Bittersweet For The Buckeyes, Almost All Bitter (But With Some Sweet) From The Browns
Here's my recap for each game:
The Game. Always a great match up in the greatest rivalry in College Football. And this year was no different. In the end, the Buckeyes prevailed 42-28. But they lost their fantastic freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett not only for the rest of the year but possibly in to next year. It all depends on how fast his broken ankle heals. But before that, Barrett and the Buckeyes were able to withstand a strong performance by Devin Gardner, who probably had his best game of the year. The other good news was the performance of Ezekiel Elliot who ran for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was a battle all game for both teams but the Buckeyes prevailed with more talent on their side of the ball. And while nothing is certain, it might have been the last game for Brady Hoke as head coach. As much as Wolverines fans would love that, most Buckeyes fans would be delighted to have him back for one more year.
My take: the loss of J.T. Barrett is a huge blow, maybe even bigger than Braxton Miller in the summer. The job now falls to Cardale Jones, the big third stringer who was ahead of Barrett at one time. It's now his turn to shine during the Big 10 Championship next Saturday night against Wisconsin. But don't be surprised to see a lot of Jalin Marshall. You know they will dedicate to the game in rememberence of Kosta Karageorge.
Next: the Big 10 Championship in Indianapolis against Wisconsin.
The Buffalo Bills defense were too much for the Browns offense and were a huge part in their 26-10 win. The Browns, who led at halftime 3-0, were outmatched in the second half and were not helped by Brian Hoyer's 2 interceptions. The other big play was a fumble by Terrance West which was returned for a touchdown to make it 14-3 in the third quarter. From there, it just got uglier for Hoyer and the offense. Joe Thomas, usually stout, had a bad game with 3 holding penalties and a false start.
It got so bad for Hoyer, Mike Pettine finally decided to send in Johnny Manziel to see if he could lift the offense. His first drive was magnificent, going down the field 80 yards and scoring on a 10 yard scramble in to the endzone. But that was about it for the offense all day. To make matters worse, Billy Cundiff missed from 37 yards in the first half. Not a good sign for a team that is trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
My take: it may be time to see what Johnny can do. Hoyer hasn't played well since the Pittsburgh game and has thrown 9 interceptions since that time. Josh Gordon, while a great weapon, still doesn't seem to be in game day form after a few miscommunications between him and Hoyer. But since Pettine pulled Hoyer, there may be no going back now. It's Johnny time.
Next: back home in Cleveland against the Indianapolis Colts. It doesn't get any easier for the Browns.