Sunday, December 7, 2014

On The Mark 12.7.14: #Buckeyes & #Big10Championship Recap

Big 10 Champions! Ohio State Destroys Wisconsin 59-0
By @MarkW2112

The Ohio State Buckeyes, 4 point underdogs coming in to the game, completely outplayed Big 10 West champions Wisconsin Badgers in every facet of the game for a dominating 59-0 win.  It was no contest from the start, when Cardale Jones, the sophomore third string quarterback from Glenville, threw a 39 yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith to start the game.  After that, the Buckeyes offense could do whatever they wanted to against the #2 ranked Wisconsin defense.  2 series later, Ezekiel Elliot blasted an 81 yard touchdown run, making it 14-0.  Elliot had an incredible night, rushing for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones threw 2 more more touchdown passes to Smith, who had 137 yards total yards on 4 receptions.  Curtis Samuel also contributed 2 touchdowns at the end of the game to complete the blow out.

But the story of the night was the domination of the Buckeyes defense against Heisman candidate Melvin Gordon and the Badgers offense.  Gordon, who came in to the championship game with over 2200 yard rushing, came away with only 76 yards on 26 carries.  Joey Bosa, Michael Bennett (wearing #53 in tribute to late lineman Kosta Kerageorge) and Adolphis Washington led a determined defensive line to stop Gordon dead in his tracks more often than not.  Doran Grant and Vonn Bell both had interceptions against Joel Stave, who finished 17-of-43 for 187 yards.  The pressure from the defensive line was just too much for Stave to get anything going all night.  The biggest highlight for the defense was Michael Bennett punching the ball out of Gordon's hands, then having Bosa recovery the fumble in the end zone to make it 38-0 before halftime.

My take:  I still can't believe what I witnessed.  The Buckeyes, you were 4 point underdogs to the Badgers, came out with fire and passion that outmatched anything they had done during the previous 12 games.  Cardale Jones, the MVP for the Big Ten Championship game, surprised with his accurate and extraordinarily powerful arm.  He had time from his excellent offensive line, who have gelled nicely as the year has gone on as well as Ezekiel Elliot, out outplayed the much more hyped Melvin Gordon by a mile.  The defense, led by Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett, played their greatest game of the year if not one of the best in years for a Buckeyes team.  Hats off to Luke Fickell and Chris Ash who came up with a near perfect game plan against the Badgers offense.  The Buckeyes also made a monster of a case that they should be in the final spot for the 4 team playoff in 2015.

Play of the night: Cardale Jones' 39 yard touchdown pass to Devon Smith to start the game.  Jones made the throw look flawless and Smith adjusted to make an incredible catch in the end zone.  It set the tone for the rest of the game. 

Play of the night 2: Michael Bennett punching the ball out of Melvin Gordon's arms, causing a fumble which was pounced on by Joey Bosa in the end zone to make it 38-0 and seal the victory for the Buckeyes in the first half.

MVP: Along with being the game MVP, Cardale Jones was also my MVP.  The kid from Cleveland's Glenville High played with passion and determination in not only the biggest game of his life but also his first start of his Buckeye career.  He was an inspiration not only to his teammates but to the millions watching the game last night.

Co-MVP's: Michael Bennett and Joey Bosa.  They inspired the entire defense all night and came up with the game clinching fumble and touchdown.

Next up: to be determined.  On The Mark will have an update as soon as the playoff committee decides their final top 4 playoff teams.

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