Monday, November 26, 2012
Ohio State 10: Week 12 power rankings
By Austin Ward
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There was only one more shot to impress the voters in The Associated Press poll.
Ohio State also had only one final game to make a move in the weekly power ratings.
No surprise, the top spots stayed the same as the Buckeyes polished off their perfect season, getting big-time passing plays from Braxton Miller, another impressive outing from Ryan Shazier and more hard running from Carlos Hyde.
But the defensive effort in the second half as Ohio State shut down rival Michigan in a 26-21 decision on Saturday at Ohio Stadium allowed for some tinkering after that, and for now, the latest edition of the Ohio State 10 will have to stand for a while.
No. 1: QB Braxton Miller
Last week: No. 1
Against Michigan: The sophomore again found rushing room hard to come by, but Miller made up for it with perhaps his most impressive passing performance of the season. Against one of the nation’s best pass defenses, Miller rarely wasted a throw in completing 14 of his 18 attempts and racked up 189 critical yards and a touchdown.
Season totals: 227 carries for 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns; 148-for-254 for 2,039 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions
Ryan Shazier ran his season sack total to five with this takedown of Devin Gardner.
No. 2: LB Ryan Shazier
Last week: No. 2
Against Michigan: The low number of plays the Wolverines were able to run deflated some of the individual statistics for the Buckeyes on defense, but the sophomore still added to his case as a potential Big Ten defensive player of the year candidate. Shazier was a nuisance behind the line of scrimmage with 2.5 tackles for a loss, including one big sack that cost Michigan 11 yards.
Season totals: 115 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, 12 passes defended, 5 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries, 3 forced fumbles and a touchdown
Against Michigan: Even without the benefit of two postseason appearances and despite missing two games with a knee injury, Hyde still nearly pulled off a 1,000-yard season. The junior gave the offense everything it could have wanted on the ground, battling his way to 146 yards on 26 carries.
Season totals: 185 carries for 970 yards and 16 touchdowns; 8 receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown
Against Michigan: Perhaps not tested as much as he might have liked in the passing game, Roby made his biggest impact as a tackler in helping the defense completely shut down the Wolverines in the second half. If he elects to go pro after his redshirt sophomore season, his last game included eighttackles.
Season totals: 63 tackles, 19 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 2 tackles for a loss, a sack, a fumble recovery, a blocked kick and 3 touchdowns
Against Michigan: The difference in the junior from the start of the season to the end is sizable, and he offered a couple more reminders against the Wolverines thanks to his improved ability to move after the catch. Brown’s productive campaign came to a close with eight receptions for 95 yards and a critical touchdown.
Season totals: 60 catches for 669 yards and 3 touchdowns; 11 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown; 18 punt returns for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns
Against Michigan: The Buckeyes were bummed to be playing without their two-time captain, who injured his knee late in the win over Wisconsin and couldn’t recover in time to play his final game. The emotions were obvious for everybody involved as he was introduced last to the crowd at Ohio Stadium, and while he couldn’t contribute on the field, the Buckeyes rallied around their teammate and won in his honor.
Season totals: 45 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 9 sacks, 4 passes defended, 2 quarterback hurries and a forced fumble
Against Michigan: The senior’s story was already going to be remembered within the program for a long time, and the last chapter was the best one yet. Playing against Ohio State’s biggest rival after just half of a season at linebacker, Boren led the team with nine tackles, and he added a forced fumble, a sack, and another tackle for loss.
Season totals: 50 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery; 11 carries for 33 yards and 2 touchdowns; 5 receptions for 42 yards
Against Michigan: No matter how hard the Wolverines tried, there was just no room to run up the middle. That shouldn’t have come as a surprise since others had tried and failed to move the ball in the trenches against Hankins, and the potential first-round draft pick was operating at a high level against the Wolverines.
Season totals: 55 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, a blocked kick, a sack and a forced fumble
No. 9: FS Christian Bryant
Last week: No. 9
Against Michigan: There was at least one missed tackle that Bryant would like erased from his memory, but he made up for it later on by forcing a fumble and getting a hand on two passes. Despite having the one notable chance to make a tackle slip away, Bryant made four others and finished second on the team this season in that category.
Season totals: 71 tackles, 13 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, an interception, a fumble recovery, and 0.5 tackles for a loss
No. 10: CB Travis Howard
Last week: Not ranked
Against Michigan: After spending the rest of the season nabbing his turnovers through the air, Howard added one final takeaway to his tally by pouncing on a loose fumble that set up a fourth-quarter field goal that added some late breathing room. It was a fitting end for the senior, who seemingly finally put everything together in his last season with the program.
Season totals: 40 tackles, 10 passes defended, 4 interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick