Thursday, January 17, 2013
Best and worst of 2012: Ohio State
By Brian Bennett
Our series examining the best and worst moments of the 2012 season for each Big Ten team concludes now with the Ohio State Buckeyes:
Best moment: Perfection achieved
In lieu of an opportunity to play for the national title, what could possibly be better than beating your rival on your home field to clinch a perfect season? That's what Ohio State did on Nov. 26, topping Michigan 26-21 to finish 12-0. Afterward, seemingly the entire state of Ohio flooded onto the field at the Horsehoe to revel in the victory and the season. Pity the poor sportswriter (blush) who had to try and make his way across the field to postgame interviews through that mob. But it was a deliriously happy and polite crowd that sang along with the school's band in the glow of perfection. In his comments after the game, head coach Urban Meyer said, "At this point in time, Ohio State can go and play with anybody in America." No one could refute that claim.
Worst moment: Down goes Braxton
Predictably for a 12-0 team, there weren't many bad moments for the Buckeyes in 2012. The worst arrived on Oct. 20 in a home game against Purdue. Star quarterback Braxton Miller was thrown down on a tackle near the end of the third quarter and writhed in pain on the turf for several minutes. The Horseshoe was hushed as he was carted off the field and then taken out of the stadium in an ambulance. Ohio State also trailed 20-14 at the time and would give up a safety a few minutes later. Hopes for a perfect season seemed dashed, and a potential future without Miller didn't look pretty. But even the worst moments didn't last too long for the Buckeyes last season. Backup quarterback Kenny Guiton led the team to an improbable overtime victory, and Miller would return to start the following week's game at Penn State.