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Ohio State trusted in Austin Mack, and it will continue to pay off

The Buckeyes continued targeting Mack against TCU, and the trust shown should help down the line.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

“We are really close. So I was just saying, ‘Look, play. If you mess up, I’m going to keep coming to you, throwing you the ball.’ It was hard for him having those drops like that in key moments in the game, but he kept pushing. And I relied on him again in the big moments, and he came through for me.”

- Dwayne Haskins on Austin Mack via Austin Ward, Lettermen Row

Ohio State and Dwayne Haskins had a tough decision to make in the midst of a dogfight with TCU last Saturday. Wide receiver Austin Mack started the game off brilliantly, providing the first highlight of the night on a beautiful catch that set the Buckeyes up near the goal line. It would result in a field goal for Ohio State, but partly because of what happened next from Mack. A dropped pass in the endzone would further stall the drive.

That was followed by several other drops that Mack usually is pretty reliable for. And it was clear at a certain point that he was getting in his own head. But instead of the coaching staff benching him in favor of another receiver, they kept him in the game and Haskins made a point to keep throwing his direction.

A show of veteran leadership from Haskins may pay off down the line as Mack seemed to gain his confidence back after making a couple of nice grabs later on in the game.

“[Best wins of the nonconference season] 3. Ohio State 40, TCU 28”

- Heather Dinich, ESPN

Heather Dinich of ESPN has covered the road to the College Football Playoff for several seasons now and generally has a good sense of what the committee looks at in terms of who gets in to the playoff and who does not. So the latest breakdown of which teams made the most noise during the nonconference schedule can help determine a lot about a team early on in the season. And it looks like that’s good news for the Buckeyes as they try to get back to the semifinals.

Ohio State put aside TCU, 40-28, in what was virtually a home game for the Horned Frogs, and did so with the help of some explosive play from Haskins and the Buckeye defense. Dre’Mont Jones’ pick six and Nick Bosa’s forced fumble in the endzone that resulted in a touchdown were big reasons why the Buckeyes left Texas sitting at 3-0. The win landed third on the most impressive wins during the nonconference slate, behind Clemson’s win over Texas A&M and Auburn’s win over Washington.