Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Second Thoughts on the Game

I watched the first half of the game for the second time last night. Surprisingly, I decided that, at least for the first half, the media analysis pretty much got it right. The key sequence of the game probably really was when Brian Robiskie dropped the ball in the end zone and then Ricky Jean-Francois blocked the resulting field goal.

OSU had a great play called to get the ball to Robiskie in the end zone. Craig Steltz had been injured on the previous play, and was clearly disabled. He should have come off the field, but didn't, and I'd like to know what the coaches were thinking by not getting him out immediately, even at the cost of a timeout if necessary. OSU exploited it by throwing to their best receiver in Steltz's zone where he should have been helping on coverage.

But Chevis Jackson, despite not having the safety help he expected, had really good coverage on the play. He forced Boeckman to make a perfect throw to get it to Robiskie, and the throw really was perfect. But with Chevis's coverage being as good as it was, he was able to interfere with it just enough to keep Robiskie from holding onto it. Robiskie should have gotten it, but Chevis did everything possible to make it hard on him.

On the next play, Jean-Francois bulled over the man blocking him like it was me instead of a Division I offensive lineman, and was lucky enough to put his hand in the right spot. We then took control of the game.

I want to give a shout-out to a couple players. Harry Coleman had hardly played the whole season except in garbage time or on special teams. He was virtually a forgotten man in the safety depth chart among fans like me, who think a lot more about guys like Chad Jones and Stefoin Francois. He announced his bid for more playing time next year though, as he had to enter the game because of an injury to one of our best players, and he didn't just hold his own. He played very very well. I don't know if his future on the team is at safety or if it's at linebacker (he's a little big and perhaps not athletic enough to be a safety against all those spread offenses), but this is a kid who we probably need to find a place for.

The second player I want to give a shout out to is Carnell Stewart, the right tackle. Before the game, it was discussed on the message boards that OSU had probably two areas where they had a mismatch against us: (1) Tressel against Miles, and (2) Vernon Gholston against Carnell Stewart. I hardly heard Gholston's name as the game was going on. One way or another, Carnell Stewart and whoever may have been helping him managed to neutralize one of the Buckeyes' best players and their biggest hope for really harassing our offense.

The third player I want to give a shout out to is Ryan Perrilloux, who didn't play much, despite perhaps expecting to have a handful of snaps in key situations. Unlike during the 2006 season, every time Ryan Perrilloux was shown on the sidelines, his body language showed him to be engaged in the game and supportive of his teammates. I think this man has grown up a lot since last year, his night club incident not withstanding (and really, does anyone know what he was actually accused of doing?). I think he will be ready to take over next year, not just physically (which he was ready to do this year), but mentally as well.


Anonymous said...

Jackson getting his hand on the ball was KEY. Had they scored a touchdown at that time big Mo might have swung back in their favor. Hats off to Jackson because the pass, as you said was spot on.

Poseur said...

Why, or why was Steltz allowed to stay on the field for that play? He was obviously hurt, and OSU did the right thing and threw right at him. Jackson had no saftey help on the route and it almost resulted in a TD.

Many great looking plays are the result of a mistake somewhere else. Such was the case here. If Steltz goes off the field like he should, there's double coverage on the route. Not to pick on Steltz, since I think the coaching staff has to get him off there. I've been singing Miles' praises, this was his biggest gaffe of the game, but he didn't get punished for it.

uberschuck said...

Those plays were important, but the most important play of the half was when Coleman recovered the fumble by Chad Jones. Had OSU recovered that ball, they would have had 1st & 10 inside our 20 yard line. They could have scored a TD to go up 17-2. Instead, we kept possession and tied the game on the ensuing drive.

uberschuck said...

Um...I meant 17-3. stupid typo.