Monday, November 5, 2012
Ohio State 10: Week 10
By Austin Ward
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There wasn't much room for movement.
Ohio State did what it had to do against an overmatched opponent, and it got key contributions from all the usual suspects Saturday in the weekly power rankings in a 52-22 throttling of Illinois.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the top spots on offense and defense remain the same heading into the bye week, though there was a bit of shuffling deeper into the rankings. Thanks to this needed off week of recovery for the Buckeyes, those spots are safe for close to two weeks now until the trip to Wisconsin is in the books and the attention turns to The Game -- and a potential run at perfection.
Against Illinois: Challenged throughout the week to clean up some fundamental flaws with his throwing motion, the sophomore responded with one of his most efficient outings through the air as he carved up the Illini. If not for a couple of drops, Miller’s stats could have looked better while completing 12 of his 20 tosses for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns and adding 73 rushing yards and another score.
Season totals: 184 carries for 1,166 yards and 13 touchdowns; 124-for-218 for 1,753 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions
Ryan Shazier is a big reason why Ohio State's defense has improved over the season.
Against Illinois: The tackling machine was all gassed up and ready to go from the start, and the sophomore was a sideline-to-sideline force again. Of Shazier’s 14 tackles, 11 were solo and a couple of them came in the Illinois backfield, which helped change field position.
Season totals: 98 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 11 passes defended, 4 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries, 2 forced fumbles and 1 touchdown
Against Illinois: There might not be anybody in the country converting more regularly in the red zone, but he didn’t limit his impact to work in short-yardage situation against the Illini. The junior plunged into the end zone three more times to run his total to 14 for the season, but he also averaged 7.6 yards per carry on the way to 137 before leaving a bit early in the blowout.
Season totals: 144 carries for 737 yards and 13 touchdowns; 7 receptions for 43 yards and 1 touchdown
Against Illinois: The Illini took few chances with their passing game, largely avoiding risky throws down the field against Ohio State’s playmaking combination at cornerback -- including the nation’s leader in pass breakups coming into the weekend. Roby didn’t get his hand on the football Saturday, but he still made his presence felt with five tackles.
Season totals: 48 tackles, 18 passes defended, 2 tackles for a loss, a sack, a fumble recovery, a blocked kick and 3 touchdowns
Against Illinois: As usual, there was little rushing room to be found up the middle with Hankins eating up space and occupying blockers. But when the Illini tried to stretch the field and get outside the tackles, he was still active in running down plays thanks to mobility most big men don’t have and turned his lone tackle for a loss into a 7-yard loss.
Season totals: 50 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, a blocked kick and a sack
Against Illinois: What he continues to lack on the stats sheet, Simon keeps making up for by making the most of the plays that do show up in the box score and helping force bad decisions when they don’t. The two-time captain’s only tackle was a sack that cost Illinois 10 yards, and he was credited with a couple of hurries after beating blocks on the edge and batted down a pass.
Season totals: 39 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, 3 passes defended, 2 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble
Against Illinois: Help is on the way at linebacker with Etienne Sabino set to return after the bye week, but Boren doesn’t seem likely to return to offense, as natural as he has looked in the last couple of weeks. The senior made 8 tackles in the win over Illinois, including an assist in the backfield, and the Buckeyes figure to need his hard-nosed approach to help attack Wisconsin’s power-rushing game.
Season totals: 29 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss; 11 carries for 33 yards and 2 touchdowns; 5 receptions for 42 yards
Against Illinois: The senior made a couple of mistakes that might lead to a conversation with the coaches during the bye week, but his versatility as a rusher on the edge or an option as a linebacker has added another element to the game plan. He is showing no signs of being hampered by his surgically repaired knee, and he chipped in a tackle for a loss among his 4 takedowns.
Season totals: 35 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a pass defended
Against Illinois: The wide receiver took some abuse earlier in the season for not making any tacklers miss, but Saturday he put a large handful of defenders on the ground on a single play on the way to an impressive 37-yard touchdown. Brown actually joked that he showed some Miller-like moves, and while that might be a stretch, his quarterback will gladly take the result.
Season totals: 48 catches for 526 yards and 2 touchdowns; 8 rushes for 70 yards and a touchdown; 11 punt returns for 122 yards and a touchdown
No. 10: LT Jack Mewhort
Last week: Not ranked
Against Illinois: The Buckeyes could pretty much run wherever they wanted against the Illini, but the holes seemed just a bit more gaping on the left side of the line. Mewhort and his nasty, physical blocking were again on prominent display with Hyde and Miller both finding plenty of room behind the junior and his buddies as Ohio State piled up 330 yards on the ground.
Season totals: Ohio State has rushed for 256.1 yards per game and 34 touchdowns on the ground.