Monday, October 09, 2006

Bowling Green Post-Game Thoughts

A win's a win, and the win over BG was a solid one, but it could have been better. The atmosphere all around for the game was a little weird. It was as if nobody wanted to be there: fans, players, coaches, nobody. In Block O, we tried to get into the game, but this was expected to be an easy win, so once we got that, everyone was just hoping for neat stuff to happen. The Ohio State players and coaches seemed to just want to get through the game as quickly and painlessly as possible, and the Bowling Green players and staff didn't seem too broken up about the outcome.

Let's rock the bullet points:
  • A great game for Troy Smith. Three incompletions, and three touchdowns. I think his stats are hurt by teams kicking away from Ted Ginn, and that was especially true against BG. Their punter shanked several punts to avoid returns from Ted, which led to short fields for the offense. If Troy wins the Heisman, it will either be proof that a player's quality and value cannot be measured by stats alone, or completely a product of the ESPN media machine, depending on who you ask.
  • A solid, if unspectacular, day for the running game. Antonio Pittman looked good, but the only really notable designed run (Troy's long scramble for a first down was obviously pretty cool) was Chris Well's failure to pick up a first down on fourth and short. I did not see that coming.
  • Ted Ginn finished with good stats, but I hope that those quick passes to him don't become a staple of the offense. I realize they are effectively a running play, and I don't mind a few of them, but I don't think they're all that effective. Ted just gets the ball, dances for a few yards, and gets tackled. If you want a big day from Ted, don't try to get him the ball in space; try to get him the ball on the run. He can't juke everyone on the field, but he can outrun just about anyone. More slants, crossing patterns, and flys; less swing passes.
  • Vernon Gholston's turning into a star on the defense. Quinn Pitcock's still the best player on the defense, but Gholston's closing the gap, thanks to improved play against the run. Plus, defensive ends get more glory. It's unfair, but it's true
  • Brandon Mitchell continues to deliver big hits. That makes me happy. He's become a very good player in his own right.
  • Not strictly defense, but a note to James Laurinaitis: in any game where you are not leading by three touchdowns, regardless of what any defensive back tells you, do not lateral the ball to anyone unless there is nobody within twenty yards of the two of you, neither one of you is moving, and you are facing each other. Even then, if you are going to give him the ball, I would prefer you calmly walk over to him, hand him the ball, and request a receipt. Laterals make me nervous.
  • I'm glad there's a week off between home games. The new field still needs a little work. The footing seemed to be better than the old field, but the field's not quite ready for primetime yet.
  • I don't know which was worse: that they had two guys I'd never heard of doing the game on ESPNPlus, or that I liked the guys better than several of the better-known broadcast teams.
  • A note to those who attend the games: please remove your hat for both the national anthem and "Carmen Ohio." Most guys have the national anthem thing down, but it's a heads up for the hat-wearing females among us who did not receive the indoctrination and instruction in hatiquette that most guys received. And there's just a lot of people out there that don't know you're supposed to remove your hat for the alma mater. So, take your hat off. Pet peeve of mine.

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