It’s been ten years, and it’s always fun to go back and revisit Ohio State’s epic upset of Miami. Many call it the greatest college football game ever.
SI has a very entertaining oral history of the game 10 years later, with quotes from various players and coaches as they tell the story of the game. It’s fascinating to hear Dustin Fox and Donnie Nickey explaining the hard hits they took that almost certainly gave them concussions during the game.
The Buckeyes also discuss the play above when Miami fans whine about the penalty in overtime. Had this third down play near the end of regulation been called correctly for Ohio State, the Buckeyes would have won without overtime.
It was an incredible game, with amazing talent on both rosters. Check out the article and the video above.
That pretty much describes the Ohio State Buckeyes so far in 2012.
The special teams have been terrible. Last week they gave up a punt return for a touchdown. This week it was a pathetic blocked punt.
The defense has been disappointing. They’ve had their moments, and the unit has real potential, but we don’t see a dominating unit, at least not yet.
Meanwhile, on offense, the Buckeyes can’t seem to get much going until Miller start cutting a spinning his way to some incredible runs. His passing has improved, so now he’s a legitimate dual threat quarterback, but he excels when he’s running with the ball.
He doesn’t have quite the speed of a Denard Robinson, and he isn’t quite as strong as Terrelle Pryor, but as a runner Miller is just as good as both of them. He has the natural moves and cutting ability of an elite running back as he seems to effortlessly cut through defenses.
We’ll see if this Ohio State team can get better as they work their way through a mediocre Big Ten schedule, but so far they’re being carried by Braxton Miller.
University of Florida head coach Urban Meyer stands on the sideline during the second quarter of their Southeastern Conference NCAA football game against the University of Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Daron Dean (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)
Everyone is reporting it now. SPORTSbyBROOKS.com got things going with a detailed report on discussions between Meyer and Ohio State. There was nothing new about the rumors of course, but Brooks had details on the status of the discussions. SI linked to it, and then ESPN felt compelled to ask Meyer during the Michigan game yesterday about the rumor. Meyer issue a non-denial “denial” that only fueled the story even more. ESPN then issued their own report on the discussions between Meyer and Ohio State, but unlike SI they wouldn’t credit Brooks.
Bottom line – this looks like it’s going to happen. Luke Fickell isn’t going to be the head coach next year, and the Buckeyes have clearly targeted Meyer, and he seems to want the job.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (R) celebrates with Devin Smith after a touchdown run against Wisconsin during the fourth quarter of their NCAA football game in Columbus, Ohio October 29, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
We’ve seen flashes of Braxton Miller’s talent, but last night we saw the freshman quarterback win a game with his ability and his moxie, as he beat the Wisconsin Badgers with his legs and his arm in spectacular fashion.
The kid has incredible cutting ability, so it’s fun to watch him run. He also has breakaway speed. And, last night he showed he can throw the ball. He may not be Andrew Luck, but he has the ability to be an excellent college quarterback.
Braxton Miller is remarkably unexcitable. When I asked him about his emotions as the players and fans stormed the field, he said his main focus was to make sure he didn’t get hurt in the scrum. When I asked if anything in his life makes him nervous, he said maybe giving a speech in class.
Word is he also winked to Coach Fickell before going onto the field for the last drive, signaling he had it covered.
Ohio State players celebrate after their victory over Wisconsin in their NCAA football game in Columbus, Ohio October 29, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Few people gave them a chance, but the smart money in Vegas saw the opening line of Ohio State +9.5 and started pushing it down as money flowed to the Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes reasserted their rightful place as one of the powers of the Big Ten by reminding Wisconsin who was boss last night with a thrilling victory over the Badgers.
The Buckeyes dominated the line of scrimmage all night long, and all the hype around Wisconsin melted away as the game went on. The Badgers then came storming back and almost won the game, but Braxton Miller came of age with a stunning 40-yeard TD with 20 seconds left to seal the victory for the Buckeyes.
Some idiots on Twitter tried to criticize Ohio State fans for storming the field after beating a 15th-ranked team, but this has become a real rivalry, and the Bucks had a score to settle after last year’s loss in Wisconsin. It’s also been a rough year for the Buckeyes, so the elation was real after Ohio State fans had to listen to the Badger hype all year long.
Luke Fickell deserves credit for his own growth in the job. He’s slow to figure things out, but he eventually seems to get things right.
This one could get ugly. The Ohio State offense is so anemic right now that everyone around the country seems to think this game is over before it gets started.
One key will involve the Buckeye defense. This unit has been pretty strong all season. They will have to keep it up this week and probably force some turnovers. Nebraska has it’s own problems with interceptions, so we might see the defense carry the load this week.
On offense, the Buckeyes just need to be competent, and that hasn’t been the case against good teams. Luke Fickell and Jim Bollman need to understand that they don’t have Troy Smith or Terrelle Pryor running this offense. They either need to go with other quarterbacks, or they need to craft a game plan that makes sense for Braxton Miller. They need to wake up.
Ohio State quarterback Joe Bauserman (2nd R) scores a touchdown against the University of Akron during the first quarter of their NCAA football game in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Luke Fickell may not have figured it out during the debacle in Miami, but with more time to study film and think about the matter, he has decided to start Braxton Miller at quarterback this Saturday against Colorado in place of Joe Bauserman.
Maybe it’s inexperience, but he should have done more to address the situation during the game against the Canes. It was clear that Bauserman’s abilities couldn’t carry the Buckeyes against a talented defense. Miller got some playing time, but it was clear that Fickell and the coaches wouldn’t let him do much besides running a wildcat-type offense.
It’s time to let Miller play and learn under pressure. If the Buckeyes lose some games along the way – so be it.
At least Fickell did the right thing. Many of us are down on him after last week’s game, so now he has a chance to resurrect his head coaching career. He’s young, just like Miller, and he’s going to make mistakes. Hopefully this is a sign that he can recognize mistakes and correct them quickly.
Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell watches his players prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
I’m rooting for Luke Fickell. While many Buckeye fans are holding their breath hoping for Urban Meyer in 2012, I’m hoping that Fickell shows Buckeye Nation that he deserves the job.
That said, last night’s loss to Miami was an embarrassment, and much of the blame has to be put on the young coach.
Like many fans, I was somewhat fooled by Joe Bauserman’s performance in the opener against Akron. But last week against Toledo we started to see some problems, and it became clear to even the casual observer that the Buckeyes would need to be more aggressive with Braxton Miller in order to beat the good teams.
Based on last night, it seems that Fickell has no clue as to how to manage quarterbacks or tight games in general. Buckeye quarterbacks completed just 4 of 17 passes for 36 yards. That’s just stunning incompetence. Fickell and the coaches did nothing to let the quarterbacks establish a rhythm. For Miller, they tightened up and panicked after he threw an INT and then turned him into a one-dimensional running quarterback. He made some nice plays, but the took away the pass and made it clear they had no confidence in him.
They need to develop Miller, because you can’t beat good teams with Bauserman. I would have been fine with a loss last night had they unleashed Miller and let him learn and make mistakes.
Fickell also seemed clueless at the end of the game, as he didn’t use any timeouts as Miami ran out the clock. Sure, the game was over, but it’s like he gave up.
Fickell needs to wake up and get Miller in there for good. If he doesn’t, this season will be a lost season, and we’ll have another head coach next season.
Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner (11) scores a touchdown as he is chased by University of Akron safety Josh Richmond (L) during the second quarter of their NCAA football game in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Following a brutal off-season dominated by tattoos and the departure of Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor, many people were counting out the Buckeyes for 2011. Others were just a little uncertain about what the Buckeyes had for this season. A few like Kirk Herbstreit and some other experts were willing to go out on a limb and say that the Buckeyes would be a force again in the Big Ten.
You can’t draw too many conclusions from watching one game against a very weak Akron team, but there was plenty to get excited about after one game.
1. The Buckeyes have two good options at quarterback
I was very skeptical about Joe Bauserman but he looked very good yesterday. He played against a weak defense and had open receivers, but he consistently hit them. He also showed some mobility and solid leadership. Meanwhile, Braxton Miller looked very good as well, and you could see why he was a highly touted recruit. He has a great arm with a quick release, and he’s also very athletic. He also has a quiet and clam demeanor about him, which makes him look like a potential leader. At the end of the game, Chris Spielman noted that we didn’t see one bad throw from either quarterback. After watching Terrelle Pryor consistently miss easy throws this was a refreshing change.
I can see them using both quarterbacks for a while and that’s just fine with me. I don’t compare this to the Stanley Jackson/Joe Germaine fiasco where Germaine was clearly the better option. Here, we have a 25-year-old senior who seems to be rising to the challenge and a very talented true freshman who has a ton of upside. I think we’ll need Miller to beat teams like Wisconsin and Nebraska, but Bauserman gives the Buckeyes a security blanket and gives Miller room to grow into the role of team leader.
2. The Buckeyes are loaded at running back
We knew that going in, but this unit was put to the test as only sophomore Carlos Hyde and freshman Rod Smith were available for the game. Frankly these guys reminded me of Beanie Wells and Eddie George as they’re both 235 pounds and they ran with authority. There’s no doubt that Fickell is going to stress the running game this year, and it’s clear he has the horses to do it. The biggest issue will be finding carries for everyone when the rest of the guys return.
3. The receivers will be fine
They’re young an inexperienced, but the receiving corps looks fine. They didn’t drop any passes and Evan Spencer made a spectacular one-handed catch. Meanwhile, tight end Jake Stoneburner looks like a real threat as he pulled down three touchdowns and provided a big target for the QBs.
4. The defense keeps on rolling
We really don’t know how good this defense can be, but again we saw the size and athleticism you would expect from a Buckeye defense. This team is still loaded with athletes and all the off-season BS just doesn’t matter.
5. Luke Fickell is ready
Again, one game means nothing. But Luke Fickell had the Buckeyes ready to play, and he’s pushing this team to excel. He’s focusing on the running game, yet he’s smart enough to let the run set up the pass. I want him to succeed, because we don’t need to be that program that looks to the big-name coach as a savior. We have the recruits, and Fickell bleeds scarlet & gray, so he should be given every opportunity to lead this program for years to come.
I think many people around the country took notice yesterday. Even though it was an Akron game, the Buckeyes served notice that they are still loaded with talent. Hopefully the NCAA won’t rain on this party with idiotic sanctions.