Alright, get out your pitchforks. I didn’t watch a single snap of this week’s game. Not only was I at a wedding during the game, but I completely forgot to set the DVR to record it. The good news is that somehow the Buckeyes were able to pull out a win despite my absence. The bad news, according to my Twitter timeline (after the game, I still don’t check it during), was that the defense simply didn’t show up. I’ll tell you what, I hope that Luke Fickell doesn’t check his Twitter Mentions, otherwise he’s going to be calling up Jim Bollman asking for advice on how to cope.
Normally this would be when I bust out three positives to take from this game. However, since I wasn’t able to watch, I’m going to change things up this week. We’re now seven weeks into the season and though we’re technically one week past “halfway” I’m going to take the opportunity to offer some mid-season thoughts. So it’s in this spirit that I present to you: Three things that I liked from the first seven games of Buckeye football.
1. Already Better than Last Year – It’s easy to forget now that we’re sitting at 7-0, but I doubt many Buckeye fans predicted that the team would be unbeaten at this point in the season. In the shortest possible amount of time, the Buckeyes have surpassed last season’s win total, tied last season’s conference win total and clinched a winning record for the 2012 season. I realize that it hasn’t always been pretty, but you are what your record is and Ohio State is undefeated.
2. The Offense is Outstanding and it’s not even that good yet. For all of its shortcomings: inconsistency at receiver, youth at TE, injuries at RB, the Ohio State offense is the best that it’s been in years. If the Buckeyes keep up at the pace that they’re going now, they will surpass last season’s point total by week 9. In a development that I didn’t think was realistic six months ago, it will be an upset if Braxton Miller isn’t in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. And he’s only a sophomore! After battling through injuries, Carlos Hyde has emerged as a consistent threat out of the backfield. His 296 yards (5.9 YPC) and 5 touchdowns in the last two games is a big reason why the Buckeyes’ record is still unblemished. Then there’s Devin Smith who has shown a propensity for making the game-changing catch just when its needed the most. And then there’s the offensive line. What a revelation that unit has been. After losing 3 5-star seniors, it has actually improved. The best news? Smith, Miller, Hyde, they’re all back next year. Urban might hang 100 on somebody.
3. When it Matters, Plays get Made – Whether it’s Philly Brown diving to snag an onside kick or bringing back a momentum-changing punt return, or the offense grinding out the clock against MSU, this team has shown a proclivity for making the big play when it needs it the most. Ohio State is a few plays away from being a 2-loss team, but they made those plays, and they aren’t. That’s what separates good teams from average ones. If someone is going to beat Ohio State, they’re going to have to play all 60 minutes because this team won’t quit when it gets down. Just ask Nebraska.