I’m not really sure what else I can say about that game.
I honestly thought that Ohio State was going to get their asses kicked so, on one hand, I feel like I can’t be too pissed off that they only lost by a field goal. But at the same time… you had it. It was right there.
Even though the defense blew that final touchdown catch (or the coaches blew it for them- Really? Texas needs a TD and you have nobody back deep?), I think if there’s any ‘blame’ for this loss, I put it directly on the Ohio State offense.
They needed to have better possessions in the third quarter. Period. The defense was tired, Texas was throwing all over them (though they still had their moments) and the Buckeye offense couldn’t get them off the field. Too many 3-and-outs and not enough sustained drives (the third quarter killed them).
As for Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns… meh. Don’t get me wrong, they are a great college football team and they had a great game last night. However, as dumb as this sounds, I’m not all that impressed with McCoy. Texas had a great game plan of throwing underneath and they executed it well. But it was mostly dink-and-dunk, no?
Terrell Pryor. Ya, he made some mistakes; he held onto the ball too long, he didn’t prepare enough for some throws and he got lucky with a couple of Longhorn drops. But overall, I think he’s done all you can ask of his as a freshman. He’s obviously improving with every game and if you don’t think he has a really bright future, you’re nuts.
More than anything, I really feel bad for the Buckeye seniors. They’ve now lost to huge games to Florida, LSU, USC and Texas. 1-3 in Bowl Games (all BCS I believe). They kept this game closer than I expected (Todd Boeckman? Wha?) and it sucks that they couldn’t pull this out. (But hey, they haven’t lost to Michigan, huh?)
And then there’s Jim Tressel. Some Ohio State fans have been getting greedy (or stupid) and are fed up with these bowl game losses (and USC). But as far as I’m concerned, The Vest should coach the Buckeyes as long as he wants to. Ohio State isn’t guaranteed spots in BCS games. Tressel has his flaws, like any coach, but I think he does an excellent job and I don’t think these losses should be held against him too much. He’s won a title and he’s giving them good chances to compete for one every year. Not much more you can ask.
Finally, there’s Beanie Wells. As a fitting end to his career at The Ohio State University, Wells played a great game but couldn’t finish it due to injury. I know he’s undecided on whether or not he declares for the NFL draft and I’ll be honest: if he returns to Ohio State, he’s a dumbass.
Don’t get me wrong, as a Buckeye fan, I’d love seeing Pryor: Year II paired up with Wells: Year IV. But a running back doesn’t have a long lifespan in the NFL and Beanie has proven just about all you can at the college level. He shouldn’t go another season getting hit unless he gets paid for the pleasure. Running backs can contribute in the rookie season, there’s no reason to waste another year of hits at the college level. Go pro Beanie (and if Rey Maualuga is off the board when the Browns pick, I wouldn’t mind watching you run down by the lake on Sundays).
All and all, I can’t really be pissed at the game. It sucks, don’t get me wrong. It sucks real bad. But they played a great game. Sure, they made mistakes, but after the first half, I was just pleased that the game was close (let alone Ohio State having a lead). In the end, even though they wound up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (where were the safeties?!?!?), I think we can applaud the effort (and be glad they weren’t run off the field) and enthusiastically look ahead towards 2009.