Today the Buckeyes started their new era — an era without Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor — and beat Akron, 42-0. The win was, if anything, even more convincing than the one-sided score.
Defensively, the Buckeyes were dominant. They held the Zips to 90 yards, forced a turnover, and didn’t let Akron get within spitting distance of the end zone. Everybody contributed to a team effort that featured solid play by the defensive line, linebackers, and defensive backs.
Offensively, the game was a coming-out party for Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller. Bauserman has been a cipher during the past few years; he didn’t see the field much and didn’t make much of an impression when he did. Today he played well, made some good decisions, and threw some fine passes. Miller, after an initial hiccup, displayed the run-pass abilities that will likely make him a dangerous offensive weapon. The offensive line got a good push, and the Buckeyes showed depth at running back and wide receiver. We also saw that fullback Zach Boren is a fierce lead blocker and tight end Jake Stoneburner poses huge match-up problems for defenses. (Let’s hope the 2011 Buckeyes continue to go to their tight end, unlike prior teams.)
Congratulations to new head coach Luke Fickell on the win. Now let’s all take a deep breath, remember that Akron is probably one of the worst teams in college football, and focus on the Toledo Rockets who will visit the Horseshoe next Saturday and provide a much stiffer challenge for the Buckeyes.