Sunday, September 03, 2006

Northern Illinois - The Day After

As you should be aware, OSU beat Northern Illinois, 35-12. I'd say the game pretty much met expectations. Offensively, Troy Smith was efficient, the running game was very good, and the Buckeyes were able to do pretty much whatever they wanted. The defense showed the makings of a great defense, but also gave up a ton of big plays. The kicking game was shaky. So overall, I wouldn't say we learned anything new from the game. Some more thoughts:

  • Troy Smith ran once, on an option. He had all day to throw, and he never panicked and took off running. He was making good decisions and good throws all game. He looked every bit a Heisman candidate.
  • The running game also was more than solid. The coaches look like they have a plan for using all three backs: Chris Wells for short yardage, Maurice Wells when you can get him in space, and Antonio Pittman in any situation. Maurice didn't look quite as good, but next to the performances given by Pittman and Chris Wells, it's tough to look good. All three will be fine.
  • The receivers were also good, and look to go pretty reliably six deep. Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez picked up right where they left off last season. Brian Robiskie did a great job filling in for Roy Hall, and Brian Hartline and Ray Small also looked good. If Hall doesn't play better than he has thus far, he'll lose his starting spot to Robiskie pretty quickly.
  • I didn't really notice the offensive line, which is a good thing, because it means they didn't mess up much. Given the success of the running game and the time Troy had to throw, one can conclude they had a good day. Hopefully they can keep it up against Texas, who will be just a bit better than a MAC team.
  • The D-line looked as good as advertised, for the most part. Quinn Pitcock had to be double teamed, which freed up the other guys to make plays. If the ball didn't get out of the backfield quickly, those guys came up with a sack or a tackle for a loss.
  • The linebackers looked kind of iffy. Sometimes they made big plays, other times they were invisible, or worse, missing tackles or misreading plays and giving up big plays. They'll get more consistent as the season wears on, though.
  • The secondary was pretty good, I thought. Malcolm Jenkins, in particular, impressed me as a tackler. It's tough to evaluate them, though, seeing as the Northern Illinois passing game was screens to Garrett Wolfe and screen passes to Garrett Wolfe and passes that should have gone to Garrett Wolfe.
  • At this point, the defense reminds me of the 2003 defense that always seemed to give up a bunch of yards, but not many points. If so, I'll take that. If a team doesn't score, they can rack up as many yards on us as they want.
Special Teams
  • I thought Aaron Pettrey had the big leg and accuracy problems, while Ryan Pretorious was accurate but didn't have the distance on his kicks. So why did Pretorious kick the long field goal and Pettrey the short one? How does that make sense?
  • Judging from what I saw yesterday, Pettrey should handle the kickoff duties. The more touchbacks we can get on kickoffs, the better.
  • Our return game should be solid. Gonzalez, Small, Jamario O'Neal, and of course, Ginn, are all capable of a big return.
  • Garrett Wolfe. Wow.
I was at the game, which makes serious analysis difficult. Maybe it's just me, but I think watching a game from a student section is different from watching elsewhere in the stadium, and especially watching at home. You don't think, "That's a good play fake, an excellent double-move by the wide receiver to get open, and a great pass to hit the receiver in stride for a touchdown." You think, "C'mon Bucks. . . . WOOOOO!!!!!" So you'll have to look elsewhere for quality analysis. Buckeye Commentary should do a good job of that once Keith gets around to it.

My seats for this game were in the fourth row of 11AA, by the northwest corner of the field. The great thing was that rows 1 and 2 were only four seats long, so I was effectively in the second row, which was very cool. I took a bunch of pictures, which you can see here. A few highlights:

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The Rotunda at the north end of Ohio Stadium

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The man, the myth, the legend: Joe Germaine

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Dotting the I in one of four Script Ohios

And, as a bonus, a video I took of Chris Wells' first touchdown. It's short, it's not great, but hey, it's a video:

All this photography likely won't be a regular thing, as my seats for the next game aren't as good, and then I move to Block O, in the south stands, which is even worse, from a photography standpoint. So I might throw out the occasional picture, but probably not a photo album of them.


Badger Tracker said...

Bucks looked great ... I'm moving them from #3 to #1 in my BlogPoll voting this week.

Wolfe was great too, but not nearly great enough.

Steve said...

Hey Sean, I see you're an Ohio State Student. I just transfered to Ohio State and got my tickets. I didn't sign up with any seating groups because I don't really know anyone, but I did go to the NIU game. I was in B-deck, in the top row. Not the best seats but the game was still a great experience.

I noticed my seats for the rest of the year are in C-deck. I was wondering if I'll be seated with a group of other students or if I'll just be in the crowd again. If I am totaly by myself is there any way to sit in a section(like the lower deck in the NE corner)with other students
my age so I can get loud, stand up, and make some friends?

Sean said...

Unless they do something weird with tickets for transfer students, I'm almost certain you'll be seated with some students, Steve. I've sat in Block O every year, so I don't have a lot of experience with the rest of the student sections, but I've been in a section with a bunch of students for every nonconference game I've been to. You should be able to stand and yell to your heart's content.

If you aren't in a student section for some reason, there isn't a whole lot you can do. I don't know of any way to exchange tickets, so you'd kind of be stuck. If you made friends with someone in Block O, they could probably smuggle you in; there's always a couple non-Blockies in the section.

But I wouldn't worry too much about it. I've never heard of a student getting seats outside of a student section.

Steve said...

Thanks, Sean. I'm sure I'll enjoy myself. Last year I was saying I'd do anything for tickets and that I don't care where they are. One game and I'm already getting greedy.