more time off the clock, 5 minutes and four seconds exactly, before kicking a field goal, to make it 37-21. The Buckeyes then struck quickly, as on the first play, Miller threw a long, 59 yard bomb to Corey Brown. The 2-pt conversion was good on a Miller pass to Boom Herron out of the backfield. And then came the controversial decision to kick the ball away to the Ducks.
"I thought, that with 2 time outs and 2:44 left on the clock, we could get a stop and some time left. And let's be honest, say we onside, say we score, get the 2-pt, what's the chances we stop them on the next drive." When a reporter questioned whether or not good clock management would allow the Buckeyes to score, get the 2-pt with not enough time for the Ducks to score, Baron had to be physically restrained.
The Buckeyes offensive woes continued as they amassed only 238 total offensive yards. A large contributing factor to that stat was the fact that the Ducks had a near 3:1 advantage in time of possession, 23:51 to 8:09.
Ohio State will have a bye to, "Lick our wounds, cuz Lord knows we've got to shape up," before starting Big Ten play against Michigan State, before then welcoming Oklahoma to the Shoe.
The Buckeyes opened Big Ten play in resounding fashion, trouncing the Michigan State Spartans 45-17 in East Lansing. "That's good ole fashioned Big Ten football: Great defense, great running game, and a passing attack that leaves the offense scratching its head more than the defense," Head Coach Baron said after the game. His comment on the passing game was in reference to the dismal effort of Freshman signal caller Braxton Miller. Miller went 6-17 for only 95 yards passing, no TDs and 3 INTs. "The thing is, he flashes brilliance. The first quarter and the initial part of the second he was doing great, but that first INT killed him. Though to be fair, I shouldn't have been calling as many pass plays as I was considering the way we were running the ball."
The Ohio State O-Line tore the Spartan D to shreds "and then tore those shreds into shreds, all the way down to the subatomic level," as they gashed the Spartan D for over 350 yards rushing. "When you're averaging 12 yards a carry, that's a good days work." Boom Herron led the charge with a "gaudy" 270 yards on 13 carries for 4 TD. Backup Jamal Berry scored the Buckeyes 2nd touchdown in the game, subbing in for Herron, and finished the game with 68 yards.
"Miller had more yards than the stats would indicate, but a couple of sacks decreased it."
The Buckeye D was in full force again this week, with Tyler Moeller intercepting a pass and forcing a fumble to kill a long Spartan drive. The fumble was picked up by Dominic Clarke. Clarke had a interception returned for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter as well.
"Moeller told Braxton after the game that he'll buy him a steak if he doesn't throw a pick against Oklahoma," said Baron. The Buckeyes will need a stellar performance from Miller, as they host top ranked Oklahoma next week.
Buckeyes take Sooners to the Brink, Lose 23-21
The Buckeyes troubles in the first half against top tier opposition continued this week as Oklahoma stormed to a 20-0 lead in the first half. "Ya know, if we'd could string two halves of competent football together, we'd be a decent team," said Coach Baron. " The Buckeyes simply could not get anything going offensively the first half, as they did not get a first down until midway through the second quarter. Points, however, would have to wait until the second half.
"Our defense did as well as you could expect against that offense, and being constantly placed in terrible field position and with little rest." All the same, the Buckeye D surrendered two field goals and two touchdowns to the Sooner offense in the first half.
The second half saw the offense finally get things going on the ground, running the football very well with Boom Herron and, when Herron suffered a minor injury half way through the 3rd, Jamal Berry. "Berry has been a great back up so far. He'll be getting more carries in the future." Both Herron (who once again eclipsed 100 yards) and Berry had touchdowns of 51 and 11 yards respectively.
Miller was much more effective than he had been in the past, but missed out on the steak promised by Moeller, throwing a pick in the first game. "He had a terrible first half, but a lot of that was due to drops. I about lost it the third time Jake [Stoneburner} had one in his hands and then dropped it. But he came on in the second half, and that TD to Jake, which he thankfully didn't drop, was golden."
That touchdown to Stoneburner came with only 57 seconds left in the game, putting the Buckeyes ahead 21-20. The defense had also stepped up their play, as they had not allowed a Sooner point in the entirety of the second half up to that point.
The Sooner's took the kickoff. "We'd gotten good pressure off the edge with Sabino and a corner, whichever one had rotated to his side, so we decided to that again, with man coverage." That man coverage allowed a Sooner receiver to be wide open on the out route and take the ball to the Buckeye side of the field. Good clock management by the Sooners allowed them to take things all the way down to the six second mark, at the Buckeyes 31. From there, it was a 48 yard FG right down the middle, putting the Sooners up 23-21 with only a second left.
"Too much to hope that he'd miss it, or that Coach Dylan would kick it to Berry and give our boys a shot. Damn coward, communist he is," added Baron.
The Buckeyes will host Illinois next week.
Buckeyes First Half Woes Continue, Rebound to win 45-17 over Illinois
Add Illinois to the list of teams the Buckeyes have struggled against in the first half this season. "I honestly couldn't tell you what the hell it is. I mean our D seems pretty prepared coming into games but our offense, it's like they need the first half to comprehend that yes, they are football players, and that they are in fact playing a game."
Quarterback Braxton Miller threw a dismal Four interceptions in the first half, one of which, on a bubble screen, was returned for a touchdown. "Part of it is drops, part of it is just insane, incredible defensive play, but a lot of is just piss poor decision making." But backup Joe Bauserman fared little better in the two drives he was put in. "I mean when you have two QBs performing that poorly, you go with the faster one." Miller did score on a 15 yard option keeper in the first half. That along with a Drew Basil 49 yard field goal and a 1 yard Boom Herron score put the Buckeyes tied at half with the Illini, 17 all.
But once again, the second half was all Buckeyes. The defense forced 5 turnovers in the game, 3 in the second half, with Etienne's Sabino's INT late in the game going for a score. "Miller, our O-line, our receivers, everybody was night and day once you get into the second half." Miller threw two Touchdowns and converted several 3rd downs through air and on the ground in the second half with no more interceptions. He finished the game 12-24, 196 yards passing with 2 TD's and 4 INT's. He went for 52 yards and a score on 12 carries. Boom Herron came very close to breaking the 100 yard mark but finished with 25 carries, 90 yards, and two scores.
Jamal Berry continued his impressive work at the returner's position, taking one kick off 85 yards before a lunging tackle tripped him up.
The Buckeyes will host Iowa next week.
Buckeyes Bring It All Together, Stomp Iowa 48-0
Ohio State was firing on all cylinders as they crushed Iowa, 48-0. "When you look at everything, there's a few chinks in the armor, like Braxton's two picks, but even then, the way the defense shut them down, those didn't matter," said head coach Baron. The Silver Bullets were the first on the board in the game, as Dominic Clarke took an interception 30 yards for the score at the 6:15 mark in the second quarter. The Buckeyes owned the second quarter, scoring 31 points, on Clarke's INT, a 6 yard Braxton Miller pass to Devier Posey, a 54 yard Drew Basil FG, and a beautifully thrown 24 yard TD pass from Miller to Chris Fields as time expired in the first half.
Herron had another insane day out of the backfield, rushing for 200+ yards for the second time this season. "His stat line is ridiculous. 218 on 27 carries for two scores? The guy's a machine," said Baron. Herron had several great runs, showcasing his speed and agility as well as his power. "He busts in over the goalline on one play, then stops on a dime on another."
Perhaps the most impressive play of the night was a 93 yard INT return for a touchdown by ROLB Tyler Moeller.
The Buckeyes will host division rival Wisconsin this coming week.
Buckeyes Lose at Camp Randall, 35-21
Ohio State struggled at exactly the wrong times against the Wisconsin Badgers, losing 35-21. "I thought we played well, we just had a few bad plays at the exact wrong moment," said Coach Baron. The Buckeyes struggled to stop the Badgers at key moments.
The game started off with a long Wisconsin drive, ending in a 19 yard pass from Russell Wilson to TE Jake Byrne. But the Buckeyes hit back immediately, as Jamal Berry took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for the score, knotting things up 7-7.
A Dominic Clarke INT on the next drive gave the Buckeyes good field position, but they failed to capitalize, settling for a 37 yard Drew Basil FG. "That killed us all game. We had to settle for field goals in the red zone, or couldn't punch things in from the 1 and the 3, and well, you can't do that against good teams on the road."
Several key plays went against the Buckeyes on the 1 yard line, both on offense and defense. The Buckeyes failed to stop a 2nd quarter 1 yard rush from Monte Ball, and had a 4th down pass from Braxton Miller batted down on the 3 yard line in the 3rd. The Buckeyes offense did manage to get into the end zone, as they took the opening drive and Miller threw a 9 yard pass to Corey Brown. The resulting 2-point conversion was caught by a diving Reid Fragel (TE #88), which tied the game 21 all.
"We just couldn't get anything going from there," said Baron. The Badgers running game came up with key first downs, and the Badger D came up with 2 interceptions at crucial points. "Other than the INTs... well other than those, Braxton played well. It's just hard to overcome those turnovers."
Ohio State will travel to Indiana next week.
Buckeyes Top Indiana 43-14
Calling the win, "Not as impressive as you'd think," Coach Baron merely shrugged at the Buckeyes 29 point victory over the Indiana Hoosiers. "There were way too many mistakes, Miller still hasn't gone a game without throwing an interception, and there were a couple of defensive breakdowns. But, still, we're in the hunt for a Big Ten title which is what we're focused on right now."
Despite throwing another interception, Miller had a good day passing otherwise, throwing for 225 yards and three scores, two going to TE Jake Stoneburner, and another to Devier Posey. Posey, however, was later injured in the game, suffering back spasms that are expected to keep him out for the next two weeks. "We hope to get him back in time for the Michigan game," said Coach Baron.
Boom Herron continued his role as the reliable workhorse for the Buckeyes, racking up 194 yards on the ground and one score on 25 carries. Jamal Berry also scored late in the game. The Buckeyes D, other than two big plays that went for touchdowns, were on their game as well, forcing an interception and having 5 sacks come from the defensive line.
The Buckeyes will host Purdue next week.
Buckeyes Blank Boilermakers, 41-0
"Other than the three picks," Coach Baron said with a heavy sigh, "It was Braxton's best game. He's got all the tools you want from a Quarterback. The bombs to Posey and Fields, and that frozen rope to Posey on the slant were all great passes, physically. Once he gets the decision making down, he'll be incredible." Miller's statline of 349 yards with 3 TD's on 14-22 passing was marred by the three picks. But the Buckeye D rose to the occasion each time, keeping the Boilermakers off the scoreboard.
"Our D was phenomenal, especially Tyler [Moeller]." Moeller had 4 sacks, 4 TFL, and 8 tackles. Nathan Williams added two sacks as well. "Not as many turnovers as you'd like, but when you're getting as many three and outs as we did, you don't really need the turnovers."
The Buckeyes also had another stellar performance from Boom Herron, who had 2 TD's and 169 yards on 23 carries. Devier Posey had his best game of the season with 5 catches for 178 yards and 2 TD's.
The Buckeyes will host rival Penn State next week.
Buckeyes stomp rival Penn State, 48-10
The Buckeyes kept their hopes alive for a Big Ten title this year, crushing rival Penn State 48-10. "I mean let's face it, at this point, our passing game is more dangerous to us than it is to defenses. So we decided to use more exotic run plays in place of passing in the second half," said Coach Baron. Those exotic run plays led to 3 rushing touchdowns in the 3rd quarter, all on read or triple options by Braxton Miller (44 yds) and Boom Herron (13, 15 yards). The Buckeyes explosive 3rd quarter sealed the deal, after a very close 13-10 first half.
Miller's 3 INT's (all in the first half) aided Penn State, but the Buckeyes D was once again in top form, forcing 4 turnovers including a forced fumble near the end of the first half to prevent a tying or go ahead score by the Nittany Lions. The Silver Bullets also had 6 sacks, harassing PSU QB Matt McGloin all day.
Miller's stat line of 230 yards with 2 TD's (and the 3 INT's) on 12-26 was suplimented by his best rushing day as Buckeyes signal caller with 135 yards on 10 carries for a score.
Boom Herron continued his stellar season with 3 scores and 144 yards on 25 carries.
DeVier Posey has come on strong in the latter part of the season, including 3 catches for 89 yards and a score against Penn State.
The Buckeyes will renew the greatest rivalry in all of sports against a resurgent Michigan squad next week in Ann Arbor.
Buckeyes Comeback in a Thriller 34-28
Erase 21 Point Deficit, Have 4th down Stop with less than a minute left
The Buckeyes kept their win streak against bitter rival Michigan going, winning a pulse pounder, 34-28 in Ann Arbor. Things started off about as rough as one could image for the Buckeyes. An interception by Travis Howard on the opening Michigan drive seemed to give the Buckeyes a great start. But then the wheels began to fall off. Braxton Miller, with an ill timed pitch on an option, fumbled the ball that was returned 54 yards for the score by UM OLB Mike Jones. A fumble by Jamal Berry on the ensuing kickoff was returned 27 yards by Brandon Hawthorne for the score, giving Michigan 14 points. "It kills you to see a turnover turn into points, and like that? Back to back, on a road game in the biggest rivalry in sports, that's tough," said Head Coach Frank Baron. "And then the interception," referring to a Braxton Miller interception in Michigan territory. The Wolverines offense then added to the Buckeyes woes, driving down and scoring on a 4 yard pass from Denard Robinson to WR Daryl Stonum, giving Michigan a wide 21-0 margin.
But from there the Buckeyes began to "show signs of life," as they went almost entirely on the ground. "In that environment, it's tough, and frankly we couldn't afford more interceptions, and Braxton was fine with that. He knew the stakes. And frankly, running the ball nearly 50 times really gave him better windows to throw through. I mean you look at his stats and they seem to suck. But he got his yards on 3rd down when we needed them." The spark for the Buckeyes came immediately after Michigan's 3rd TD, as a WR option play with WR Devier Posey in motion took the ball 77 yards for the score on the Buckeyes first offensive play being down 21-0. "We didn't just get hit in the mouth, we got choke slammed through a table. But we got up, and went back to work."
The TD run was followed by a stop of the Wolverines as they attempted a fake punt on 4th down on their next drive. The Buckeyes took advantage, with Boom Herron taking the ball in for the score from 1 yard out with 1:28. And the Wolverines were not content to go into half time with the lead, opting to go to the air. But it was on the ground that the Buckeyes got a "gift," as a Robinson scramble turned into a fumble, giving the Buckeyes the ball on the Michigan 35 yard line. From there, a 27 yd score by Herron finally erased the earlier deficit, knotting things up 21 all.
Herron continued to light things up in the second half, scoring from 2 yards out, giving the Buckeyes the lead, 28-21 with 4:31 left in the 3rd quarter. "28 unanswered points is a hell of a thing to find yourself experiencing," Head Coach Baron said. "But credit them with not backing down." The Wolverines then had a big rush of their own as RB Stephen Hopkins took the ball 69 yards for the score, tying things back up.
The 4th quarter saw a relentless back and forth battle. "I gotta tell you, I was sweating bullets settling for those field goals." Despite drives that went deep into Michigan territory, (abetted by a Jamie Wood INT at the 4:09 mark) OSU's drives stalled repeatedly, having to settle for Drew Basil field goals of 41 and 47 yards. The latter coming with a minute 57 left and giving the Buckeyes a 6 point lead.
From there Michigan marched down the field to the Buckeyes redzone. "That's gut wrenching stuff. No time outs left, your opponent inside your territory with a chance for them to win..." But the Buckeyes clamped down as great defensive play helped them bring up third down. A John Simon sack made things 4th and 18 with the game on the line. "From there, you start to feel anxious because anything can happen." But Michigan opted for some trickery instead, setting up for a hook and ladder play, but Buckeyes LB Tyler Moeller, fighting through a shoulder injury from the 1st quarter, made the tackle before the pitch could be made, giving the Buckeyes the ball on their own 19 yard line. Miller kneeled the ball 3 times to give the Buckeyes the win. "Only time I've ever been glad to lose yards," said Miller.
Herron was the player of the game with another gaudy outing of 160 yards and 3 TD's on 28 carries. Devier Posey had a single 77 yard rush for a score, along with his 4 receptions for 58 yards. Miller's stat line of 10-17 passing for 149 yards and 1 INT "Leaves a lot to be desired. But frankly, he can throw 8 picks if he beats Michigan in the process."
The Buckeyes are unlikely to be able to make it to the Big Ten championship game as Wisconsin's victory over Penn State gives the Badgers the same 7-1 conference record, but with the tie breaker over the Buckeyes. "That's tough to swallow, but they beat us heads up. I'd hate if some convoluted formula gave it to us instead of them," said Baron. The Buckeyes finish the regular season 9-3(7-1).
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