October 17, 2006

Ohio State-Michigan State report card

In one of weekly features, Bill Kurelic breaks down the Ohio State-Michigan State game, grading the Buckeyes' play by position.

A = Head of the class. Superior performance
B = Winning effort
C = Solid if not spectacular performance
D = Not up to par. Big improvement needed
F = Complete failure

Quarterback and running backs
Troy Smith continued to seperate himself from the other Heisman Trophy candidates. This week he completed 15 of 22 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns without being intercepted. Smith also had another Heisman highlight moment when he scrambled out of the grasp of a Michigan State defender and fired a strike to Brian Robiskie for a touchdown. Once again Antonio Pittman did not rush for 100 yards as he gained just 48 on 18 carries, averaging just 2.7 yards per attempt. Chris Wells put the Bucks in a hole early with his fumble, but the Buckeye defense bailed him out. Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn Jr. each had a nice run on back-to-back reverses.

Grade: B plus

Wide receivers and tight ends
It was yet another great day for Gonzalez as he caught seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and carried the ball once for another 29 yards. Ginn chipped in with three catches and averaged 19.3 yards per reception as well as taking a punt to "the house" for a score. Robiskie continues to get better and better, this week catching four passes including a touchdown toss on Smith's scramble away from a Spartan defender. This week five Buckeyes caught passes, a number that is usually between six and nine.

Grade: A minus

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