Captain's Corner: Buckeyes Make The Plays

It sounds cliche, but in a close game like the one between Ohio State and Penn State, the difference can simply be whichever team makes the plays that needed to be made. Such was the case on Saturday, says Jerry Rudzinski in this week's Captain's Corner.

Penn State had more first downs. They had more rushing yards. OSU only threw for 9 more yards than the Nittany Lions. In a rain-drenched field position battle, PSU's punts averaged over 50 yards. OSU had twice as many penalties and Penn State had the ball 10 more minutes than the Buckeyes did.

Yep, Ohio State covered the large spread and kept a tight grip on the No. 1 ranking.

I remember during the Coach Cooper years, fans and media would get frustrated after a loss when the tenured coach would suggest, "We just didn't make enough plays." How dare he speak in such generalities! Quit ducking the tough questions! As the head coach making the big bucks, you owe us an explanation for that loss!

Well Coach Cooper knew what he was talking about and yesterday was evidence. Penn State was physical and aggressive with the Buckeyes. They didn't back down from the 105,000 fans and they didn't back down from the 11 Buckeyes on the field. What they didn't do was make enough plays. OSU made enough plays.

Troy Smith will only get credit for a 37-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but my unofficial calculations had that strike traveling about 55 yards in the air. Broken play…fighting to avoid a sack…not knowing where to turn…TOUCHDOWN! That is making a play. So was the incredible Stan White catch on third and 2, which was the whole reason that Heisman highlight even exists.

Malcolm Jenkins could have gone out of bounds and celebrated on his home sidelines. He decided to take the road less traveled and keep that return in bounds. Play-making!

Just as I was saying I didn't want this Penn State game coming down to an onside kick with a strong-armed Morelli in uniform, Smith takes one back 55 yards. That would be making a play.

Tressel played "Tressel ball." Paterno played "Tressel ball." When the athletes are physical and dominating like OSU and PSU players are, plays need to be made.

Next up is a big one against the Hawkeyes. Iowa City is a tough place to play and an undefeated Kirk Ferentz team with a superstar senior quarterback hosting a night game will make it even tougher. A great team would lose that game next Saturday, but a National Championship team would go win it.

Buckeye Leaves…

Stan White – See above. Also blocked very well.

Antonio Pittman – Let's hope he returns for his senior season because he is on the short list of elite backs in college football.

The defense – Quinn and the boys only gave up 6 points. We may be sitting in the stands questioning the run defense while the team hoists up a big National Championship trophy. Scoreboard.




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","mobileBody":"Penn State had more first downs. They had more rushing yards. OSU only threw for 9 more yards than the Nittany Lions. In a rain-drenched field position battle, PSU's punts averaged over 50 yards. OSU had twice as many penalties and Penn State had the ball 10 more minutes than the Buckeyes did.

Yep, Ohio State covered the large spread and kept a tight grip on the No. 1 ranking.

I remember during the Coach Cooper years, fans and media would get frustrated after a loss when the tenured coach would suggest, \"We just didn't make enough plays.\" How dare he speak in such generalities! Quit ducking the tough questions! As the head coach making the big bucks, you owe us an explanation for that loss!

Well Coach Cooper knew what he was talking about and yesterday was evidence. Penn State was physical and aggressive with the Buckeyes. They didn't back down from the 105,000 fans and they didn't back down from the 11 Buckeyes on the field. What they didn't do was make enough plays. OSU made enough plays.

Troy Smith will only get credit for a 37-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but my unofficial calculations had that strike traveling about 55 yards in the air. Broken play…fighting to avoid a sack…not knowing where to turn…TOUCHDOWN! That is making a play. So was the incredible Stan White catch on third and 2, which was the whole reason that Heisman highlight even exists.

Malcolm Jenkins could have gone out of bounds and celebrated on his home sidelines. He decided to take the road less traveled and keep that return in bounds. Play-making!

Just as I was saying I didn't want this Penn State game coming down to an onside kick with a strong-armed Morelli in uniform, Smith takes one back 55 yards. That would be making a play.

Tressel played \"Tressel ball.\" Paterno played \"Tressel ball.\" When the athletes are physical and dominating like OSU and PSU players are, plays need to be made.

Next up is a big one against the Hawkeyes. Iowa City is a tough place to play and an undefeated Kirk Ferentz team with a superstar senior quarterback hosting a night game will make it even tougher. A great team would lose that game next Saturday, but a National Championship team would go win it.

Buckeye Leaves…

Stan White – See above. Also blocked very well.

Antonio Pittman – Let's hope he returns for his senior season because he is on the short list of elite backs in college football.

The defense – Quinn and the boys only gave up 6 points. We may be sitting in the stands questioning the run defense while the team hoists up a big National Championship trophy. Scoreboard.

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