Ohio State Football: 10 Things We Learned from the Purdue Game
With all odds against the OSU football team, they somehow came away with a victory against the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday thanks to their relentless effort and attitude of never giving up. They have showed this type of effort game in and game out this season as they have yet to lose a game.
Purdue often gives Ohio State a run for their money, however, and that didn't change this time around as the fate of the Buckeyes and Boilermakers was decided in overtime for the second straight year.
The most important thing is that the Buckeyes came out of this game on top and they remain undefeated on the year. But this wasn't before a few lessons were learned about the team.
So here are 10 things we learned about the Buckeyes in their overtime win versus the Boilermakers on Saturday.
10. The Buckeyes Still Can't Shake the Slow Starts
In almost every game this season, the Buckeyes offense has gotten off to a slow start. Ohio State has looked very sluggish in the first quarter, generating just 707 yards on offense while allowing their opponents to gain 788 yards.
Had they woke up in the first quarter of the first eight games, the Buckeyes most likely would have won those games by bigger margins.
9. Carlos Hyde Is Just as Important as Braxton Miller on Offense
While Braxton Miller is the focal point of the Ohio State offense, Carlos Hyde is quietly making a huge impact. Miller's value to the team is crucial. However, he has shown that he has the propensity to get hurt.
So with Hyde carrying the football and having success on the ground, Miller won't have to run as much. Therefore, he will sustain less hits and avoid getting hurt.
In a sense, this makes Hyde just as important as Miller is to the offense.
8. Braxton Miller Isn't Superman
Is Braxton Miller one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country? You bet! Is he the heart and soul of the Ohio State offense? Of course he is! Is he Superman? Ehh...not by a long shot.
With concussion symptoms in Saturday's matchup versus the Boilermakers, Miller once again had to leave a game with injury issues. This isn't the first time that has happened this season.
The good news is that Miller will be good to go as it was determined that the sophomore hadn't sustained a critical injury, such as a concussion.
However, will he perform well for Meyer without getting hurt over the next four games? Only time will tell.
7. The Bucks Are Flirting with Disaster by Playing Down to Their Opponents
All year long, the Ohio State football team has played down to the skill level of its opponents. Against California, the Buckeyes barely escaped with a victory at home thanks to three missed field goals by the Golden Bears kicker.
The Bucks came close to losing against a rather soft Indiana team as well, as their defense allowed the Hoosiers to rack up 49 points against them. It's been pretty scary for Buckeye fans to say the least.
When is Urban Meyer's squad gonna obliterate a weaker team instead of letting them hang around all game long? And how will they respond against the tougher teams like Wisconsin or Michigan?
6. Ryan Shazier Continues to Stand out on Defense
With all of Ohio State's inconsistencies on the defensive side of the ball, sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier is the one guy who shows up game in and game out.
The Florida native led the team in tackles for the fifth time this season on Saturday, recording 13 tackles against the Boilermakers.
Shazier is leading the team with 78 tackles on the year while averaging 9.75 tackles per game. At this rate, he'll end up with 117 tackles on the year.
5. WR Devin Smith Continues to Prove That He's a Viable Deep Threat
Though Devin Smith only caught two balls in Saturday's matchup against the Boilermakers, they were for a total of 48 yards (24 yards per catch). That's an excellent amount of yards accumulated per catch.
There's a reason why Smith is targeted so much deep down field. He's simply a beast. On the year he leads the team in receiving yards (505), yards per catch (22.0), and touchdowns (six).
The scary thing for the rest of the Big Ten defenses is the fact that Devin Smith is only a sophomore.
4. Luke Fickell Officially Needs to Be Let Go
There's a reason why the Buckeyes only had a 6-7 record last season: Luke Fickell was in control of things all year. Give me one good reason why athletic director Gene Smith should keep him around.
Though the Buckeyes have more talent on their roster, just about each and every team in the B1G, they aren't playing assignment football, and the defense is being exploited on the ground and in the air.
They definitely aren't looking like the silver bullet defenses that Jim Tressel and Jim Heacock put together over the last decade or so.
3. Kenny Guiton Has Ice in His Veins
After starting off the game going just two of five while passing for a mere 11 yards and an interception, backup quarterback Kenny Guiton kept his composure and guided his Buckeyes to an improbable come from behind victory.
The junior out of Houston, Texas, completed six out of 11 passes for 77 yards while throwing a touchdown pass with just seconds left in the game, and tossing a clutch two-point conversion pass to a wide-open Jeff Heuerman to send the game to overtime.
Guiton looked as if he were the starting quarterback out there for the Buckeyes.
2. Braxton Miller Will Be Okay
After bursting for 30-plus yards on a quarterback keeper, Braxton Miller went down hard with concussion-like symptoms. Very slow to get up and get carried off the field, Miller was taken to the OSU Hospital about a soccer field's length from the stadium where he was determined to be okay.
The star most likely suffered from a very minor stinger, but he should be 100 percent for Ohio State's matchup versus the Nittany Lions.
1. You Can't Count This Team out Until the Final Whistle Blows
Down by eight points late in the fourth quarter with their starting quarterback being evaluated in the The Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, many fans gave up on their beloved Buckeyes. In fact, nearly 30,000 fans left the stadium with a little over two minutes left in the game.
They missed an excellent comeback led by backup quarterback Kenny Guiton, and a defense that put the clamps down late in the game.
The Buckeyes showed resilience in a time when they needed it most, and they proved that they could come away with a tough victory in the face of adversity. That's one thing that the Buckeyes couldn't do last season.
This team is special.