Baver's Buckeye Bag 1/6/15
I mentioned in last week's Buckeye Bag that I thought Ohio State would be "ready" and that the Bama game was certainly a winnable game for Ohio State. But I thought that Ohio State would come up on the short end of things. Being wrong never felt so good. It's starting to look downright stupid to pick against Urban Meyer in big games.
The thing that I thought would be Ohio State's undoing was Bama's rush defense. That obviously wasn't the case, as Ezekiel Elliott had a field day, finishing off his already big game with the 85-yard TD run in the 4th quarter. That is a run we will be talking about for decades. But let's not give all the credit to Zeke, as the O-line created the hole and Evan Spencer took out the last defender (Shaun Dion Hamilton) that could have made the play. I've said it before, and will say it again - Ed Warinner is the best O-line coach in the country and I am now convinced Evan Spencer is the best blocking WR ever to don a Buckeye uniform.
The other thing that surprised me a bit was the effectiveness that Cardale Jones had running with the football. If you take away the negative plays (in which three sacks contributed heavily toward), Cardale had 89 positive rushing yards against the vaunted Bama defense. Seems that Bama didn't foresee Cardale running as much as he did, with OSU basically not having a backup QB if Jones were to have gone down. Urban is a cowboy at times, but who can question the results?
Other misc thoughts:
- Word on the street is that Luke Fickell had to talk Urban into offering the scholarship to Darron Lee. If that's true, God bless Luke Fickell.
- I think I could watch the replay of Evan Spencer's TD pass to Michael Thomas a million times and still shake my head - simply amazing....the pass and the catch.
- Hats off to Curtis Grant. The kid has been eaten alive by Buckeye fans the past few years. Great kid that has stuck it out through some tough times on and off the field, and played the best game of his career against the Tide. Great story.
- The cockiness of Ezekiel Elliott (with the "feed me" gesture) and Devin Smith (with his taunting and "shhh" gestures) still drives me crazy, but man can these two kids flat out play.
- Note to the Boren family: keep having kids and keep sending them Ohio State's way.
- Bucks underdogs, yet again, in the Title Game. But why fear when you've seen what Urban and this Buckeye team has done? Bring on the Ducks and let's finish it off with a National Championship.
Finally, I saw the question asked on a message board....where do you rank this win in your lifetime of watching Ohio State football? I came up with 12 wins that stick out in my mind, and did my best to rank them.
#12 31-26 win over Arkansas (2010 season, 2011 Sugar Bowl) - Vacated wins be damned; Bucks got the SEC monkey off their back
#11 31-16 win over Michigan (1998) - Bucks got revenge on UM after three straight heartbreaking defeats in '95, '96 & '97.
#10 45-26 win over Notre Dame (1995) - 1st matchup of historic programs since the '30's; Terry Glenn's 3rd qtr 82 yd catch & run was one for the ages.
#9 22-13 win over Iowa (1985) - Bucks beat #1 ranked team in the country, picking off Heisman front-runner Chuck Long 4 times.
#8 59-0 win over Wisconsin (2014 B1G Champ Game) - After losing 2nd Heisman candidate QB, Bucks, a 4-pt dog, pasted the Badgers.
#7 26-17 win over Oregon (2009 season, 2010 Rose Bowl) - The "big & slow" Bucks were given no chance by the talking heads.
#6 42-35 win over Alabama (2014 season, 2015 Sugar Bowl/Playoff semi) - Bucks beat #1 ranked team and SEC's best with 3rd team QB.
#5 18-15 win over Michigan (1979) - 4th quarter blocked punt/TD gave OSU win and undefeated regular season in Earle's 1st year.
#4 42-39 win over Michigan (2006) - Undefeated vs undefeated in best rivalry in all of sports; 6 different Buckeyes scored TD's.
#3 14-9 win over Michigan (2002) - Will Allen's pick on game's last play sent Bucks to Tempe, AZ to play for Nat'l Title.
#2 20-17 win over Arizona (1996 season, 1997 Rose Bowl) - Joe Germaine's led dramatic last minute TD drive to pull out win.
#1 31-24 win over Miami (2002 season, 2003 Fiesta Bowl/Nat'l Title) - The most dramatic of dramatic OSU victories ever.
A look at the National Championship matchup in a few days....