Colin: Ok, you were at Happy Valley, what were you thinking as the OSU field goal team ran on the field before the ill-fated attempt?
Baver: When they sent the field goal unit out, I thought it was probably the right call. When the clock ran down, and they seemed to have to hurry to get the kick off, I thought they should have called time out. After watching the replay, the play-clock winding down did not seem to affect the kick. Hindsight is 20/20…I didn’t question the call before it was blocked; probably not fair for me to second-guess it after seeing the result. And I can’t remember when Ohio State has had a blocked FG returned for a TD against them. That was just one of the many things that went wrong in what was a nightmare of a Saturday night.
Colin: Did you still think we could come back down and win the game?
Baver: I thought it was possible, but doubtful. I’m a realist. The OSU O-line had gotten their collective asses handed to them all game and their WRs were being blanketed by PSU defenders.
Colin: What took us so long to get the ball to Samuel?
Baver: This is mind boggling….it really is. Meyer said Monday that they are moving away from trying to “force” Samuel the ball. Huh? The guy had 2 carries, one of which was a 74-yard TD run. TWO CARRIES! Whoever is calling the majority of plays, be it Warriner or Urban, is absolutely shitting the bed here. It honestly makes me want to break something.
Colin: The bubble screen used to be our bread and butter to get us into 2nd and 6 while still putting pressure on the opposing D to tackle one of our superior athletes in space. Where has it been? What else is missing from this offense?
Baver: I think opposing D’s have added measures now to stop the bubble screen, but they still have to get the ball to #4 more. I don’t have as much problems with the play calling in general as much as most Buckeye fans. Two big problems that are killing this offense: (1) the O-line is regressing, and (2) The X and Y WR’s are honestly among the worst in the Big Ten at this point. Fix these issues and the play calling will look worlds better.
Colin: Is this loss a wake up call or a reality check?
Baver: Both. I think much of this young team thought it was smooth sailing after Oklahoma and it’s been anything but; I expect more sense of urgency from here on out. As for the reality check….this O-line played as if Jim Bollman was still coaching them…absolutely dominated by the PSU defensive front. I fear confidence problems potentially plaguing this O-line for a bit and the downfield passing issues are going to linger.
Colin: Northwestern comes in with a head of steam, should we be worried?
Baver: I would be very surprised if the Buckeyes got upset back-to-back weeks…they should be hungrier this week. But Clayton Thorson is a QB on the rise and Justin Jackson has been the best-kept secret in the Big Ten for a few years now.
Colin: What other games and lines will you be keeping an eye on this week?
Baver: Northwestern +27 ½ is the play in Columbus, unfortunately I think. Still, I don’t think the game will be in much doubt; the call: Ohio State 31 Northwestern 13. At first glance, the spread looks ridiculous in Ann Arbor, with the Wolvereenies laying 24 ½ against Sparty. But Hairball is going to run this one up big time. Lay the 24 ½ if you can stomach betting Michigan….it’s payback time. State Penn has not covered the week after the Ohio State game in any of the last 3 seasons. It’s a noon kick in West Lafayette, which often magnifies big game hangovers. Take the Boilers g