Captain's Corner - Game Ball Goes To The 'O'

Hats off to the offense for yesterday's win, says Jerry Rudzinski. The offense silenced critics with a great performance and sent the seniors out on top. Check out today's Captain's Corner.

Give that game ball to the offense. While all phases of the game contributed in a big way, who would have thought the offense would take control like that? They took care of the ball. They sustained drives. They had big plays. They won at the line of scrimmage. They did it all.

It was great to see Gonzalez capitalize early. It is one thing to make that catch. It is another thing to keep your feet and score once you make that catch. Poise and concentration from a guy that will be around in the future.

Troy Smith looked sharp as he navigated over 440 yards of Buckeye offense. Smith just made a mark that no one can erase. He was special with his throwing, running, and most importantly, his decision-making. Great composure and presence from someone that comes back for two more years.

After he and Santonio had a casual conversation about who was going to catch the darn football while the punt was on its way down, Ted Ginn provided us with another memory. Those Michigan coaches emphasize pursuit angles, but Ted is Ted. We look forward to great things from Ginn Jr. in the coming years.

Ashton Youboty had his hands full with some big-time receivers getting off the U of M bus. What great instincts and body control with that pick! You manufacture your own luck. He was in the right place at the right time for a reason. Ashton should continue to dazzle Buckeye fans in The Game.

We all saw the same pattern on Saturday. There comes a time when players need to step up. If you wait for tomorrow, you will be running out for Senior Day with lost potential. The time is now. After losing 14 to the draft, I wondered at times, "Are these youngsters going to make it happen?" I'm happy and proud to say they made it happen. We want Big Ten Championships and National Titles. These guys are good enough to get there. The recruiting experts told us these youngsters were special, and we saw them take over the college football world for a few hours on national television. Tressel will get the consistency and improvement from these guys. It is just thrilling to see we have the talent.

3-1 for the seniors. Awesome. They will all tell you they wanted 4-0, but I must congratulate them on beating good Michigan football teams when they had their doubters. Those seniors should be proud. The first two victories were special to them. This victory, in their senior year, was the one they wanted and the one they will cherish the most.

All in all, just a solid football game from OSU. We had great kickoff coverage, which showcased much of our young speed. We had Turano with one of many "plays of the game" booming a 71-yard punt after a snap came back low and to the left. We had 99 and 97-yard drives. We had a great blend of return attempts and block attempts from our punt return unit. Smith rambled for 145 yards rushing. Santonio, Ted, and Tony caught nice passes. AJ was his usual "best linebacker in college football" self. Bobby Carpenter punished Michigan with his hitting. Our DB's rotated and played fresh and crisp and effective. The list is endless. Throw out the notion of "Well, this Michigan team almost lost a few along the way…just how good were they?" Hey, they gave us their best shot. We made them look very average at times. We made them look out of sync. We created their misfortunes.

Buckeye Leaves…

Ted Ginn - The film of Ted Ginn was maybe enough for a Buckeye Leaf. His three punt returns for TD's leading up to the game made Lloyd go to bed thinking about his speed. The future is real bright. Can he break his own records next year?

Troy Smith - If we needed anyone to have a big game, it was our quarterback. I thought 21-24 points would be enough. Troy apparently thought I set the goals too low. He was very deliberate and effective with every move he made. His arm and feet were nothing compared to his great thinking on the football field.

Mike Nugent - His field goals affected the Wolverines psyche more than they affected the scoreboard.

Defensive Backs - They were beat up going into this thing. They weren't even healthy. Little kids should take notes on the DB's emphasis of "one play at a time" in that Michigan game. They had short memories when they made mistakes (which wasn't that often). They just kept competing every single down.

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