It was a huge team victory for the Buckeyes in Seattle. Offense, defense and special teams were near perfect all day long. Also, hats off to the Ohio State coaching staff for superb halftime adjustments.
The Washington Huskies are a good football team that plays with a lot of grit and determination but the Ohio State Buckeyes are really coming together as a team. Todd Boeckman is showing great command of the offense and James Laurinaitis is emerging as the premier linebacker in college football.
After two baby steps against Youngstown State and Akron, the Buckeyes took a huge leap against a very good Washington team.
Here is my analysis of the "Six Points To Victory:"
1. Lockup Locker
It's easy to see why Washington fans are excited about Jake Locker. He is a real threat as a running quarterback. The Buckeye defense did a great job of containing him in the second half. Most of Locker's production came in the first half and when James Laurinaitis intercepted the pesky Washington quarterback for the second time in the red zone, it was all over.
2. Run to Rankin
The "Silver Bullets" knew Louis Rankin was a talented running back and they knew the only way to stop him was to get a lot of helmets to the ball. The athletic and aggressive Ohio State defenders swarmed to him like bees on honey. Rankin only tallied 42 total yards and his longest run from scrimmage was just 9 yards.
3. Alert to the Reverse
The Huskies only attempted one reverse all day and the Ohio State defensive sniffed it out. I was a little surprised Washington didn't try to do a few more misdirection plays to counter the quicker Buckeye defense. Washington will need to expand their playbook since Locker doesn't throw a great deep ball.
4. Ball Security
The Buckeyes ended up plus-4 in the turnover margin. Three interceptions and a fumble recovery was a welcome sight. Even though a couple of Todd Boeckman passes could have been picked, he more than made up for it by throwing two touchdown passes. Beanie Wells and company did an outstanding job of holding on to the football in a hostile environment.
5. Attack Corners
As the game progressed the Buckeyes went after the Husky defensive backs. The Washington corners didn't want any part of trying to tackle the more physical Ohio State running backs. There were several times the Washington corners avoided or flat-out missed tackles when coming up on run support or taking pursuit angles. Such was the case on Brandon Saine's touchdown run at the end of the game.
6. Go Deep
The Ohio State offensive line did a phenomenal job of pass protection. Todd Boeckman threw for 218 yards and had plenty of time to sit in the pocket. The Ohio State receiving corps kept getting open and Todd delivered. When Boeckman hit Brian Robiskie for the 68-yard long ball down the sideline, the Husky secondary couldn't find a place to hide.
Coach Conley's Six Points To Victory (Wrapup)
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