Ohio State Shocked the World -- if only for 2 & 1/2 quarters in Lincoln, Nebraska last night -- then, they got shell-shocked as the Cornhuskers came back from a 27-6 third-quarter deficit to defeat the Buckeyes 34-27.
Ohio State was an 11-point underdog, so in a lot of ways, this performance was above and beyond what many expected from the Bucks. That being said, we don't play for moral victories at The Ohio State University -- this ain't Ann Arbor people -- it's still a loss.
Why/How OSU Imploded and Ultimately Lost1. Braxton Miller injured his ankle midway through the third and he was unable to return
2. The coaches brought in the incapable Joe Bauserman -- to replace the injured Miller -- who has proven he is, well, incapable.
3. After having success running the ball most of the game and with the previously noted incapable Bauserman in under center, the coaches mind-blowingly decided to pass more than run (10 passing plays vs. eight running plays). Bauserman proceeded to go 1 for 10 for 13 yards with a sack and an interception. Several of his passes looked like they would have been over the head of the Jolly Green Giant.
4. For the game, Jordan Hall had 17 carries for 49 yards (2.9 ypc) and no touchdowns. Carlos Hyde has 13 carries for 104 yards (8.0 ypc) and two touchdowns. So why in the world did Hyde only get two more carries than Hall (nine to seven) in the third and fourth quarters? Have our coaches never head of "going with the hot hand"? And again, why were we passing more than running with the lead and with Bauserman in at QB? Bauserman isn't the one who must shoulder the blame for the loss. He's not a good QB, which is painfully obvious to everyone not named Fickell or Bollman, but he didn't put himself in the game when Miller came out, Luke Fickell and Jim Bollman did, and that's where the real blame falls.
To Sum Everything UpThe Buckeyes had this game in the bag, had Miller not gotten hurt. After that, our chances of winning evaporated because of a lack of planning by the coaches. There's no excuse for not planning ahead for just this type of situation, period.
Simply put, Ohio State was owning Nebraska until the Miller injury, and the appearance of Bauserman instead of Kenny Guiton or Taylor Graham deflated the team and stole the momentum.
It would be nice to have answers to all of these questions and explanations on these repeatedly unwise coaching decisions -- not to mention how nice it would have been to get a huge win in what can be justifiably deemed as a very winnable game
Too bad the coaches got in the way.
Important memo to the OSU coaching staff:
NO MORE BAUSERMAN...
WE'RE TALKING NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER...
GOT IT? K, THANKS!
"To be a champion, you have to believe in yourself when no one else will" - Sugar Ray Robinson
Braxton Miller image copyright of Eric Francis / Getty Images