Well, this has been some season, and some year for Ohio State. The world has not been shocked, but Buckeye fans have been. Doubt has not been silenced either. To the contrary, doubt has been justified nationwide and the only silence came from quarters of Buckeye fans who wanted to see Luke Fickell earn the job on a full time basis. Those same fans — in fact, nearly all of us — are frantically putting words like “Urban Meyer” and “Greg Studrawa” into our Twitter search bars and seeing if there is anything new. At 6-5 on the season with quite frankly inexcusable losses to the likes of Miami and Purdue, 2011′s campaign to shock the world has devolved into a one game season. Beat That School Up North, and we will enter December and beyond content knowing that help is on the way. Lose and Buckeye fans will have to search for how they last coped with defeat to the Wolvereenies way back in 2003, when I was a sophomore in college and not the bitter old codger I am writing this post.
My preview went online Friday. I have faith in the possibility of a win, but I do not have faith in the coaches and, in particular, the offensive game plan we will see today. We know Ohio State’s defense for its strengths (mostly stout against the run, bright spots in Hungry Hungry Hankins and Simon) and its warts (third down conversions, linebacker play, weird secondary). I think we can limit the Wolvereenies to three touchdowns (or 20 points, thereabouts). The question remains how well we can execute a garbage game plan that routinely calls for ISO plays into loaded fronts, cute formations to run the same concept and other various sins of offensive philosophy. Can Mike Brewster beat Mike Martin for a full 60 minutes? If so, we can exploit That School Up North’s pedestrian linebacker and secondary play. If not? We might score 6 points this game and that certainly will not be enough.
Live blog is below. Death to michigan. Now. Always. Forever.