Drew Thurman (7:15 pm)
1) Well just when it looked like the Big Ten was going to take another year of media heat, in walks the ACC. Yesterday was a very hard day for Atlantic Coast Conference in every way. Let's take a look at a few of the scores...
East Carolina 27
#22 Virgina Tech 22
#3 USC 52
South Carolina 34
NC State 0
#24 Alabama 34
#9 Clemson 10
This is a list of just the bad loses. This does not even include Maryland's 14-7 slim victory over Deleware. The ACC got punished in the opening weekend of college football. As Big Ten fans I am sure we feel their pain, but we will happily pass on the criticism from the media.
2) Watching Michigan yesterday was incredibly weird for me, and I am guessing it was for many Buckeye fans as well. On one hand I wanted to pull for the Big Ten, and this would be helped by a Wolverine victory over Utah. On the other hand, I just could bring myself to root for Rich Rodriquez and the "winged helmets." Anyways, here is what Adam Rittenberg on ESPN had to say on the matter.
Other quick observations:
* LSU looked really impressive. Like many top teams, the Tigers don't rebuild they reload.
* Even though they played Coastal Carolina, Penn State was much better than I thought they might be. It looks like the transition at quarterback might be smoother than many believed.
* The SEC of course got most the media spotlight this weekend after dominating on all fronts. Outside of Mississippi State, the conference looked explosive!
The OSU-YSU game observations:
1) The special teams looked very good yesterday. In 2007 the special teams was something that always left you on the edge of your seat, and the Buckeyes did not leave much confidence this season after the Kick Scrimmage. Yesterday though they seemed to be hitting on all cylinders. Pretorious went 4 for 4, with a 50 yarder made. Pettrey hit his lone field goal of 54 yards, and looked solid on all of his kickoffs except one.
The return game looked much better as well. Saine took the only kick return 28 yards, and had a nice burst. Ray Small was impressive returning punts; an area where he was very hit or miss last season. I think the blocking was more solid, but Small looks like he has a better grasp of his role as a return man.
2) If the youth the Buckeyes showed off yesterday does not get your blood pumping, you might want to check your pulse. Many of the young guys got a chance to show their skills against the Penguins, and they did not disappoint. The young offensive line, "Block O," looked sharp all day. I realize that the played a weak opponent, but we have some incredible linemen for the future.
The young wideouts looked sharp as well. Thomas only had one catch for 9 yards, but his speed is exciting. Then there is Posey! He had 4 catches for 47 yards with a touchdown, and looked like the real deal. It's rare to see a wideout who can be a possession receiver and stretch a defense at the same time, but Posey looks to be capable of both. I am excited for his future!
Above all, no young guy looked better than Terrelle Pryor. He was posed, calm, and made plays all afternoon long. He did just enough through the air (4/6 35 yards) to make the defense respect both his arm and his legs. On the ground though, Pryor showed off some serious skills. He had 52 yards rushing with one touchdown, and his long run was one of 21 yards. He is such an incredible combination of size and speed, and I cannot wait to see him become a major part of our offense. He lived up to the hype in his debut!
3) Then there is Beanie Wells! I do not think there is much I can say that has not already been said in the last 24 hours, but it is terrible news. Every Buckeye fan will be all ears tomorrow as the official word comes out about how severe things are for him. More than just the team outlook, I feel for Beanie. No one wants something like this to happen to such a good young man, I hope everything is ok!
4) I thought Todd had another very solid performance. He had 187 yards with 2 touchdowns, and was very efficient doing it (14/ 19). Boeckman will always be an easy target, but I feel this is unwarranted. With that said, Boeckman is going to have to step up majorly if Beanie is out for any amount of time. Especially in the area of leadership. Boeckman will have to lead with his play on the field, but this wass an area of weakness for him last season. Let's hope he steps up!