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Game Thread Game Ten: #1 tOSU 17, Illinois 10 (11/4/06)

Discussion in '2006 Football Season Capsule' started by 3yardsandacloud, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. Folanator

    Folanator Brawndo's got electrolytes...

    I posted this on another thread but I think it is worth putting here also. This is an e-mail form a buddy that does a nice job with a Buckeye Newsletter who was at the game. I thought he did an excellent job of putting into words what I have been feeling all along. Tress is a teacher and he button up the second half to prepare his kids for the last two weeks of the season.

  2. bucknut4life

    bucknut4life even chuck norris fears laurinaitis

    well...if that wasnt a game from 2002, then i dont know what is..

    we got the W, thats really all that matters...
  3. TheStoicPaisano

    TheStoicPaisano But I didn't, so it doesn't

    POWs from Illinois week:

    Offensive/OL: none
    Defensive: Laurinaitis (5th defensive or attack force POW for JL)
    Attack Force: Lawrence Wilson
    ST: Pettrey
    Tatum Hit: TBD
    Scout O: TE John Larson
    Scout D: DB Mike Dougherty
    Scout ST: RB/DB Marcus Williams (true freshman walk-on, 3rd POW of the year)
  4. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Moderator Staff Member Bookie

    Zook complaining about the officiating in that game is exactly like Charlie Weis complaining about the polls.
  5. BigTenFan

    BigTenFan Newbie

    That article must not have included the entire quote from Zook because he also said that it was a clean hit after he watched the film. The other call Zook was critical on was the pass interference call that Vontae Davis received. I am not 100% on the rules but Zook said that face guarding is not against the rules in college and that is what the ref told him the problem was. Best of luck against the Wildcats even though I think this week will be a total ass whooping. On a side note, the accuracy from Juice is awful and I was wondering how was Smith's accuracy when he started for OSU? I see many similarities between the two qb's but the accuracy is not there for Juice.
  6. The O-zone writer (by the numbers) said in his recap this week that Michigan only gets film of the last two games. Now by this I assume they mean the film supplied by OSU. I mean, anyone can tivo games and watch them.

    Anyway, this was a theory floated that all Tressel was going to show Carr was power formation, run it up the gut, punt the ball, etc.

    I think there may be a slight truth to that, but I also think that Illinois sensed it and got stoked up.

    I've been in hoops games (city league) where my team has been trailing a much better team, and then with ten minutes or more to go, they go into a stall. You know, like, ha ha we don't even have to play our game, just kill the clock and get out of here. If you are the trailing team, you get pissed, because they are taking the game away. I think that is how this play calling crap in the second half backfired on our coaching staff --- it gave Illinois something to get fired up about.

    Well, it's just one more plea to the coaches to please play the game this coming week against NW the way we can play it. Not just because I like 44-0 games, but it gets the players juiced for the next game, gets them in that "score at will and score many different ways" frame of mind.

    Go Buckeyes! Focus on NW (who just beat Iowa AT Iowa!).
  7. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner


    By the Numbers
    By Jeff Amey

    Ohio State travelled to Illinois this week and came away with a result that left a lot of people scratching their head and wondering what might have gone wrong. Despite a 17-10 win, to some people, this game ended up feeling more like a loss than a win. Is the sky falling? Should we all be worried as the Buckeyes travel again this week to Northwestern? Could it be that Ohio State will have wasted one of the best starts in Buckeye football history by faltering down the stretch before they even reach the Michigan game? The answer to all of those questions is almost definitely no.
    Let's take a look at the Illinois stats (be sure to put the children to bed before you start...these are R-rated). Then we'll get into some of the how's and why's of the struggles the offense went through this week.

    Run/Pass Breakdown
    70 Plays--225 yards--3.2 ypp
    23 pass (33%)--13/23 for 107 yards one INT
    47 runs (67%) for 118 yards 2 TD--2.5 ypc
    12 Possessions
    ave. of 5.8 plays--18.8 yards
    ave. start--OSU 37
    First Down--28 plays (40%) for 86 yards
    Eight pass (29%)--5/8 for 31 yards
    20 runs (71%) for 55 yards--2.8 ypc
    ave. gain of 3.1 yards
    Second Down--24 plays (34%) for 82 yards
    six pass (25%)--4/6 for 33 yards
    18 runs (75%) for 49 yards--2.7 ypc
    ave. of 8.3 yards to go
    ave. gain of 3.4 yards
    Third Down--17 plays (24%) for 55 yards
    nine pass (53%)--4/9 for 43 yards one INT
    eight runs (47%) for 12 yards one TD--1.5 ypc
    ave. of 8.0 yards to go
    ave. gain of 3.2 yards
    conversions--7/17 (41%)
    Fourth Down--1 play (1%) for 2 yards
    one run (100%) for 2 yards 1 TD--2.0 ypc
    ave. of 1.0 yards to go
    ave. gain of 2.0 yards
    conversions--1/1 (100%)
    Playaction Passing
    1/3 for 16 yards 1 INT
    First Downs--16
    nine by run
    six by pass
    one by penalty
    Two-back formations--31 plays (44%)
    three pass (10%)--2/3 for 10 yards 1 INT
    28 runs (90%) for 70 yards 2 TD--2.5 ypc
    Shotgun formations--25 plays (36%)
    15 pass (60%)--10/15 for 87 yards
    10 runs (40%) for 35 yards--3.5 ypc
    One-back formations--14 plays (20%)
    five pass (36%)--1/5 for 10 yards
    nine runs (64%) for 13 yards--1.4 ypc
    RUN TYPE BREAKDOWN--47 attempts
    draw--four (9%) for 19 yards--4.8 ypc
    end around--none
    QB run/scramble--9 (19%) for 27 yards--3.0 ypc
    option--four (9%) for 28 yards--7.0 ypc
    power--19 (40%) for 47 yards 2 TD--2.5 ypc
    stretch--11 (23%) for -3 yards--(-0.3) ypc

    Other Stats of Note
    * two offensive penalties for the game
    * OSU started on Illinois side of the 50 four times--one TD
    * 2/2 in red zone scoring--(two TD)
    * three sacks against (one intentional grounding) and two turnovers (one fumble, one INT)
    * 34 of 70 plays took place on the Illinois side of the 50--(49%)
    * 25 of 70 plays went for no gain or loss--(36%)
    * number of OSU drives of seven plays or more--five
    * first half OSU offensive output--40 plays for 195 yards--4.9 ypp
    * second half OSU offensive output--30 plays for 30 yards--1.0 ypp
    * number of EARNED first downs in second half--four
    * number of three and out possessions--six (five in second half)

    Before we go any further, a lot of credit needs to go to Illinois for the way they played in this game on Saturday. The Illini defense did a very good job of bottling up the Ohio State running game and putting pressure on Troy Smith all game long, but especially in the second half. What was pretty clear through the whole game is that the Illini really wanted this game. Their offense wasn't able to do much with the ball, but their defense kept them in it until the end. Illinois is starting a lot of young players this season, and are much improved over the team that started this season. This might be a team to look out for in the Big Ten for a few years to come.

    Switching over to Ohio State, it has been a long time since we had to do a breakdown where the offense didn't look dominant over the course of the game. Since halftime of the Michigan State game in 2005, the offense has been able to move the ball almost at will, outscoring opponents 577-164 over that time up until the game this week. That kind of dominance could not last forever. For the first time since this current main group of offensive players took over the helm of the Buckeye machine, it looked like complacency set in.

    While it wasn't very fun to watch the Buckeyes lose momentum to an opposing team, and watch that team maintain it over the course of a full half, it wasn't the end of the world. As ugly as it was, it's also important to realize that this was truly only for the second half of the game. Ohio State, while not completely dominating the first half, controlled the ball for most of it and put up 17 points fairly easily, which could've been more if not for Chris Well's fumble on Ohio State's fourth possession of the game. While the Ohio State offense was rolling up 195 yards of offense in the first half, the Illinois offense struggled to 83 yards and crossed the 50 yard line only once.

    Most of the talk about the Ohio State offense this week is going to instead focus on the second half, and the Buckeye's offensive struggles during it. It was a very ugly half for the offense in just about every way possible. The stats don't lie. The Buckeyes gained four first downs, gave up two sacks, threw an interception, and were held to three and out possessions five times out of seven in the half. The Buckeyes squeaked out only nine yards of passing on eight second half passing attempts as well. So the question is...After blowing through every other opponent this season, what happened against Illinois?

    The answer to that question is pretty complex, but the underlying answer to it all is that it should be nothing to get too worried about. For one thing, it all starts up front for any team, and it was no different in this case. As good as the offensive line has been over the past two seasons (it has been one of the main reasons the OSU offense has been dominant), the O-line did not have a very good game against Illinois. Things weren't all that bad in the first half, but in the second half, they were getting beaten on play after play all across the front. It was apparent that Alex Boone was missed at left tackle, but it was far from just his absence that was the problem.

    Did the Illinois defense really do anything all that creatively different to stymie the Buckeye offensive attack and render the offensive line ineffective? Of course not. The Buckeyes came out in this game with the same drive on their running plays as normal, but coming out of halftime with a 17 point lead, the line didn't seem to have the same fire as it did, and as a result were dominated by a defense that seemed to want it more than they did. There is a lot that can be learned from this mainly because the downside of it all was that Troy Smith took a lot more hits in the second half than he does normally this season.

    If you look at the play-by-play of the OSU offense in the second half, you'll see that the Buckeyes ran the ball on first down every time but one (a three yard loss on a screen pass). What you won't see is that at the beginning of the second half, the Buckeyes ran the SAME PLAY on first down four straight times (out of different formations) for a grand total of one yard. It was clear that the Illinois defense was doing a very good job getting penetration on Ohio State's stretch plays, but the Buckeyes kept calling them (11 times for -3 yards in the of those called in second half). Part of the problem with the Ohio State offense in the second half has to be the coaching staff, who also seemed to get a little complacent and stubborn with the play-calling.

    A big turning point in this game was Chris Wells' fumble in the second quarter as the Buckeyes were putting together another good drive with the score 14-0. This play ended up being much more than just a turnover in this game. Wells did not re-enter the game after the fumble, leaving Antonio Pittman to pick up the slack on his way to a career high in carries with 32, and Troy Smith adding a little more than usual this season in the running game, ending the game with a season high 11 carries (3 of those sacks...2 option runs). Pittman seemed to tire a bit as the game wore on, which may have aided in the decision to shut the offense down near the beginning of the fourth quarter. What does Chris Wells' absence from the lineup along with Maurice Wells' shoulder injury mean to the future of the running game for the Buckeyes? Next week's game with the Wildcats should be very enlightening.

    Lastly, what didn't really come across very well in the TV coverage of the game was that the weather conditions weren't all that great for this game.
    There was a pretty steady wind throughout the game (Illinois' stadium is famous for its windy conditions), and it rained lightly at different points in the game. It's not really much of an excuse, but it probably did a little bit to influence the coaching staff to pull in the reigns of the offense and lower the risk factor in the playcalling with the Buckeyes enjoying a double digit lead for much of the game.

    There's little to be said about the other facets of the Ohio State offense this week. Troy Smith did not have a very good game statistically, but seemed to be affected with the same general malaise the offense had in the second half. He had a pretty good first half, going 10 of 15 for 99 yards. The receivers were pretty much held in check the second half, but had their usual type of game up until halftime. The top three receivers all got in the act, with Robiskie, Gonzalez, and Ginn all getting two or more catches. The only three passes caught by Buckeye receivers in the second half were all screen passes that didn't gain much yardage.

    The credit for this win has to go to the defense more than anyone else. We talk about the Ohio State offense struggling this week, but what is lost in the discussion is that the Illinois offense barely outgained the Buckeye offense, and put up most of that offense late in the fourth quarter when the game was almost out of reach for them. Illinois quarterbacks combined to go 14 for 35 passing for only 134 yards, and the Illini running game didn't reach the 100 yard plateau for the entire team combined. The Buckeyes also dominated time of possession by twelve and a half minutes.

    It seems every week this group only gets better, and has really become a strength on the team. Did the defense's dominance have anything to do with the complacency in the second half? It's hard to tell, but it's not out of the realm of possibility here. It is truly amazing how far things have come on this side of the ball. A lot has been made of the Michigan defense this season, but it's starting to look like November 18 will feature two of the best defenses in the nation instead of just one.

    There are a lot of opinions about this past game floating around out there, such as this game was kept close on purpose by the coaching staff so the team had experience in tight games, or that the coaching staff didn't want to show much offense in this game because Michigan will only get game film from Ohio State's prior two games. There might be a little truth to the second of those two theories (and there are many more out there, these are just two of the most prevalent), but I doubt that is the full story. I don't think the coaching plan was for the offense to struggle to just over 200 yards and 17 points, and I don't think the coaching staff is going to be very happy in team meetings this week with the play in the second half, no matter how bland the play-calling might have been.

    It will be interesting to see how the Buckeyes react to the Illinois game against Northwestern this upcoming Saturday. The game against Illinois sucked a lot of confidence out of the Buckeye fan-base, but the question is going to be whether or not it affected the team at all. If anything can be learned from this game, it's that the Buckeyes aren't good enough to go to sleep on offense for a game and easily win, even against inferior competition. I think this is just the kind of wake-up call the Buckeyes needed heading into these final two regular season games, and we'll see a much different team out on the field this week against the Wildcats.
  8. Jaxbuck

    Jaxbuck I hate tsun ‘18 Fantasy Baseball Champ

    Zook is absolutely correct in this case. There is no rule against face guarding in college and thats what had to have been called, there was no contact.

    As far as Troy goes its tough to say. The entire offense was such a sputtering mess in early 2004 that is was tough to tell if it was bad accuracy, bad routes, poor protection, bad playcalling, etc. Also, he wasn't a true frosh at that point but instead a redshirt soph, so when he got things going it turned around a lot quicker than it will for Williams. Also a lot more talent surrounding him at that point than Williams currently enjoys(no doubt Illinois has some great young talent however).

    All in all I'd be pretty excited about the next 3 years if I were an Illini fan. Davis, Cumberland and Williams are going to do some damage if they stay healthy and continue to improve.
  9. martinss01

    martinss01 blissfully stupid

    there was contact actually. it wasn't much, but if you are face guarding and there is any contact your probably going to draw a flag. if he would have kept his eye on the ball, thats a clean play.

    troy was always pretty accurate. his biggest problems as a young qb were his decisions and the way he throws the ball. troy seems to have graduated from the brett farve qb school. 30 yrd out? throw it as hard as you can. dude standing 2 feet from you with noone within 80 yrds? throw it as hard as you can. :biggrin: though troy was in the system for 2 years before he saw the field if i recall correctly. juice is a true freshman right?

    it could be that illi runs a similar defense with similar blitz packages... i honestly don't know the truth to that. i really haven't spent much time studying either teams d. but if that is the case it would certainly explain a great many things. the less you show your offense against such a team, the less of a look as to how you handle blocking assignments another opposing d would get.

    i don't think it did backfire. oddly enough, i was talking to a friend of mine just before the illi game and i brought up the concern that we really hadn't been tested going into the 4th other than penn state. so i definitely think from that perspective that this was a good experience for the team. second, i still believe the play calling was what it was as a punishment for poor execution more than anything else. from what i could tell from our first drive the illi d was giving our o line all they wanted and a little more. i think there may have come a point and time where tressel basically said, "if you cant handle the big playbook... we'll use the little one".

    tressell is very much a fundamentals first kind of coach. if he didn't believe we were playing very fundamentally sound, i could most certainly see him scrapping the playbook and taking on a, "today we relearn how to block" mentality. i guarantee you the offense wasn't having any fun in the 4th. the power I on first and 10? second and 15? with 10 guys in the box on your own 30? with the weapons we have and a 17/10/7 point lead?

    the guys on offense know full well troy is #1 in line for the heisman and the offensive line on more than one occasion has mentioned how much they want pitt to get another 1000+ yrd season.
  10. lvbuckeye

    lvbuckeye Silver Surfer

    wow. 38 runs on 52 1st and 2nd down plays is 73%... that's just crazy.
  11. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    Buckeyes earn no buckeyes against Illinois
    OSU's offense disappeared in second half of narrow victory


    COLUMBUS - Ohio State is a place where they love to pass out the honors.
    They like positive reinforcement around here, where at 10-0, the standout players for No. 1 ranked Ohio State have their helmets covered in the prestigious buckeye leaves they earn for exceptional performances. Each of the Buckeyes' football games is followed in a day or two by an awards ceremony that rivals the Oscars, with citations for the best performance by a special teams player, the hit of the week, and a scout team defensive star, along with all the customary tributes. But in the aftermath of last weekend's creaky 17-10 win over Illinois, accolades were in short supply. After a harsh self-review, the Ohio State coaches skipped rewarding any players on the offensive side.

    The Buckeyes were still smarting over that 29 total yards and zero points they produced in the second half against the Illini - a folly which coach Jim Tressel referred to as "the consistency that wasn't demonstrated." Tressel, whose team is preparing for another Big Ten trip to Illinois this weekend, this time to face Northwestern, said you can harp on players about not suffering a letdown, or preach to them about the dangers of pulling back on the throttle against any team, but there is no substitute for experiencing the result of such a move. "I've always been a believer that reality is the best teacher," Tressel said. "If you win a decisive game, then you need to know why. And if you win a game that's not quite as decisive, then why? What was it that we didn't do as well? I don't know if there's such a thing as a magical wake-up call, but I think reality is very important." Tressel said the Buckeyes might have benefited from a better blend of running and passing plays against Illinois, but there might also have been a malaise that set in after his team held a 17-0 lead at halftime, and then took the ball right back from Illinois to start the second half. Ohio State had the Illini pinned deep in their end, but the Buckeyes failed to deliver anything resembling a knockout punch. Tressel said he understood his players' reaction. "They're human, and after we kept them out of the end zone and there's about eight or nine-something to go in the third quarter, and we've got them down on their own 3, you can get comfortable," Tressel said. "The biggest reality you have is that when you go to someone else's place, you better play 60 minutes. We didn't do the things you need to do [in the second half]. So it will be good for us, if we learn from that reality." Tressel used a football-baseball-medieval analogy to describe the way Ohio State repeatedly put itself in long yardage situations in the second half at Illinois, and then had to contend with a furious Illinois pass rush. "I'm not sure we were as balanced with our attack as we could have been and we didn't execute on early downs," he said. "And then we got behind the count and we let them come storming the castle pretty good. One thing leads to another, and all of a sudden your momentum has changed." Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez said that regardless of the one-touchdown difference between the Buckeyes and 2-8 Illinois, a closer look at what transpired was not favorable for the Buckeyes. "The score is important because it determines who wins," Gonzalez said. "But I have always believed a better way to evaluate your performance is to look at each play. You want to execute flawlessly, and we did not do that." Gonzalez said that despite the dreadful numbers, Ohio State's overall offensive performance was not a nightmare. The Buckeyes still lead the Big Ten in scoring at 34 points per game, and are second in total offense with 398.9 yards per game. "We are a pretty experienced and confident group, and one bad performance isn't going to change that," Gonzalez said. "It may be a setback statistically speaking, but it's one of those things where it's never as bad as it seems, and it's never as good as it seems. We didn't do everything great but it wasn't a complete debacle. It just didn't manifest itself in terms of production."
  12. timBUCK2

    timBUCK2 Tim the Enchanter... WOLVERINE SLAYER!!

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