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Jordan Fuller’s absence proved how valuable he is to Ohio State

With Fuller out with an injury against Oregon State, the Buckeyes showed his impact matters.

NCAA Football: Army at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“First, we hope to have Jordan back, that was a game-time decision. There was a lot of good things they did, and there was a lot of learning that they can take from that tape and that performance, which is good. So, we knew that there could be some growing pains there. Overall, I thought they were solid and made some mistakes, but now at least we have a leaping off point. Now we have to go and see how fast we can ascend, and if we get Jordan back that makes a big difference.”

- Greg Schiano via Austin Ward, Lettermen Row

There was a lot to like about Ohio State’s 77-31 victory over Oregon State on Saturday. But there was also a little bit of discomfort in watching the Buckeyes give up huge plays to the Beavers. An 80-yard touchdown run followed by a 78-yard touchdown run left many to wonder what the issue was on defense that caused the Buckeyes to give up so many big plays.

The reality might be really simple— starting safety Jordan Fuller was kept out of the game because of a hamstring injury.

The good news for the Buckeyes is that Fuller was a game-time decision against the Beavers, which likely means that if the situation required it, he could have gone. Should Ohio State want him as healthy as possible for TCU, that could mean holding him out of the Rutgers game, but still, once he makes his return the defense should get a big boost.

“You can’t force things down the field, and some young guys want to do that. They want to take their shots. They get hungry, want to take a shot down the field. (But) if there’s a safety sitting in the middle of the field at 25 yards, you can’t throw a post, so that’s all part of maturing.”

- Ryan Day via Doug Lesmerises,

The show put on by Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins and the rest of the offense on Saturday was quite spectacular. Big plays, sharp passing, and an offense that looked fluid are all great signs for the team’s future. But, where were the deep balls? While Haskins showed off his accuracy on the short and intermediate passes, there weren’t a whole lot of long throws from the redshirt sophomore.

In his press conference on Monday, Ryan Day told fans not to worry. Haskins certainly has the arm to use those deep passes, but it’s also about playing it smart.

Taking what the defense gives Haskins is what Day and the coaching staff want him focused on, and if it results in a boatload of points, why not? But still, I’d expect to see some more deep passes as the season progresses and I’m sure Haskins will provide plenty of highlight plays down the stretch of the season.

“[College football Preseason Bowl Projections] College Football Playoff Semifinal: Alabama vs. Ohio State. Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Washington”

- Kyle Bonagura and Mitch Sherman, ESPN

Now that the first week of college football is in the books, it’s now officially time for some bowl projections. Kyle Bonagura and Mitch Sherman will continue their predictions as the season progresses, but as of now, it appears that Ohio State impressed them enough in their blowout win over Oregon State to get a bump up in their projections.

Bonagura last had the Buckeyes slotted for the Rose Bowl, but now has Ohio State playing in the College Football Playoff, facing off against Alabama in the semifinal.

Sherman still isn’t quite ready to call the Buckeyes a playoff team and has them playing Washington in the Rose Bowl. The Huskies are coming off of a close loss to Auburn, and that might be enough to keep them out of the playoff discussion when it comes to the end of the season.