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Monday, September 19, 2011

Buckeyes fall out of AP's Top 25 - Buckeye Miami Recap - Browns Drop Colts to 0-2



Struggling Colts fall to Cleveland 27-19
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Peyton's Place is starting to look a lot more like a one-man act.
The Browns don't seem to mind.
With one Peyton (Manning) out, another Peyton (Hillis) overpowered the Colts' defense for two touchdown runs Sunday, leading the Browns to a 27-19 victory over reeling Indianapolis.
For the Colts, it doesn't get much worse than this. They already lost Manning for at least two months because of neck surgery and are now 0-2 for the first time since 1998, Manning's rookie season. The four-time MVP quarterback's absence seems to have stripped the Colts of any aura of superiority - Sunday's loss to Cleveland was Indy's first in the series since 1994, Manning's freshman season at Tennessee.
Without their franchise quarterback, the Colts didn't have much of a chance - even at home against a below-average team.
"We did some things better, but that's not what we're measured by around here," Indy coach Jim Caldwell said. "We're measured by winning."
By that standard, the start of this season has been an abject failure. Indy could have been expected to struggle without Manning. This is more like a collapse.
Few expected things to look this bleak this fast.
"We don't have much time left," Reggie Wayne said. "We've got to figure it out fast, even though it's just the second game. We have to figure out a way to win the close ones. I feel like that's what it's going to be from here on out."
From the middle of the third quarter until Indy's final desperation drive, the Colts didn't pick up a first down. That stretch included four straight three-and-outs, one that ended with a third-down interception after Pro Bowl receiver Wayne fell down.
Kerry Collins , Manning's replacement, started the game 9 of 12 but completed only 10 of his last 26, most coming after the outcome was decided. He finished 19 of 38 with 191 yards, one interception and another lost fumble. He didn't get the Colts into the end zone until 24 seconds remained.
Fans even began leaving early, a rarity given Manning's propensity for pulling out miracle comebacks. Some in Indy might believe a miracle is needed to turn things around without Manning.
And next week, defending AFC champion Pittsburgh comes to town for a prime-time game that could expose more flaws.
"The facts are what they are," Collins said. "We didn't do what we needed to do."
Cleveland (1-1) did, and the victory ended a tough week for Cleveland.
It simplified the game plan by relying on Hillis, who carried 27 times for 94 yards and the game-sealing score with 3:55 left. He wore down the Colts with his strong runs and repeatedly converted in short-yardage situations to help the Browns play keepaway.
"That's Peyton," Browns quarterback Colt McCoy said after throwing for 211 yards and one TD. "He's going to run and run and run. Eventually, he's going to run over someone and go."
Last week against Cincinnati, the Browns' defense got caught napping on a long touchdown pass, and punt returner Josh Cribbs got knocked down when a teammate leveled a Bengals defender. Then Saturday, as the Browns got ready to depart Cleveland, the team plane got stuck in the mud.
Some thought it might be a harbinger. Hillis made sure it wasn't against the Manningless Colts.
"Maybe we should get stuck in the mud every week," Cribbs said, drawing the kind of laughter usually heard in Indy's locker room.
The Browns changed the dynamic by trading touchdowns for field goals. Without Manning, Indy couldn't keep pace.
Collins led the Colts on two long drives in their first three series before settling for field goals.
Cleveland answered midway throughout the second quarter when McCoy scrambled to his left on third-and-11 from the Colts 16 and hooked up with Evan Moore in the back corner of the end zone to make it 7-6.
Indy came right back with a 52-yard field goal, Adam Vinatieri 's longest kick since 2008. But McCoy has enough time to take the Browns down to the Colts 1. Hillis' plunge with 15 seconds left made it 14-9.
The Colts closed to 14-12 midway through the third quarter, but Phil Dawson kicked two short field goals and Hillis' decisive 24-yard TD run sealed it.
"I don't know if we adjusted. We probably would have seen some different things," with Manning on the field, coach Pat Shurmur said after his first career win. "Don't underestimate this (Colts) team. For us to get our first victory against them is good."

Notes: Colts right guard Ryan Diem left in the second quarter with an ankle injury and was replaced by Mike Pollak . Defensive tackle Fili Moala also left in the first half with an ankle injury. ... Moore was the first Browns player to score a TD against Indy in four games, dating to William Green's TD run in 2002. ... Browns cornerback Joe Haden was called for pass interference and illegal contact on the same play during the Colts' first series and later drew a defensive holding penalty after giving up a first-down catch. ... Cleveland right tackle Tony Pashos (left ankle) missed his second straight game.






AP Top 25 College Football Week 3
RK TEAM RECORD PTS PVS
1 Oklahoma (37) 2-0 1471 1
2 LSU (14) 3-0 1424 3
3 Alabama (7) 3-0 1402 2
4 Boise State (2) 2-0 1309 4
5 Stanford 3-0 1212 6
6 Wisconsin 3-0 1170 7
7 Oklahoma State 3-0 1092 8
8 Texas A&M 2-0 1043 9
9 Nebraska 3-0 911 11
10 Oregon 2-1 899 12
11 Florida State 2-1 896 5
12 South Carolina 3-0 891 10
13 Virginia Tech 3-0 830 13
14 Arkansas 3-0 781 14
15 Florida 3-0 669 16
16 West Virginia 3-0 579 18
17 Baylor 2-0 521 19
18 South Florida 3-0 496 20
19 Texas 3-0 402 23
20 TCU 2-1 273 23
21 Clemson 3-0 272 NR
22 Michigan 3-0 266 NR
23 USC 3-0 260 NR
24 Illinois 3-0 106 NR
25 Georgia Tech



Buckeyes fall out of AP's Top 25

Mark another loss for Ohio State in a year full of setbacks.
The Buckeyes fell out of The Associated Press college football rankings for the first time in nearly seven years, ending the nation's longest streak of appearances in the Top 25.
Coming off a 24-6 beating at Miami, the Buckeyes dropped from No. 17 in the media poll released Sunday. They had been ranked in 103 straight Top 25s since last being left out on Nov. 20, 2004.
Oklahoma remained No. 1 after a 23-13 victory at Florida State. The loss dropped the Seminoles six spots to 11th.
For the third consecutive week, LSU and Alabama flip-flopped at Nos. 2 and 3. The Tigers moved up to second after winning 19-6 at Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide slipped to third. Boise State stayed at No. 4 and Stanford moved up to fifth.
Oklahoma received 37 first-places votes out of 60. LSU received 14, Alabama had seven and Boise State got two.
Ohio State was one of five teams to drop from the rankings following a loss, along with Michigan State, defending national champion Auburn, Mississippi State and Arizona State.
Moving in this week was No. 21 Clemson, which snapped Auburn's 17-game winning streak with a 38-24 victory in Death Valley, No. 22 Southern California, No. 23 Michigan, No. 24 Illinois and No. 25 Georgia Tech.
For Ohio State, it's been a year of losses and embarrassments stemming from NCAA violations committed by players who traded memorabilia for tattoos.
Coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign on Memorial Day, star quarterback Terrelle Pryor left school early for the NFL with further NCAA scrutiny looming and several key players serving NCAA suspensions.
The loss of Pryor, who would have been a senior, has left Ohio State (2-1) with huge problems at quarterback, and not until the sixth game of the season will the Buckeyes get three other key offensive players back in the lineup -- running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey and tackle Mike Adams.
The Buckeyes are 95th in the nation in passing offense (172.3 yards per game) and 85th in total offense (342 ypg).
Those offensive issues were exposed against Miami. Ohio State quarterbacks Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller completed only four passes for 35 yards.
"I'm kind of shocked," Ohio State's Carlos Hyde said after the game in Miami. "I wasn't expecting to lose to these guys."
The Buckeyes face Colorado (1-2) in Columbus on Saturday then open their Big Ten schedule with a home game against Michigan State (2-1) before getting those starters back.
With Ohio State's streak of Top 25 appearances over, Alabama now has the longest streak with 53. Boise State is next with 49.
The rest of this week's top 10 has Wisconsin at No. 6, followed by Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. The Cowboys and Aggies meet in College Station, Texas, on Saturday.
Nebraska is No. 9 and Oregon 10th.
After Florida State at No. 11, South Carolina is 12th followed by Virginia Tech, Arkansas and Florida.
The big game in the Southeastern Conference this week has Arkansas heading to Alabama. The SEC, which had a record eight teams in the preseason Top 25, had five in the latest poll. The Big 12 also had five teams with No. 17 Baylor and No. 19 Texas, joining Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
No. 16 West Virginia, which hosts LSU on Saturday, and No. 18 South Florida give the Big East two ranked teams.
TCU is No. 20, giving the Mountain West two ranked teams, along with Boise State.






10 Things We Learned from Typhoon in Miami
By Brandon Castel
Another awesome 10 things from Brandon. As always he is spot on! theozone.net

1. The odds are stacked against Luke Fickell.
It’s impossible to know what Jim Tressel would have done in this game, but Fickell was outcoached by Al Golden in his first big test. While Tressel always seemed like he was secretly in control of every game, Fickell seemed to be in over his head Saturday. That’s not really unheard of considering he had exactly two games of head coaching experience to rely on. Even Tressel struggled in his first year at Ohio State, and he had already won four national titles with Youngstown State. There is so much that has gone wrong this off-season, it's really is unfair to expect this team to be an 11 or 12-win team. Tressel set the bar so high that it might end up costing Fickell his job too.

2. Expectations must return to realistic.
After watching this team against Miami—a very average football team—we now know this is not a national title contending Ohio State squad. It may not even be a Big Ten title contender, although a lot could change over the next month. This team is going to get better. They are going to get some guys back and they have got to get this quarterback situation figured out, but for now fans need to recognize that this program is in a serious state of transition. Teams don’t go through what OSU did this off-season and continue right along as though nothing’s changed. A lot has changed and it was bound to have an effect on the Buckeyes at some point.

3. Quarterback is the most important position in football.
That being said, they still could have won this game with even the most average of performances from the quarterback position. Put Terrelle Pryor on that field against Miami, and the Buckeyes win by 10+ points. That’s how important the quarterback position is, and hopefully we’re finally getting the point. There is a huge difference between having a third or fourth year starter out there and a guy making the third start of his career. Everything comes back to the quarterback.

4. Joe Bauserman is not the answer.
It is unfair to make sweeping judgments about a player after one football game, but Bauserman has had four years to prepare for this moment. Maybe he never expected to be in this position, but if that’s the case, do you really want a guy like that out there anyway? He was beyond bad Saturday, and it really seemed to effect everyone around him. His receivers did nothing to bail him out, but this Ohio State team needs a playmaker at the quarterback position, not a game manager. They don’t have enough developed talent around him to overcome a performance like this. They never will. He has a strong arm and does a good job not turning the ball over, but that’s where it starts and stops. The rest of his game is just not cut out to play quarterback on this stage.

5. Braxton Miller is a playmaker, not a savior.
When the coaching staff finally cut Braxton loose late in the fourth quarter, it became obvious why everyone has been raving about this kid. He is fast and shifty and has some power when he hits a hole. It’s obvious he can be a playmaker for the Buckeyes, but he is not going to step out there next week and save the season. This is still a young kid who is going to make mistakes (remember Pryor against Penn State his freshman year?). Putting the ball on the ground three times in one game is not the best way to earn the trust of the coaches. Neither is forcing a ball into coverage over the middle. With the right amount of experience, Miller could become one of the greats, but best-case scenario for this season would be a repeat of 2008.

6. Jordan Hall is a difference maker.
Without a doubt, the biggest bright spot for the Buckeyes Saturday night was the return of Jordan Hall. The junior tailback missed the first two games due to suspension, but he instantly provided a spark for Ohio State Saturday night. It looks like Hall has made that leap from last year that Boom Herron made from his sophomore to junior year, and all of a sudden Hall looks like the most elusive player on the field. Teaming him with Carlos Hyde could be a dynamic combination until Herron gets back.

7. Corey Linsley and offensive line held its own.
One of the reasons Ohio State had success running the ball against Miami was the return of guard Corey Linsley. The redshirt sophomore made a noticeable difference when he stepped in at right guard for Marcus Hall, but the offensive line as a whole performed at a high level. Normally when a quarterback struggles as bad as Bauserman did, it’s because he is under pressure, but the offensive line kept him pretty upright all evening. The Buckeyes also ran for 174 yards, while averaging nearly five yards per carry.

8. Young wide receivers struggled.
As bad as Bauserman was Saturday, and he wasn’t good, the receivers really showed their youthfulness. Already without DeVier Posey, the team also played without Corey “Philly” Brown Saturday and they didn’t catch a single pass. They struggled to get open against Miami’s secondary and when they did, they didn’t hold on to the catchable balls Bauserman did throw. Evan Spencer had a drop. Verlon Reed got his hands on two balls that he didn’t haul in. Chris Fields let one get away. Devin Smith almost made a big play and even Jake Stoneburner let a catchable ball bounce off his hand, although it was thrown behind him.

9. So did the linebackers.
It wasn’t just the linebackers, a lot of players at a lot of positions missed tackles Saturday, but it was especially noticeable at the most obvious position. Etienne Sabino seemed to do a good job flying around to the football. He finished with eight tackles and Andrew Sweat had nine, but both of them missed a number of opportunities to bring down ball carriers on first contact. Outside of Sabino, there was also a noticeable lack of speed at the linebacker position. It often looked like Sweat and Storm Klein were running in mud as they tried to chase down Lamar Miller or even Jacory Harris.

10. Ben Buchanan is a weapon.
One guy who won’t get much publicity after a loss like that is the punter, but Buchanan had one of his best games against Miami. One week after having another punt blocked, Buchanan single-handedly helped Ohio State win the field position battle in the second half. He hit a couple of booming punts Saturday, including a 60-yarder, but the ones that really helped were the three he pinned inside the 20. At one point, he pinned Miami inside the 10, had the play called back for illegal formation and then proceeded to pin them inside the five.

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