(Image courtesy deviantart.com, game information courtesy ohiostatebuckeyes.com, espn.com)

The #4 Buckeyes finally prevailed over the #15 Horned Frogs 40-28 in a fairly exciting game Saturday evening. I’m writing this on Tuesday. The time lag let me review and think about this game for a bit. I’m sure you watched the game. Or read about it. Or, probably, both. I’ll spare you the play-by-play (especially the first half) and get right into my observations.

Offense

Let’s start out by saying that Dwayne Haskins is good. Very good. He was 24-38-344-2 on the evening. He also added a 4th quarter rushing TD to ice the game. Of his 14 incompletions, I’d place them into three categories.

  1.  Austin Mack – catch the damn ball
  2. Johnnie Dixon III – quit trying to force the ball into him.
  3. Rashod Berry – you need to learn to finesse it to him

Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins ran with a ‘not to be denied’ attitude all night long. These two young men are getting to be so complementary to one another and to the OSU offense.

The offensive line looked OK in between-the-tackles plays and hopelessly slow to block TCU on outside runs. I’m not impressed with size; I am impressed with mobility/agility.

Any play that involves Parris Campbell running a fly-sweep type of play is a “loss-leader”. It’s always going to be a loss and it leads to 2nd-and-long. Get rid of the goddamned play.

Michael Jordan wasn’t very good Saturday night. Well before he decided to roll the ball to Dwayne, Michael worked on floating the ball back to him. I can’t believe OSU doesn’t have a better option at Center. Hell, LS Liam McCullough would do a better job at, you know, actually getting the ball back to the quarterback.

 

Defense

Don’t be deceived by the 511 yards and 28 points allowed; Ohio State’s defense won this game for Ohio State. The OSU defense was a “Big Play” factor on Saturday, both bad and good.

Big Play Bad:

Everyone got a good, if brief, glimpse of Darius Anderson’s hinterland enroute to his 93 yard TD run. It’s Tuesday afternoon (as I write this) and Jahsen Wint is still trying to locate the ball and Tre’Vontae Hights.

Big Play Good:

Davon Hamilton benefited from Nick Bosa’s strip search of Shawn Robinson for Ohio State’s 1st touchdown. Dre’Mont Jones rumbled (there was no bumbling, stumbling) with a 28 yard pick-six to give Ohio State their 3rd touchdown.

I thought the D-Line, with and without Bosa played to a very effective level. And, the D-Line did score 1/3 of Ohio State’s points.

The linebacker play was embarrassingly atrocious. Aside from a couple drop-back coverage plays, the linebackers were late, were out of position and took incorrect angles of pursuit all game. Has no one taught them “gap responsibility”?

Aside from Wint still trying to find, let alone cover, receivers, I thought the secondary looked okay. Their “downfield” play and coverage wasn’t too bad. They do need to work on containment and… tackling on swing passes (and other perimeter plays), though.

Special Teams

Ii thought they Special Teams had a pretty good week. Other than a 38 yard Johnnie Dixon KO return, there wasn’t much going on. Other than a doinked Drue Chrisman punt in the 3rd period. he did fine. Blake Haubeil & Co. did a nice job in kickoffs and coverage. He’s kicking it deep enough and high enough the opponents are taking advantage of the new fair catch rule. Bonus: Blake doesn’t have to worry about hitting a pull-hook O/B. Just kick it high, far and somewhat straight.

Misc

I was a little apprehensive of OSU’s ability to mitigate any “damage” that TCU’s KaVonte Turpin would cause. Turpin is one hell of an athlete. They did a nice job. Turpin had 14 receiving yards and 56 KR yards with no scores.

In TCU’s first drive of the game, Turpin’s holding penalty negated a TD run. In the third period, after Dre’Mont Jones’ pick six,  Turpin’s illegal forward pass on the subsequent return took another TCU touchdown off the board. At that point, KaVonte Turpin was the best thing Ohio State’s defense had going for it.

General

This was a good gut-it-out win over a very talented, at least offensively, team. It took a while for the offense to get into sync against a faster defense, but eventually OSU’s talent, and will, won out.

Until the offense got it together, the defense blunted TCU’s talented offense as well as scored a couple TDs themselves.

I do want to say this to Urban Meyer regarding assistant coaches. You decided to put up with Zach Smith’s horseshit for far too long. At the end of this season you need to make amends to the program and throw some platinum and gold Larry Johnson’s way, because he’s the best damn assistant coach you have.