Two weeks into the Urban Meyer era, and I think we're starting to see some patterns develop for the 2012 Buckeyes:
1. Braxton Miller is ridiculous.
2. The pedal is, as they say, to the metal. Going for it on 4th down, on our side of the 50? Oh, be still my beating heart.
3. The death of the fullback in the Ohio State offense is greatly exaggerated.
4. Braxton Miller, in case you hadn't heard, is freaking ridiculous.
In a week that turned out to be a disaster movie weekend for the B1G, Ohio State was one of the few bright spots. Two weeks in, they are on the verge of lapping the Leaders division, and that makes me all the more frustrated with what transpired last year. But that's another post for another day.
Blue Chip Stocks:
Braxton Miller, QB: How can you not be impressed with what Miller has done in two short weeks? He's only a sophomore, but he looks very comfortable in the new offense, and although he isn't going to win it, he's going to be in the discussion for the Heisman trophy this year.
The Running Game In General: Yeah, most of it is Miller, but Ohio State ran the ball 51 times today. 51. And they averaged 5 yards a carry doing it. Whether you're a Woody Hayes or Jim Tressel disciple, that's impressive. Granted, a lot of the running game (too much, if you ask me) goes through Miller right now, but I think that will change once Jordan Hall gets back.
The Silver Bullets: After they gave up a game tying touchdown halfway through the second quarter, the defense went HAM, including a big series that included the Travis Howard pick right after the Zack Boren fumble in the second quarter. That lead to an OSU score, and the defense didn't give UCF anything until the fourth quarter. By then, the offense had gotten untracked and the game was out of reach. Still some work to do, and I think the linebacker play is still shaky, but overall a good job.
Philly Brown And Devin Smith: Brown and Smith are really stepping up and providing the playmaking ability at the WR position that Meyer feared OSU didn't have. They both provided big plays at opportune times, and are filling a big void so far early on.
Analyst Joey Galloway: Can't have too many Buckeyes in the broadcast booth. I thought he did a good job, and at this rate, EVERY ANNOUNCER ON ESPN WILL BE AN OSU ALUM AND THERE WILL BE NO MORE ANTI OSU BIAS.
The Fourth Quarter: Much like it was nitpicky to gripe about a sluggish first quarter in a 56-10 blowout, griping about an uninspired fourth quarter when you're winning big is along those same lines. Still, it's a little bit troubling that the team has had prolonged mental lapses, and it could come back to haunt them against quality opponents.
Play By Play Announcer Beth Mowens: I just don't like her style calling a game. Never have, probably never will.
Carlos Hyde's Injury: If it's serious, it will really hurt, and with Jordan Hall still injured, the RB depth is about as deep as an episode of Honey Boo Boo. Hopefully it's not serious and Jordan comes back next week, or the #1 RB against Cal will be freshman Brionte Dunn. Not an ideal situation.
Buy: The Aggression To Go For It On 4th Down On The OSU Side Of The 50...In The First Quarter. Love the aggression and faith Meyer put in both the offense to make it, and the defense to hold if they didn't make it.
Sell: Not Making Said First Down On The OSU Side Of The 50...In The First Quarter. You have to make one yard, especially when you're a smash mouth running team. (And when you run 51 times, you're a smash mouth running team, period.)
Buy: The Relatively Quick Start. it was better than last week, but so far through two games, OSU is definitely a middle quarters of the game team. But they didn't fall all over themselves coming out of the gate, and that was encouraging.
Sell: The Relatively Uninspired Finish. It's like OSU just took their foot off the pedal, which was strange. It wasn't a big deal because the game felt out of reach, but one strange bounce or turnover, and it could've gotten far too uncomfortable.
Buy: Nice Defensive Stand After The Missed First Down In The First Quarter. If you go for a first down in your own territory and don't make it, your defense better step up and keep the opponent out of the end zone. Ohio State did just that, holding UCF to a field goal and keeping a lead.
Sell: The Pass Interference Penalty On Travis Howard That Necessitated Said Defensive Stand. Travis Howard has had two good games overall, but his pass interference on that drive allowed UCF to get into field goal range. All he had to do was turn around, and he would've had an interception, and if the camera angle didn't lie, he would've had a big return as well.
2-0 is 2-0, and after two weeks, OSU is the class of the B1G so far, along with Michigan State. With the way the rest of the conference is playing, I'm not sure that's a compliment at this point, but I like the direction this program is heading.