I was very glad to see the Buckeyes beat Penn State tonight — and not just because the win left the Buckeyes undefeated and 9-0.
Ohio State controlled the line of scrimmage. On offense, the Buckeyes ran the ball down the Nittany Lions’ throats. Braxton Miller was brilliant, but I liked that Carlos Hyde ran very hard and got a lot of tough yards for the Buckeyes. I also liked that the offense put the game away when Miller combined with Jake Stoneburner for a backbreaking 72-yard touchdown pass. I liked the call and the killer instinct that we are seeing from Coach Urban Meyer, and I also liked that the play crushed the enthusiasm of the previously raucous Penn State “white-out” crowd. Quieting the crowd in one of college football’s best atmospheres was very satisfying.
In my view, though, accolades must go to the defense. The Silver Bullets were back, and dominated the Penn State offensive line. Penn State could not run the ball, and the Buckeyes harassed Matt McGloin into the crucial turnover — the pick six that Ryan Shazier turned into a touchdown. I thought the Buckeyes’ D controlled the Penn State offense, and that is what I like to see from the Ohio State defense: tackles behind the line of scrimmage, hard hits, and quarterbacks forced to throw the ball out of bounds as they are running for their lives.
I never thought this team — which had a losing record last year — would make it to 9-0. They may not be the best team in the country, but they play hard. That they have reached 9-0 is a testament to the team’s toughness and — frankly — the Big Ten’s weakness. Next week the Buckeyes play the Fighting Illini. I’ll be there, and I’ll be hoping to see more of the hungry, hard-hitting team that I saw tonight, ready to take it to 10-0.