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Oval and Out: Ohio State gets back on track, the NFL is still fun, and why Urban Meyer can’t touch Nick Saban

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

J.T. Barrett (16)
Jamie Sabau

Mmmmm. Smell that Buckeye fans?

That’s the smell of victory (I love a good cliché).

Ohio State got back on track against Army, coming away with a much-needed 38-7 victory. They’re now 2-1 on the season and while OSU still has major problems with their passing game, J.T. Barrett and Co. took a step in the right direction on Saturday.

The Buckeyes won’t face a good ranked opponent until Penn State comes to town at the end of October, so there’s plenty of time to build some chemistry and improve weaker areas.

Outside of Columbus, Nebraska and Illinois were the only Big Ten teams to lose over the weekend, Lamar Jackson might’ve killed his chances at another Heisman Trophy, and Texas v. USC had us thinking it was 2006 again.

I’m talking too much. Let’s just go ahead and get started.


Review: Army

Coming off a 31-16 drubbing by Oklahoma, OSU got it going again on home turf.

Like I said last week, the Black Knights indeed gave the boys in Scarlet and Gray a little scare heading into halftime only up 17-7. But the Buckeyes put their foot on the gas almost as soon as the third quarter began. OSU outscored Army 21-0 in the second half and soundly beat the Cadets 38-7.

J.T Barrett was as efficient as we’ve seen in recent memory, completing 25 of 33 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns, adding an extra 32 yards and another six points on the ground. He also finally broke Drew Brees’ career Big Ten touchdown mark with a nice throw to Austin Mack.

The Buckeyes defense was sound and watched redshirt freshman Tuf Borland steal the show, after filling in for an injured Chris Worley at linebacker. Borland – the latest member of the family to play football at OSU – racked up 12 tackles and a tackle for loss in his collegiate debut. I’d expect to see more of him going forward.

A second freshman dazzled on Saturday. J.K. Dobbins proved to be the go-to running back for the Buckeyes, gashing the Black Knights for 172 and two touchdowns on just 13 carries.

The UNLV Rebels are next on the docket for OSU.

Play of the Game

It was only a matter of time before Dobbins busted one on Army.

With the Buckeyes leading 17-7 in the third quarter, Dobbins took the handoff from Barrett and sliced through the Black Knights defense on his way to a 52-yard touchdown run.

That’s some serious finishing speed, folks.


Looking Ahead: UNLV Rebels

OSU gets their first cupcake opponent of the season in the UNLV Rebels (1-1).

The Rebels were the laughing stock of the nation Week One, losing as a 45-point favorite to Howard. They rebounded against Idaho, stunning the Vandals 44-16 on the road.

UNLV will be fresh off a Bye Week, but that won’t stop a rout from happening on Saturday in The Shoe.


State of the Big Ten

The Big Ten was thiiiiis close to pulling off a perfect Week Three.

A couple teams from Illinois ruined that dream, though, with Illinois dropping one to USF Friday night and Nebraska getting upset in Lincoln by Northern Illinois a day later.

Besides those two losses, the conference was flawless. Northwestern, Minnesota and Purdue all scored big wins. Michigan grounded Air Force, Wisconsin rocked BYU, and Iowa tuned-up North Texas.

Penn State and Rutgers each enjoyed shutout victories, as well.


Play of the Week

Okay, there are way too many choices from this wild weekend of college football.

And it truly was wild.

We begin with the ridiculousness that Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks uncorked to Tyrie Cleveland.

Your days are numbered, Butch Jones.

Next, we have star Washington receiver and return specialist Dante Pettis. He ducked and dodged defenders and tied the NCAA all-time record for career punt return touchdowns.

Now, we’ll get to this guy in a minute, but here’s another example of Saquon Barkley’s amazingness – and importance – for Penn State.

And we’ve made it to the coup de grace of this section, y’all.

Texas gave USC everything they could handle Saturday night, resulting in some really incredible moments. Not to mention one of the best endings to a first half of football you’ll ever see.

I already can’t wait for these two to meet again.


Heisman Watch

Last week, Lamar Jackson reigned supreme here.

After getting blasted by Clemson at home, it’s unlikely Jackson will ever get his hands on a second Heisman Trophy.

Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield now takes center stage. He put on a show versus Tulane, tossing for 331 yards and four touchdowns. Mayfield has yet to throw an interception and has 10 touchdowns with more than 1,000 passing yards.

With the stats and a major win on the road in hand, Mayfield is firmly in the Heisman driver’s seat.

Keep your eye on Saquon Barkley, too. That man will stay in this conversation until the Nittany Lions lose.


Game of the Week: Penn State v. Iowa

We get a sneak peak of a potential conference title matchup when Penn State (3-0) heads west to square off with Iowa (3-0).

Led by Trace McSorley and the aforementioned Saquon Barkley, the Nittany Lions sport the top backfield in the Big Ten, if not the entire country. They’ve steamrolled through to Week Four and haven’t looked back.

The Hawkeyes are talented. They are. Can they return to the conference championship? The short answer is yes. Iowa has playmakers on both sides of the ball and have a coach that knows a thing or two about winning games. Playing in the Big Ten West also helps.

This will be a huge test for Penn State and Iowa, as each fight to separate themselves from the rest of the B1G.


Monday Morning #HotTakez

  • Do you care that Mike Weber and Demario McCall have barely seen the field? Can’t say that I do. The problem with this offense has nothing to do with the Buckeyes’ running backs. Weber should come in handy in those gritty conference matchups, though.
  • Is pro football honestly that much worse right now than college football? Unless you’re a CFB homer, I don’t think so. The quarterback play isn’t noticeably better in college. There are good games and bad games at both levels. And maybe a handful of teams have a legitimate shot at making the CFB Playoff. As for the NFL? This is the most wide open the league has been in a while.
  • Urban Meyer can’t touch Nick Saban as a coach. Why? Saban doesn’t care about any decision he makes as long as it benefits Alabama in his mind. Just ask Cooper Bateman and Blake Barnett.
  • Watching a great defensive game is better than watching a great offensive game. Always.
  • I rewatched a little of Vacation (2015) the other day. It’s funnier than National Lampoon's Vacation. Don’t @me, bro.

Oh, the Interweb

No silly Tweets. No outlandish social media posts.

All I have for you today is a dog, a tee, and a blue field.

Heart-eye emoji, anyone?


Buckeyes Bits

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


Final Thoughts

The Buckeyes looked good against Army and play UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland, and Nebraska before facing Penn State on October 28.

In other words, they have time.

Time to get better. Time to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Time to build confidence.

That time is key if any fan wants to see this team actually improve.

So chill out with these random takes and crazy long articles on what’s up with J.T. Barrett and OSU. Let Urbz and his coaching staff work it out as they sprint through the easy part of their schedule because it’s nearly impossible to know what’s exactly wrong at this point.

A cakewalk awaits the Buckeyes for the next month or so.

Enjoy it.

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