“Hope is a good thing”
When Michigan State’s “Hail Mary” was answered last weekend, it provided all of college football with a thrill unlike any other. A miraculous ending to a fantastic game. The college football world was a buzz, but there was an underlying story line that was started in Columbus, Ohio and all of Buckeye Nation. The big Russian, err juggernaut that was Wisconsin had been cut, they were human after all. Weakness was exposed and the opportunity to salvage the Ohio State season and still make it to and win the B1G Title Game became possible. Hope had found it’s way back to the capital city.
“Maybe the best of things”
This past Saturday was the first hurdle in what now felt like a brand new season. While Wisconsin had been wounded the previous week they were still a formidable opponent. Talented at the skill positions, strong in the trenches, and an athletic senior QB that has shown the kind of talent to be part of the Heisman discussion.
With a tall task at hand, the young Buckeyes came out and exhibited a cohesiveness and confidence that had been missing this season. The offensive line played with a toughness that has been missing for even before this season, the coaching staff stuck with the run-heavy game plan, but also found ways to utilize Braxton Miller in a way that the defense HAD to account for him on each play, either through the air or on the ground. While the passing game was far from proficient, the fact that he had to be accounted for gave him and the entire offense confidence that seemed to permeate to all phases of the game. So much so that it manifested into one of the more complete and promising defensive efforts Buckeye fans have seen in quite some time. The pass rush and run stuffers lead by John Simon and Johnathan Hankins allowed a young linebacking core to grow up before our eyes and fly around sideline to sideline making plays and holding one of the most potent rushing attacks in college football in check. Were they perfect? Of course not. But they showed vast improvement from previous weeks and did so against likely their toughest opponent of the season.
As the final minute and a half transpired Saturday night you could see the entire game as a microcosm of the Buckeyes season thus far. Starting with disappointment and frustration, giving way to optimism and young promise, being presented with even more adversity, and finally as Braxton launched the 40 yard touchdown, that we will all be talking about for years to come, and Wisconsin’s last ditch effort was suffocated by the defense we as fans where left with jubilation and continued hope for what could still be from our young team.
“And no good thing ever dies.”
The Buckeyes remaining schedule holds the likes of Indiana, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan. With the up and down nature of the season thus far I’m hesitant to call any of those games easy wins. But what I can say for sure is that the Buckeyes season still has a pulse. Fans will be walking around Columbus and all across Buckeye Nation feeling a little better about our team and talking about what still may be this season. It’s been a rocky season thus far, but that’s ok our young Buckeyes have fought hard and shown us that sometimes adversity can make you appreciate the good times even more. The Buckeye faithful won’t die and we’re excited and happy that hope is alive and that is a very good thing.