Ruggles’ “Time to Shine” vs. Penn State
Kickers, am I right?
You don’t think of them when they hit him through the sticks, but man, if they miss a kick they should be cut.
We need to show more love to the special teams unit for a change, and this week’s Casey’s Callouts does just that, reminding me of a cult classic where a kicker comes into play: “The Longest Yard” – yes, the 2005 version. by Adam Sandler. Sorry for our readers who were hoping I would use the 1974 version with Burt Reynolds as Paul Crewe instead of trainer Nate Scarborough.
After Crewe accepts the manager’s deal to intentionally start the game, Brucie is called in to play the quarterback saying, “Yes, it’s time for Brucie to shine” as he breaks the squad.
He didn’t exactly shine as a quarterback, but turned into a star during a kick-off attempt. He tried to kick it deep, but his dull leg resulted in a receding kick that the convicts recovered, leading to the winning run.
This week was the time to shine for Ohio State graduate kicker Noah Ruggles with a 4-for-4 record on field goals to stay perfect through the season.
On a day when the Buckeyes’ offense couldn’t hit when they were in the red zone – scoring just one touchdown in six trips – having Ruggles at their disposal was a weapon.
Without his four field goals, the No. 5 Ohio State would have lost 24-21 to the then No. 20 Nittany Lions, the fans wouldn’t have stormed the pitch, the “scarlet-out” wouldn’t have served any purpose and the Buckeyes should have been aiming for 2022.
Instead, he pierced bullet shots at 23, 25, 26 and 35 yards to push the Buckeyes forward, but the post-game conversation circled the rebound of full-back TreVeyon Henderson and how l The refereeing was poor – both points valid, but Ruggles didn’t get the love he deserved.
You could say, “Well, Casey, you said it yourself, ‘those were bullet holes.’ “Yes, I did, but I know for myself, set up on a tee without anyone rushing, I’m not making a 23-yard field goal.
Ruggles managed to split the amounts with 11 Nittany Lions attempting to block kicks – which was notoriously the difference in Ohio State’s 24-21 loss to Penn State in 2016 – in addition to a top of season 102,951 pairs of eyeballs beaming down at him as the bright lights of the Ohio stadium shone.
Not exactly the easiest task, but that’s why my name is on the signing and Ruggles is in the box score, because it made it look like a non-factor.
His efforts were crucial, adding a total of 3.7% to the Ohio State’s winning probability, according to ESPN’s winning probability tracker.
The Odessa, Fla. Native remains perfect through the season at 11-for-11 on field goals and 47-for-47 on extra points.
Ohio State’s last four games are against defenses that are Top 40 in Expected points added per gameSo it won’t be easy to score like Saturday, according to CFB Graphs, unlike the scorching streak in Weeks 4-7 in which the Buckeyes outscored their opponents 231-44.
So, it might have almost seemed like a bright moment for Ruggles, but expect him to overtake Brucie with several plays like this down the home stretch.