I am a wreck. What a game. OSU certainly has used up their 9 lives. My top observations:
- Krenzel continues to be spotty. Smart in the first half, throwing short controlled passes. Missed a lot in the second half. And then yet again, cool as a cucumber and efficient in the OT.
- OSU still has no running game. The loss of Stepanovich at center is probably hurting. But clearly Hall and Ross are not guys who can bang it up the middle and find a hole. They look OK when they have some room to run, OSU needs to install some option plays, more draws and delays, more screens.
- NC State slowed down the OSU defense with all their crazy sets and motion. OSU eventually adjusted but this was a tough offense to defend. And of course Rivers is just a great QB.
- For the second week in a row, Will Smith embarrassed OSU with late hits on the QB. Coach Tressel, you need to sit him for a half or a game. He is not a great representative of the university.
- Punt returns are a rare breed without the halo rule. The punt has become a defensive play now, a chance to plant your opponent deep in their territory or even get a turnover. The threat of a big runback is substantially reduced.
- Obviously the lack of any kind of running game is killing OSU. Most noticeable at the end of the second half when OSU got the ball with 3 minutes to go, and could only burn up one minute. NC State gets the ball back, runs the 2 minute drill to perfection, and entered the locker room on a high note. And at the end of the game, the OSU defense was clearly tired. OSU must figure out a way soon to control the ball.
- OSU received some huge gifts. The fumble on the kickoff in the first half. The interception in the 2nd half which hit the ground, but was granted to OSU. The refs soon made that one up by granting the ball back to NC State on a fumble which looked like it was caused by the ground.
- In return, OSU tried to give the game back to NC State thru penalties. I think I counted 4 first downs thru penalties that OSU gave to NC State in the overtimes.
- Why NC State ran 2 QB sneaks on their final possession, none of us will ever understand. Especially when OSU couldn’t cover the receivers, or was giving up pass interference calls on every down.