Northwestern Quarterback Runs Can’t Beat the Buckeyes

Northwestern Quarterback Runs Can’t Beat the Buckeyes
Chris Wells Northwestern 2008

Northwestern Quarterback Runs Can’t Beat the Buckeyes

Without running back Tyrell Sutton and starting quarterback CJ Bacher, the Northwestern Wildcats tried to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes with a combination of passing and quarterback runs on Saturday in Evanston. But Ohio State continued to dominate lesser opponents putting up 45 points to Northwestern’s 10.

By Steve Patterson

Play of the Game

            The play of the game came when Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells was stopped in the backfield but bounced off of one tackle and rumbled forward with the assistance of tackle Alex Boone for 55 yards and a touchdown early in the 2nd quarter. “It gives you a surge of confidence,” Tressel said about the touchdown after the game. “Sometimes, if you don’t block them great but you still score a touchdown, you feel happy and confident. It gives you some momentum.” That score put Ohio State ahead 14-7 and they never looked back.

Bye Week Losses

            Coming off of a bye-week has been difficult for Jim Tressel led teams at Ohio State, but the week off was used to get back to fundamentals and it paid off according to the head coach. “I thought our guys prepared hard for the last week and a half,” he said. “They were excited to get back on the field. They worked hard on their fundamentals. Northwestern went hard at it. Our defense kept playing and playing. Offensively, I’m not sure we were as consistent as we want to be. But we made more plays than we have the last few outings. And this is one more step.”

Terrelle Pryor

            Quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a very nice game after his most difficult outing of the season against Penn State two weeks ago. “I thought Terrelle did some good things,” Coach Tressel said. “First of all, it was a windy day. It wasn’t the easiest day to be throwing the ball around. There were a couple passes in there, I think on one of the handoff reads he might have made his mind up early. But every time he’s out there, he’s going to get better.” For the game, Pryor was 9-14, for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns.

            The game was over mid-way through the fourth quarter allowing senior captain Todd Boeckman to see the field for the first time in weeks.

Third Down Conversions

            Ohio State was 8-13 on third down for the day and Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald felt the statistic was one reason Ohio State soundly beat his team. “Our inability to get off the field on third down cost us,” he said. “Our inability to make big plays and create turnovers collectively as a defense was very damaging. Then on offense, we had some self-inflicted wounds with some turnovers and penalties.” But Northwestern went 8-15 on third downs and only had three penalties compared to Ohio State’s four.

            In the end it was Wells’ ability to move the ball and Pryor’s efficiency finding open receivers Fitzgerald confessed. “But credit goes out to Ohio State, who made a lot of plays. They do what winners do. They make plays when they are supposed to make them. My hat is off to them.”

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