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Oval and Out: Ohio State blanks Rutgers, an in-state rivalry renews, and Saquon Barkley owns college football

We’re back again to get you caught up on the news, notes, and notable bits from Columbus and beyond. 

J.T. Barrett (16)
Noah K. Murray

For every win you enjoy, a loss is sure to follow.

It happens in all walks of life.

You can lose a pencil before class. You can lose your car keys. You can even lose a football game. I think I lost about 10 pairs of glasses when I was little.

But some losses can’t be reconciled or replaced.

I was told a week ago that my four-legged best friend had cancer. Her name is Adrian, an abused rescue that was literally found in the woods all alone years ago.

We were essentially given one option, though. Her leg had to be amputated or the cancer would spread elsewhere throughout her 12-year-old basset hound body.

So, that same week, the amazing folks over at The Ohio State University Medical Center removed Adrian’s front left leg.

The past seven days haven’t been easy. I’d gladly trade places with Adrian, who loves nothing more than a good adventure and a jar of peanut butter.

But I’ve learned a great deal from that incredible hound. It’s put things in perspective, to say the least. And I hope this provides you, too, with a little perspective on value as we kick off October.

Now, let’s take a look at what happened over the weekend in Columbus and around the country.


Review: Rutgers

OSU tacked on another easy victory Saturday night, blanking Rutgers 56-0.

Not only was this the Buckeyes first shutout of the season, but they put together their best all-around outing to date.

J.T. Barrett hung 364 total yards and three touchdowns on the Scarlet Knights. He also became the all-time passing leader in school history, a record formerly held by Art Schlichter.

Barrett was able to connect on some big downfield strikes again this week. He found Johnnie Dixon all alone for a 70-yard touchdown that broke the game wide open and later hit Binjimen Victor for a beautiful touchdown grab to top things off.

Yeah, he Mossed him.

On the ground, Mike Weber got back in the fold with three touchdown runs and Demario McCall rewarded eager fans with two touchdowns of his own. And if your defense doesn’t allow the opposing offense to ever score, they done good.

An improved Maryland team is up next for OSU.

Play of the Game

The lovechild of a Rutgers snoozer is the amount of big plays from the Buckeyes.

And the biggest came from Johnnie Dixon, who was left unchecked by the defense in the second quarter for a 70-yard touchdown that pushed OSU’s lead to 21-0.

Dixon scored again shortly after, as did seemingly the rest of the offense.


Looking Ahead: Maryland

It’s difficult to know where to begin with Maryland.

They’re 3-1 on the season, having beaten Texas, Towson, and most recently Minnesota. All three games have been won with three different starting quarterbacks. Maryland is solid on both sides of the ball and will need efficient play under center to upset OSU on the road.

Quarterback Max Bortenschlager was just that for the Terps versus Minnesota, completing 18-of-28 passes for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions. He’s set to make his third career start in The Shoe.

I like what coach D. J. Durkin has going on at College Park, but the odds of a Maryland upset Saturday afternoon are slim to none. (However, I will buy stock in a potentially interesting game.)


State of the Big Ten

It was an important week in the B1G with several teams looking to separate themselves from the rest of the conference.

Nebraska got the ball rolling with a road win over Illinois. Undefeated Minnesota was dealt the biggest blow, dropping a close one to Maryland at home. Northwestern couldn’t complete their comeback bid against Wisconsin, and Penn State trounced Indiana in Happy Valley.

Iowa’s meeting with Michigan State highlighted the Big Ten’s weekend slate. It came down to the closing minutes, with the Spartans coming out on top, 17-10.

Sparty is on the comeback trail, people. Don’t be surprised if they upset Michigan Saturday night.


Play of the Week

It feels like Saquon Barkley dominates this section every week.

Well, nothing changed but the date for Penn State’s star tailback, as he went out and proved again that he’s college football’s premier attraction.

Seriously, what can’t Barkley do?

Just give him the Heisman already.


Heisman Watch

I already dedicated one section to the country’s best player, why not do it again.

Saquon Barkley went for 221 total yards and two touchdowns in Penn State’s win over Indiana. He’s now amassed 1,234 total yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns.

Whew. You better hope that man ends up on your favorite NFL team.

Outside of Barkley, Oklahoma had a Bye Week, so Baker Mayfield didn’t play. He’ll likely hang around the Heisman conversation with Barkley all season long.

Keep an eye on Stanford running back Bryce Love. He broke Christian McCaffrey’s single-game rushing record with 301 yards on Saturday and has 1,088 rushing yards in five games.


Game of the Week: Michigan State v. Michigan

A classic matchup between two in-state conference rivals? Count me in.

Michigan States hits the road to take on Michigan in Ann Arbor. Coach Mark Dantonio appears to have righted the ship in East Lansing. He’s got another hardnosed, talented group that’s strong in the trenches.

Under center is sophomore Brian Lewerke, a legit dual-threat quarterback that’s visibly improving each week.

Not to be outdone are coach Jim Harbaugh’s undefeated Wolverines. They’re an inexperienced squad, but with a stout defense and ball-controlled offense, the framework is basically the same.

Lewerke’s decision-making and ability to make plays outside the pocket could decide a game where points will be at a premium.


Monday Morning #HotTakez

  • Fall and winter are the best seasons of the year. Summer’s just too hot (I’m a naturally warm person, but still).
  • Tony Romo is already a superb announcer. And don’t tell me there’s a right way to announce a game.
  • I’m calling it: Michigan State upsets Michigan in the Big House.
  • Wisconsin clinched the Big Ten West before their season began.
  • I thought USC was overrated. After a couple close calls, Washington State did ‘em in Friday night. It won’t be the Trojans only loss of the season.
  • The best team in college football is… Clemson. That defense is filthy and Kelly Bryant is cruising. Maybe Deshaun Watson wasn’t lying, after all.
  • Danny Trevathan deserves a longer suspension for this. Dirtiest hit I’ve seen in while.
  • It was a sea of blowouts in college football’s primetime slots on Saturday. I thought college ball was supposed to be better than the NFL, though? The Internet told me so.

Oh, the Interweb

Although it was a quiet football-filled weekend, the Internet still proved to be the gift that keeps on giving.

And with that we begin in the NFL with a true legend at quarterback.

Don’t ever change, Jay.

Now for some “Really, bro?” moments.

Then Troy went down to Death Valley and owned LSU on and off the gridiron.

The savagery is real.

I’ll leave you with Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke and a Wonderdog.

That was the most important completion Lewerke had all day.


Buckeyes Bits

Land-Grant Holy Land has you covered on everything that is OSU. Win or lose, we’ve got your back.


Final Thoughts

This week, it’s Maryland. Next, it’s Nebraska (and then a Bye Week).

And then, on Oct. 28, OSU will host Penn State under the lights in Columbus.

There’s not much time left for the Buckeyes to gear up for the conference-leading Nittany Lions. While the Scarlet and Gray have noticeably improved, it’s hard to know what team we’ll get when faced with a legitimate title contender.

As is the case with many things in life, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Have questions? Comments? Send them my way! Email me at kylemckinnon6@gmail.com or follow me @Kyle_McKinnon6 on Twitter.