Well that sucked! Ohio State, fresh off of what many were (for some reason) calling a good win over Michigan State last week, put up a real stinker yesterday in their 52-51, come-from-behind overtime victory of 5-6 Maryland. I don’t want to rehash the game any more than I have to, because it was a bad performance from Ohio State, and they should’ve lost. They didn’t, so plenty of people will continue to think that everything is fine at Ohio State, despite the Buckeyes spending the entire last month looking like a borderline top 25 team at best.
It wasn’t all bad for the Buckeyes, obviously. The offense stepped up when they needed to, specifically Dwayne Haskins, who threw for more than 400 yards, ran for three scores (for some reason), and led the Buckeyes’ comeback in the late stages of the game. He was spectacular, as was J.K. Dobbins, and pretty much every Buckeye receiver.
That’s about where the positivity ends though, because when you give up 51 points to Maryland, you’ve got some defensive issues, to say the least. The Buckeyes allowed Maryland to run pretty much all game long, refused to adjust to the fairly basic things that Maryland was doing, and looked generally unaware that a football game was happening.
Before I jump into the stock market report, I’ll take this time to curse Tennessee. We were so close to having Greg Schiano up out of here. We were so close. But no. Tennessee just had to hire a good coach, instead of our extremely incompetent large adult defensive coordinator.
Then again, if Greg had gone, Urban Meyer would have been tasked with hiring his replacement, which means that he’d probably have just found another one of his moron friends to waste the talent on the roster.
Dwayne Haskins, QB: He ran quite a bit more than I would’ve liked (I don’t think that was his choice, but we’ll certainly get to that in a bit), but Dwayne Haskins pretty much won this game for Ohio State. He gashed Maryland’s defense all day long to the tune of 405 yards on just 28 completions, and his three touchdowns in the air were all excellent.
His running, while I hate to see it happen, was a big deal too. He didn’t break any big runs by any means, but he got pretty consistent yardage, and his three scores are hard to complain about. Especially when his overtime touchdown run turned out to be the game winner.
J.K. Dobbins, RB: J.K. Dobbins was also awesome, and I’m going to try to just focus on his game, rather than going out of my way to put down 400 words about the baffling Mike Weber saga of the day. Dobbins picked up 203 yards (his first 200+ yard game of his career) on 38 carries. While his fumble at the end of the half was a disaster, he was one of like five good players for the Buckeyes today, so whatever.
The receiving group: Save for a couple crucial drops on deep passes where the receiver just didn’t track the ball, it was another great day for the receivers. Johnnie Dixon had six receptions for 102 yards. Terry McLaurin had four for 118 and a touchdown, including an incredible acrobatic catch in the air over a defender. Binjimen Victor continued only making big plays, as he contributed a 28 yard grab in the second quarter and the game tying touchdown with just 40 seconds left. It was all around a very solid day for the group.
Demario McCall, All positions: I don’t have to explain myself here, but I will anyway. Demario McCall is pretty obviously the best return man on this team, he’s an electric runner, and he contributes every time he touches the football on offense. Ohio State sat him for pretty much the entire year because they don’t know how to use him. That’s embarrassing.
Anyway, his kickoff return late in the game put Ohio State in excellent position and directly contributed to the game-tying touchdown. Free Demario.
Literally the entire defense: The declarations of Ohio State’s defensive renaissance may have been greatly overstated last week after they held the worst P5 offense to six points thanks almost entirely to a punter. While the declarations were pretty obviously insane and wrong last week to anyone that watched the team at all this season, we got some pretty solid reassurance of that yesterday as Maryland did just about whatever they wanted all day against Ohio State.
That led to 339 yards on the ground, including 298 from freshman Anthony McFarland and an astounding 14 total chunk plays. Ohio State never adjusted to the Terrapins. Greg Schiano just kept on trying his defense that hasn’t worked at all — not once — this entire season, because he’s a dullard that doesn’t deserve to coach at any level of college football, let alone at Ohio State.
Literally the entire coaching staff: Ohio State had seven days to figure out that when Maryland sends a player in motion, they usually run to the side that he motioned from. They had seven days to figure out that Maryland can’t and won’t throw unless it’s a deep ball, because Tyrrell Pigrome has a strong arm and not a whole lot else. They had seven days to prepare for this game, and once again, they got completely out-schemed. Word up to the offense on powering through Urban Meyer’s completely absurd anti-deep ball take from earlier this week and forcing him to let Haskins throw the ball down the field.
- Sell: Throwing out the record books. Listen, I get it. Ohio State and Michigan usually play each other extremely close, regardless of talent differential. However, the idea that Ohio State should be anything but a heavy underdog for this year’s rendition of The Game is just silly.
Michigan is a significantly better team than Ohio State, and they are significantly better coached. Ohio State may be able to keep it close because of their talent, or the home-field advantage, but you’re lying to yourself if you think Ohio State is in a good spot heading into next weekend.
- Buy: Greg Schiano’s contract out: That’s all.
- Buy: Ohio State playing in the Rose Bowl: The Rose Bowl is fun! Sure, it’s not what they wanted, but it’s pretty obviously where this team is headed, and personally, I think a shootout with Wazzu in sunny southern California would be way more fun than losing to Alabama by 150 points.