Just The Facts
Saturday’s 31-16 victory over Central Florida ended at 3:13pm. In the college fan bases for the other 123 FBS schools, they would be pleased and would be heading to the local greasy spoon by 3:15 for some post game wings and fries. That is just not Buckeye Nation, we are never satisfied. The excitement of the Meyer hire has caused people to forget the embarrassment that was the 6-7 2011 season. We had work to do! Yet the average fan thinks with their heart and with their emotions.
My opinion however, there were areas of concern. This isn’t my emotion speaking though, it is reality. To prove it, I will go all Dragnet on you with the numbers so this is ’just the facts’.
1 – This is the number of sacks the Buckeyes recorded. If the defensive line is supposed to be the strength of the defense, this is not acceptable in a game where the opposing QB dropped back for 42 passes. I realize Nathan Williams did not play; regardless the line needs to get more pressure applied.
3 – The number of turnovers for the Scarlet and Gray, coming off week 1 without any turnovers. Miller’s interception was a gift for UCF, just a bad throw. He needs to learn and move on. As for the fumbles, Boren needs to secure the ball if he is going to continue to be a favorite of the offensive play calls. And Rod Smith’s drop, I think the only thing that dropped farther than that ball out of his hands was how far he dropped on the depth chart.
5 – This number is the pressure that is on the Buckeyes. After two weeks, 5 is the number Big Ten schools that have not lost yet. This past weekend was not a good one for the conference and the Spartans and Buckeyes need to carry the torch.
5.5 – Average yards per play for the Black Knights. Urban Meyer did say this was a Big Ten caliber team though, to that point the Buckeyes averaged 5.5 yards per offensive play as well.
10 – OSU committed ten penalties and that is way too many. You are not going to beat elite teams playing with that many mistakes. 79 yards is almost the entire length of the field in free yards.
27 – If we want Braxton Miller to be effective for ten more games he cannot have another game where he carries the ball 27 times. Enough said, the media has already beaten this one to death.
104,745 – The games attendance was clearly well under the levels we are used to seeing in Ohio Stadium. Was it the competition level, that usually never matters. Was it the weather? It was cloudy at first but it was a great day over all to watch a football game. Perhaps it is the ticket price, has the university finally reached a price point that is beyond the interest level of the average fan? We knew there are fewer people on the sidelines thanks to Jerry, but why are so many seats empty?
With Cal coming in this weekend, I believe we need to see improvement in these areas to see the growth we want from the Buckeyes. Then again, in the end the only number that will matter is 3, as in 3 wins in 2012.