Victory No. 2 for the Ohio State Buckeyes wasn't exactly a thing of beauty. Although the offense made too many mistakes, especially turnovers, the defense was spectacular. The Akron quarterbacks and running backs were looking for a place to hide as the Silver Bullets swarmed to the football. OSU special teams were also very solid which will be extremely important as the team heads to Washington. Next week in Seattle, the Buckeyes must come away on a positive side of the turnover margin.
Here is a look back at my six points to victory against Akron:
1. Sound Punt and Kickoff Coverage
The Buckeye coverage units did a superb job of bottling up Akron's return specialists. Punter A.J. Trapasso and kicker Ryan Pretorius did an excellent job of ball placement. The Zips only had 25 total return yards. Super job by the Buckeye special teams players covering punts and kickoffs.
2. Run Right at the Akron Defense
Even though the Ohio State offense turned the ball over four times, the running game was more productive than last week against Youngstown State. The highlight of the day offensively was the running of Beanie Wells with 143 yards on 20 carries. OSU rushed the ball for 196 total yards and, if they hadn't stopped themselves so many times, the production would have been higher.
3. Pick Up Linebacker Blitzes and Stunts
The Akron defensive front and linebacking unit only got to the Ohio State quarterback once. They did, however, register six tackles for a loss which included a safety for Akron's only two points of the game. The Buckeye offense did a solid job of pass protection but must improve on stopping penetration on run plays.
4. Late Defensive Shifts
The Ohio State defense was absolutely outstanding. The Zips were held to just three first downs and 69 total yards. The Buckeyes put tremendous pressure on both Akron quarterbacks and completely shut down the Zips running attack. The Buckeyes' defensive staff confused Akron with various stunts and blitzes. The defense also bluffed the blitz at times and did a great job of disguising coverages.
5. Get After Zip Quarterbacks
The Akron passing game, just like their running game, was practically nonexistent. Constant heat by the Buckeye defensive front seven kept both Akron quarterbacks on their heels. The Zips only threw for 66 total yards the entire day. The three quarterback sacks and 10 tackles for loss illustrates the pressure applied by the athletic OSU defense. Only two out of 16 times did the Zips convert third-down situations.
6. Block a Punt
Despite the wide splits of the Akron punt team, the Buckeyes never really went after Zips punter John Stec, who broke his school record for the number of punts in one game with 14. His 41.1-yard average isn't as impressive as the stats show. A number of the Akron punts weren't even fielded by the Buckeye returners.
Coach Conley's Six Points To Victory (Wrapup)
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