We've already hit the quarterback and tailbacks, so let's move forward with the wide recievers. In case you're confused about their role in the offense, please rewatch the game and note their use by the team in the white jerseys.
Wide Receivers You think they had any fun on Saturday? Maybe the only group more shocked to be used less last night was the throat lozenge salesman in the parking lot after the game. Goodness.
All told, it was a bad night for the receivers. The biggest problem was the gameplan itself, which we've beaten to death by this point (see below), but they weren't very good even in their limited capacity.
Billy Pittman's fumble was OMG huge. In case you've forgotten, the game was scoreless at that point. Yes, Texas would have been up 7-0, with the crowd very, very much into the game, and kicking off. After the disastrous play concluded, the Buckeyes had the ball at the 50 yard line, and on the fifth play of their possession, had scored. That's what we call a "swing" of momentum. Good God.
As thoroughly as Smith picked us apart, we can't exactly say that the fumble was decisive, but there's no question that the game would have been far more competitive without Pittman's giant blunder. And this brings up something that's been driving me crazy: anyone else notice that Pittman, after his outstanding breakout campaign in '05, switched numbers from #5 to #2? I'm sure he has his reasons, but 2006 has been a nightmare so far. Against North Texas, he dropped balls in his bread basket, and the Ohio State game was an embarrassment. If I'm Billy Pittman, I'm switching back, like, yesterday.
We're not going to let week one hero Limas Sweed off the hook, either. For a man that's worked hard on his blocking skills as a receiver, he was rather lackluster on Saturday night. He did manage three catches, but he wasn't a factor. He was open down the field on two occasions, but Colt wasn't looking his way.
As a whole, the strength of this unit is down the field. There aren't any "possession receiver" types in this group, which again makes one wonder why the game plan was for a Patriots style "ball control" attack. Our receivers aren't terribly physical, and they aren't great around the line of scrimmage. Just one more data point in the "this was a bad game plan" argument.
I'm at a loss here. At this point, you're wondering how far down the alphabet I'm going to go when we get to Greg Davis, right?
For the receivers, how about a Grade: C-.
Next up: the offensive line