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A half-dimensional offense
No frosh ideas at Columbus
By: Richard Linde, 30 August 2003

Playing dispassionately at times with a certain quality of mercy, the Ohio State Buckeyes decked the Washington Huskies in the first quarter (14-0) and then toyed with them the rest of the way, winning 28-9, in a mismatch played at Columbus, Ohio. Making his debut as the Huskies’ football coach, Keith Gilbertson, who did the taking, can thank the Buckeyes for its quality of mercy—his team was whipped soundly on both sides of the line of  scrimmage.

The final score could have been much worse for Gilbs' dawgs, who were bludgeoned, battered, bruised, and obscenely toyed with. Not turning the ball over via interception or fumble kept the score closer for the Huskies than it should have been, considering the marked disparity in quality between the two teams. OSU should have forced some turnovers. 

However, the Buckeyes jumped on the Huskies quickly, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter, each coming off long drives. OSU opened the scoring with Maurice Hall's 2 yard run, which capped an 8 play, 72 yard drive. Nugent's kick made the score 7-0. Later in the quarter, QB Craig Krenzel's 23 yard run finished a 7-play, 78-yard drive, to make the score 14-0 Buckeyes.

With 11 seconds remaining in the half, Krenzel ran 11 yards for a touchdown, to make the score 21-0, OSU.

To start the third quarter, the Huskies mounted a 47-yard drive capped by an Evan Knudson field goal of 46 yards, which made the score 21-3.

After that each team exchanged 7-play drives for scores, the Buckeyes driving 61 yards and the Huskies 57 yards. To wit: With 6:06 to go in the third quarter, Lydell Ross scored on a 15-yard run to put the Bucks ahead, 28-3; and with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter, Cody Pickett ran the ball in from 2 yards out.

With the score 28-9 and a minute to go, Washington got the ball back at the OSU 48-yard line. After working the ball to the OSU 17, Pickett was sacked for a 12-yard loss. The game ended after Pickett completed an 11-yard pass to Quintin Daniels, working the ball to the OSU 18.

Before diving into a sea of negativity, there were some Husky highlights to crow about. The punting game looks solid in the hands of Garth Erickson. Evan Knudson and Sean Douglas handled the kicking chores ably. In the haberdashery department, the new road uniforms with their purple striping clearly win over last year's barely-visible gold striping. For a first game, the Dawgs were relatively error free, with a paucity of penalties and mistakes (no fumbles, no interceptions) to mar the night. Scoring-wise, the Huskies won the last half, 9-7. Tossing out the Buckeyes scoring runs of 23, 11, and 15 yards--two of them by QB Craig Krenzel--the Bucks averaged 2.3 yards per running attempt.

However, the loss of four wide receivers from last season’s team (Paul Arnold, Pat Reddick, Will Hooks, Jr., and Eddie Jackson) has turned last season’s one-dimensional offense into a half-dimensional offense—at least until one or more of Washington’s true freshmen receivers step to the fore.

Without a running game, Pickett was under constant bombardment most of the night, and was lucky to finish unscathed. Against Purdue in the Sun Bowl, Pickett threw to 11 different receivers. Against OSU, Pickett threw mainly to WRs Charles Frederick and Reggie Williams. Only one of the UW’s heralded freshman receivers, Quintin Daniels (1 for 11 yards), caught a pass on the night--and that was the last play of the game.

Part of the script for this game was written at last year’s Sun Bowl, when the Huskies managed only 45 yards rushing, bowing to Purdue, 34-24. The finishing touches on the script were written during the Huskies’ spring game and at the Olympia training camp, wherein, each time, the Huskies’ runners struggled to run the ball against the first-team defense.

At Columbus, the Huskies garnered seven-yards rushing, with the running game looking even more anemic than it did last season. Rich Alexis ran 14 times, accounting for 24 total yards on the night. His numbers were offset by quarterback Cody Pickett who accounted for -24 yards rushing, some of those yards due to sacks. Collectively, Kenny James, Ty Eriks and Charles Frederick ran 3 times for 7 yards. In an unbalanced offense, the Huskies ran the ball 24 times and threw it 49 times.

The Dawgs averaged 0.3 yards per rush, while the Buckeyes averaged 3.3 yards on 43 rushes.

Meanwhile, Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel played in a demilitarized zone, having more than enough time to pass or choose a running lane. In an ancillary battle, he took a step forward towards winning the Heisman Trophy, while Cody Pickett took a backwards step. Krenzel completed 15 of 27 for 203 yards and rushed eight times for 27 yards with two touchdowns.

The Buckeyes won the scandal bowl, the loss of tailback Maurice Clarett being more of a topic of conversation than a factor in the game; the gambling imbroglio involving Rick Neuheisel may have taken an emotional toll on the Huskies.

Ironically, the loss of Keith Gilbertson as an assistant coach may be more perturbing for the Huskies than the loss of Coach Neuheisel. Gilbertson is an excellent offensive coordinator and teacher of football fundamentals, rivaling Norm Chow at USC. 

Because of its anemic running game and its thin receiving corps, the Huskies’ offense looks rudderless, while the Huskies’ defense appears somewhat better than it was last year. Injuries to either Williams or Frederick, or both, could cripple the Huskies' passing game the rest of the season.

“The quality of mercy is not strained…It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."

In his debut has Huskies' head coach, a blessed Gilby willingly did the taking.

"They are as advertised," Gilbertson said. "They (OSU) are big and powerful and quick and they have lots of athletes."

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
Washington 0 0 3 6 9
Ohio State 14 7 7 0 28

Time Team How Player(s) Score
1st Q
8:31 OSU TD


Maurice Hall 2 yard run; Nugent kick
OSU 7-0
2:51 OSU TD Craig Krenzel 23 yard run; Nugent kick
OSU 14-0
2nd Q        
0:11 OSU TD Craig Krenzel 11 yard run; Nugent kick. OSU 21-0
3rd Q        
13:22 UW FG Evan Knudson 46-yard field goal. OSU 21-3
6:06 OSU TD Lydell Ross 15-yard run; Nugent kick. OSU 28-3
4th Q        
3:27 UW TD Cody Pickett 2 yard run; failed 2-point try. OSU 28-9

Statistic Ohio State UW
Total First Downs 21 15
  Passing 0 8
  Rushing 12 12
  Penalty 3 1
Total Net Yards 345 262
Net Yards Rushing 43-142 24-7
Net Yards Passing 203 255
Completions-attempted-int 15-28-0 26-49-0
Punts Average 9-40.1 10-38.9
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 39 29
  Kickoff Yards 15 50
  Interceptions Yards 0-0 0-0
Penalties Yards 4-40 8-46
Fumbles, Lost 3-2 0-0
Time of Possession  31:59 28:01

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Ohio State          
Craig Krenzel 15 27 203 0 0
Cody Pickett 26 49 255 0 0
Rushing att yds tds    
Ohio State          
Maurice Hall 15 58 1  
Lydell Ross 12 43 1  
Craig Krenzel 8 27 2
Chris Gamble 1 15 0
Ira Guilford 5 2 0    
Troy Smith 1 2 0 1 2 0    
Roshawn Parker 1 -5 0    
  att yds tds
Rich Alexis 14 24 0
Charles Frederick 1 4 0
Ty Eriks 1 3 0
Kenny James 1 0 0
Cody Pickett 7 -24 1    
Receiving rec yds tds
Ohio State
Michael Jenkins 6 80 0
Bam Childress  2 18 0
Drew Carter  1 37 0
Ryan Hamby 1 21 0
Roy Hall 1 18 0    
Lydell Ross 1 12 0    
Maurice Hall 1 8 0    
Santonio Holmes 1 8 0    
Ben Hartsock 1 1 0    
Washington rec yds tds
Reggie Williams 10 107 0  
Quintin Daniels 1 11 0  
Adam Seery 1 9 0  
Charles Frederick 6 69 0  
Rich Alexis 3 23 0  
Ty Eriks 2 10 0  
Joe Toledo 3 26 0  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Ohio State
B.J. Sander  9 361 52 40.1  
Garth Erickson  10 389 44 38.9  
Attendance 105, 078          

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