As the losing streak against ranked out-of-conference teams grows, Jim Tressel looks less like a great coach and more like a good coach who took over the Buckeyes while the Big Ten was on a downward slide. I don’t know much about play-calling, but I know our offense was hamstrung by it tonight. Ohio State has too much talent to lose at home against a freshman quarterback. Then again, Ohio State has too much talent to barely beat Navy, so nobody should be shocked.
Pryor is good, but has not looked much improved over last season. Tonight’s interception was gift-wrapped for the linebacker, and Herron saved us from a fumbled shovel pass that Pryor tried to force on his way to the ground. His big gains on the ground – that 18-yard rush in particular – only served as a reminder that Pryor’s best skill is underutilized. And that’s fine, until we’re playing a team whose players have just as much skill and whose coaches take advantage of every facet.
Finally – Brandon Saine. WTF. Is Tressel trying to prove some kind of point, running Herron up the middle more times in a quarter than Saine gets to touch the ball all night? The defense did a heck of a job holding USC under 20. We have a good kicker; a big, fast QB; a variety of sharp receivers; two solid running backs; a great tight end. Somebody in a sweater vest is not getting it done, which I guess is something the coaches at Texas, USC, and basically every SEC school have known for awhile now.