Bucknotes - 11/30

Dave Biddle is back with Bucknotes, and today he talks big play-calling, Darrion Scott, fans, and more.

All season, as we watched the Buckeye offense do just enough to get by, we wondered if Jim Tressel was saving something for Michigan.

Well, last week we found out that he was.

On Ohio State's game-winning drive against the Wolverines, Tressel pulled two tricks out of his hat and both worked to perfection.

The first was a 26-yard pass to Maurice Clarett on a wheel route. Clarett had been calling for the play all day, but Tress was waiting for the right time to pull the trigger.

The right time came on a first-and-10 at Michigan's 32. Craig Krenzel lined up in the shotgun (OSU fans and Michigan defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann were equally shocked by this) and found Clarett wide open at the six for a 26-yard gain. The Wolverine linebackers were cheating up to stop the run and their DB's were playing deep on Mike Jenkins and Chris Gamble, so this was the perfect call at the perfect time. It was also the first time all season that the Bucks ran this play.

The other "saved" play was Maurice Hall's game-winning three-yard touchdown run. Following a three-yard jaunt by Clarett, the Bucks were facing a second-and-goal from the 3. Fullback Branden Joe went left and many of the UM defenders followed him. However, Krenzel sprinted right and pitched the ball to Hall, who sped into the end zone for an easy score.

Like Clarett's big catch, it was the first time all season that the Bucks ran such a play. Talk about saving your best for last.

"FANS" NOT INVOLVED I know this topic has received a little too much press this week, but let's clear something up about the riots the morning after the Michigan win: Ohio State "fans" were not involved.

The people who were involved were the same people who probably woke up at halftime of the OSU-UM game (at the earliest) on a floor somewhere from getting hammered the night before. They were not the same people who actually went to the game and they were definitely not the same people who were up at 6 a.m. Saturday morning tailgating.

People are making this out to be a reflection of OSU fans, but this has nothing to do with football. There were several riots in the spring of 2001 and they obviously had nothing to do with football. This is just a sad reflection of the people who party around the OSU campus (the majority of whom aren't even OSU students).

It was unfortunate that Ohio State president Karen Holbrook didn't make this clear. She seemed to be apologizing for all Buckeye fans at her news conference earlier this week. But I would guess there wasn't one true Buckeye fan involved in that whole mess. Like I said, if you were up partying at 3 a.m., you probably weren't too involved in a game that took place 12-15 hours earlier.

ON DAN PATRICK'S RADIO SHOW... Penn State tailback Larry Johnson called Mike Doss, "Definitely the best player I've played against this year." Nice words from Johnson, who is suddenly the Heisman favorite.

Isn't a very accurate one. Woodson didn't play nearly as much as Gamble on offense and he didn't return kickoffs on a regular basis. Champ Bailey is a little better of a comparison, but he didn't even do quite as much as Gamble in college.

His performance against Michigan will go down as one of the grittiest, toughest, most memorable ever by a Buckeye back. ... And out of all the jokes I've heard this week, I like this one the best: Maurice Clarett can beat Michigan with one arm tied behind his back.

Speaking of gritty performances, how about Darrion Scott? He was still battling a groin injury, but made one of the biggest plays of the game when he forced a John Navarre fumble with just a little over 2:00 left in the fourth.

Scott closed out the regular season with 8.5 sacks, by far the best on the team. Next closest were Will Smith and David Thompson with 4.5 each. Smith recovered the big fumble against UM.

Looking ahead to next year, the D-Line of Scott, Smith, Tim Anderson and Simon Fraser is going to be something special to watch.

Nice hands, even if that ball wasn't meant for him.

Is even more impressive when you consider the rule changes in the last 10-15 years of college football. The goalposts used to be wider and kickers could also use a tee. So, not only did The Nuge shatter every record in the book, he did it without the same benefits that many of his predecessors enjoyed.

A playoff-system still makes the most sense, but there aren't too many Buckeye fans that are upset with the BCS right now. Could you imagine having to play USC, then Oklahoma, just to get to the finals? Hopefully the NCAA does go with a playoff format in the future (it's a huge contradiction that there are playoffs in Division I-AA, D-II and D-III and not D-I), but things sure did work out well for the Bucks this year.

I am. I hope the Canes crush Syracuse and Virginia Tech and roll into Tempe overconfident as can be. You give Mark Dantonio and the country's best defense six weeks to prepare for someone and you better watch out.

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