The Buckeye team that fans have been waiting for, finally showed up (mostly) on Saturday against Western Michigan -- a team that gave Michigan State a run for their money in Week 1 for a few quarters.
The Ohio State offense was back to looking dynamic at times and the defense came away with some big plays and scores. All-in-all it was a complete team effort, and one that kept the Buckeyes as No. 1 in both major polls.
Offense was finally explosive (again)
- Cardale Jones was named the starter ahead of the Week 3 game, and finally saw a confidence in the pocket that allowed for some long-shots downfield.
- Jones was "ok." Meyer said they have high expectations and he had some turnover issues. He also had issues with the "underthrown deep ball" noting there were at least six of them. "Fundamentally, he wasn't sound," on Jones, but it was one of his better throwing games overall.
- WR Michael Thomas had his breakout game of the season with six receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown; Meyer notes Thomas is "outstanding," and is very aware of where his is on the field. He and Jalin Marshall are turning into deep threats in Devin Smith's absence. Receivers had a "very good day", and were able to open the field a bit.
Ezekiel Elliott created opportunities
- Elliott started the day with a 26-yard run that created options for the passing game. He had 16 rushes for 124 yards -- a game-high so far this season -- and one touchdown.
- "Zeke is playing at a very high level; he's tough, he's playing hard without the ball," noted Meyer.
Offensive line finally gelling
- Offensive line played "much better". They got beat up a little early in the season, but overall has improved heading into conference play. Meyer feels much better leaving this game with the future of the offense moving forward in the season.
- Tim Beck is getting more comfortable as the season progresses and was able to find more success from the booth. Beck "did a really good job," he just needs to get a little more consistent.
The importance of special teams
- As reminded by the announcers 20 times on Saturday, Coach Meyer personally oversees the special teams as he calls it one of the most important parts of the game. The Buckeye special teams was "dynamic" on Saturday despite one penalty, and was once again touted by the head coach.
- Western Michigan struggled on special teams all day with poor punts and kickoffs throughout the afternoon.
Preparing for Indiana
- In the first game of the season, the Hoosiers used a 3-4 defense, but the past three weeks they've used a 4-3. Meyer and the coaching staff are prepared for whichever scheme they show in Week 5.
Players/champions of the game
- Offense: Michael Thomas, Corey Smith, Ezekiel Elliott, Jacoby Boren, Taylor Decker, Marcus Baugh. Co-champions: Curtis Samuel and Pat Elflein
- Defense: Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington