It was the quite the weekend of college football.
Ohio State destroyed Maryland behind J.T. Barrett’s four touchdowns. Iowa State walked into Norman, Okla., and upset Oklahoma, 38-31. The shaky LSU Tigers bounced back with a big win over Florida (please don’t ever fire Ed Orgeron, LSU). Miami (FL) beat Florida State for the first time since 2009.
And Mark Dantonio’s Michigan State Spartans defeated then-No. 7 ranked in-state rival Michigan in The Big House, 14-10. (I called this one last week.)
Throw this GIF into the hall of fame pic.twitter.com/R6CVba6e3j— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) October 8, 2017
It’s safe to say Sparty is back.
Let’s take a look around the country at how Saturday exactly went down.
Another Saturday, another blowout win in Columbus.
J.T. Barrett scored four total touchdowns and enjoyed an efficient outing through the air. He was aggressive and confident all afternoon, completing 20 of 31 passes for 261 yards.
The Buckeyes standout duo at running back – J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber – combined for 155 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Their offense executed more than a few big plays, including Marcus Baugh’s leaping touchdown in the second quarter.
OSU’s defense was dominant. The unit continues to improve on the backend, albeit after watching cornerbacks Denzel Ward – who didn’t deserve it – and Damon Arnette – who did deserve it – get ejected.
But the only unfortunate news to emerge is that starting guard Branden Bowen is out for the season with a fractured fibula.
Other than that, it was smooth sailing for the Buckeyes.
Play of the Game
I loved Marcus Baugh’s ultra-athletic leap. But it’s hard to beat a classic trick play.
Especially when you have Parris Campbell on your team.
They should let J.K. Dobbins shovel this to Parris Campbell next time for some passing yards. pic.twitter.com/SIUQVvRQNh— Ozone Communications (@theOzonedotnet) October 7, 2017
You can’t teach speed, folks.
Looking Ahead: Nebraska
It’s been a rough season for Nebraska.
Sitting at 3-3, the Cornhuskers haven’t scored a decent victory yet and have been beaten by Oregon, Northern Illinois, and now Wisconsin. The Badgers were sloppy and looked average most of the night in Lincoln. Yet, they still proved to be on another level compared to Nebraska.
Their offense just isn’t consistent and leaves too many plays on the field. That tissue paper defense hasn’t done them any favors, either.
Even on the road in one of college football’s toughest environments, OSU should have no problem with Nebraska on Saturday.
State of the Big Ten
Coming off two straight losses, Iowa rebounded with a rout of Illinois. Purdue also came on strong, beating Minnesota, 31-17.
Penn State rolled Northwestern to improve to 6-0 and Indiana shutout Charleston Southern. It was Nebraska that flashed at times, but couldn’t keep pace at home against Wisconsin.
To cap off a full day of Big Ten football, Michigan State and Michigan renewed their rivalry in Ann Arbor.
The Spartans outplayed and outcoached the Wolverines, controlling the pace of the game throughout the night. Brian Lewerke’s playmaking ability ended up making the difference. (I also said this last week.)
That’s now eight wins for Michigan State over Michigan in the last decade, twice versus Jim Harbaugh in The Big House.
Little brother once again resides in Ann Arbor. Rejoice.
Plays of the Week
There was no shortage of big plays this past weekend.
We begin with a huge run from Air Force v. Navy.
It was a tone-setting play that led to a 48-45 win for Navy.
On the road in Ann Arbor, Brian Lewerke scored Michigan State’s first touchdown on a nifty 14-yard scramble.
Lewerke is a name to watch for going forward.
Elsewhere, rivals Miami (Fl.) and Florida State squared off. It took the closing seconds to decide things.
Good for you, Miami.
And in what some thought of as the game of the week, TCU edged West Virginia behind Kenny Hill’s three touchdowns.
The man formerly known as Kenny Trill has returned.
It didn’t matter that Saquon Barkley only gained 75 rushing yards against Northwestern on Saturday.
The Heisman Trophy is his to lose.
Baker Mayfield is pretty much out of it after Oklahoma was stunned by Iowa State at home. Louisville’s 14-point drubbing by NC State means Lamar Jackson is out of it.
But Barkley’s Nittany Lions haven’t lost and it seems one loss wouldn’t even hurt Barkley’s stock as this point.
Considering he can do this at a moment’s notice, I’ve got to believe voters feel the same way.
Barkley leads the Heisman pack for at least another week.
Game of the Week: Oklahoma v. Texas
No Week Seven matchup particularly stands out.
But how can you not look forward to the Red River Rivalry game between Oklahoma and Texas?
I can say with full confidence that this will be a shootout. Texas and Oklahoma offer little in the way of defense and have heavily relied on their explosive offenses.
The Sooners suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Iowa State, while the Longhorns victory over Kansas State may be a sign of things to come.
Either way, this should be a classic meeting between two longtime rivals.
Monday Morning #HotTakez
- Big brother should be embarrassed after losing to Michigan State at home. That makes it eight losses in 10 years for Michigan, twice at home under Jim Harbaugh. Ouch.
- Michigan is 3-16 against both Michigan State and Ohio State since 2008. Say it with me: Mark Dantonio is a better coach than Jim Harbaugh.
- Which conference will be left out of the College Football Playoff? After Oklahoma’s flop at home to a backup quarterback, me thinks the Big 12 (again).
- Stanford running back Bryce Love might be the best player in the Pac-12. He’s been trampling defenses and ran for a season-worst 152 yards during a 23-20 victory over Utah.
Oh, the Interweb
It surprises me every week just how ridiculous college football can be.
Take a look at what happens after Western Michigan's Donnie Ernsberger scores a touchdown.
Yes, that’s Ernsberger’s sister. Yes, she ran on the field to congratulate him. She was flagged after the play.
Now let’s watch Oklahoma get sonned by Iowa State.
Remember when Baker Mayfield did that in Ohio Stadium? Yeah, karma works both ways, Baker.
To end things, I have the hit that OSU’s Denzel Ward was ejected for. Listen to what Joel Klatt of Fox Sports has to say about it.
Does that really warrant a flag, let alone an ejection? I certainly don’t think so. It’s not even close in my eyes.
Let us know what you thought of Ward’s hit in the comments section.
Land-Grant Holy Land has you covered on everything that is OSU. Win or lose, we’ve got your back.
- J.T. Barrett continues to shine as Ohio State beats Maryland, 62-14
- On Saturday, we learned that J.T. Barrett looks ready to get Ohio State back in playoff contention
- Ohio State’s offense feasted on Maryland’s defense
- Ohio State moves up to No. 9 in latest AP Poll
Ohio State has set themselves up quite nicely as their showdown with Penn State looms.
They get a solid primer at Nebraska this week. A bye Week follows, then the Nittany Lions make the trip to the Buckeye State. Penn State faces a gauntlet of teams in Michigan (home), OSU (away), and Michigan State (away) in consecutive weeks.
The Scarlet and Gray have been visibly progressing and are building confidence. All the broken records and milestones are extra topping.
Given the lull in their schedule, there’s not much more you can ask for from this team. The Buckeyes look about as ready as they’ll ever be to reassert themselves as national championship contenders.
I like their chances of doing so in three weeks.