The Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0, BIG 1-0)defeat The Indiana Hoosiers (2-1, BIG 0-1)

In Justin Fields’ first true road game in the Big 10, he did well enough to help his team secure another win for the Buckeyes.  Sure, he left some throws on the field, but at this point, we need to give him time as fans to adjust to the speed in just his third start.  In the first three games, he has flashed and he continues to learn as the season ages, but we all have to love what he has flashed so far.  He has yet to throw a pick and he has been efficient racking up 657 yards through the air and 9 scores.  He is also pretty darn fast, but with Dobbins sharing the backfield, he doesn’t feel pressured to take off, but he has a respectable 114 yards and 4 rushing scores on the ground.

Against the Hoosiers, it was evidently an off game.  He had a good performance, but he openly admitted that it wasn’t on par of what he expects of himself and what he is capable of.  He was accurate when he had time, but when the Hoosiers brought the pressure and mix of his throwing mechanics caused the ball to sail high or he would miss the frame of the open receiver, but it is all about growing more comfortable when pressured in the pocket.  Let’s not kid ourselves by saying that he is not having a productive season because he certainly is lighting it up and doing so in a perfectly balanced offense.

His backfield partner J.K. Dobbins also had himself a game against this Hoosier defense.  He broke their will and also seemed to be breaking tackles at will while en route to a season-high 193-yard rushing performance highlighted by the 56-yard score as he bounced off of would-be defenders before finding the endzone.  Even Dobbins’ backup Master Teague had himself a game as well.  He played well while spelling Dobbins and he finished with 10 rushes for 106 yards and a touchdown.  He too broke off a long 40-yard run toward the endzone.

One of the more underrated groups that have played well beyond anyone’s expectations to me would be the Slobs on the offensive line.  They have been the glue that sparks this potent offensive attack and it is nice to see this group dominate up to this point.  Thayer Munford has been playing lights out, the trio of internal linemen in Jackson, Myers, and Davis have been aggressive and have been mauling opposing defensive players, and my favorite out of the bunch Brandon Bowen is picking up where he left off before being lost for the season due to a leg injury two seasons ago.  He is a lead by example type of leader and he has been showing it this season.

The Buckeye defense has been lights out as well and what an exciting time to be a Buckeye fan?  They have been dominant and the coaches have found an identity and it is showing this season.  In one of the worst defensive display in 2018, they would constantly get gashed with trick plays, splash plays, and even with swing passes, slants, and screens, but this defense is really playing with a swagger that we all have craved for.  Better tackling, very few big plays, constant pressure on the opposing quarterbacks, sacks, and they are stuffing the run have been a sight for sore eyes and what better exclamation point that the pick-six in the red zone by Damon Arnette?  He took it back and it brought us all back to the times where the team thrived and excelled at turning defense to offense.

Yes, all is well in the Buckeye Kingdom and it has been one hell of a ride, but Indiana, Cincinnati, and FAU are small samples of the teams potential.  Up next is Miami (OH) and yes, they will be another small sample and I think it’ll be another stellar offensive show, but at this point, Ohio State’s depth and talent are showing up and beating these teams up.  Don’t get me wrong, I love everything I have seen so far, they were a little inconsistent in week 1, they look motivated and earned that shutout in week 2, and week three, they exploited the talent gap and in week 4 it looks to be the same.

For now, we should enjoy the balance and the early part of the schedule.  The fireworks have given us a glimpse of what they are capable of and they can definitely use the momentum before returning to the conference games.  The non-conference slate hasn’t been that competitive, but since TCU backed out, they need to make sure they do not play to the opponents level and just impose your will against these other teams and just enjoy the ride.  The goals for this team will always remain high, but let us take it a single game at a time.


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