Recap: Maryland (3-2, BIG 10 1-1) at #10 Ohio State (5-1, BIG 10 3-0)

First Half

Maryland won the toss at the beginning of the game and they deferred to give the Buckeyes the opening possession of the game.  J.T. Barrett took the Buckeyes 70 yards on just 9 plays on 4 for 5 attempts before running it in from the 2-yard line to put the Buckeyes up 7-0.

On the first Maryland possession, it only lasted 3 plays and 1:31 minutes long.  The Buckeye defense pressured Bortenschlager and Nick Bosa blew by the Terps linemen for a strip sack that led to the Buckeyes first defensive touchdown of the season courtesy of Jerome Baker.

The Special Teams play, Urban Meyer’s baby constantly hurts the Buckeyes.  Ty Johnson swung the momentum in their favor as he took it to the house from 100 yards out to cut the Buckeye lead in half.

Barrett gets the Buckeyes back on track as he completes a swing pass to Mike Weber that ended at the Maryland 12-yard line before hitting Binjimen Victor on a skinny post in traffic for another touchdown, but unfortunately, due to a fumbled snap on the extra point attempt, the Buckeyes couldn’t extend the lead much more.  The Buckeyes still lead 20-7.

Ohio State was the victim of the much-hated targeting penalty that earned Denzel Ward a trip to the Buckeyes locker room.  Appearing much worse than it was, Ward appeared to be well within the target zone, but to no avail.  A missed opportunity and a bad call that cost the Buckeyes another turnover and a starter on defense, but they have more talent waiting in the wings for their opportunity to show their worth.

Another starter, this time starting RG Brandon Bowen suffered a lower leg injury during an offensive play, which seemed to kill the momentum and the rhythm.  It had ill effects on the Buckeyes as it resulted in another Special Teams gaffe as Munford and Pridgeon let a defender through for the block.

Once again, the Buckeyes stand up and defend their home turf as they turn away the Maryland offense once again, this time it was on a 4th and 5 attempt.  On the next Buckeye possession, J.K. Dobbins uncharacteristically coughed the ball up as Chandler Burkett rocked him on his rushing attempt.  Like clockwork, Ohio States defense does their job once again to force another punt.

The momentum not in the Buckeyes favor as they are forced to punt for the first time, but Chrisman shanked it inside of their 50 yard line to give Maryland possession in Buckeye territory, but Big Play Baker showed up to the party and sacked Bortenschlager on 4th down to stop the Terps offense

J.T. Barrett drove the ball down the field with his stable of running backs before finding Marcus Baugh tip-toeing on the sideline for a 10-yard touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 27-7.

The Buckeyes with some trickery after forcing another Maryland punt as they hand the ball off to Dobbins before he did the same for Campbell as he took it for 24-yards on the reverse to extend the Buckeye lead to 34-7., for a 24 rushing score to extend the Buckeyes lead to 34-7.

The Buckeye defense stiffened up and gave Barrett the ball on the 50-yard line.  Hill actually returned it for a touchdown but a block in the back by Riep cost them.  Barrett drove 50 yards to add another score when he found Austin Mack with 10 seconds left to extend the halftime lead to 41-7.

The defense has been the star of the game so far and going into halftime, the smothering defense held the Terps to 26 total yards, which is so far, a good sign for this team looking ahead.

Second Half

The second half picked up where the first left off as Ohio State started with a kickoff out of bounds, another Special Teams penalty.  In obvious distress over the error, Urban looks to the ground in disbelief.  Tyquan Lewis shuts down Bortenschlager as he sacks him on 3rd and long, which is their fourth sack of the day.

Barrett takes the opening second-half possession and takes the first play 35 yards to the Maryland 22 yard line, but Nuerenberger missed the easy field goal for another miss on Special Teams.

The Maryland offense couldn’t muster up any points as they forfeit the ball on another punt.  Barrett and Weber punished the Terps on an 11 play drive that went for 65 yards before Weber punched in his fourth touchdown of the season.11 plays 65 yard drive that resulted in another Buckeye touchdown.

Maryland seemed to be clicking but Chase Young got the strip sack on Bortenschalger, then Cornell recovered the ball.  Dobbins took the first touch for 14-yards to the Maryland 13 before juking a Terp before punching it in for more Buckeye points–Buckeyes lead 55-7.

Another Buckeyes was ejected by another targeting penalty, so next week at Nebraska Damon Arnette will be out for the first half of the game.

Maryland back-up running back Leake punched it in on 4th and short to cut into the insurmountable lead, but the Buckeyes still lead 62-14.  The game ends with the same result, but there are still a few improvements that need to be made.

Next week they visit Nebraska which will be another opportunity to show how much they have grown.  With Arnette being unavailable in the first half, the players after him need to be ready, and Special Teams needs to be on point.  Enjoy the win, Go Bucks!

 

 

 

Preview: Maryland (3-1, BIG 10 1-0) at Ohio State (4-1, BIG 10 2-0)

Game day is almost upon us, and in this weeks game, Ohio State will host a scrappy Maryland Terrapins team.  They shocked the world as they went into Austin and defeated the host team, they blew out an overmatched Towson team and they held on to beat Minnesota, again as the visiting team.  Two impressive road wins, and now they find themselves in the same situation as they will once again be the visiting team.

What To Watch For:

Third Stringer Magic?

Max Bortenschlager is Maryland’s current starting quarterback after the previous two starters both suffered season-ending injuries to put him in this very position.  He will make his second start, but this time he will start in the Shoe, one of the most electric and loud environments.  He will try to shake the nerves as he enters his first true road game environment.

So far this year Bortenschlager has been decent so far for the Terrapins, throwing for 290 yards, 3 touchdowns against 2 interceptions and rushing for 34 yards and 2 more scores on the ground.

Bortenschlager will have to be on top of his game against Ohio State, he will need to take care of the football and he will have to lead his team without any mistakes or else the Ohio State defense will make them pay dearly.

The Return of Big Play Barrett?

J.T. Barrett, courtesy of Bucknuts, is irritated with the constant criticism that has plagued him this season, the deep ball struggles.  Ever since the dreadful Oklahoma game, Barrett has been the ire of a lot of criticism from everyone from former Buckeyes, fans and even by top-tier high school recruits and targets.

Barrett actually did pretty well against a depleted Rutgers secondary that was missing its best cornerback, but that is not an excuse because the next two up had enough experience and were upperclassmen to the program.  Barrett was 4 for 4 on deep passing attempts, even though one was called back due to an offensive pass interference call against Dixon, but none the less, he showed improvement.

The Rutgers game was mostly a tuneup game, but it contained a well-deserved opportunity to rebound and to regain confidence, and they achieved that after putting 56 on the board.  Not only has Barrett gained confidence, his receivers are starting to break open, and the progress is there, the execution is not there, but they are close.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Buckeyes put up big numbers in this game.

D.J. Moore/Ty Johnson versus the Back Seven:

DJ Moore will be another test for Arnette and Sheffield because he hasn’t been stopped yet this season.  He has found the end zone in all four games, he has had at least 8 catches averaging a shade over 100 yards per game, and he has 5 touchdowns so far this season.

He will be accompanied by Ty Johnson, who also has the ability that Moore has, with his ability to score and give defense fits.  In three of the four games, he was well over 120 yards, and the only team to shut him off was UCF, as they held him scoreless and to only 25 yards.  The Linebackers and the Defensive Backs will have their hands full this game, but they will lean on their Rushmen package to confuse Bortenschlager and force turnovers.  Will they be up to the challenge?

Prediction:  This game is another home game before traveling on the road to visit the Cornhuskers.  This is a trap game that will have that slow burn effect before the Buckeyes impose their will and their talent will be the difference.  Maryland is an upcoming team that will keep it close. D.J. Moore scores during the game, but Johnson gets shut down as Baker leads the second half defensive charge.  It will be a sack party, with at least 3 and 2 huge turnovers to salt the game away (1 pick/fumble).  J.T. will have a huge day and Haskins makes an appearance to remind them of what they lost out on.  

Buckeyes over Maryland 42-24

 

Rapid Reactions: Five Quick Observations

  • The Buckeyes were completely dominant in this game.  The Defensive Line has an army, and they showed why they are considered to be a Top 5 unit.  They lived in the Rutgers backfield for the entirety of the game.
  • Offensive Onslaught, 628-209!  The Buckeye offense looked poised and confident, two things that lacked early on in the season.  Now, with the offense seemingly clicking, the Buckeyes will continue to build on their success so far this season.
  • QB and RB Depth.  Barrett, Burrow, Haskins and Martell, and Dobbins, McCall, Weber and Williams.  The depth at Ohio State is crazy, but it is a good problem to have.  Barrett had another good game, Haskins and Burrow showed that they can lead, and Martell waits for his name to be called with Emory Jones coming in after Barrett says goodbye.  The QB battle will be fierce.  Weber scored his first three touchdowns of the year, Dobbins was his usual self, running hard, and McCall lit it up and scored twice, his first two of the year and racked up 138 all-purpose yards.  Williams was unable to make the trip to New Jersey and Master Teague and Jaelin Gill will be coming in next year and the depth will once again be a trendy topic.
  • Penalty Monster.  The penalty monster appeared again and it has hurt the Buckeyes a ton this season.  Prior to the game, they were second in the nation in penalty yardage.  This game was no different as they were penalized 10 times for 106 yards with the targeting play on Jahsen Wint being the most notable one.  There was some improvement in this category though because there were no defensive pass interference and holding penalties on the corners.
  • Dixon, Zone 6 Revival.  After multiple seasons of being injured and almost walking away from the game he loves, Dixon showed the nation how talented he is and can be.  He is improving on his craft is starting to impose his will and gain separation.  The rest of Zone 6 has also improved.  Their confidence is rising and they are beginning to help Barrett’s as well.  They need to continue to improve cause their schedule will get harder as time goes by.

Recap: #11 Ohio State (4-1, BIG 2-0) at Rutgers (1-4, BIG 0-2)

First Half:

The Buckeyes began the game with the ball first, but their playcalling was sporadic, and it resulted in a game-opening punt on their first possession.  Their defense stepped up to stop the Scarlet Knights on their own first drive.

On Ohio State’s next possession, J.T. Barrett rattled off a huge run for 37 yards to put him over the 10,000-yard mark to be the first Buckeye to meet that mark.  As they inched closer toward the end zone, Mike Weber punched it in for his first touchdown of the season for the first score of the game.  On their third possession, they were forced to punt once again.

On the next Rutgers drive, they benefited from a bad punt by Chrisman, but they were backed up further after a block in the back penalty.  Rutgers drove the ball inside of the Ohio State 20-yard line, but they were turned away by the defense after Tracy Sprinkle tipped a pass to Dante Booker for the spinning interception.

On the ensuing possession, the offense was clicking as Barrett found his receivers and his Tight End for short pass plays.  J.K. Dobbins also flashed his speed and power as he broke off a 34-yard run on a 3rd and 2 to the Rutgers 44 yard line.  Mike Weber rotated in and scored on another short run to push the lead to 14-0.

After a combination of punts between both teams, J.T. Barrett caught a Rutgers defensive back looking into the backfield and before you know it, Johnnie Dixon was left by himself and he took the ball 70-yards for another Buckeye touchdown.  Dixon stayed hot and tippy-toed the sideline for another long score of 39-yards to extend the lead to 28-0.

Right before halftime, Weber scored for the third time as the Buckeyes take a commanding 35-0 lead after the half.  The yardage discrepancy was encouraging for the Buckeyes.  They led 336-77 in total offensive yardage.

Second Half:

The Defense picked up where they left off as they forced another Rutgers punt to open the second half.  Coincidentally, the Buckeyes were turned down on 4th down on the Rutgers 40, but they were just looking to run some time off the clock.

On the next Rutgers play their backup quarterback threw behind his receiver then Ward picked the ball off for their second turnover of the game.  The Buckeyes then had a 60 yarder to Dixon that was taken away because he pushed off, but the drive was eventually capped off after Barrett found Victor for a 23-yard strike.

The Rutgers then found themselves in Ohio State territory after a screen pass was successful. The Buckeye defense then stiffined up in the Red Zone as they turned away Rutgers on 4th down. Barrett finished the game with around 4 minutes remaining in the game, giving Haskins more reps for Ohio State.  He finished 14 for 22 for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns and 10 rushes for 89 yards.

Barrett finished the game with around 4 minutes remaining in the game, giving Haskins more reps for Ohio State.  He finished 14 for 22 for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns and 10 rushes for 89 yards.

Haskins took some time to get a rhythm, but he eventually lofted a pass to Demario McCall on a wheel route for a 35-yard score to add to the route, 49-0.

On 3rd and 7, Jahsen Wint committed a costly targeting penalty that gave Rutgers first down yards.  It only adds to the penalty tally, but younger players will learn.  The defense forced another punt that nearly was fumbled away by McCall, but they regained possession at the Ohio State 2 yard line.

Joe Burrow came into salt the game away and with less than 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Ohio State is looking to run time off of the clock.  The drive took 3:23 but it featured the forgotten man in Tote Nation Demario McCall.  He racked up 80 rushing yards as he ran for 48 yards for his second touchdown of the game and the season.  For the game, McCall has 11 carries for 103 yards and a catch for 35 yards for two total touchdowns.

Rutger drove the ball with 13 plays, which is the most plays called against the Buckeyes, but they were turned away after Hart missed a field goal in Buckeye territory.  Game Buckeyes.  This is the second shutout of Rutgers, last year 58-0 and this year 56-0.

 

Preview: #11 Ohio State (3-1, BIG 1-0) at Rutgers (1-3, BIG 0-1)

Coach Urban Meyer and his Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey to face a familiar face in Coach Chris Ash and his Scarlet Knights.  This contest will pit a scrappy Rutgers team that has displayed improvements, but this game should still get out of hand.

Team Stats

Points Per Game 39.3 27.3
Points Allowed Per Game 20.0 18.3
Total Yards 549.0 326.8
Yards Passing 319.3 163.5
Yards Rushing 229.8 163.3
Yards Allowed 367.3 298.3
Pass Yards Allowed 228.3 179.5
Rush Yards Allowed 139.0 118.8

As provided by ESPN, both teams both teams differ in each category, with the closest being Points Allowed Per Game.  Other than that, the offensive statistics favor the Buckeyes, but the defensive statistics favor the Scarlet Knights, with the caveat being that difference in competition.  The Buckeyes faced moderate to great offenses, Indiana and Oklahoma, where Rutgers played a turnover-prone Nebraska team and a Washington offense that is still trying to find their identity.

The Buckeyes faced moderate to great offenses, Indiana and Oklahoma, where Rutgers played a turnover-prone Nebraska team and a Washington offense that is still trying to find their identity. This is by no means an excuse or a shoe-in for a blowout, but it could still be over by halftime.

What To Watch For:

1.)  BACK TO THE START, LEGRAND REUNION.

The current Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator at Ohio State will come back to his old stomping grounds in New Jersey, where he received his first opportunity as a Head Coach.  Schiano was so successful at Rutgers, he eventually received an offer to become the Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs, which did not work out that well.

Now, Coach Meyer and Coach Schiano will face a familiar face in Coach Ash, who was a former pupil of Meyer.  He helped recruit a few of the current BIA members prior to his departure for a tougher challenge, and this game of chess will be one to watch.

A former Rutger player, Eric LeGrand who was paralyzed after a collision against Army will be in attendance to reunite with his former coach, which is a story to follow throughout the day.  It has been five years since that tragic day, but the reunion will be a sight to see even though they are pulling for their respective teams.

2.)  SCHIANO VERSUS ASH.

Both Coaches share the same qualities as both coaches put their DB’s on islands, playing similar styles.  Both benefited from Coach Coombs and both were quality recruiters for the Buckeyes, but now they are pitted against each other. The Old versus the New.

Ash has been invaluable on the recruiting trail and he has brought in a lot of talent in the secondary.  He has developed the Buckeyes prior to leaving and now his former players have thrived in Schiano’s first year, but this year has been a little rough around the edges.

There is no doubt that Schiano and Coombs will have their guys ready, but Coach Ash got some terrible news this week as his best Cover Corner Blessuan Austin suffered a season-ending injury that will leave him thin at Cornerback.  He has two capable bodies, but behind them is a lot of inexperience, which could benefit the Buckeyes offense.

3.)  QB, WR, CB & LB IMPROVEMENTS.

In what seems to be a constant topic within Buckeye Nation, will there be miscues between J.T. Barrett and Zone 6?  Last week, they improved in most departments with Barrett missing a few easy throws even though it was against an overmatched UNLV team.

His decision making was better along with the playcalling, but they still have to work out a few more kinks.  He missed a few throws, but he did well enough in a little less than a half.

His receivers also did well, showing the ability to earn yards after the catch and finding the empty spaces in zone coverage for easy receptions.  They regained their confidence and they will continue to improve against a thin Rutgers team who just lost their best player.

On the other side of the ball, the Buckeyes are struggling at the Cornerback and Middle Linebacker positions.  The Corners are placed on islands all game, but from time to time they get beat and they start grabbing at the receivers to make a play.  This often causes penalties that give the opposite team easy conversions, which often lead to scores.

The Corners are placed on islands all game, but from time to time they get beat and they start grabbing at the receivers to make a play.  This often causes penalties that give the opposite team easy conversions, which often lead to scores.

The Linebackers have improved more than the Corners with the addition of Tuf Borland, who is making plays and improving after each contest.  Big Play Baker has regressed and Dante Booker has been making plays, but he is just as inconsistent as the others.

Prediction:  49-14 Ohio State defeats Rutgers

 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good:

The most impressive phase of the game came from the playmakers from Zone 6 and TE Rashod Berry.  In the first time in a while, the Buckeyes found 7 different receivers for scores, setting a new Big Ten record.

J.T. Barrett was taken out just before halftime, but he was very close to the team record for passing yards.  Barrett was 14 yards short of the 10,000-yard mark, which he will break when he travels to Piscataway, New Jersey to face a familiar face in Coach Ash.  The Rutgers head man will most likely have a few tricks up his sleeve, because of his familiarity of the Buckeye playmakers.

Dwayne Haskins had himself an up and down game.  He finished 15 for 23 for 228 yards and two touchdowns, but he did not finish without any errors.  He forced a pass to a well-covered receiver and he watched as the defender took it 65-yards to the house.

Joey Burrow made his debut after being cleared by the team doctors and he picked up where he left off.  Prior to coming out, he hit Trevon Grimes for a pair of 6-yarders before finishing off by hitting C.J. Saunders for a huge gain.  This makes the future bright and if Ohio State manages to hold onto the commitment of Emory Jones, their Quarterback room will be filled with talented playmakers that includes Tate Martell.

The Bad:  

I know that this is not Buckeye related directly, but if you follow recruiting, you know that Florida State has been neck and neck with the Buckeyes for top tier, blue-chippers year after year.  Yes, the ACC won the last CFB Championship and they are pretty darn good, but this might open some doors for the Buckeyes.

With this loss, the Seminoles fall to 0-2 for the first time since 1989, where they rebounded and finished the season 10-2 and with a Fiesta Bowl victory.  While teams can falter early and still make the playoffs (Ohio State loss to Virginia Tech in 2014), this might hurt the Noles on the recruiting trail, which would benefit Ohio State.

The Ugly:

Kendell Sheffield needs to get better, and fast.  It is like clockwork, he constantly gets beat week after week, and he is often the guilty party on defense as he is responsible for multiple PI and holding penalties that extend their opponents drives.

He needs to get better and with Sheffield being the starter at the nickel, he will always be scrutinized for being a part of the BIA.  It will get harder as the season gets further into conference play as the talent they will face will be better than what they have faced so far, minus the ones from the Indiana and Oklahoma games.

 

Recap: UNLV at #10 Ohio State

 First Half:

After pounding Army into the dirt, the Buckeyes begin their quest to add another convincing win to their resume.  UNLV isn’t a team that scares top tier teams like Ohio State, but you never know in College Football.

UNLV won the toss and elected to receive, but their initial drive fell short of expectation.  During the opening kickoff, the crowd immediately got into it as one of their players on Special Teams delivered a huge hit to incite the crowd.

After receiving the punt, J.T. Barrett immediately went to work with a 2-play, 77-yard drive where he found Campbell on a swing pass, where Campbell took it 69-yards to the house.  Although it wasn’t a downfield pass, the initial drive took a mere 29 seconds, which is a vast improvement for this offense although it is against inferior competition.

On the ensuing UNLV drive, they stalled once again as they attempted a 52-yard FG which was sent away and blocked by Dre’Mont Jones.  After Barrett took over, he went 65-yards and found Johnnie Dixon for a 16-yard score pushing the lead to 14-0.

The Rebels then had the ball and took it 20-yards prior to punting the ball again, but as soon as the Buckeyes began to threaten again, Campbell took a huge hit and he fumbled the ball inside of the 2-yard line for their first turnover of the game.  The momentum stayed in the Buckeyes corner as Dre’Mont Jones stuffed the run and got to the ball carrier for a safety to push the lead 16-0.

With the momentum clearly in the Buckeyes favor, they went 3 for 3 on 4th down for short touchdowns to Victor, McLaurin and Hill.  The set-up for each of these touchdowns came courtesy of BIA Damon Arnette and Damon Webb even though they’ve had a rough day penalty wise.  The penalties incurred have cost the Buckeyes their shutout as Lexington Thomas put it in the end zone.

Barrett finished his day with 12 for 17 for 209 yards and 5 touchdowns falling 14 yards short of 10,000 yards before giving way to Dwayne Haskins who threw a dart to former walk-on C.J. Saunders for a 28-yard score in traffic.

Second Half:

Once again plagued by costly penalties, this time with a roughing the punter penalty, Ohio State surrendered their second rushing touchdown of the day to Thomas as he took it 55-yards to the end zone.

After a punt the Haskins threw another score to former DL Rashod Berry for a 38-yard score to push their lead to 54-14.  The key stat of the day?  The Buckeyes have found 7 different receivers for a score, which is a new BIG 10 record.

The Silver Bullets have been all over the UNLV backfield.  Time and time again, they have played with their hair on fire, and for their effort, they have racked up 12 tackles for losses.

In the 4th, Haskins made his first major mistake as a Buckeye as he forced the ball to a blanketed receiver, which resulted in a 65-yard interception return for UNLV to make the score 54-21.  This will be looked at as a valuable lesson in a game that has already been decided, but he will do nothing but grow from here on out.

With the backup linemen in the game, the Buckeyes stalled after giving up a sack and now they have their second punt of the game.  Drue Chrisman has been a weapon for the Buckeyes after he pinned UNLV on their 15-yard line.

Jeffrey Okudah made an appearance during mop-up duty as he batted down a pass after pressure was put on the UNLV QB.  They failed to convert on 3rd and long and they lined up for another FG attempt, which sailed wide right.

The Buckeyes drove into the red zone once again, but unfortunately, Berry was stripped once again for their second fumble inside of the 5-yard line.  This turnover resulted in no points after the defense clamped down to force a punt.

With the Buckeyes tying their team record, they give Joe Burrow a few reps after being cleared from an injury to his throwing hand.  He was 4-4 for 37 yards with two passes to Trevon Grimes and one to C.J. Saunders before Haskins came out for the victory formation.

An impressive win over another inferior non-conference foe, but they are continuing to build their confidence prior to heading into conference play.

 

Recap: Army vs #8 Ohio State

After another lackluster performance against Oklahoma, the Buckeyes face an Army team that rarely threatens teams through the air.  Even though they aren’t dangerous, the Black Knights are #2 in the nation in the rushing department.

The Buckeyes front seven need to stay disciplined and the entire team needs to make sure tackles.  This is a winnable game that they need to regain confidence in their scheme for the rest of the season.

First Half:

The Buckeyes began the game with the opening possession, and within 2:37 after receiving the kickoff, J.T. Barrett put seven on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run.  On Army’s first possession, they were forced to punt the ball away and the Buckeyes responded with a drive that lasted 4:12, that ended with another short-yardage touchdown by J.K. Dobbins.

From then on out, the ugliness seeped out both teams exchanged punts, but Army answered the call after they drove 99-yards for a touchdown after a Buckeye punt at the Army 35 yard line. Army took a huge chunk of time off the clock on that drive and it left the Buckeyes with a single possession prior to the half ending, where they added a field goal to extend their lead 17-7.

Second Half:

The second half began with Army missing a 43-yarder and it quickly turned into another Buckeye touchdown after J.K. Dobbins broke off a pair of long runs, the first for 22-yards and the next for 52-yards and another touchdown.

On the next Army possession, they fumbled the ball on a bobbled handoff which resulted in a 20-yard passing score to Terry McLaurin to push the lead to 31-7.  That was essentially the end of the Army success on the ground, as the Buckeyes buckled down and shut them down.

The last Ohio State touchdown was a 9-yarder to Austin Mack for his first collegiate touchdown reception of his career which is significant, but it was Barrett who just bested Drew Brees’ BIG 10 total touchdown record with the last score of the game to push their lead to 38-7.

After the record was captured, Dwayne Haskins took his shot and entered the game during mop-up duty.  He finished 4-4 for 46 yards, and he proved that he has the talent to take the reigns after Barrett departs.  Another week down, and looking ahead, the Buckeyes will face a 1-1 UNLV team that lost to FCS school Howard during opening week.

Another week down, and looking ahead, the Buckeyes will face a 1-1 UNLV team that lost to FCS school Howard during opening week.  They will look to improve the passing game and maintaining the balance.  The defense will look to improve as well in all areas as they face a team that might test them through the air, but for now, we will enjoy the win.  Go Bucks!

 

 

Preview: Army vs #8 Ohio State

After a long week of bickering and talk from anyone and everyone, game day is finally upon us, and it will turn the page on the previous weeks awful showing at the home opener.  There was a whirlwind of opinions from people dishing their hot takes after the Oklahoma loss at home.  A lot of people got into the conversation, ranging from notable analysts, former Buckeyes, hardcore fans and even potential recruiting targets found themselves in the storm.  Most notably, two top tier 5* targets in OT Jackson Carman and DE Micah Parsons, who were calling their shot and stating their desire to pass on Barrett and go to their “boy” Dwayne Haskins.

A lot of people got into the conversation, ranging from notable analysts, former Buckeyes, hardcore fans and even potential recruiting targets found themselves in the storm.  Most notably, two top tier 5* targets in OT Jackson Carman and DE Micah Parsons, who were calling their shot and stating their desire to pass on Barrett and go to their “boy” Dwayne Haskins.

We all weathered the storm and now an opportunity to right the ship and turn the page is almost here.  The Army Black Knights are 2-0 and they will test the strength of the front seven for the entirety of this contest with an efficient rushing offense that ranks 2nd in the nation with 835 yards and 11 touchdowns on 113 attempts, averaging 417.5 yards per game.

On the other side, the home team Ohio State Buckeyes are surrendering 60.5 yards per contest, holding their opponents to 121 total yards on 64 rushing attempts.  They are allowing 1.89 yards per rush, while only giving up a single rushing touchdown so far this season.

Ohio State is #32 in the NCAA in rushing offense for 459 total yards in 85 attempts for 4 scores. They are averaging 5.4 yards per rushing attempt and 229.5 yards per contest and they must establish a balance to control the pace of the game.

The right side of the O-Line suffered against the constant pressure, so this game will be needed to regain their swagger.  They got beat often and were caught off guard by blitzing defenders, so they really need a boost.

Barrett on the other hand also needs this game to re-establish himself as the starting QB with everyone and their mother bashing him over the lack of down the field pass attempts and the lack of accuracy in his passes.  He is 39-70 for 487 yards and 3 touchdowns against one interception. He is averaging 243.5 yards per game, 6.96 yards per attempt and 12.49 yards per completion, which isn’t bad but he needs to show a lot of improvement in both the accuracy and the production department to truly improve and become more successful.

This Army team appears to be no threat to the Buckeyes through the air and through 2 games, as they are 2-10 for 17 yards.  They are averaging 1.7 yards per attempt and 8.5 yards per game, but they will be a could find a way to involve the running backs, similar to what Oklahoma did.

The Buckeyes linebackers were getting beat by dump-off passes, which could work to Army’s advantage during the game. The linebackers were often out of position and looked confused, so let’s hope they worked out the kinks.

The secondary improved, but tackling was an issue again as they were constantly looking for the big hit instead of wrapping up for the sure tackle.  They need to build on their performance again this week.

Prediction:  41-9 Buckeyes

After that embarrassing loss at home, it will drive the cause the Buckeyes to take a step in the right direction.  The offense improves and executes better, but will still be a work in progress. There will be a balance between the run and pass, and a big play or two will occur, with emphasis on improving the play-calling situation.    

The defense racks up TFL’s against the Army rushing attack forcing them to attempt more passes.  I am calling for a forced fumble and a pick to happen due to the immense pressure that the Rushmen place of the Army O-Line.  

 

Recap: #5 Oklahoma vs #2 Ohio State

First Half:

In an early test for both teams, neither seemed to get into a rhythm in the first half of the game. Oklahoma has statistically been more successful outgaining the often anemic Ohio State offense 222-92.  They have outgained the home team by a large margin and they seem to be gaining more and more confidence as the game continues.

Baker Mayfield has been leaning solely on his arm, which has been dicing up the Ohio State defense for 158 yards on 11 of 18 attempts, and he is gaining 8.8 yards per pass attempt but has no touchdowns to show for it yet.  He has been banged up as well, as he can be seen limping off to the sideline after taking a few huge hits.  So far Mayfield has been sacked twice, both by Sam Hubbard.

J.T. Barrett has struggled mightily, and he has been leaning more towards the designed QB runs, that have Buckeye fans scratching their heads.  Barrett finished the first half 5 for 11 for 25 yards and also carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards.

The first half ended in a 3-3 tie with Oklahoma turning the ball over three times.  They had two critical fumbles and a missed field goal, in what appears to be a defensive struggle.  Sooners also lost Mark Andrews, their big WR/TE to an apparent leg injury.

Second Half:

The Buckeyes started the half with balance and they capped off the opening drive with J.K. Dobbins’ first touchdown as a Buckeye.

Mayfield was quick to answer with a touchdown of his own to a 36-yard pass to Dimitri Flowers to tie up this contest.  The Sooner offense also caught fire as Mayfield found his teammates for 2 scores, 1 by RB Trey Sermon and another to Lee Morris.  Jordan Smallwood also found paydirt on a jet sweep.

The Sooner defense clamped down and shut down the Buckeyes, only giving up two field goals in the second half.  One in the early 3rd quarter and a second mid-4th quarter.  After a failed onside kick, the Sooners continue to drive the ball and rack up yardage on the tired Buckeye defense.

The Sooners win 31-16 with their rookie Head Coach Lincoln Riley, which is a rare and impressive feat in itself.  This by no means knocks the Buckeyes out of the playoff conversation.  There are obvious deficiencies on offense that need to be addressed all across the offense.

There are obvious deficiencies on offense that need to be addressed all across the offense.  The WR’s failed to separate, they were back to their old ways with the play calling, and J.T. Barrett’s issues accuracy and trust in his receivers.

The Buckeyes will be back, so stay tuned Buckeye Nation.