There’s no need to ridicule Florida A&M here. They were clearly outmatched, and everyone knew that from the beginning. I’m also not going to address the absurd accusations of “running up the score.” If you watched the game, you know exactly what happened. If you didn’t, then you looked at the box score and let your opinion of Urban Meyer and Ohio State dictate your interpretation. So let’s get to what the Buckeyes accomplished in an admittedly unnecessary game:
Kenny G In The Record Book: Guiton officially became the Best Backup In The Nation by beating a record that even Bobby Hoying only managed to tie (twice). That his six touchdown passes all came in the first half erases this game’s ubiquitous qualifier of “against Florida A&M.” Congrats to Kenny. No one deserves this more.
Zeke’s Big Day: Ezekiel Elliott stepped into the lineup at the beginning of the second half and picked up 39 of Ohio State’s 65 rushing yards (the rest went to QB Cardale Jones) on an opening touchdown drive that spelled the ultimate doom for the Rattlers. These were the backups’ backups, and things were still running pretty smoothly. Elliott found the end zone again on Ohio State’s next drive, which included a spectacular 57-yard run. He would get a few more carries as Warren Ball and Devonte Butler were worked into the backfield. Elliott finished the day with 162 yards and two scores on just 14 carries, solidifying himself as a future contributor to the Buckeye ground game.
The (Sort Of) Return of Hyde: This was Carlos Hyde’s first game back from suspension, and he took the field for a 4th and 1 play midway through the first quarter. We converted (which, of course, was despicable of us) and Hyde would eventually cap the drive with a one-yard touchdown catch. Hyde had one more significant drive in the second quarter and finished with 41 yards on 5 carries. Obviously, his carries were limited in a game that focused heavily on backups, but it was a good performance after an extended absence, and he will be crucial in short-yardage situations as the season goes on.
Staying Healthy (Almost): Of course, it would have been ideal to have zero injuries on Saturday, but I think Buckeye Nation will still rest easy despite freshman James Clark getting hurt. I hate to diminish any injury and certainly don’t want to sound cold, but this is football and Clark is not a major piece of the offense. There is still potential for a medical redshirt if the injury is serious enough, and needless to say, I hope Clark recovers fully and comes back stronger.
Shutout: You can’t complain about giving up zero points and fewer than 100 total yards, regardless of the opponent. The Silver Bullets also allowed just two first downs in the entire game. I was surprised that we only snagged one pick, but Florida A&M wasn’t throwing as much I thought they would either.
All in all, the game was as perfect for Ohio State as one could reasonably expect. While I’m still a bit nervous about a rusty Braxton taking the field against Wisconsin next week, I wouldn’t have wanted him out there at less than 100% in a meaningless game either.