The OSU-ISU game on Saturday was one of the strangest I’ve covered in the last four seasons. From no scoring to all the scoring and back.
Let’s get right to work.
1. That third quarter! There were 57 points scored in this game and 44 of them were scored in an 18:03 stretch from 2:57 left in the second quarter to five seconds into the fourth.
And it wasn’t your stock TD-extrat point-TD-extra point stuff either. Unintentional onside kicks, Tyreek Tyreeking, two (!) overturned turnovers by penalties, and a whiffed TD call by the Big 12 refs.
I was reeling. Gundy probably was too. OSU seems to thrive amid the chaos though. That FSU second half got weird and the Tech game did a little bit as well — I don’t know that it’s a recipe you want to take to Manhattan or Norman but it’s at least entertaining.
2. Tyreek is simply incredible: He still hasn’t gotten free when lined up in the backfield (which is incredible) but that kick return left me incredulous. As Carson pointed out, the track star finish was great but even better was No. 3 for Iowa State saying “screw it, not happening.”
This shouldn’t be allowed unless you can run like Tyreek runs which means 99.999 percent of humans should not be allowed to do this. All of the loops forever.
There are zero things in college football more exciting than No. 24 in the open field.
3. Let’s talk about that “touchdown”: You know the one I’m talking about. Am I glad the Big 12 handed OSU one at the end of the first half? You bet.[1. By the way, the Big 12 ironically owed OSU a “not sure where the ball is or if it crossed the plane” call on this goal line and has for the last two years. We’re even now.]
But let’s not call it anything other than what it was, which is a gift.
The point is not whether or not he technically broke the plane — and yes, my crayon-level drawings were awful and I screwed it up at first by not angling my line — the point is that I was trying to create screenshots with angled lines to begin with because it was so difficult to tell whether or not he broke the plane.
That alone should constitute not overturning the call on the field. Unless Fox was hiding a camera in the booth it wasn’t showing its audience or these referees have military-grade vision you couldn’t tell beyond a shadow of a doubt whether or not it was a TD which means that the call on the field (not a TD) shouldn’t have been overturned.
The other point is that OSU was running up the middle with 0:07 on the clock and no timeouts left. Dave Wannstedt mentioned at halftime that it was probably a run-pass option and Daxx chose run so I’m not sure the blame falls on the coaches but to say that is not an ideal call from right there is to say Katy perry was a little quirky on GameDay this morning.
4. Offensive line woes: It’s just tough to watch at this point. I thought Daxx going deep would open up the rushing game against future opponents but I didn’t take into account that OSU wouldn’t able to block five ISU players with seven of their own. This was a sack about one second later.
— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) October 4, 2014
Losing Zach Crabtree (one of your starters) didn’t help but that’s not going to play in the last five games. Not even close.
5. The playcalling wasn’t ideal: I know everybody is an elite armchair offensive coordinator but I thought of a few things during the game about playcalling.
First, to say that OSU has a lengthy playbook that Mike Yurcich is selecting plays from like you do in Madden is incorrect. OSU has a few base plays and they do a few other things off of those. It’s as basic as playcalling gets in pretty much all of sports which I personally think is great.
Now I do find fault with a couple of other things, too. One, we’ll talk about in a minute. Two, OSU’s tempo was sketchier than a LaRon Landry drug test. There seems to be hesitation on what’s called and how you’re running it.
I think that probably has to do with the fact that they have a lot of run-pass option plays and Daxx isn’t super comfortable reading things yet but he needs to get comfortable with that quickly or the second half of the season is going to be harder to watch that YouTubing “Willis McGahee knee.”
6. Daxx is worth it: No. 12 is going to throw some picks and infuriate those who value completion percentage over the well-being of their children but Daxx is bringing more to the table than he’s taking off of it.
He doesn’t get rattled, takes hits, and delivers when you need him. Is he Brandon Weeden? Nope. Is he Bryce Petty? Negative. But he’s good enough for this team to win 9-10 games a year.
I really believe that.
7. Special teams cruised: The blocking schemes are grotesque at times but OSU’s special teams were massive. The offense basically scored two touchdowns that weren’t heavily aided or directly tied to what the special teams did.
8. Josh Furman was a monster: How about 10 tackles and two sacks for the Michigan transfer? I thought he and Kevin Peterson were just beasts all game.
Granted, this is easy to do but he does it violently.
As Erik Horne pointed out, Michigan could probably use a good defensive player at this point…
Jeez, Josh Furman had a ball game. 10 tackles, two sacks. Think Michigan could use him? #okstate
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) October 4, 2014
9. Stop throwing fades at the goal line: Pull up a chair and let’s chat about the other part of the playcalling that needed help. You too, Mr. Yurcich, Mr. Garman. All of you.
Listen, there are like six general rules you should follow in college football. Three of them have to do with penalties, two with turnovers, and the other one is “don’t throw the fade at the goal line unless a guy who wore a single digit and whose first name ends with a “Z” is involved on the receiving end.”
That should not be a difficult thing.
10. The other side: OSU has somehow found itself in this position where it doesn’t panic (or feel the need to) when trouble is brewing. It was clear early that Iowa State brought some Hilton Magic down from Ames to play around with but OSU kept plugging and eventually crushed.
Part of this is that when you have an amazing defense you don’t feel the pressure to score and score and score the way those 2007-09 teams did. The other part is just that OSU is better and more confident at playing football than most teams it plays.[1. That’s 26 straight at home over unranked opponents.]
My sometimes-still-stuck-in-2001 brain has a difficult time processing that fact.
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