Football weekend

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Buckeyes roll

Ohio State proved to everyone in the nation that they are indeed the #1 team in the country with their 24-7 thrashing of the Longhorns in Texas, and it really wasn’t that close. Did they play a perfect game? No, but they did dominate from the opening tailgate party outside the stadium to the moment the final gun sounded inside it.

Call them the “Fun Bunch”, the “Three Amigos”, the “Cleveland Connection”. Hell, call them whatever you want, but Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez gave the defending national champions fits on Saturday night.

When you add their totals together they accounted for over 500 yards of offense and two touchdowns. Smith was in complete control, using his arm, legs and brain to shred the Texas secondary for 269 yards and two TD passes. Gonzo caught one of those scores to go along with his 143 receiving yards. And the “Magnificent 7” grabbed five passes for 96 yards and the back-breaking touchdown right before halftime. Of course, as Smith pointed out numerous times after the game, none of that would have been possible if not for the great work of the offensive line.

Defensively, the “Baby Buckeyes”, led by linebacker James Laurinaitis, forced two HUGE turnovers and held the Horns to just 7 points. Number 33 was credited with 13 tackles, 10 solo, to go along with a forced fumble and an interception. If he’s not the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Week, then that award should never be given out again. Jim Tressel played a lot of kids on the defensive side of the ball to keep everyone fresh in the 90-degree heat and that coaching strategy seemed to work to the Buckeyes advantage. Granted, for the second game in a row, they didn’t stop the run between the 20’s as they gave up 174 yards on 31 carries and missed a lot of tackles. But for the second game in a row, they only gave up one touchdown. They are still a work in progress, but that’s exactly what they’ve made since training camp started…progress. And they will continue to do so with more experience.

Browns frustrate, as usual

Now on to the Browns. I felt like Michael J. Fox came and picked me up in his time machine today and took me back to 1999. Sitting in the press box at Browns stadium Sunday, I couldn’t wait until halftime because I knew I was leaving to go coach my son’s baseball game. But the first half was all I needed to see to know that the Browns are a bad football team.

The game started with Charlie Frye hooking up with Braylon Edwards for a 74-yard touchdown pass, only to have that called back because of a holding call on new, high-priced left tackle Kevin Shaffer. Where’s L.J. Shelton when you need him? Then Rueben Droughns ran for zero yards on 1st and 20. Charlie Frye was then sacked on second and third down and the Borwns were forced to punt. That’s right, four plays into the game the Browns had a touchdown called back because of a penalty followed by a run for no yards and two sacks. If that doesn’t get the fans excited for the 2006 season I don’t know what will. It took the Browns about 28 minutes to pick up a first down. And just when it looked like they would get back in the game right before halftime, they fumbled the ball away deep in New Orleans territory. They did all this against the lowely Saints, who won three less games than the Browns did last season. (Saints 3-13…Browns 6-10)

The Browns did make a game of it eventually at 16-14 in the second half, thanks in part to the fact that they were playing the awful Saints. But in the end, more mistakes and turnovers led to New Orleans picking up their first win with Reggie Bush as their featured offensive weapon, defeating the mistake-prone Browns 19-14.

So summing up this weekend, I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
“In Tress We Trust”…Go Buckeyes! With the Browns, we hope and pray that someday things will turn around and Randy Lerner’s football team will be better than his soccer team!

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