By Emmett Golden
For those of you who thought the Ohio State Buckeyes would overcome the loss of a legendary head coach and their best player leaving for the NFL, Saturday night was a wake up call.
What I saw was a team with a defense that is good enough to win games. The Silver Bullets gave up 240 yards on the ground to the Hurricanes. Even so, at the start of the fourth quarter the Buckeyes were still in it the game. In the fourth quarter it was plain see that the defense had run out of gas. This was evident on Miami’s last drive of the game. Miami had the ball for almost nine minutes before locking up the win with a Mike James touchdown.
The offense struggled a great deal Saturday night. Neither Joe Bauserman nor Braxton Miller performed well. Bauserman protected the ball during his time at QB. He kept the ball nice and safe for punter Ben Buchanan.
When Braxton Miller entered the game the offense moved the ball better, until Miller put the ball on the ground. Miller threw an interception in addition to his fumble. Miller looked nervous, and this wasn’t the first time it looked as though nerves got the better of him. Watching him during my time in Columbus, he looks like everything is still setting in. Playing in front of 106,000 fans, the speed of the game and the microscope that he has played under so far this year is all still new to him.
It looks like coach Luke Fickell is giving both quarterbacks the chance to take the job. Neither has played well enough to be THE GUY.
At this point I think Fickell has to go with Miller. I don’t think Miller is ready to perform at a high level week in and week out, but it’s important that he gets a chance to settle in and get over those nerves. In the long run Braxton and the Buckeyes will be better for it.
Mulligan Monday – I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. Boy, was I wrong about Jordan Hall! I didn’t think he would be very productive at running back. When he was on the field he was OSU’s best offensive player. Hall rushed for 87 yards on 14 carries. He should have had more. With questions at the quarterback position, I think Hall should be the focal point of the offense going forward.
Follow Emmett on Twitter @Egoldi80