Buckeyes must find offense

Published 11:49 am Monday, October 13, 2008

Ohio State fans have heard it before. BCS doesn’t stand for Bowl Championship Series. It stands for Buckeyes Can’t Score.

After Saturday’s performance against a struggling Purdue defense, Ohio State did nothing to squash that notion.

The offense didn’t score a touchdown in a 16-3 win. The only touchdown came off a blocked punt return.

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Looking back at previous games, things haven’t been much better.

There was the debacle at Southern Cal with the offense getting just three points, the late surge to get a 28-10 win over Troy, and a touchdown in the closing seconds to beat Wisconsin 20-17.

With the exception of overmatched Youngstown State, the only real offense came in a 34-21 win over Minnesota, the Gophers lone loss this season.

What seemed to be a great win at Wisconsin became a question mark after Penn State crushed the Badgers this past Saturday night 48-7.

Inserting Terrelle Pryor at quarterback was supposed to make the offense more dangerous. With Beanie Wells in the backfield and Pryor’s scrambling ability, the Buckeyes could put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.

But part of the reason to put Pryor in the lineup was his athletic ability. The freshman is elusive and fast, thus allowing him to escape the pass rush that swarmed the drop-back style of Todd Boeckman.

Wells creates a lot of rushing yardage because of his ability. Pryor does just what the coaches thought he could. The receiving corps is more than capable of making plays. The problem lies with the offensive line and that is one of the reasons Pryor replaced Boeckman.

The defensive line doesn’t escape criticism, either. The Buckeyes don’t get a lot of pressure on quarterbacks.

Ohio State has 11 quarterback sacks on the season and has allowed 19.

Until the Buckeyes start putting up some impressive wins, they are destined to remain outside the top 10 in the polls. Sports writers and others are already leery of letting the Buckeyes creep up the polls and get in position to play for the national title a third straight year.

With all the movement in the polls each week, the Buckeyes have remained No. 12 or even dropped a spot like they did in the Harris poll.

The Buckeyes need some offense and they need it right away. They visit Michigan State this week and host Penn State the following week. If they are going to make a move in the polls and get a BCS game, they must win the next two games.

In this case, BCS means Buckeyes can’t struggle.

–– Sinatra ––

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.