Troy was a bit off early. The defense was unsettled. Indiana punts on a 4th and 13 and pops Ted Ginn for absolutely no gain on the return. In fact, I think he lost maybe a yard on that attempted split second return. It was 3-0 Hoosiers.
"Sit and sit and sit…" Screen to Pittman. Troy reverses the field on the option keeper. 3rd down TD to Nicol. 7-3 Buckeyes. Knockout hit by Hartline on the ensuing kickoff. Defense goes three and out. IU puts a sloppy punt out of bounds on the 47. Nice gain by Beanie Wells. Troy Smith scrambles and hits Ginn for a TD on a "backyard" broken play. "BAM". 14-3 Buckeyes. Folks, the Dow Jones just shot up 3% in the blink of an eye. Hoepner had to be saying, "What the heck just happened?"
Our team can frighten college football observers. Is this the most explosive football team in college football history? No. But they can hurt you very bad in many ways. "Just how much separation is there in college football?" "The unlimited scholarships are gone." "The enhanced training techniques of today make the high school talent pool deeper which in turn makes for college football parity." Maybe it is not as lop-sided as it once was, but there remains separation in college football. Indiana is improving and chipping away at the rebuilding project, but they can not strike like OSU did. An opposing blue chipper or speedster can strike on one particular play, but an entire team can not strike like OSU did over the course of five minutes in that game. The Buckeyes are daring these next few opponents to hang around. Indiana flirted with the idea…until the offense, defense, and special teams completely wiped out any IU dreams of survival. Players striking quickly will hurt you. Teams striking quickly will kill you.
I don't buy into the Hart/Smith argument for Heisman. A few prognosticators are claiming the winner of that OSU/Michigan game will claim the Heisman Trophy winner. With all due respect to Hart, his blue-collar production will not be enough to take that throne away from Troy. Granted, Troy needs to stay healthy, but 4 more TD's and yet another interception-free afternoon just pushed him even further from the field. When you watch highlights of college football, you see Troy dazzling. You see Hart chugging with 4 yards here and 6 yards there. That is a coaches dream, but Hart's highlight reel is not that of Reggie Bush or Matt Leinhart. The Heisman has as much to with marketing, and Troy has marketed himself with both quiet results and loud results since Northern Illinois. If Troy was shaky early on, it could have fooled me. Before I knew we had entered the 2nd quarter he had 80+ yards and two touchdowns – not to mention the option keeper in mid field.
The Buckeye offense was a coaching clinic case study against Indiana. If the Hoosier safeties addressed the play with intentions of stopping the pass, we would give it to a tailback. If the safeties felt it was appropriate to line up with intentions of fitting up in the running game, we would throw ball. Tressel and Bolman took what the defense was giving them. It will be very difficult to stop this offense if you declare which dimension of Ohio State you will place emphasis on.
Antonio Smith – Did AJ Hawk come back and play a game in Antonio Smith's body. That guy was everywhere. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week? I haven't seen many performances better than that.
Jay Richardson – There had to be three guys wearing #99 on defense at once because he was all over that backfield. No way could one person cover that much ground.
Jake Ballard – I drink a lot of that Rory Nicol Kool-Aid. I love Nicol and insist he will be one of the premier tight ends in the country sooner rather than later. However, it was Ballard's TD grab that left people talking. A true freshman stepping up into the "Big Boy Club."