The Ohio State University’s Football Squad went into yesterday’s game ranked 10th in the nation. The afternoon ended in a complete thrashing of the unranked UNLV Rebels, 54-21 – and a drop in the polls to 11th.
Georgia and TCU entered the top-10 of the Associated Press college football poll, which ultimately resulted in the Buckeye’s drop.
TCU, which beat Oklahoma State, and Georgia, which beat Mississippi State, moved up to No. 9 and No. 7, respectively. It appears that the Buckeyes win impressed no one – within the realm of voters of these polls anyway.
This is the first time the Buckeyes have been outside of the top-10 in the AP poll since week 10 of the 2014 season. That was right before Ohio State beat Michigan State that year.
There isn’t a lot we can do about what happened, the Buckeyes did what they had to do – they won – and did so handsomely.
Yesterday’s thrashing of the Rebels of UNLV though showed us all an angry offense, and defensively speaking – can a team allow 88 passing yards and still leave you with questions of how much the passing defense has actually improved? That’s kind of where the Buckeyes are after Saturday’s win in Columbus.
Perhaps the most frustrating part is that since Oklahoma threw the ball around Ohio Stadium two weeks ago, the Buckeyes haven’t faced anything resembling a stiff test in the passing attack. And they won’t for at least another two weeks. Ohio State in the end did what was it was supposed to do against the Rebels, allowing those 88 yards on 20 pass attempts and intercepting two passes off tipped balls.
But the Buckeye secondary was also responsible for four penalties that led to first downs. One of those penalties negated an interception and extended the lone scoring drive UNLV had against Ohio State’s first-team defense. Three of those penalties were against cornerback Kendall Sheffield.
“Very concerned, terrible,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said of the penalties. “It’s awful.”
Thanks to back-to-back games against Army and UNLV, Ohio State has gone from dead last in the country in passing defense to 67th , allowing 228.3 yards per game. Keep in mind with this daring and unwelcoming statistic, in one month’s time, the Buckeyes meet up with Penn State’s offense. Can they shut them down? They will have to improve dramatically, or Penn State will need to be completely off their game.
The Buckeyes were led with a fantastic passing attack. JT Barrett tossed for 209 yards in 17 attempts and 12 completions. The big note was he threw for 5 TD’s. Dwayne Haskins, and Joe Burrow saw some snaps as well – Haskins tossed for 228 yards in 23 attempts and 15 completions with two TD’s, Burrows was perfect, tossing for 37 yards, hitting four out of four.
JK Dobbins continued to shine, in 14 attempts he ran for 95 yards. Antonio Williams added 58 yards in 11 attempts. The question must continue to linger – Mike Weber? At least it does in my mind.
On the scoring end Paris Campbell, CJ Saunders, Rashod Berry, KJ Hill, Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin, and Benjimin Victor all crossed the line for a TD.
I wish I could detail more of a positive note here. The Buckeyes defensively speaking must improve. 67th in total defense nationally will not cut the mustard as they swim into games against Penn State, Wisconsin, MSU, and TTUN. The penalties too must be eliminated – plain and simple.
The Buckeyes now meet up with Rutgers in NJ. This will be another tune-up. I suspect that the Buckeyes defensive backfield should be concerned here – they will need to look over their backs. Greg Schiano and Kerry Coombs should be trying out some new blood in the backfield against Rutgers at some point during this match. It’ll always be positive to see what everyone’s capabilities are.
Look for another thrashing for the Buckeyes in the Rutgers game. But let us keep an eye on how many Rutgers gets on that same score board.