During the patented Scarlet Out at The Shoe, this game is indeed another game to that the Buckeye Head Coach and his crew would like to improve their deficiencies offensively and their inability to stay consistent on the defensive side of the ball. This is another battle of two Top-10 teams that are vying for a spot in this season’s College Football Playoff and even though they are at home, the Buckeyes cannot take this Cornhusker team lightly. Both the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers come in with identical records at 7-1 and both are currently 4-1 in conference play. Both teams suffered one loss, Ohio State suffered their first loss to Penn State at Happy Valley and Nebraska fell to in Madison. How would things go for both teams during this clash of two teams with rich histories and traditions.
The Silver Bullets started out with a bang. They set the tone with another pick-six courtesy of the Scarlet Curtain member, Damon Webb. The play began when Raekwon McMillan tipped the pass enough to alter the trajectory, then the Nebraska Wideout attempted to secure the catch, but the mistakenly tipped it straight up into the air into the waiting arms of Damon Webb who showed off some of his sweet juke moves as he took it to the house for another pick-six. Tommy Armstrong attempted to make the tackle but whiffed on it. This makes it a team record 5th pick-six of the season and it looks like they are primed to have another defensive showing during primetime. On the next possession for Nebraska, they took it deep into the Red Zone, but their drive stalled and they ended up taking the points and kicked a field goal. The Buckeyes gave up some splash plays, but they stifled the Nebraska Offense when they were in a good position to score.
The Buckeyes Offense looked good in the first half imposing their will on the vaunted Blackshirt Defense of Nebraska. They looked to be in sync and the Offensive Line play showed improvement ensuring J.T. Barrett remained upright. J.T. Barrett is a magician, making plays while on the run. He found Terry McLaurin in the back of the end zone after scrambling for his life. The Buckeyes are showing signs of returning to form as their skill players on for the offense seem to be gaining some confidence in their abilities. McLaurin is young and he has had an up and down season so far, but the young man finally made a play that put the Buckeyes ahead of the Cornhuskers. The Buckeyes finished the first quarter with a 14-3 lead and they look to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers at Wide Receiver as J.T. Barrett has hit four different receivers to build the lead over the Cornhuskers.
In the beginning of the Second Quarter, the Buckeyes opened up the playbook a little more, the Buckeyes are noticeably looking to take deep shots to the end zone. Zach Smith must have gotten into his Zone 6 members by the lack of offensive productivity beyond Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown and Dontre Wilson. They are getting open due to the overall balance of the playcalling. I, for one, am pleased by the amount of consistency and effort that I have seen so far and I hope that they can continue this effort into the rest of the season. Zone 6 aren’t the only members of the team that has been succeeding because the Offensive Line is doing their job and it is amazing to see them play with this type of intensity. Mike Weber benefited from The Slobs as he scored on a 23-yard dash to the end zone. Curtis Samuel isn’t doing so bad either with 36 rushing yards midway through the First Quarter. True Freshman and prized recruit Binjimen Victor almost made a circus catch on a third and long. He failed to maintain control for his first score of the season and it would’ve been huge for the Buckeyes. The crowd would have gone wild, but another missed opportunity–for the Buckeyes to dish out the knockout blow, but I am sure that Coach Meyer and Zone 6 Coach Zach Smith will find a way to put him in a position to make an impact.
During football games, it is natural to talk trash and have some fun with it. The gambler Dontre Wilson muffed another punt as he was looking ahead, trying to find a lane for the return. Nebraska took advantage of the great field position as Tommy Armstrong Jr converted a 3rd and long and he was hit out of bounds by Malik Hooker. He was knocked out at the Ohio State 24-yard line, but after landing he laid there motionless and most likely unconscious. There was a long delay, but the medical staff was being cautious and they tended to the fallen Cornhusker. He left after all precautions were done and he was packed into the ambulance with his father and they set out to the local hospital to see what had occurred and if he suffered any major injuries. Hopefully, with some prayers, he will be okay and healthy, but for the time being a backup quarterback will have to take the reigns.
After play had resumed, Senior Quarterback Ryker Fyfe comes in on a 4th and 1 play. They attempted to trick the Buckeyes on a QB scramble, but Tyquan Lewis relentlessly pursued him and got the sack to turn the ball over on downs. The Silver Bullets are playing with a fire that I haven’t seen in a while and as they turned away the Blackshirts, they drove the ball into Nebraska territory and well into the enemy red zone. Curtis Samuel has been the playmaker for the Buckeyes as he was the guy that converted most of the first downs for the Scarlet and Gray. J.T. Barrett and Curtis Samuel capped off the first half with Urban Meyer’s patented jump pass to Curtis Samuel to extend the Buckeyes lead to 28. The Buckeyes finished off the half with a 31-3 lead and they will receive the ball at the start of the second half. J.T.
The Buckeyes began the second half with a bang, just as they did to open up the game. On their first play of the game, the Buckeyes devised a plan to get Samuel more yardage and they succeeded on a one-play touchdown drive that is the longest pass downfield of the season. It was well worth it as he beat the man to man coverage and the safety that was assigned to guard him on a well thought out play action pass that literally froze the defense in place and before they realized what was about to happen, it was too late as Samuel blew past the safety for the easy score. The Silver Bullets picked up where they left off as they shut down the new quarterback after just three plays, forcing another punt. Mike Weber came out determined to surpass the 100-yard mark as he ripped off another long run, but he seemed to have sustained an injury after being tackled onto his bum shoulder. J.T. Barrett finished the drive with another touchdown on a comeback route to Noah Brown. Tommy Armstrong Jr returned from the hospital during the drive and with some great news and no major injuries. He came in with some urgency as he looks to return to his teammates to hopefully give them a boost and some sorely needed energy. The crowd gave Armstrong a warm welcome as he returned to his teammates. A true showing of respect and sportsmanship. It seems as if Dontre Wilson’s punt returning duties were revoked as both Curtis Samuel and Demario McCall have taken punts for the Buckeyes. Dontre Wilson is good at returning punts, but he likes to gamble way too much and I feel like it is a smart move for the coaching staff moving forward because, after this game, they play at Maryland and at East Lansing before playing the last game at home against TTUN. This game has been fun and unexpected, but it’ll build momentum and confidence in the team as a whole.
The Scarlet Curtain has struck again on another tipped pass for a score as Malik Hooker brought it back to the house on pure instincts, avoiding the entire Nebraska Offense and practically untouched. He took it 48-yards for The Silver Bullets’ sixth defensive score of the season. The pick-six was the last play for Ohio State after three quarters. With a 55-3 lead, I Coach Meyer will give the younger players a chance to add to what has been an impressive game for the older players. Hopefully, we get a glimpse of the future of the next generation of Buckeyes. The defense made another stop well within their red zone as they stopped Westerkamp from converting a fourth down. He avoided Craig Fada, a reserve Linebacker, but couldn’t break the tackle of the safeties that had converged on him.
As predicted, the reserves went out and it didn’t take long for Joe Burrow to cap off another offensive possession with a score. Burrow deceived the Nebraska Linebacker as he rushed for 12-yards for another Buckeye touchdown as he put seven more points on the scoreboard. The playcalling prior to the score was focused on two offensive playmakers, K.J. Hill at Wide Receiver and Demario McCall at Running Back. They are developing into quite the playmakers and after the close call with Weber, Coach Alford wants to see what the true freshman can do during garbage time. The Buckeyes finished the game 62-3, a resounding win against another Top-10 team. Here is a telling statistic, today, the Buckeyes scored on 8 of their 9 offensive possessions. The lone stop was when Burrow and the backups bled the clock. They had two interceptions for scores which extend their school record to six for the year. This game was something to revel in, but they will travel to Maryland next week, but for now they will enjoy this victory. The crowd was into it the entire game and they made so much noise it shook the cameras in the stadium. Homefield advantage was finally what it should be and hope it shows up again during the clash with TTUN. Another note worth mentioning, this game had a many blue-chippers present in the game and with this showing, I feel like the Buckeyes took full advantage of it. The atmosphere was lively and loud, they introduced another alternate uniform combination and both the offense and defense lived up to the expectations for this game, putting up 62 points and holding Nebraska to just 3. A stellar performance that could seep into the minds of the blue-chip recruits that were present, especially Shaun Wade, who is mentioned as the recruit that might get away from Coach Meyer. We will have to see what recruiting news unfolds after the recruits take it all in. Great win. Go Bucks.