A week after suffering their first loss of the season, the Buckeyes are back in The Horseshoe and they will be taking on the Northwestern Wildcats. This game started off with a defensive stand that resulted in a Northwestern punt on their initial possession. How would the wounded Ohio State Offense as a unit? The Ohio State Offense has yet to score on their first possession of the game would this be the turning point? The Buckeyes responded and they finally have their first score of the season on their first drive of the game. The play calling was creative and sudden, just the way I like to see it. J.T. Barrett looks like a different QB and he was quick on his release and he was decisive when involved in the passing game. He took the ball from the Ohio State 6-yard line and took it 94 yards on 9 plays on the opening drive. Mike Weber is doing work, he has 63 yards on 9 carries for two scores. J.T. Barrett finished the half 14 for 21 and 129 yards. He looks sharp but as the game wore on the playcalling became predictable once again. Checkdown after checkdown, false start penalties, and another sack allowed by the Offensive Line. Consistency isn’t what this Buckeye team is known for, but I believe they will improve as the competition rises. The Silver Bullets and the Scarlet Curtain are doing well. McMillan tipped a pass and Damon Arnette made a heady play and intercepted the ball and it resulted in a Durbin field goal. The Rushmen have another sack added to their repertoire and they look to impose their will during the second half. The Scarlett Curtain nearly had another pick, but it was bobbled by Ward.
The second half came and another batch of questionable and uninspiring playcalling on both the offensive and the defensive side of the ball. The offense is banking on the speed option at a mind-numbing rate and so far it has been stopped dead in its tracks. This year, I think both Offensive Coordinators are looking too far ahead than the task at hand. They are auditioning for Head Coaching gigs elsewhere and it seems like they are just going through the motions this year. The creativity is gone, the lack of a passing game, the constant swing passes and checkdowns overshadow what would’ve and what could’ve been another great year, but we are stuck in this alternate dimension with poor and predictable playcalling. At this point, I am willing to try out Joe Burrow because Barrett seems to be disinterested in making an impact through the air. It is sad to say, but I am about done with this year. The stress that I feel watching these games, close games, that shouldn’t even be close, it hurts my heart and my soul to see my Buckeyes underachieve and lose themselves in mediocrity and terrible playcalling. The defense is the same, Jerome Baker gave up on a pass that resulted in a touchdown pass to one of two Wildcats that the Buckeyes man to man defense can’t seem to contain or stop. The nickel corner keeps getting beat and it is disappointing and a fall from grace from where the Buckeyes were at the beginning of the season. Oh, in the middle of the 4th quarter, Barrett and Samuel finally become less predictable, well kind of, and score a touchdown on run down the middle. They also managed to pass the ball on a deep ball to K.J. Hill for 30+ yards on a pass play. Finally, the Buckeyes score in the second half, finally answering the two scores that the Wildcats have earned in the second half. Label me a pessimist, but it is not looking good. We are too predictable, not as creative and we are as basic as they come on both sides of the ball. I would love to see the Buckeyes prove me wrong, but since that Oklahoma game, what the heck happened? Did we get too cocky? Did we take the foot off the gas pedal? I certainly think so, it pains me to see them struggle, but it shows my love for the sport and the teams they field yearly. I am getting tired of barely surviving and with yet another close win, I still have yet to see the killer instinct that they used to have, the swagger and the sheer intestinal fortitude to take over games. This 24-20 win is not what I like to see and we Ohio State fans have been too spoiled over the years, but the talent did not take a dive. They just need to step up and show out. Hope they fix things on both sides of the ball and open up the playbook. The creativity needs to return for the whole game, just not on the opening drive. We will see what the Buckeyes are made of when Nebraska comes into town and it should be another Top-10 matchup IF they go into Camp Randall Stadium and take care of business. Until next week and hope I have better things to say about our team.