Saturday, October 1, 2011
Buckeyes' offense having rough go of it
By Brian Bennett
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- On the second to last play of the first quarter, Ohio State's Braxton Miller completed a pass for a first down.
This qualified as breaking news. The Buckeyes hadn't managed a first down in their first three possessions, and the passing game looked as nonexistent as it did against Miami.
Clearly, Ohio State is going to have trouble moving the ball against a Michigan State defense ranked No. 1 in the country. Especially since the Buckeyes' offense is predictable and one-dimensional. Carlos Hyde's ability to move piles after initial contact has been the best thing going for the Buckeyes offense so far.
Michigan State's first quarter touchdown looms large in a game where points seem to be at a premium. While the left side of the Spartans' offensive line has already been blown up a few times by the Buckeyes' D, Ohio State lacks a dynamic playmaker like B.J. Cunningham in the passing game. Cunningham caught a 33-yard pass in the end zone from Kirk Cousins after tight end Garrett Celek opened the play up with a crushing block. Cunningham is better than Ohio State's corners and better than anything on Ohio State's offense.
The Buckeyes need to get creative when they have the ball, or it could be a long day.