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From the first drive on, turnovers plagued Forcier // Photo via espn.com
Drew Thurman (3:22 pm)

Sorry it has taken me a few days to get out the recap, it was one crazy weekend for us here at TSB. Anyways, here are the things that really stuck out from the Buckeyes sixth straight win over Michigan...

Tresselball pulls out another victory. Let's be honest, the game was pretty ugly. The offense really only had two solid drives, and besides that were conservative and boring. You will not find me complaining though. After the Purdue loss if you would have told me the Buckeyes would sweep Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan I would have said you were dreaming. So now that the Buckeyes have actually completed that feat, I am not going to gripe about how it was done. The fact is, it was! Yes, the game plan took the ball out of Pryor's hands. Yes, Tressel counted on the defense to come through with big plays. Yes, Tressel made us all wonder if we had a stomach ulcer. Regardless, he and the team got the job done. It wasn't my favorite style, but sometimes it is hard to argue with the results. 

Turnovers were the name of the game. While watching the game I really thought the defense looked pretty average at times, especially in the secondary. It was frustrating to watch Michigan neutralize the Buckeye rush with the hurry up offense, and push so many drives into redzone. Though the "D" could have helped themselves out with some three and outs, in their defense, Michigan won the field position battle all afternoon long. Michigan had six drives that started on their own 35 yard line or better. So the defense had their backs against the wall all afternoon. While they let the Wolverine offense get into a groove between the 20's, they did come up with an interception almost every time they needed to. Those turnovers would define the game, and honestly have been something that have defined the entire season. Ever since Rolle's pick on Navy's 2-point conversion in the first game, the defense has forced turnovers when things mattered most.   
Big drives from the offense at big times. Just as the defense came up with big turnovers when they needed to, the offense put together big drives every time Michigan got close. After Michigan converted a field goal to make the game 7-3, the Buckeyes responded in a big way (for the first time all game). Pryor and the backs came out in the spread, and walked down the field in a six play, 80 yard drive. The next time the Wolverines crept within four points was following the Pryor interception, as Forcier lead the Wolverines to a touchdown to bring the score to 14-10. With momentum not on their side, the offense once again responded. This time they had an 11 play drive that went 89 yards, capped off by a Pryor screen pass to Herron for the score. The importance of those two drives cannot be underestimated, and the offense deserves credit for their ability to get tough when things got tight.

Some other random thoughts:

*Kurt Coleman is one special player and will be missed. While all the safety talk around the nation centers around Eric Berry and Taylor Mays, I would not trade Coleman for anyone. Not only has he come up with big play after big play, but he is a great leader and a proven winner. Not only do I think he should get First-team All-Big Ten Honors, but I think he should get some consideration for All-American.

*Cameron Heyward and Thaddeus Gibson are fun to watch. When was the last time the Buckeyes had two more athletic and dominating defense ends? It has been awhile. The Buckeyes defense won the Big Ten title for the team this year, and both of these guys have had a huge role in that.

*Thoma will be remembered as an average punter at best. Tressel loves playing field position, but Thoma just isn't able to give the ball the kind of boot needed to pin people back. Michigan won the field position war in part because they out punted the Buckeyes.

*Got to give some credit to Boom and Zoom again. They have been a great one-two punch the last 3 weeks, and while neither is great solo back, together they have been unstoppable. Early in the season we all called for big runs, and these two guys have come up with plenty of those lately.
 


Comments

brent
11/24/2009 10:53

thoma has been killer at times, but the special teams has been the best the buckeyes have had in awhile. very few crappy plays.

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Ken
11/26/2009 10:58

Good points, all. First, a in in AA is a Good Win, regardless of how it happens.

As soon as we got the 2-score lead going ito the 4th qtr, you just knew that JT was going to take the air out of the ball to move the clock. Too bad Pryor didn't have just a bit more air under those long passes to Posey..

I think that TP and Boom/Zoom did a nice job with protecting the ball on Saturday; witness what happens when you don't.

As much as I was head-in-hand on a lot of offensive series, I was really impressed with OSU's ability to respond to UM scores with two long TD drives. They were well orchestrated and well executed.

This entire defense if fun to watch; really loaded with playmakers.

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jimmy J
11/29/2009 17:49

Boring game, not much comparison to the past rivalry, looking forward to the new rivalry against the Bearcats that will replace TSUN as "the game" in coming years when a yearly matchup is demanded by fans. It will feature the best offensively minded Ohio HS talent against the best defensively minded recruits.

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