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Posted by Nov - 25 - 2012 0 Comment

As the final seconds ticked away at Ohio Stadium yesterday, it was hard for Urban Meyer to contain his composure according to him. Somehow, I think the Buckeye Nation will forgive him. In a season who’s bowl hopes were mismanaged away by Gene Smith, all the Buckeyes could hope for was to win as many games as possible and, of course, beat Michigan. The Buckeyes did that and more Saturday as they beat That School Up North 26-21 to end their season and go undefeated and untied for the 6th time in school history. In his post-game press conference, Coach Meyer spoke of how he wanted this class of seniors to not be “forgotten”. In a year that could have largely been remembered simply as the year of the bowl ban will now be remembered as The Perfect Season*. Sure there will be no Big Ten championship game to reward the Buckeye’s perfection, nor a trip to the BCS Title Game to face the also undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Still, Meyer and the Buckeyes accomplished all they could have hoped to, and then some. Should ND fall in the title game, there is an outside chance that OSU would receive the AP Title, though it’s not likely they will receive that given their punishment. Still, the nation is on notice that in 2013 the Buckeyes will be a force once again. Meyer lead virtually the same team that was 6-7 and embarrassed in the Gator Bowl a season ago to a 12-0 record in a year where many believed they had nothing to play for. Yet this Buckeye team played for things that they don’t keep stats for; pride and one another. Meyer spoke at the beginning of the season about fielding an angry team that would put the college football world on notice. Mission accomplished. While early wins against some cupcakes and narrow victories against the likes of Michigan State and Indiana had some national pundits thinking the Buckeyes were paper tigers. However with resounding road victories at Penn State and Wisconsin leading up to The Game, Ohio State gained proper respect from those not named Mark May around the nation, and have many folks reassessing their perspective on THE Ohio State University football program.

The Game yesterday was a microcosm of the entire season for Ohio State. Down a single point 21-20 at the half, OSU traded punches and kept things closer than comfortable with Michigan. However once the second half began, the Buckeyes imposed their will on the Wolverines. Creating turnovers – none bigger than the fumble by dynamic Denard Robinson in the 3rd quarter – not only kept UM out of scoring range in the second half, the Wolverines would not even cross mid field over the last two quarters. Buckeye defenders treated the 50 yard line like the goal line. After giving up the go-ahead score late in the first half to Robinson because of missed tackles, the Silver Bullets were born again hard in the second half. Gone were the arm tackles that plagued them off and on throughout the season, replaced by wrap-and-drive hits that jarred footballs loose and ended Michigan drives shortly after they started. Surprisingly, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke shelved Robinson shortly after his fumble, and he spent most of the 4th quarter cheering his team mates on from the sidelines. With the pressure against Um QB Devin Gardner mounting in crunch time, the Buckeyes crunched Gardner with repeated sacks and forced him into throwing an interception that sealed Michigan’s fate late in the contest.

While Ohio State fans are left to ponder the post-season that might have been with their undefeated Buckeyes, there is still the glow of a perfect regular season to help keep their hearts warm. If that doesn’t do the trick, then fire in their belly fueled by sanctioned rage and the hunger to improve upon perfection surely will keep fans hot and bothered heading into 2013. Note to anyone on the Buckeye schedule next season: you’d better have your chinstraps buckled.

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