Iowa gave Ohio State a good run in Columbus on Saturday, and the Hawkeyes even held the lead at halftime, but the Buckeyes ultimately managed to avert disaster and win, 34-24. It was a critical win for Ohio State's national title hopes, especially with Florida State coming on strong. (The Seminoles vaulted past OSU in both major polls after crushing Clemson.)
The Buckeyes finished with nearly 500 yards of total offense, led by Braxton Miller, who threw for 222 yards and ran for 102 more. At Land-Grant Holy Land, Ted Glover expressed his appreciation for Miller's effort, as well as that of the entire offense. The Buckeyes are versatile on that side of the ball, making them a tough matchup for opposing defenses.
I love this offense. There are so many weapons, and OSU can literally go from a grind it out, between the tackles power running game on one series, to a 'hey, we need to score right now' mentality on the next. The ABC broadcast made a lot of hay about how little the OSU offense had the ball in the first half, but when they did, they made the most of their opportunities. Down 10-3, and with Iowa dictating the tempo of the game, OSU struck like lightning with a Miller to Philly Brown 58 yard lightning bolt, and tied the game up.
Hyde finished the day with 149 yards on the ground and a pair of scores.
The Hawkeyes weren't expected to get out of Columbus with a victory, so it's understandable that Hawkeyes fans might come away from this one feeling optimistic, even if that optimism is tinged with disappointment. As Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants noted afterward, the Hawkeyes got an encouraging performance from their offense, which averaged more than six yards per snap in the upset bid.
The brightest spot out of Saturday's loss was the play of the offense. Two weeks ago, outside of two quick-strike scoring drives, Iowa's offense looked every bit as hapless and ineffective as it did during the darkest days of the 2012 season. We spent two weeks wondering how much of that was due to some inherent frailties of the offense and how much of it was due to the fact that they were playing a very-excellent Michigan State defense. We'll wait to pass more substantive judgment on the offense until a few more games have passed, but... this was certainly encouraging and definitely suggested that the problems we saw two weeks ago might have been mostly attributable to the MSU defense.
It was a good bounce-back effort after Iowa was held to a season-low 264 total yards by the Spartans. Quarterback Jake Rudock passed for a season-high three touchdowns, and the team averaged 4.8 yards per carry.
Here are the highlights from OSU's win: