So, about that Ohio State offense. Woof.
The Buckeyes put on a performance for the ages, today against Michigan State. That is, if their ages were 8 or 9. They gained 178 yards in a 10-7 loss to the Spartans, 95 of it coming on their last two drives. The final drive covered 62 yards and ended in a touchdown pass by Joe Bauserman with 10 seconds remaining. Something to build on, I suppose.
But for the majority of the game, the Buckeyes were something worse than atrocious on offense, as true freshman Braxton Miller showed us all what it looks like when a true freshman with limited offensive weaponry around him plays against a legit Big Ten defense. That sight, but the way, is not pretty.
A week ago I wrote that Miller was the Buckeyes answer at quarterback, even though he struggled passing the football. Today he may have proven me wrong. I’m sure Miller, who is supremely talented (or so I hear), will one day be the man for the Buckeyes, and not out of necessity. But with DeVier Posey and Dan Herron coming back next week, it might be a better idea to just go with Bauserman and play boring, classic Big Ten offense. This is not to be confused with the so boring it’s kind of exciting offense that was on display today.
And before you get into the “Michigan State is top-ranked defense” argument, stop. The Spartans numbers are inflated by playing cupcakes and a Notre Dame team that was less interested in moving the ball and more interested in not letting Tommy Rees do Tommy Rees-type things in the second half. Even then, the Irish moved the ball up and down the field without a lot of interference at times.
The point is, this is not the best defense Ohio State is going to see this year, and yes things are going to get better when players return from suspension, but with who the Buckeyes have under center, it’s tough to even see it getting to “watchable.”
The defense is still solid, but it’s not as good as it has been, so I don’t see it being able to pull out games against better foes. It’s going to be a long season in Columbus.