Originally written on Buckeye Empire  |  Last updated 11/15/14
  Carmen, O-H-1-0   A season of change, of ups and downs, and a season that few would have ever imagined to overcome as much adversity as The Ohio State Buckeyes in 2012.  A questionable defense through a non-conference schedule, close scares, and a new coach that didn’t hold back when it came to telling the public what was wrong with the program.  The Buckeyes have came a long way, but best of all we have a young team that hopefully can continue this momentum.   They ended Saturday 10-0 in a resounding 52-22 win over Illinois that marked the fourth time the Buckeyes have scored over 50 points in a season for the first time ever.  On a roll you might say, they have tied the longest winning streak since 2007 and are one of only six undefeated in the FBS.  The last time a coach started a first-year with such a record was under Earle Bruce back in 1979.   Starting another game out slowly the Buckeyes went four-and-out on their first drive, but the defense only let Illinois get within kicking distance to score first.  Ohio State made up for that with their next drive going 79-yards on 10 plays to see Carlos Hyde find the end zone on a three-yard run.   It was a game where the silver bullets for the most part played another lights out battle not letting the Illinois offense score until 53-seconds remained in the third quarter.  Only allowing 170 yards of total offense they made sure that the Buckeye offense had time to control the clock, rack up the points, and boost the stats.   “I see a lot of hard coaching going on and that’s what I expect out of our staff,” said Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer about the defensive efforts.   Hard coaching that has led to a turnaround of the defense; it certainly looked that way in the stats and on the field.  Sophomore Ryan Shazier racked up 14 tackles, including two for a loss to tie a career high in a single game.  He has had five games with double digit tackles this season and set a new career best with 11 solo tackles.  Not for lack of effort at working to change the possession, Travis Howard snagged the first turnover of the game with 51seconds left in the first half, returning it 25-yards.   The accolades of Braxton Miller continue this week as former Buckeye Troy Smith spent the game on the sideline and stated “Braxton Miller could be the best quarterback ever if he continues to work.”  While that is a possibility because he does have so much time left as a sophomore, there are some areas that Coach Urban Meyer would still like to see improvement.   “The area we’re not efficient enough is the dropback pass, and we have to.  While he’s not a dropback passer, you have to be, and its not acceptable,” said Coach Meyer.  “We have to continue to get better.”   All improvements aside, Miller put on a show of moves able to break free and at times dance through the Illini defense to go 12-for-20 for 226 yards and two touchdowns in the air.  He tacked on 73-yards rushing along with a touchdown keeper.   Right along with Miller are several other key weapons that saw success.  Carlos Hyde rushed for three touchdowns Saturday to tie with Miller at 13 for the season and leads the league in scoring with 10.5 points per game.   “He’s a genuine guy,” said Coach Meyer about Hyde.  “I think the perception on him was incorrect, there’s good energy in that running back.”   Some changes in the backfield to get Hyde and Rod Smith paired up led to success for the team and some firsts for others.  The second quarter 51-yard touchdown reception by Rod Smith was his first touchdown catch of his career and his first reception for 2012.   “It’s a great look.  They’re both good players,” said Coach Meyer.  “That has always been in the playbook, but we’ve never had enough confidence.  Now we do.”   Bri’onte Dunn stepped up late in the game working with Kenny Guiton to get some reps in the fourth quarter and rest some of the offense.  Dunn scored his second career touchdown in the fourth quarter with his first coming against Miami back in September.  Dunn rushed 13 times for 73-yards against the Illini with the longest being an 11-yard run.   “I’m disappointed we didn’t get to try that early in the year, but we were so lousy it was hard to do that,” said Coach Meyer.  “He’s a little looser with the ball, but I thought he ran very hard.”   With a bye week upon them, if the Buckeyes focus on the extra preparation time as time to improve and heal stand a great chance of finishing out perfect.  Knowing academically it has been a long semester for the team, as Coach Meyer put it, they need to “un-hit the wall.”  They hope to focus on getting body weights back up, getting healthy, and potentially bring Sabino back into the mix for the final two games.  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.