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

The #3 (now #2) Buckeyes pulled out a ‘not that convincing’ 30-14 win over Minnesota. I’m sure you watched it/read about it, so let’s move on…

Offense

Woody is spinning in his grave right now. The Buckeyes had 44 passing attempts (412 yards) and 32 rushing attempts (92 yards) on the day. It’s not so much what I consider the imbalance, but the execution.

The performance of the offensive line, particularly Isiah Prince was dreadful. Maybe because the offense is passing more than previous, but I think the linemen are too passive. They didn’t pass block nor run block with any competency. Ohio State linebackers coach Billy Davis has been criticized for the linebacker’s sketchy play. Maybe it’s time to call out offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.

Whatever rushing yardage was gained was due to determination of Michael Weber and J.K. Dobbins.

This has devolved into a pass-centric offense. The Buckeyes have a top rate quarterback (hopefully they can keep him healthy) and several quality receivers, including tight ends.

This is a fragile, top-heavy offense. It’s success depends on the performance and health of a single player – Dwayne Haskins. If he is injured or has an ‘off’ day, the offense is in trouble.

 

Defense

The defense continued its trend of looking pretty average in the first half, then looking much improved in the second half. At some point, they re going to have to do a better job of anticipating what opponents will do to exploit OSU weaknesses.

To begin, every future opponent should dial up quick slant passes, since OSU seems incapable of defending them. Maybe Schiano should try shading corners to the inside of the receivers and force the throw ‘over’ and ‘away’ from the defense.

The linebackers, and safetys  are suckers for play-action passing. It seems they all are too eager to “jump in to make a play”; instead, they get played.

After thinking about the play of the defensive line, I think they may be okay. They are playing at a reasonable level, particularly with their injuries. Bosa was lost four games ago, and has bailed on the season. Dre’Mont Jones, Robert Landers and Jonathan Cooper have been nicked up. After they (hopefully) get by Purdue this weekend, they get a much, much needed week off to recuperate.

Special Teams

Not much to report on here. As crappy as both offenses were, I was surprised that each team punted only twice.

The key player, for me, was Buffalonian Blake Haubeil. Due to an injury to place kicker Sean Nuernberger, Blake assumed place-kicking duties in addition to his kick-off duties. He banged his kickoffs into Fair Catch Territory. He was 3-3 in Field Goals and 3-3 with PATs. Solid…

Misc

I usually don’t have much to say about officiating, but I will say this – jesus christ, these zebras were terrible. Minnesota’s first scoring drive set the tone. Bryce Williams caught a 14 yard sideline route and Tuf Borland was no ware to be found. Why? He got “picked” by Gopher TE Jake Paulson. There was no chicanery here; Paulson flat out blocked Borland to let Williams slide into the flat.

The other incident was on the subsequent Mohamed Ibraham touchdown run. Granted, it was well blocked, but if you look (somewhat) closely at the point of attack, OSU’s Justin Hilliard’s jersey was stretched out of shape due to Gopher manipulation.

General

In the James Franklin Ranking System ©, Ohio State is a Good team. Not Great, and certainly not Elite. This is a soft team. Being able to run the ball and pass the ball are not mutually exclusive. Coach Bill Davis has been criticized for being a piss-poor linebacker coach. We may have to include offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.

We’ll see how this season plays out, but I would not be surprised to see this be a multi-loss team. This is a soft team.