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Ohio State’s offensive struggles against Penn State may have been a one-time thing

Can Ohio State bounce back against Indiana? All signs point towards yes.

Ohio State v Penn State Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

“The Buckeyes ran a bunch of plays they would have liked to get out of, but the noise level at Beaver Stadium made changing calls almost impossible. The linemen couldn’t hear the changes. So the Buckeyes snapped it a few times knowing that a blitz was coming that they weren’t exactly ready for.”

- Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland dot com

After four weeks of awesome offense and dominant play from Dwayne Haskins, last week’s struggles against a pretty mediocre Penn State defense were pretty jarring. He didn’t handle the pressure well, and with Penn State blitzing on seeming every play, Haskins was unable to get into the rhythm that he needs to be in order to be successful.

The second half, more specifically, the fourth quarter, saw Ohio State finally adjust and figure out the defense, but it wasn’t with down the field passing. Instead, Ohio State started dropping Haskins further back, and throwing almost exclusively to screen routes. Those screen routes, and the downfield blocking that came with them made the offense nearly unstoppable late in the fourth quarter, and sparked the comeback to win the game.

While the pressure was an obvious factor, Cleveland dot com’s Doug Lesmerises brings up an interest point: Ohio State, and Haskins, were pretty much unable to adjust plays at the line. The crowd was too loud for Haskins to audible out of plays that wouldn’t fare well against the blitz, and it wasn’t until Ohio State starting coming to the line with screens called that they found success.

While that is an issue, and Haskins’ inability to throw under pressure is a concern, it may not be a big deal for the rest of the season. That’s the toughest stadium Ohio State will have to play in this season, and even if a team like Michigan State or Michigan brings heavy pressure, Ohio State now seems to know some kind of solution, and will also be able to make changes at the line. Michigan State’s crowd won’t be able to disrupt that, and the Michigan game is in Columbus.

“A state-of-the-art arena is being built on campus to complement this curriculum and to give students diverse career opportunities. The arena will be home to Ohio State’s esports teams and open to all students. The teams will compete with other Power 5 universities in a newly-formed league commissioned by the Electronic Gaming Federation. The Ohio State University will help to develop the governance body of this league.”

- Wexner Medical dot osu dot edu

Ready or not, esports are coming—because they are just getting more popular with each passing day. Sooner rather than later, competitive gaming is going to be a massive industry, on par with professional and college sports like football and basketball, and Ohio State is jumping on that wave now.

Ohio State announced the launch of their esports program, which includes “an interdisciplinary curriculum spanning five colleges”, that “may include esports management, game art and production, game design, programming, the business of games, and health and rehabilitation.”

This is one of the first of its kind, and no matter how you feel about the rise of gaming as a competitive sport, it’s pretty cool to see Ohio State once again on the cutting edge of innovation, and continuously leading the field in new tech developments. Ohio State will be building a home arena for their esports teams as well, as they look to become one of the first schools to truly invest in what seems to be the future of competitive sports.

“The No. 5 Ohio State University women’s ice hockey team aims to keep things rolling as it faces its second straight ECAC opponent in the No. 8 Colgate Raiders. Puck drop for the series opener is set for 6:07 p.m. on Friday with the 2018 Frozen Four banner ceremony happening during the pregame festivities. Saturday’s game set for a 3:07 p.m. start.”

- ohiostatebuckeyes dot com

While the football team looks to avoid a trap game coming off a top-10 battle, the women’s hockey team will be entering a top-10 matchup of their own, as No. 8 ranked Colgate comes to town for a two-game series. The first of the two games will start at 6:07 p.m. ET Friday, and the second starts right around the same time that the football team faces off against Indiana, at 3:07 p.m. ET.

This is a huge early season opportunity for Ohio State to establish itself as a national title contender. After their surprising Frozen Four run last season, the Buckeyes may be even better this season, and absolutely have the talent to return to the Frozen Four, if not win the whole thing.

This is all a huge deal for a program with a less than stellar history. Last season’s Frozen Four run came in the first ever tournament appearance for the program (Ohio State’s inaugural season was in 1999), and head coach Nadine Muzerall looks to continue what has been awesome progress in her first two years at Ohio State.

The lethal sophomore attacker duo of Emma Maltais and Tatum Skaggs, as well as senior Madison Field, co-captains Jincy Dunne and Erin Langermeier, and of course, goalie Amanda Zeglen will all be key for Ohio State in this two-game series, and all season long.

Buckeyes in the NFL

Another week, another Thursday night game with some Buckeye related action. Last night’s game between the Colts and Patriots didn’t have a ton of former Buckeyes (or watchable football), but the three on the two rosters did make a little noise. Leading the pack was Malik Hooker, who picked up a team-high 12 tackles and was able to lock down his side of the field in coverage. Unfortunately, he was one of the only bright spots for an awful Colts team in their 38-24 loss.

On the other side, John Simon picked up one tackle, and Nate Ebner was presumably still on special team coverage, though I didn’t see him.

If you’re looking for more Buckeye action in the NFL this Sunday, the Eagles-Vikings game is probably your best bet, as Malcolm Jenkins and Cameron Johnston face off against Pat Elflein and Jalyn Holmes. Bengals-Dolphins featuring Billy Price, Sam Hubbard, Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker is a pretty good option, too. The official team of Ohio State, the Saints, play on Monday night against Washington.

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