Turns out that the only thing in doubt yesterday was whether I was going to get off work in time to see the opening kickoff of Ohio State's season opener versus Marshall. At the end of the day (or the end of my workday, to be more precise), even that wasn't in question as the supervisors at Cardinal Health called the shift at almost exactly 5:30 pm and I made it to see opening kickoff. It was a thing of beauty, unless you were a Marshall fan, as there happened to be one sitting in my section amongst a sea of scarlet and gray. He spent the whole game yelling expletives at everyone, his own team, the refs, Ohio State players. But I digress. Coach Tressel seemed to open up the playbook last night, much to the delight of the more than 105,000 fans in attendance, but such a lopsided score (45-7 was the final) begs the question: how bad was Marshall? Certainly they're not as good as next weeks opponent, Miami(Fla), but then again they can't be as bad as the Hurricanes, opposition, Florida A&M, whom Miami also ended up routing (45-0). So the Buckeyes will have their hands full next week at the 'Shoe. There were several good things that came out of this contest, first and foremost the evolution of Terelle Pryor: he seemed to have maintained the poise and swagger he had in the Rose Bowl, and he looked comfortable running what appeared to be more of a pro-style offense, even taking more than a few snaps from directly under center. We all know Devier Posey has speed as well, but Dane Sanzenbacher (sp) showed he can be a downfield threat as well. And Herron and Saine provided an effective one two punch at the running back position. The bad: unless Herron and Saine had wide open holes to run through (and I mean wide open) neither got much on the ground. That needs to be worked on, as I am not sure they are going to find that kind of real estate against Miami. Additionally, while the defense was on for most of the night, let's not forget Marshall looked like it was playing scared, and I doubt Miami receivers make the drops that some of the Herd players were making. Then there was Ohio State special teams. Well I won't go into detail only to say they did a nice job forcing a fumble on the opening kickoff, and other than that they have a lot to work on for next week.
All in all it was a great game, the first night game I have ever been to at the Shoe. It was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. The crowd was electric from the start and did not let up, even after OSU got up 42-7; it seemed as if school was already in session, even if classes don't start until the end of this month. And my buddy pointed out to me something I never noticed because I had never been to a night game before: near the north endzone scoreboard they had lit up all seven years that OSU had won a national championship. And I left the game last night feeling as if I had been a part of something special, and, just maybe, that this season OSU could indeed bring home number eight.