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Saturday, October 12, 2013

TVS Hangs on for Win

It was not the prettiest game played this season.  But win's do not come with style points.  South hung on in the last seconds of the game to hold off Bethel for a 15-7 win.  At times South seemed determined to hand over the game to the Bee's with mistimed penalties - one that negated a hook and ladder play to the 2 yard line and several that took away field position when South got a hand on a punt and got the ball at the Bethel 35.  That series actually took the Panthers backward with 2 penalties.  But South was able to find the endzone twice and the defense fell on a Bethel fumble in the last minute to end Bethels efforts at a tie and overtime.

There was plenty of pink on the field as South hosted a cancer awareness night.  The cheerleaders released balloons and gave flowers to breast cancer survivors in a pregame ceremony.  The pass was not kind to TVS against Bethel. At one point in the first half South had dropped back to pass 6 times. The result was 4 scrambles as the quarterback was chased out of the pocket, one incomplete pass, and one interception.  There were 3 interceptions thrown in the first half by my count.  But the running game got traction, particularly in the second half when they seemed to grind down the Bethel defense. Joe Webb was churning out chunks of yardage in between the tackles. But when you give up offensive penalties it puts you in long yardage situations where you have to chuck the ball up in the air.

South's first score was set up by a Bethel offsides on 4th down. South was in a punt formation and an over eager Bethel defender jumped to give South a fresh set of downs and they continued their drive to the 2 yard line where Wes Cole drove it in for the lead.  The extra point snap was muffed and South did not get their extra point.

South had a frustrating drive that began when Jordan Burns recovered a Bethel fumble at the Bethel 38. Then Cole was sacked and a penalty put the Panthers into long yardage.  South successfully ran the hook and ladder play with Burns getting all the way to the 2 yard before being drug down.  But another hold penalty took away all the yardage.  South was then intercepted when they took to the air again and Bethel promptly drove the ball into the endzone for their touchdown. So a drive that South should have scored on, instead handed the ball to Bethel where they drove instead for the lead. Bethel made their extra point and had a 7-6 lead that they took into the locker room at half time.

Darren Brown gave South a shot at another score when he got a hand on a punt and South got the ball at the Bethel 35.  But Bethels defense make a vigorous stand and South had to turn over the ball on downs after 4 plays.  This time of year with the warm days and cool nights, dew will form on the grass in the evening.  So although there was no rain the conditions were slick on the field as the teams entered the last quarter.  A bad Bethel snap put the ball into the endzone where the ball was booted out of the endzone to give South a safety.  Then a few series later a bad snap on a punt gave South the ball in good field position. Cole scored on a 6 yard run to give South a 15-7 lead.

Bethel had one of their best drives of the night with about 4 minutes left in the game.  They combined the pass and run to keep South off balance and moved the ball down to about the 4 yard line. There was a little over a minute left in the game.  They ran an option and the pitch to the halfback fell to the ground.  And a Panther defender was able to fall on the ball and end the Bethel attempt at a tie and over time.  Although there was some confusion towards the end and it seemed that South's offense would never run out the clock for the win.

South improves to 5 and 2 on the season.  Bethel is 2 and 5.  South goes thru the 3 heavy weights of the CCC to end their season - Covington, Miami East, and TCN.  All three teams have been dynamos this year. They need to be able to knock off at least one of these teams to have any kind of shot at the playoffs and a winning season.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Axe Falls at Miami

The axe is falling already and we are not quite up to the half way point of the season. When I was growing up Miami University had a knack for getting good coaches, they would move on to bigger things after success at Miami. Miami has that reputation as the 'cradle of coaches'.  Hey Woody Hayes cut his teeth there. But they were always able to find and attract someone else just as talented and keep the program at a high level.  But Coach Treadwell who won like 4 games his first 2 seasons, and is 0'fer this season was released by the AD.  Things must really be bad if they pull the plug on you while the season is in progress.   Read the below exert from the Middletown Journal.  If your offensive coordinator (John Klacik) is so bad that a school considered dropping football after he coached there, maybe you should not have hired him in the first place...

here is an excert from the Middletown Journal:
Klacik is most known for his stint as head coach of D-II Lock Haven, his alma matter. Klacik coached the Eagles for six season prior to leaving for Miami in 2011, and in his tenure he won just 5 games, while overseeing a losing streak that had reached 32 games by the time he resigned.When he left things were so bad at Lock Haven that the school considered actually shutting down the football program. The program lived on, but the streak lasted another 20 games before it was snapped in November of last season.
During his time at Miami the RedHawks offense finished ninth in the MAC in total offense in both 2011 and 2012.

Ohio State Defense Shows Holes vs Northwestern

Wisconsin showed some kinks in the Ohio State armor, but Northwestern really exposed them.  The Buckeyes defense has some new faces this season after graduating a good group last year.  And that inexperience is showing in the pass defense. I recall the announcers talking up Roby,Ohio States premier cornerback, early in the game against Wisconsin.  And there is no question that he a good athlete, and does some good things on the field.  But he was burnt repeatedly in single coverage. Even with him grabbing and tugging at the receiver every play, they finally brought in a safety to help cover deep. And the Northwestern quarterbacks were able to pick apart the remainder of their pass defense. With a porous defense, the Buckeyes offense has to be a powerhouse and be able to score a bucketload of points in a horse race against the other team.

And the Buckeye's have the offense this season.  When your backup quarterback can set a school record for TD's, you know you have depth.  Backup Guiton throws a good ball, the only difference between him and Braxton Miller is running ability.  Miller is multi-dimensional and that ability to run for big gains, or scramble for positive yards gives him an edge.  Guiton is more of an NFL type passer, even though he is a backup, I would not be surprised if he gets an invite to a training camp next year.

Hyde is emerging as a weapon. Did OK running the ball against Wisconsin, great against Northwestern.  Seemed to be really fatigued at the end of the game. Maybe missing the beginning of the season due to suspension was a factor.  He is putting distance between himself and the other Buckeye ball carriers.  And I like his personality, at the end of the game they interviewed him what made the difference in this game? He responded that the offensive line was the difference in the running game. Gotta like that - it's not about me and giving props to the guys in the trenches.

The team showed some character.  First time this season that they had to play from behind.  They could have panic'ed and crumpled up. But they were able to make some plays and come with a win. Meyer might have been a little panicky when he did the fake punt in his own territory and failed.  But you could see his intensity when he was arguing with an official about getting his timeout back when they were reviewing the Hyde TD call.  When Guiton started to warm up, I think it put some additional pressure on Miller to make plays.   Even though Miller put up good numbers, he coughed up 2 fumbles and an interception.  If the Buckeyes want to win a championship, they will need to get that defense shored up. For sure they will be in a bowl game, and maybe even the Championship game.  But we all know the adage that defense wins championships and I don't think the Buckeye defense is there yet.