Ohio State’s 2011 season is remembered as disastrous, but it wasn’t destined to be.
Success and failure, as the cliché goes, can be measured in inches. Ohio State kicker Drew Basil provided an example of that. When the Buckeyes played Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium on Nov. 12, 2011, they had won three straight and were in the thick of the Big Ten race.
The Buckeyes were an extra point away from an improbable victory after Braxton Miller scrambled and threw to Jordan Hall for a 13-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to tie the score with a minute left.
But Basil’s kick was blocked. On Monday, he revealed an interesting detail about that play.
“Being a grass field, there was a bare spot where the extra-point spot was,” Basil said, “so I moved the ball over to the right about 6 inches just so I could get a good spot for the hold. They blocked it from that right side. So in hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have moved it over 6 inches.”
The Buckeyes went on to lose in overtime and lost their next three games to finish the season 6-7. They haven’t lost over the next two seasons.
Basil has been a significant part of Ohio State’s success. He hasn’t missed an extra-point kick since the 2012 game against California and is perfect in seven field-goal attempts this year.
On kickoffs, Basil also has been adept at placing the ball just short of the goal line near the sideline to allow the coverage unit to pin opponents deep in their territory. He also is willing to stick his nose in on tackles, as he showed Oct. 19 against Iowa after a returner broke outside.
There’s one supporter
The Big Ten’s “Leaders” and “Legends” monikers for their divisions have been a subject of derision, but count Meyer as one who will miss those designations.
“I love that,” Meyer said. “I haven’t really followed what’s exactly going to happen next year. I hear a lot of people criticize it. I thought it was very well done.”
The conference will switch to East-West divisions next year with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers.