OSU 28, UW 9

A great opening to the season for the Buckeyes — ESPN.com – NCF – Boxscore – Washington at Ohio State – 08/30/2003.

On offense, Krenzel had a typical Krenzel game — great leadership, good field vision, good movement, great contribution on the ground. But he missed receivers a lot, he got a lot of opportunities in this game, but he wasn’t sharp delivering the ball. The receiver corp seems broad and deep (Childress made some nice catches), if Krenzel was a little sharper the score would have been much more impressive. The rushing game was fine tho not explosive. Hall and Ross looked better as the game went on — thanks to fresh legs from their rotation, and a dominating offensive line. The drive in the middle of the third quarter was just outstanding — OSU at its best — a patient mix of short passes and runs, nothing tricky, but it just wore UW out.

The defense was stifling. Big hits. Pickett was on his back many times, the UW receivers couldn’t get near the ball without getting crushed — Salley just about took himself out of the game with a crushing hit in the 3rd. And when they had to — after a fumble — the defense really poured it on — WIll Smith delivered a stiflign sack in the 4th to end the last meaningful UW threat. The line and linebacker corp seem awesome — the best quote of the game was about LB Simon Fraser, about whom the announcer said “he is so big, they named a university in Canada after him.”

Special teams were good. Sanders seems like a fine punter, nicely replacing Scott Grooms from last year. A field goal block. One unfortunate fumble trying to do too much on a return — the elimination of the halo rule this year really does have an impact, we are going to see a lot more turnovers on punts.

Coaching seemed quietly good. The game plan didn’t give away much, Tressell realizes that there is no point showing off your whole arsenal if you don’t need to. The team was clearly ready for the game, tho they seemed to play at 3/4 speed at times — for this game, that was fine, but it won’t work in the Big 10. The team has time to step it up.

For UW, well this was a tough game to open up a new coaching tenure. The Huskies still lack any kind of running threat. Pickett’s Heisman dreams certainly weren’t helped, he will have to step it up against future opponents. I hope Gilbertson is better than he looks — he looked overmatched, confused, and out of shape out there.

Finally, the broadcast booth. Keith Jackson? First he retired and got a big sendoff. Then he came back, but just for west coast games. Ohio Stadium is a loooong way from the west coast. I like the guy well enough, but I want back that retirement gift I sent him. 🙂