With two minutes remaining in yesterday’s game, we were sick. Sick of watching the Buckeyes play down to their opponents. Sick to death worrying about Braxton Miller’s health. Sick of watching Purdue jack up another lovely October Saturday. Sick of Beth Mowins and Joey Galloway – probably more than anything.
So we switched away from the Ohio State game – where the Fightin’ Buckeyes of the Olentangy were trailing 22-14, and watched a few minutes of Texas A&M – LSU, because at least that game kind of meant something.
Still, we’re like Michael Corleone trying to go legit. Just when we think we’re out, they pull us back in. So we switched back to the OSU game with 1:40 left on the clock and the Buckeyes about to get the ball back for what we assumed would be the last time.
Are we glad we did.
Kenny Guiton led the Buckeyes down the field with less than 50 seconds remaining for the tying touchdown and 2-point conversion and then, having broken the (once again) spoiler-minded Boilermaker spirits, to a touchdown in overtime that would prove to be the margin of victory.
The difference between the last minute of the game (plus overtime) and the first 59 is so vast, we may as well be talking about two different games. In the first ‘game’ the officiating and an fired-up Purdue defense conspired to make our afternoon miserable. The officiating was worse than it was last week, in our opinion, although not having watched the entire Indiana game it’s possible we’re mistaken. In this game bad or questionable calls definitely gave Purdue two points (on a terrible penalty called when the Buckeyes were in their own end zone) and may have given them another seven (there was a flagrant hold on Purdue’s kick return touchdown that wasn’t called. The referee was looking right at the play, though, so… There were also a few occasions where other penalties could have been called on Purdue but weren’t, for reasons the officials only knew.
The defense played well, for the most part, but again big plays seemed to be their achilles heel. The first play from scrimmage was a long touchdown where Storm Klein got embarrassed pretty much from the snap. Purdue’s other touchdown drive featured five or six consecutive screens to the outside and the defense either didn’t adjust or didn’t adjust in time. Outside of those two drives, they played very well, especially considering they were getting little to no help from the offense.
The other big issue was Braxton Miller’s injury. On a play in the second half he looked to finally get untracked and broke off a long run. At the end he was slammed to the turf in a legal but violent hit. It didn’t appear at the time that he hit his head too hard – from our vantage point on the couch it looked as though maybe his shoulder was hurt. Fan speculation ran the gamut from concussion to broken clavicle to knee injury to broken shin to really, really bad concussion. As it stands he is – apparently – healthy, but at The Buckeye Ninja, our editorial position is that he should not be on the field until he is 100% ready.
We’ve got Kenny G. We’ll be all right. Just ask Purdue.