Saturday, September 09, 2006

No. 1 stays that way: Ohio St. drubs Texas

Buckeyes score easily and keep Texas in single digits for the 1st time in 9 years, 24-7
Troy Smith is a bona-fide Heisman candidate after his 269 yd, 2 TD performance against the Longhorns

In the end the matchup did not live up to the enormous hype, and that's because (the #) one team is clearly better than the other.

Ohio St. rolled into Austin chomping at the bit to get rid of the bad taste in their mouths from the Longhorns 25-22 victory in Columbus last year. Although the Buckeyes lost that game, QB Troy Smith gained an enormous amount of national attention & respect after he came off the bench and nearly guided the Buckeyes to victory.

It turns out his experience and savvy was the difference in the game tonight as Smith simply outplayed and outclassed Longhorn greenhorn Colt McCoy (a Texas QB name if there ever was one). The freshman was harassed all night by the supposed weak link in the Buckeye armor, the defense, especially Soph. LB James Laurinitis. He caused a fumble as Texas was about to score, and after the Buckeyes drove down the field Smith threw a TD to Anthony Gonzalez, who had a huge game(8 rec, 143 yds, 1TD) opposite Ted Ginn. 7-0 OSU after 1.

But after Smith overshot Ginn on what would have been a wide-open 70-yd TD, the Longhorns got the ball back and mounted their best drive of the game. McCoy mixed it up and moved the chains, especially when CB Marcus Jenkins got burned on a couple of passes. But the real break came when Texas had a 3rd & 5 from the 9,and as McCoy released the ball, which was batted down in the end zone, DE Jason Richardson steamrolled him and was whistled for a roughing the passer penalty. A bogus, home-field call if there ever was one, although OSU Coach Jim Tressel said he understood the ref was trying to protect the QB. Texas went on to score their 1st, and turns out only, TD of the game and it was tied at 7 with about 2 minutes to go in the half.

That's when Smith & Ginn went into Heisman campaign mode. Smith tossed 2 completions to Gonzalez and 1 to Ginn to get to the Texas 29 with 22 seconds left in the half. Next play Smith lofts a beauty to the corner of the end zone, and Ginn just blew by his man for a back-breaking 29-yd TD at the half.
That's what #1 teams, and special players do.

The 2nd half started with Texas receiving the ball with a chance to even the score. They had the ball at their 31 and were driving. But then the wheels fell off the Longhorn wagon as Joe Gantz stepped in front of a McCoy pass at the 44 and returned it to the Texas 21.
Although they had to settle for a 31-yd FG, the emotional damage was done and it was clear to all those in Burnt Orange Nation- including Skybox buddies Matthew McConaghey & Jake Gyllenhaal, Lance Armstrong and even Bevo that this team was NOT the same team that won the National Championship last season, nor will it win one this season.

No that team had a Heisman-quality QB who could beat you with his arm, legs, and mind. Funny thing is, that sounds exactly like Ohio State's QB this season.

Notes: The last time Texas lost was, ironically, 2 years ago to the day, 12-0 at Oklahoma. Their 22 game winning streak had been the longest in the nation. That distinction now belongs to TCU (1).

1 comment:

Derek said...

Hey great blog I too am from Boston but I live in missouri now