You know, sickness I had a bad feeling all week after the Navy game. And I think everyone else may have too, cure because I’ve never been in a deluge of OSU fans filing out of a stadium from a win so quiet and subdued. And the stadium served alcohol the entire game.
And then, last Saturday, my pals and I made sure to be friendly and welcoming to the VaTech fans so they didn’t go back and say we were wretched faux Yankees, and with every conversation I had disturbing flashbacks of being at the OSU-Florida Championship Game. They were eerily identical. Gator fans were super nice and all “Oh, please don’t crush us toooooo badly!” acting like the serious underdog who was afraid of the big bad Buckeyes and eliciting sympathy from the scarlet-clad before the game even began. And then BOOM – “Suck it, Buckeyes! Mwaaahahaha!” And insufferable ever since. Yeah, blame that game for the inauguration of your least favorite chant ever.
But anyhoo…Ohio State fans, there are some positives. At least we aren’t on upset alert this week. At least we didn’t lose to, like, Appy State. At least we put a decent amount of points on the board…it wasn’t a blowout and a big fat donut next to our name. (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you Coach Choke.) At least it’s only Week 2 and we have lots of football to play and time to improve.
Don’t feel much better? Eh, me neither.
It was the first home opener loss since 1978. That’s not the kind of record head coach Urban Meyer is used to setting in his tenure. We were ill-prepared and we were outcoached. The youth and inexperience showed. In only his second starting game, quarterback J.T. Barrett completed just 9 of 29 pass attempts and threw three interceptions. But how much blame can you place on him when the offensive line couldn’t protect him and allowed seven sacks? And the receivers couldn’t get open and when they did, had the dropsies?
The defense was average at best, though better in the second half. I hope none of those boys has got himself a Silver Bullet tat yet. (Get a receipt if you did, fool.) And special teams – egads. Two missed field goals, an out-of-bounds 4th quarter kickoff and a 24-yard punt. Sh-t Tyrone, get it together!
Virginia Tech was brilliant in their planned execution to stop OSU’s run game and force the Bucks to use what they knew was a weak passing game. Well played, Hokie, well played.
But that was last week, and this is….this week. Let it go. Move on. The Golden Flashes are coming to town. And I don’t mean some senior “Full Monty” show.
Kent State is rolling into The ‘Shoe with a 4-10 overall record since their former head coach Darrell Hazell left for the head football job at Purdue in 2012. They are 0-2 for the season. They’ve lost 17-14 against fellow MAC conference member Ohio University and 23-13 to South Alabama last week.
Here’s what were looking for – OSU catches passes, protects the quarterback, steps up on defense, and doesn’t make stupid mistakes on special teams. This should be an easy one for the Buckeyes, and is a chance to really tune that engine.
The brightest spot? This game is the return of defensive end Noah Spence. He was All-Big Ten last season with 50 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He was also out on a 3-game suspension (that started with the B1G Championship Game) for failing a drug test. How much of a game changer he will be is left to be seen but Spence is a very, very welcome return for the defense.
Hopefully, the hangover from the loss kicked some killer instincts in and some “Not In Our House” vibes, and Meyer will put this one in the books as it is meant to be.
And here’s also hoping the entire Big Ten has a better performance this week. It felt like a conference funeral last Saturday with Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State losing after Wisconsin gave up a huge lead and lost the previous week. Nebraska gave their fanbase a giant scare, just eeking a W out and Pelini needs to be on high alert. And Penn State, whom many believe to have one of the best QBs in the league, didn’t quite play like it. I thought Maryland and Rutgers joining the conference was a move that would crush us all in National perception, but nope. We collectively managed to do that all by ourselves.
Don’t get angry, B1G. Get even.