Monday, January 8, 2007

BCS Championship: Second Quarter Review

The Gators score on the first play of the second quarter on a 2 yard plunge from DeShawn Wynn. Ohio State gets the ball for the third time and comes right down the field. The Buckeyes were aided by a questionable roughing the passer call. Troy Smith is having little trouble finding receivers, but he has had some success scrambling. Tressell has gone with a traditional I-formation running attack and it worked bring the Buckeyes within seven. Ted Ginn has been missing since the Buckeyes first offensive series. He limped back to the locker room and has not returned since. Without Ginn, the Buckeyes will have to gain yards on short passes and runs rather than the long ball.

Both teams have successful defensive stands. The Gators are driving again mid way through the quarter. They are looking to go up by 14 again, but are stalled around their own 25. The Gators send on Chris Hetland who has hit just 4 for 13 this year, but the kicker nails it from 42. That was a huge confidence builder for the Gators, but it would have been nice to get up by 14 again considering you will get the ball

Ohio State goes for it on their own 29 yard line on 4th and 1. An interesting call considering the field position, but the Gators stuff Ohio State two plays in a row. Not sure how much you gain by going for it there. Maybe Tressell thought he had to keep the ball out of the Gators hands.

Florida is unable to gain a first down, but Hetland comes on again and nails it again from 40 this time. We will see if these FGs instead of TDs come back to haunt the Gators. I think Ohio State is going to comeback in third quarter and one or two touchdowns there would have been a huge deficit to come back from.
Well, Troy Smith fumbles and Derrick Harvey returns it to the Ohio State five. Urban Meyer elects to use Tim Tebow on two runs and then on third down they take advantage of the true freshman’s passing ability with a rub route for a TD to Andre Caldwell. The Gators have scored on six of their seven possessions.

Despite a 20 point deficit and just 61 total yards of offense, the Buckeyes are not out of this game. Remember the Michigan game and how quickly Troy Smith and Ohio State can score. The Gators will have to fight off the notion of this game already being over. Jim Tressell is not one of the big game coaches for nothing. He will have his team ready to play in the second half.

This game is already over the set total of 46 and it is just halftime. That has been a theme of this year’s bowl season. Offenses have had a month to prepare for these bowl games and find ways to attack defenses.

Keys for Florida in the 2nd Half:
Mash on the Gas -
Gators cannot even think this game is close to being over or the Buckeyes will back into this game before they can blink

Not Getting Greedy -
Chris Leak has played exceptional in the first half and made as good of throw aways as completions. He cannot start to make questionable throws just because they are up by 20.

Keys for Ohio State in the 2nd Half:
Protecting the Heisman -
Troy Smith has been sacked three times and fumbled once. Without Ginn, Smith must step up but he needs better protection.

Turnovers -
The Buckeyes have to find away to wrestle the ball away from the Gators. One way is to start putting some pressue on Leak who has a tendency to lose mechanics when under fire.

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