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Oval and Out: Ohio State breaks more records, Saquon Barkley dazzles, and why Iowa was the real winner this weekend

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

Jerome Baker (left) and J.T. Barrett (right)
Joe Maiorana

In life, there are times you’ll have to make important business decisions for yourself.

And on Saturday I made a big one.

I decided not to go to the Ohio State game because I knew it’d be really hot outside. I’m a naturally warm person. I would’ve quickly turned into a human swamp. Nasty, but true from experience. The quality of game wasn’t worth it, either.

So I didn’t go. That was a good business decision in my book (but tell me if it wasn’t in the comments section).

An example of a poor business decision, however, occurred when this poor Rebel defender tried to tackle J.K. Dobbins.

Dobbins could probably start an ankle insurance agency, NCAA rules permitting.

In any case, the freshman phenom’s ankle-breaker was just a small part of what turned out to be a fantastic Saturday of college football. Purdue made things interesting against Michigan, Saquon Barkley bolstered his Heisman resume, and Iowa still won even though they lost.

Oh, and OSU rolled UNLV to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Let’s take a look at how the Buckeyes got it done over the weekend.

Review: UNLV

This one was over before it began.

I mean, it was actually over when the Rebels lost as a 45-point favorite to Howard in Week 1, but you get what I’m saying.

The Buckeyes were hitting on all cylinders Saturday. J.T. Barrett completed 12-of-17 passes for 209 yards and five touchdowns until backup Dwayne Haskins came in and added another 228 yards and a pair of scores. In all, OSU threw for a school record 474 yards.

Not a shabby first career touchdown toss there by Dwayne Haskins.

Parris Campbell and C.J. Saunders each had big days, totaling over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown apiece. Campbell also had an 82-yard kick return and everyone’s favorite frosh J.K. Dobbins again dazzled in limited minutes, finishing with 95 yards on 14 carries.

The defense was opportunistic and it seems like this team is starting to settle into its own skin a bit, albeit against mediocre competition.

Next up, the Buckeyes play host to Rutgers under the lights.

Play of the Game

The Buckeyes had more than a few big plays on Saturday.

But it was Parris Campbell that set the tone in the opening quarter when he caught a screen pass and raced 69 yards for the first touchdown of the day.

He fast, y’all.

Now, I’d remiss if I didn’t include Rashod Berry’s 38-yard rumble to the end zone. All 6-foot-4, 260 pounds of Berry shrugged off defenders as if they were buzzing gnats as the third quarter came to a close.

A former defensive end shouldn’t be able to move like that.

Looking Ahead: Rutgers

First, to anyone complaining about Rutgers-OSU being a night game, get over it. Good Lord, people. Honestly of all the things you could whine about.

Now onto Rutgers.

As usual, this is a bad football team. They’re 1-3 heading to Columbus, losing to Washington, Eastern Michigan, and Nebraska last week.

The Scarlet Knights pose little threat to the Buckeyes, who are trying to rack up as many blowout wins as possible before facing Penn State late October.

State of the Big Ten

While a number of Big Ten teams were off this weekend, there were still some solid matchups within the conference.

Maryland’s hot streak came to a screeching halt after getting rocked by UCF, 38-10. Indiana took care of business against Georgia Southern, and Nebraska overcame a halftime deficit to beat Rutgers, 27-17.

Upset-minded Purdue led 10-7 in the third quarter before Michigan’s offense threw up 21 unanswered points. In-state rival Michigan State wasn’t able to do the same with Notre Dame in town, dropping that one 38-18.

My game of the week between Penn State and Iowa lived up to the hype. It featured incredible plays from both sides as the two went back and forth for much of the night.

The final snap would decide the outcome.

That was quite the risk-laden throw there off the back foot by Trace McSorley.

Hopefully next weekend’s Big Ten slate is just as a fun.

Play of the Week

It’s impossible to ever narrow this down to one play.

So we’ll begin with another example of why defense and the Big 12 don’t go together.

C’mon, Baylor.

Next we have North Carolina’s quarterback getting destroyed by an Army defender. As Barstool Sports so eloquently put it, that quarterback’s insides got rearranged.

Did he actually get the first down? After a hit like that, you don’t deserve forward progress.

We’ll finish with a flurry of insane plays from Penn State-Iowa. Like I said before, my game of the week pick more than lived up to the hype.

That Barkley guy is pretty good, huh?

Heisman Watch

A carousel of Heisman contenders keeps rotating around.

Last week, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield held court. He enjoyed another nice outing in Waco, but it’s Saquon Barkley that took the lead here.

On the road in Iowa, Barkley’s 28 carries, 12 catches, and three kick returns totaled 358 yards from scrimmage.

It was a historic performance from a player many regard as the best in college football right now.

Expect more of the same when Penn State hosts Indiana Saturday afternoon.

Week 5 game to watch: Clemson v. Virginia Tech

No team has been able to dent Clemson’s (4-0) armor thus far, but Virginia Tech (4-0) has an opportunity to be the first Saturday night in Blacksburg.

Led by one of the best defensive lines in the country, the defending national champs have been nearly impenetrable this season. Kelly Bryant already has fans forgetting about Deshaun Watson and the Tigers have shown no signs of slowing down.

While the undefeated Hokies have intriguing talent with guys like quarterback Josh Jackson and wide receiver Cam Phillips, it’s hard to imagine them pulling off the upset.

Monday Morning #HotTakez

  • Donald Tru – nope. Not even going there.
  • Saquon Barkley is the best and most exciting player in college football. Bar none.
  • I believe J.T. Barrett can still lead the Buckeyes to a national championship. The playcalling has to improve but Barrett can get it done.
  • I play it, but fantasy football is meaningless and anyone who thinks it legitimately plays an important role in sports needs to have their head examined.
  • Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke is already the best quarterback in the state of Michigan. Truth.
  • If a team from the Big 12 makes the playoff, they’ll get blown out. More truth (well, more of a prediction).
  • Jim Harbaugh’s inexperienced Michigan squad can play. They’ll have a say in things at season’s end.

Oh, the Interweb

I saw this on the news last week and was pleasantly surprised to see that Iowa had adopted it, too.

Have a look.


I hope this provides a little perspective for you considering the everyday lunacy that is our world.

Buckeyes Bits

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

Final Thoughts

It might be smooth sailing for the Buckeyes right now, but the real fun begins Oct. 28.

The day I started dating my fiancée.

It’s also when Penn State hits the road for their showdown with OSU in Columbus. From then on out, the Scarlet and Gray schedule is as follows: Iowa (away), Michigan State (home), Illinois (home), ending with Michigan at the Big House.

For five straight weeks, it’s win or go home, playoff atmospheric football for Urban Meyer and Co.

So enjoy the UNLVs of the world while you can.

Because when my anniversary day hits, you’ll be begging for that Illinois game.

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