Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Things Happened this Weekend

The last thing I want to write is a "What I liked/What I didn't" column about Ohio State's 38-6 victory over Youngstown State. This is mostly because I try to avoid being unoriginal. But I'm only marginally creative, so--as you can see--I have a problem on my hands.

Which is why I'd like to unveil my less-than-clever "What I appreciated/What I didn't appreciate" recap.

What I appreciated (in no particular order)

1. I appreciated Dane Sanzenbacher proving me right (see Saturday morning post) with a TD on his first ever series. Even though he dropped a thirty-yarder from Boeckman and what likely would've turned into a 37 yard TD from Henton (more on him in a minute), Sanzenbacher showed that OSU isn't too big for him. Norman Dale mentioned in Hoosiers that it would take the Indiana National Guard to keep him from coaching, and I believe similar force is the only way to keep Sanzenbacher from being a significant contributor this season. I'm in love.

2. I appreciated Brian Robiskie looking like Dwayne Jarrett. Regardless of competition, his performance was very impressive. (Note: this is not exagerration for the sake of publicity, I really think he could be that kind of player.)

3. I appreciated Todd Boeckman's ability to throw the deep ball (a must under Tressel).

4. I appreciated Brandon Saine's burst, although I'm still leery of a RB with feet pointing straight out.

5. I appreciated Brian Rolle and Tyler Moeller flying down the field on special teams. This is a prime example of Jim Tressel knowing what the hell he's doing. With the possible exception of Frank Beamer, no coach emphasizes special teams like Tressel. Which is he recruits speedy, undersized LBs like Rolle and Moeller. With the new rule moving kickoffs back five yards, covering kicks is more important than ever; guys like that don't just effect the outcome of a game, they win them. OK, that sounds lame, but you get the idea.

6. I appreciated Taurian Washington doing the most with his time on the field. But this team needs Ray Small back. And soon.

7. I appreciated Antonio Henton doing the same with his limited time. I really appreciated the youngster Henton--my favorite QB on the team--firing a strike to Washington one play after Sanzenbacher dropped the likely TD. And yes, I know the game was out of hand, and they were playing Youngstown State at home, but young QBs often get rattled after dropped balls.

(Note: I will drop the "What I appreciated" gimmick the second I post this. I'll have something less gay for next week.)

Now for the bad stuff...

What I didn't appreciate (possibly in particular order, but highly unlikely)

8. I didn't appreciate Youngstown State having a player with a leg made out of titanium alloy. I mean, how else do you explain a monster like Lawrence Wilson snapping his leg like that? The injury is supposed to shelve Wilson 6-8 weeks, but I'd rather see him redshirted if he's only going to be 70 percent (or so) when he returns. What's the point of wasting a year on maybe four games? To me, Wilson has too much potential to throw away a season on a handful of games.

9. I didn't appreciate the stat line of Chris Wells. 16 carries, 46 yards? Really? Against Youngstown State? Really? I don't care if you're facing eleven-man fronts that isn't acceptable. I'm guessing he doesn't know I recently predicted him to be the best back in school history.

10. I didn't appreciate the O-Line looking more pedestrian than I originally thought. Good God, why can't you generate any push versus goddamn Youngstown State? Didn't you spend the offseason bench pressing?

11. I didn't appreciate the return game. I realize Ray Small is out, and I realize Jim Tressel values ball security, but holy shit, Anderson Russell on kicks, Malcolm Jenkins and Robiskie on punts...huh? Mr. Tressel, listen up: returning kickoffs can be dangerous, and I'd really like it if you kept Russell, who is less than a year removed from ACL surgery, away from special teams psychos who would really enjoy diving into his knee. Why don't you put Jamario O'Neal back there, guy? He has been pretty exciting as a kick returner in the past, and he doesn't really have value to the team, so why not utilize his blazing speed before he "graduates" as the biggest bust in Ohio State history?

As for Robiskie and Jenkins, they are simply not made out to be punt returners, especially Robiskie. I like my punt returners to be small and shifty (the anti-Robiskie, if you will), and my list of guys who I'd like to see back there before Small's return include Mo Wells, Sanzenbacher, Washington, Eugene Clifford and maybe Kurt Coleman.

12. I didn't appreciate the pass rush. Jesus, don't these guys know I predicted them to be the best pass-rushing OSU team of my lifetime? I don't care about the Wilson injury, this was Youngstown State (aka goddamn Youngstown State).

13. I didn't appreciate Todd Boeckman's wobbly turds. He might throw the ugliest ball of all time. He reminds me of one of those Wisconsin QBs who were always effective enough. I think Boeckman OK, but I would start Henton. You hear me? I would start Henton today.

14. I don't appreciate the quality of the words above.

More better words later...