Be sure to catch our Ohio State-Tulsa postgame show:
Ohio State-Tulsa LIVE POSTGAME show. Let's chat!由 Land-Grant Holy Land - For Ohio State fans 貼上了 2016年9月10日
The Buckeyes got off to a very fast start defensively in this one. Tulsa received the opening kickoff, and on the first play from scrimmage, Ohio State came away with an interception thanks to Marshon Lattimore, setting the Buckeyes up in the red zone. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they were only able to get a field goal out of the opportunity.
Midway through the first quarter, a failed exchange between J.T. Barrett and Mike Weber resulted in great field position for Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane got all the way up to the Ohio State 1-yard line, and the Buckeyes stopped them on 4th and goal. The hole was too deep for the Buckeyes, and were forced to punt after three downs.
After starting off near midfield after the punt, the Tulsa offense showed signs of life, but the Buckeye defense held firm once again. Raekwon McMillan batted down a Dane Evans pass that would have put the Golden Hurricane in the red zone. They would settle for a field goal, making it a tied game at 3-3 with 3:22 remaining in the first quarter.
The Buckeye offense began to move in the second quarter, where we saw more Barrett completions, and doses of Curtis Samuel. The Buckeyes were able to work their way inside the 10, but the Golden Hurricane defense held up once again, leaving the Bucks to settle for a field goal to make it a 6-3 game with 10:10 to go in the second quarter.
Towards the tail end of the second quarter, Mailk Hooker got his third interception on the season, and turned it into six, giving the Buckeyes a 13-3 lead after the extra point. On the ensuing Tulsa possession, another turnover gave the Buckeyes the ball among the debris flying around the field because of the increased winds.
As the rain began to pour, Ohio State’s defense stepped up yet again, as Marshon Lattimore got his second interception of the game, and channeled his inner Malik Hooker, taking it to the house to put the Bucks up 20-3 with less than a minute remaining in the half.
After a rain delay that seemed like it would never end, play resumed after 6:30 p.m. eastern time. The Ohio State offense came out, and were moving much quicker than they had during the first half. Curtis Samuel again showed some flashes, and the Buckeyes had a good temp going. J.T. Barrett sealed off the opening drive after a solid block by Samuel to put the Bucks up 27-3.
The rest of the third quarter was pretty quiet for both teams, until the Buckeyes drove down the field, thanks in part to a great snag by Curtis Samuel with two Golden Hurricane defenders on him. Mike Weber would finish the drive with his first career touchdown as a Buckeye, with Ohio State up 34-3.
A Gareon Conley interception gave the Buckeyes another shot on offense, and the Buckeyes would march up the field, and was highlighted by a Braxton Miller-esque spin move by Dontre Wilson. Barrett would punch it in for yet another Buckeye score, and his ninth touchdown on the season to put the Bucks up 41-3. Despite the passing game not being as prolific as you might like it to be, the Buckeyes had a good afternoon on the ground.
Dontre Wilson would get his touchdown, though. He capped off a seven-play Ohio State drive with a 5-yard touchdown run, putting the Bucks up 48-3. On the ensuing Tulsa possession, Nick Bosa forced a fumble, and celebrated with that signature shrug. The Ohio State starters would be pulled the next drive, essentially putting the game to an unofficial rest.
3 things we learned:
1. The offensive line wasn’t great early. We expected Ohio State to come into this one pretty comfortably on offense. Tulsa is known as much more of an offensive juggernaut, that has extreme issues on the defensive side of things. That certainly didn’t show in the first half, as it seemed Tulsa was able to have their way for the most part. The front seven was making Ohio State’s offensive line look fairly bad for one of the top teams in the nation, and the offense looked similar to the sluggishness we saw for much of the 2015 season. The pass rush of the Golden Hurricane made J.T. Barrett look very uncomfortable for much of the first half, which was a big reason for the struggles of the Ohio State offense early.
To their credit, Tulsa was much more able in covering Ohio State receivers when they did hold up in the first half of the game. This perhaps shouldn’t be a huge concern yet, with the Buckeyes returning Billy Price and Pat Elflein on the line, along with the talented Jamarco Jones starting for the first time. The talent is there, and hopefully games against Bowling Green and Tulsa have served as good learning experiences before heading into Norman next week to take on the Sooners.
2. The secondary is good. The roster turnover was pretty significant this offseason. The Buckeyes lost essentially all of their secondary, and while there might be some concern there as to how the new starters would respond, it’s been excellent thus far. As previously mentioned, Ohio State’s offense was pretty non-existent for the first half. It was pretty tough to watch early, but the defense (who had their own struggles early), had one heck of an ending to the first half. Malik Hooker got things going, which should be unsurprising after he had a pair of interceptions last week against Bowling Green. He took a Dane Evans pass 26 yards to the house. He would be followed up two and a half game minutes later by Marshon Lattimore, who had a 40-yard interception for a touchdown. It was Lattimore’s second pick of the game, after he intercepted the first pass of the game.
Gareon Conley got in on the interception party, after Dane Evans left a floater in the middle of the field. Conley made the pick look easy, the fourth that Evans had thrown on the afternoon. Outside of the obvious big plays, the Buckeye secondary was great in both zone and man-to-man situations. If there was a pass within reach, hands were getting on the ball, and hits were delivered to jar potential receptions loose. While Tulsa isn’t great by any means, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to expect them to find the endzone a couple of times during the game, but the defense was strong. It’s been great to see how they’ve played through eight quarters, and it seems Kerry Coombs and Greg Schiano have these guys right where they need to be heading into the Oklahoma game next week.
3. Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel are exciting. The duo have undoubtedly been the highlight of the offense through the first two games of the season. The offense wasn’t exactly exciting today, whether that was because of bad passes, missed blocks, or stuffed runs. Yet whenever Samuel got his hands on the ball, you found yourself holding your breath, not sure of what was going to come next. He had some flashy runs, and an amazing catch in the third quarter with a pair of Tulsa defenders draped on him. Weber would finish up the drive with his first career touchdown as a member of the Buckeyes.
It seemed like Weber had a sneaky good game. A lot of the attention obviously went on J.T. Barrett, and how the passing attack wasn’t as explosive as many would have expected or liked, which is totally understandable. Yet through three quarters, Weber had 15 carries for 87 yards, and a score. It didn’t seem he got the ball very often, but when he did, he did damage. If Weber and Samuel keep their production up, that’s all the Buckeyes would need when the defense plays as well as it did today. At the same time, I wouldn’t expect the Ohio State passing game to be as inconsistent it was today.