"The defending national champions have instead rode a shutdown defense and the running of Heisman-flirting junior Ezekiel Elliott."
I mean, that's your dad's formula for winning football games, isn't it? As much flak as the Ohio State offense has faced this season, the defense has been the anchor. Along with the defense has been Heisman hopeful Ezekiel Elliott in the Ohio State backfield, the one constant on that side of the ball all season. And while it may seem that he might not have had the season that was expected of him, he's actually right on track, as he is one of the leading rushers in college football.
Elliott is so on track, in fact, that as Briggs points out, he is on pace for the best rushing season in Ohio State football history. That's pretty dang good considering its history. Elliott is the one who essentially put the team on his back in the final three games of the season in 2014 and ran the College Football Playoff championship trophy back to Columbus. Between him and the Silver Bullets, Ohio State has a good foundation going into the toughest part of their schedule.
"No, [Braxton] Miller doesn't love that he has been repositioned from quarterback to wide receiver [...] But after missing all of Ohio State's 2014 national championship season, being back on the field is reward enough."
With everything going on in what has been a hectic college football season, the story of Braxton Miller and his position change have gotten a bit lost in the mix. It by no means has not gone undiscussed, but the dissection and attention to detail have been much more minuscule than it seemed that it would be. His role hasn't been nearly as large as some thought, but expectations were pretty high for the guy who says he is the best athlete in college football.
Miller discusses how the transition was tough for him. Starting with his injury against Clemson in the Orange Bowl, to his spring practice where he injured the shoulder again, keeping him out of the 2014 season. He said it was the worst pain he had ever experienced in his life. You wouldn't be able to tell just by his demeanor on or off the field, but Miller really went through it from start to finish in his position transition, and became a lot tougher as a result.
"If Ohio State would have been all-in on L.J. Scott from the beginning, maybe he'd be sitting on the Buckeyes bench Saturday for the Michigan State game."
Michigan State running back L.J. Scott was a four-star recruit out of Hubbard, Ohio. Coming out of high school, the Buckeyes were looking at Scott, but were much more focused on another prospect, five-star Damien Harris. Harris obviously didn't work out for Ohio State, and Scott went to East Lansing to become a Spartan. Ohio State ended up Mike Weber, another four-star, himself.
Now, as opposed to more than likely sitting on the bench for the Buckeyes, Scott will be going up against them Saturday in Columbus in the biggest game for both teams up to this point in the season. Coming into his home state and trying to knock off the Buckeyes will give Scott a little extra juice on Saturday for what should make an interesting matchup late in the season.
"The Buckeyes all watched last year's Michigan State film Sunday. They saw what's needed now. That again- 568 total yards if you're counting."
It's no secret that while Ohio State hasn't been playing great this season. But many forget because of the great success that the Buckeyes had towards the end of last season, that they weren't exactly the same type of team in that stretch, and during the regular season. The success was all anybody saw and cared about. That's not a bad thing for the Buckeyes, either. The clear preference should be for your team to play at their peak when it matters most, and now is the beginning of that time.
The Buckeyes really found their stride last season against the Spartans, and now would be the perfect time for these same Buckeyes to find theirs. In this article, even Taylor Decker mentions that the game against Sparty last season was a turning point for the Buckeyes, and a good gauge as to where they are at. Saturday will prove that. While most college football fans around the nation will tell you Ohio State hasn't played anybody, a win over Michigan State would not be disputable.