OSU Football - Now that's impressive

Mr. Bucknuts is easily impressed. I'll admit it. But not when it comes to Buckeye football. We are hard-core, analytical and often down-right cynical about OSU football. And the past three seasons have given us plenty not to be impressed about…

But not on this past Saturday. You want preparation? You got it. You want vindication? Plenty to go around. You want entertainment? 60 minutes of it. And you want to be impressed? Whoa, baby!

Since I am a man of few (valuable) words, let me put together my impressions – and those vague contretemps – in a list. Just to stay focused. Here goes:

What Impressed Me

  1. The OSU Offensive Line: We used to abbreviate the phrase "oft maligned" to just "o-line". Not anymore. These guys were studs and played together as a unit. Even more impressive? Mike Stafford, the fifth year walk-on senior who wasn't just a fill-in for Adrien Clarke. He was a leader out there. More impressive (II)? No offensive line penalties? You have to be Jack Park to remember when that last occurred…
  2. Maurice Clarett
  3. The focus and discipline: Even the historians will have trouble remembering when…Four guys were hurt and half a dozen were suspended for various problems. It didn't ruffle this team.
  4. We beat the spread and beat the over-under - almost by ourselves!

What Failed to Impress Me

  1. "Only" 100,000 fans: Might be a vestige of previous disappointments. The 4000 that weren't there missed a vintage show. It was worth the price of admission to see the full-house backfield. The guy next to me whispered "Woody" with tears welling up in his eyes.
  2. Aaron Hunt: The All-American DE was said to have laughed at the Buck's offensive line – before the game. After the game, his first stop was at the laundry to get the grass stains off the back of his jersey, then he ran over to the chiropractor to get the foot removed from his mouth.

What Impressed Me

  1. Passes to the backs and to the tight ends, including an absolute circus catch by 280 pound Ben Hartsock.
  2. Rushing 3 defensive linemen and getting Big Time pressure on the TTech QB. Hey, I remember years where we could rush five and throw in blitzes and still not make the opposing quarterback notice us.
  3. Maurice Clarett
  4. No turnovers and a great goal-line stand.

What Failed to Impress Me

  1. Our kickoff coverage: Nugent was putting the ball nine yards deep into the end zone and this crazy Techie kept bringing it out. To the thirty or more.
  2. The absence of any "atta boys" from the other tailbacks for Clarett as he came off the field to the roars of a very appreciative crowd.
  3. Coach Mike Leach – calls a timeout with 27 seconds to go and down 30 points to throw a TD pass with his first string QB in there to mop up meaningless statistics. Then he goes for an on-side kick. If this was baseball, he would feel some chin music in his next at-bat…

 What Impressed Me

  1. If Lawrence Flugence  (the Red Raiders' great linebacker) really got nearly 20 tackles, then four or five of them surely must have been in the end zone.
  2. Dustin Fox: A natural safety, he played a very athletic cornerback position.
  3. Chris Gamble's caution-to-the-winds punt return.
  4. Craig Krenzel, who coolly did everything Tressel asked of him and all those things Stevie B. was unable to accomplish as a quarterback the past few years.

 What Failed to Impress me

  1. Mike Doss's tackle-by-the-face-mask technique, even if it was by accident.
  2. Mike Leach's weird tackle gaps on the Texas Tech o-line. Will Smith and Cie Grant filled those gaps for him.
  3. Richard McNutt – not yet, at least. One corner has not been turned…

What Impressed Me

  1. Did I mention Maurice Clarett?

There were other impressions but mostly I was pleased to hear from the "old-timers' who loved the smash-mouth game that made them so proud of their Buckeyes for so many years. That pride is coming back and OSU delivered a heaping dose of it last Saturday.

My father is a good example. He is 85 and graduated from OSU in 1940. He was at the game when the band ran Script Ohio for the very first time. He's been a big Buckeye fan since he was a little kid. After the game Staurday, he went out and bought one of those new spiffy little Cadillacs.

He got it in scarlet and gray. 

Now that's impressive!


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