Ohio State-Ohio Instant Post-Game Analysis: Five Observations

Phil HarrisonCorrespondent ISeptember 18, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 18:  Dan Herron #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is tackled in the open field by Travis Carrie #18 of the Ohio Bobcats at Ohio Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The real O-H-I-O came into the horseshoe and got B-E-A-T-D-O-W-N.  As is tradition, here are five observations from the game:

5. Not so special teams...again.

It now sounds like a broken record, and a lot of special teams can be attributed to a lucky bounce here or there, but Ohio State is continuously showing that its special teams unit needs some serious work. It isn't now just a perfect storm occurrence happening, but a trend.  

This time around, the Buckeyes dodged a bullet when a 99-yard kickoff return was negated by a Bobcat penalty.  Other gaffes that were not bailed out, however, included a blocked punt and some suspect coverage on kick offs.  

This blemish has not been costly yet, but if the trend continues, a chance at a championship is going to get blocked as well.  I guarantee that Tressel is having sleepless nights on this one.

 4. Ohio State is a serious national title contender

Okay, Ohio did not exactly provide stiff competition, but game by game, it becomes increasingly clear that the Buckeyes have a supremely talented team.

The fact that they have yet to play a perfect game in all aspects yet continue to dominate speaks volumes.  They are fast, deep, and have game breakers in the right spot. Barring an injury to Terrelle Pryor, this team should be there in the end. 

3. There is a ceiling to how good the Ohio Bobcats can be

Sorry, Frank Solich.  You have taken the Bobcats to a new level, but there is not much more you can do to become any type of consistent player from the MAC.  

The southern Ohio team in sleepy little Athens, Ohio may put a solid team together every once in a while, but there are just too many disadvantages in recruiting for Solich to expect much more than where the program has come to. 

Frank Solich is a Ohio-bred guy, and has almost performed miracles by making Ohio competitive, but the environment is way different than what he had at Nebraska.  

It is apparent that either Solich likes where is by being back home in Ohio, or nobody is knocking on his door to take over a bigger program.

2. Terrelle Pryor makes up for a lot of deficiencies on offense

Let's call a spade a spade.  There is just not a prototypical Ohio State tailback ready to take the reins of the ground game.  

In most years, this would be a huge problem.  Devier Posey could certainly start on about any team in the nation, but he is not the bona fide NFL type of talent that OSU has had in years past.

Despite it all, you have to account for Pryor.  He has not looked like a supreme superstar this year, but that is because every team that comes in keys on him big time.

Because all of the defensive game plans are predicated towards containing Pryor, it opens things up for everybody else.

1. Jake Stoneburner is just another tight end for Ohio State

This is nothing negative toward Stoneburner because he does posses more than above average talent for a tight end.  The issue is one that has seemed to always be the case at Ohio State: The tight end will never be a featured spot with this coaching staff.

Stoneburner is being looked at as a safety valve here and there, and does get thrown to more often than years past.

But coming out of spring and fall camp, all of the talk was that the Sophomore from Dublin, Ohio was going to be a featured target of Pryor that would be a game stretcher.  Yes he scored a touchdown in this game, but it was the result of a progression.

Ohio State has set the bar so high that even a blow out feels like a ho-hum type of performance.

There is a lot of good things to take from this game, but the glaring weakness still remains on special teams. They'll have another shot to get it right against Eastern Michigan next week.