Game Notes - Defense

Last night's OSU win was largely about the dominating defense. Dave Biddle checks in with some notes and observations.

Washington came to Columbus billed as one of the top offenses in the land. They left battered and bruised by the unrelenting Silver Bullet defense. Here are some game notes.

· The Buckeyes have the best defensive line in the country. There is no doubt about that. I am not going to sit here and pretend like I've seen every D-line out there, but if there is a better one, I'd love to see it. … Simon Fraser became a star in this game. He did it all. He blew by offensive linemen. Bull rushed them. Juked them. Tracked down running backs from behind. It was just an incredibly impressive performance from Fraser, who was considered the Buckeyes' fourth-best defensive lineman coming into the game. You almost have to laugh at a statement like that after watching what he did. He was the star of the D. Someone forgot to tell him he wasn't playing Solon in the high school state championship game. … Of the other three studs on the defensive line - Tim Anderson, Darrion Scott and Will Smith - Smith had the best night. He was disruptive at the point of attack and showed that explosive first step we've been hearing so much about. There was some talk early in the summer that Smith was a bit out of shape, but that is not an issue any longer. He seems quicker than ever, even on his 270-pound frame.

· Washington finished with just 262 yards of total offense. The "best" offense in the country had 262 yards. That's 255 passing, and SEVEN rushing. … We almost believed the Huskies when they said they were going to come out and try to establish a running game. Almost. They came out with five receivers and that plan looked good for about one play. … In case you forgot, that's seven rushing yards.

· Cody Pickett could not get rid of the ball fast enough in this game. It was like Ken Dorsey II out there. Pickett took a couple hits early and pretty much decided that was it. He actually had a few chances at some big passing plays, but he was not willing to stand in the pocket and get smacked. Time and time again he threw the ball far too early. Just another credit to OSU's D-line. Pickett got the ball and chucked it. He didn't spend much time surveying the field.

· It was good to see some of OSU's backups play. David Patterson got in there and collected his first sack. The rest of the backup D-line (Joel Penton, Jay Richardson, Quinn Pitcock, Mike Kudla) also showed some nice flashes. Richardson had good penetration on a couple of plays. ... Marcus Green got most of his time with the "starters" and seemed to do pretty well. … It was interesting that the coaches decided to leave the second-string defenders in there against Washington's starters in the fourth quarter. Ohio State had a chance to prevent the Huskies from scoring a TD, but left the backups in there with the score 28-3. However, after UW finally scored to make it 28-9, the Bucks put their starting defenders back in very late in the game. I was glad to see that. A 28-16 score wouldn't have done this game justice. Heck, 28-9 didn't. It was an old-fashioned butt-kickin'.

· Mike D'Andrea and Fred Pagac looked pretty good out there. Pagac has definitely made some improvements to his game. D'Andrea still looks like the better player and he will probably end up winning the job, but I think all of us are a little less concerned about the MLB spot now. Granted, the Bucks were in a ton of nickel packages and used just two linebackers most of the time, but Pagac and D'Andrea did some nice things while they were out there.

· Chris Gamble was all over Reggie Williams. Gamble is so natural that you sometimes forget how good he is. It's not easy to cover a freak like Williams. Of course, when Pickett is getting rid of the ball in less than two seconds, it doesn't give his receivers much time to get down field. But hats off to Gamble, as well as Dustin Fox. … The young safeties also looked good. Nate Salley had a crushing hit to break up a would-be first-down reception.

· The Buckeyes forced zero turnovers and still dominated on defense. That might be the most impressive thing of all. Mark Dantonio's defense is predicated on applying pressure and forcing turnovers. One out of two isn't bad. Like the Silver Bullets are known for, they were aggressive all night and controlled the pace of the game. Not many teams can say that after facing the Husky offense.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories