Sunday, October 01, 2006

Iowa Post-Game Thoughts

38-17. That's convincing. It's not totally unexpected, either. Iowa hasn't looked like a top-10 team all season (says the guy who has them at #9). They've been riding on expectations, and they haven't really materialized. That's not to say that Iowa's not a good team, just that they haven't shown it thus far. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, should be able to roll through the schedule until Michigan, so long as they don't believe they can just roll through the schedule until Michigan. Hype is their biggest opponent right now.

Some thoughts. . . .

When Ohio State had the ball
  • Not a great day, yardage-wise, for Troy Smith, but still a great performance. He threw some nice passes today. In particular, his touchdown to Brian Robiskie was fantastic, throwing the ball before Robo was even open. That was the kind of throw you have to make in the NFL, getting the ball to the guy that will get open, not the guy that is open.
  • I had started to wonder if Anthony Gonzalez was getting a little overrated. He seemed to be getting an awful lot of hype. Then he went ahead and had a great game today (5 catches, 77 yards, 2 TDs) , preemptively shutting me up. His second touchdown catch was a thing of beauty.
  • Speaking of that touchdown catch, did you see Brian Hartline take out two linemen to spring Gonzo at the end? Great block.
  • It was a good day on the ground for the Buckeyes. Antonio Pittman was Antonio Pittman, going over 100 yards on 25 carries, and Beanie Wells did more than just convert third-and-shorts. This was definitely Beanie's best game in his young career.
  • The line did a great job protecting Troy. Alternatively, Iowa did a poor job pressuring the QB. However you look at it, Troy had all the time he needed to throw, and a lot of the credit must go to the line.
When Iowa had the ball
  • Pretty bad day for Drew Tate. He went 19 of 41 with three picks. He missed guys several times, and a lot of receivers dropped passes they should have caught. Not good times for him. Good times for me, though.
  • I don't really think I'd like to have Tate as a teammate. It's great to be competitive and fired up and everything, but there's something to be said for not being a jerk to your teammates, too. Several times he'd yell at linemen after sacks or receivers after drops. He is without question the best player Iowa has, but I'd prefer criticism from the leader of my team to be of the constructive sort.
  • Another game, another turnover for James Laurinaitis. He had a nice all-around game, but I think everyone was waiting for him to get a pick. It was inevitable.
  • Vernon Gholston put together a good game, too. Of note was a play where he was trying to shed a blocker with his left hand, then just reached out with his right hand and grabbed a running back trying to get by him. Dude's strong.
  • Brandon Mitchell had another solid game. He's good in run support, good against the pass, just good overall.
  • Marcus Freeman finally had a good game. His interception was very nice. Hopefully it was a sign of things to come, not a fluke
  • Statistically, we had a good game against the run, but that's deceiving. We held Iowa to 87 yards on the ground, mostly because they had to throw to get back into the game and to keep Tate from having a tantrum. The team looked better against the run, but they still have work to do.
  • I think we've established what sort of defense we have. You can move the ball some against them, but they will capitalize on any mistake you make.
Overall, that went about as well as we could have hoped. Now it should be smooth sailing until Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of those games are tougher than expected. Hopefully the team continues to execute as well as they did today.


Kolchak said...

Nobody ever comments around here, but I just wanted to let you know I read your posts every day, faithfully waiting for my Buckeye analysis craving, something that is hard to satisfy in my city, Pittsburgh. Keep up the good work, man.

Herringbone said...

I read your stuff Sean...

Tough break with Russell...we'll see if Jamario is ready to step up

AH said...

Good Stuff. Tate annoyed me too. I'm tired of hearing how "Fiery" he is. Go Buckeyes!

Sean said...

Thanks for the comments, y'all. Kolchak, glad to know someone out there enjoys what I do. Thanks for reading, I'll try to keep up the good stuff, and decrease the amount of crappiness.

As for Jamario, I bet he improves quickly with playing time. Sounded like his problem was with the mental aspect of playing safety, and that'll come with time. I seem to remember Donte Whitner having a similar problem early in his career, and he turned out alright.

And yeah, it's a good thing we don't have to hear about Drew Tate anymore.