Saturday, November 14, 2009
Halftime analysis: Ohio State 10, Iowa 3
By Adam Rittenberg
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Quick thoughts from Ohio Stadium, where No. 11 Ohio State leads No. 10 Iowa 10-3.
Turning point: After generating only 30 yards and one first down in the first quarter, Ohio State mounted a 17-play, 73-yard scoring drive early in the second. The Buckeyes' offensive line began to impose their will as running backs Brandon Saine and Dan Herron took advantage. Ohio State followed with another run-heavy scoring march, this time to the end zone, to take its first lead.
Stat of the half: Ohio State finished the first quarter with one first down and 30 total yards. The Buckeyes piled up nine first downs and 129 yards (81 rushing) in the second quarter and held the ball for nearly 13 minutes.
What Iowa must do: Help out James Vandenberg. The redshirt freshman quarterback has looked very poised so far, but he's getting no help from his targets. Wide receiver Trey Stross dropped a touchdown and another pass that would have resulted in a first down. Tight end Tony Moeaki also had a drop. The defense also needs to stop Ohio State's run and force Terrelle Pryor to win this game through the air. Iowa's offensive line has protected Vandenberg very well.
What Ohio State must do: Keep pounding away with the run game until Iowa stops it. If Ohio State wins the battle at the line of scrimmage, it will win this game. The Buckeyes need to start pressuring Vandenberg, who has had time to survey the defense. They also might want to start running Pryor more and make Iowa stop him around the edges.