Every Sunday after the Big Ten slate of games, I will be bringing you some B1G thoughts on everything that happened! This will include analysis, stats, key players, moments and maybe a joke or two. Be sure to check out the I-70 Football Show in the Land-Grant Holy Land podcast feed for more in-depth analysis and to preview the next week of B1G games.
Ohio State big brothers Michigan State
I fear that after Ohio State’s utter dominance against Michigan State people will play the, “well they’re not a good team and were overrated,” game with the Spartans. The fact is that is just not true. This was a good team with a Heisman caliber running back, two high level receivers and a quarterback who can do just enough. This team is hampered by a bad secondary, but in most cases that wasn’t stopping them from being able to grind out wins.
Michigan State is a good team, but they’re not great. Ohio State is a great team and, unfortunately for the Spartans, they were in the way. Ohio State is the big brother of the Big Ten, and sometimes a big brother’s job is to humble you. Michigan State is a good team, but there is still a gap. Ohio State showed that by beating them 56-7 in their most complete win of the season.
Chris Olave, the GOAT
My Buck Off Co-Host Chris Renne and I did a top five player ranking for every position since the year 2000 this offseason. When it came to receiver, we both agreed that Olave was the greatest wide receiver in recent OSU history. Well, Olave has solidified himself as the greatest wide receiver in Buckeye history overall. After a seven catch for 140 yards and two touchdown performance, Olave is officially the record holder in Ohio State career touchdown receptions with 35.
Olave came to OSU as an underrated and overlooked three-star recruit from California. He’s leaving as the GOAT, and it’s a fitting end to his story. Olave endeared himself to the fans by making big plays against TTUN. Now, going into his final game against them, he gets a chance to continue building on his legacy as the Wolverine Killer. Olave has answered every question and will be a great pro. The only thing left is leading the Buckeyes to a national championship. Nothing is guaranteed but if I must put my faith in anyone to bring us a championship, I’d put my trust in Olave.
Olave’s record breaking catch:
Earth, Wind, and Fire
Ohio State’s trio of wide receivers has a new nickname – Earth, Wind, and Fire. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is earth, Chris Olave is wind, and Garrett Wilson is fire. The name couldn’t be more fitting.
This season as the leading receiver, JSN has been the rock, and you can tell that he spent last season building chemistry with Stroud. Olave is the wind. When he decides to run no one can catch him, as evident by his inability to be guarded on post route. Plus, the wind can be quiet and peaceful, but it can also be disruptive and destroy everything in its path. If that’s not Olave I don’t know what is. Lastly Wilson is fire. He is the most explosive player on this roster. He can turn any play into a touchdown, as evidenced by his four-touchdown performance against Purdue. As I said last week this is the greatest collection of receivers ever, and they keep proving it week in and week out.
This tweet encapsulates another historic day for Earth, Wind, and Fire.
This is the first time in @OhioStateFB history that they've had 3 players with 100 receiving yards AND a receiving TD in the same game.— 247Sports (@247Sports) November 20, 2021
Olave: 7 REC / 140 yard / 2 TDs
Wilson: 7 REC / 126 yards / 2 TDs
Smith-Njigba: 10 REC / 105 yards / 1 TD pic.twitter.com/zqjaGUtgXq
Master Teague and senior night
More than anyone else, I have been pretty hard on Master Teague. Not because I think he’s a bad player, but because I don’t think he’s good enough to be Ohio State’s No. 1 back. I feel justified in that when I watch TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams carry the ball. In saying that, Teague is a person just like all of us, and it had to be very hard for him to take a back seat to a true freshman running back.
Teague went from starter to third string back in a matter of weeks. While Henderson and Williams are on the bench getting rest, Teague — a senior — goes in and plays with a majority freshman offense when games are out of hand and Day has taken his foot off the gas. For him to accept that role without complaint, without transferring, is worth mentioning. I do not know if this is Teague’s last college football game. He has an extra year of eligibility, but it’s safe to say it’s his last at OSU.
For his last game in the shoe, you couldn’t have written a better story. Teague ran for 95 yards on 21 carries and got to score a touchdown heading into the student section with the crowd screaming his name, begging Day to give him the ball. That is a moment I’m sure Teague will cherish for a lifetime, and it is well deserved.
Stroud for Heisman
C.J. Stroud won the Heisman on Saturday. Unless he has a game with under 200 yards and multiple interceptions, the Heisman is his trophy to lose. After going 32-of-35 for 432 yards and six touchdowns in two quarters against No. 7 Michigan State, Stroud has his Heisman moment. His case is only furthered by his defense holding another Heisman contender in Kenneth Walker III to 25 yards on six carries.
Sure, Bryce Young, had a monster game on Saturday, but he did that in four quarters of work while Stroud was on the sidelines helping coach up his backups. Stroud has another game against a likely top five Michigan and a top 15 ranked team in the Big Ten Championship. If that team is Wisconsin, Stroud will have to face two highly ranked defenses. If he can lead his Buckeyes to victory and play well himself, he should be lifting the trophy in a few weeks.
Milton Wright, you have my attention!
If I would have told you that a Purdue wide receiver had eight catches for 213 yards and three touchdowns, you would have told me it was David Bell. That’s a fair assumption, but you would be wrong. After losing to Ohio State, Purdue got back on track behind a massive game from junior wide receiver Milton Wright. David Bell is scary enough by himself, but if Wright can build on this for the rest of the year and next year, Purdue’s offense is going to continue to perform as at a high level.
Wright had himself a day:
Braelon Allen is like that
Last week I got introduced to Braelon Allen, a freshman running back who plays for Wisconsin. I watched him play, looked at his stats and said “Hey this kid is good.” Couldn’t help but notice that he had 100+ yards in every game during Wisconsin’s win streak, and correctly assumed he was the catalyst for it. Yet all of that was an understatement. This kid, and I say kid because he is only 17 years old, is LIKE THAT. He is a legit running back who runs like a grown man.
In a game where Wisconsin’s defense decided not to show and legendary Scott “we almost won” Frost had his team ready to play, Wisconsin needed Allen to shine. Allen delivered in a major way, rushing for 228 yards on 22 carries. He added three touchdowns and averaged 10.4 yards per carry. At 17 years old, he has done something no other Wisconsin running back has ever done, and that’s rush for 100 yards in seven-straight games as a freshman. Behind him, Wisconsin is one game away from another Big Ten West Division Championship.
He’s 17 and running like this:
Kick Return Touchdowns
There are few plays more exciting in football then a kickoff return for a touchdown. They’re even more exciting when you think about the lack of returns due to new rules allowing you to fair catch outside of the end zone that were put in place for player safety. Add that to all the little things that must go right to even take one to the house, and it makes the play even more special. Well, it seems like everyone, besides Ohio State, is returning kickoffs for touchdowns this season, as Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan all housed one on Saturday.
Check out all three return touchdowns:
Ohio State vs. Michigan
The greatest rivalry in sports has renewed implications this week. Whether you believe Michigan can win or you believe that Ohio State will win by 30 doesn’t really matter. Well, it matters, but not for the point I’m trying to make. For the first time in a long time, this rivalry game has MAJOR implications.
The winner of this game wins the Big Ten East, will be favored in the Big Ten Championship game, and will most likely clock in at No. 2 in the final playoff rankings. This game is for all the marbles. We haven’t had many matchups like this in recent memory, and this is how the rivalry used to me. Throughout history there have been multiple top five matchups where you must beat your rival for a chance to go to the Rose Bowl or the national championship.
It’s refreshing that this game has big stakes again. It’s a game between two 10-1 teams with everything on the line. That’s before adding in the history of this rivalry. This is the biggest game of Jim Harbaughs career; he MUST win this game, which adds more intrigue. Ryan Day, especially after destroying Michigan State, has his team operating at a high level, and despite an early loss and defensive struggles look like legit national championship contenders. Many of us want to see Ohio States offense vs. Georgia’s defense, but we will not see that unless OSU wins this game.
THE GAME is finally where it needs to be — a rivalry game with national championship hopes on the line. Nothing is better than that, and I for one can’t wait. Now, if you want to have the conversation on who is going to win the game, stay tuned to the LGHL feed and articles as we will be covering this game from every angle.
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
Ohio State vs. Michigan isn’t the only rivalry game with big implications. It also isn’t the only rivalry game that has been historically lopsided with a team trying to slay their demons. Unlike OSU vs. TTUN both teams aren’t fighting for a spot in Indy but playing spoiler can be fun too. Historically this rivalry is close, with Wisconsin leading 62-60, but in recent memory Wisconsin won 14-straight from 2004-2017 and they’re currently on a two-game win streak. Not to mention Wisconsin ruined Minnesota’s best season in school history when 10-1 Minnesota lost 38-17 at home in 2019. Wisconsin went to Indianapolis and Minnesota was left licking their wounds. Due to a loss to Iowa, Minnesota most likely wont make the trip to Indy but they can return the favor and keep Wisconsin at home.
Recent history, plus the emergence of Braelon Allen, can lead you to believe that Wisconsin will win easily. Despite shocking losses to Bowling Green and Illinois, Minnesota is not an easy win. The sport is best when there is major stake on the line in the final week of the season, and this game is exactly that. Will Wisconsin continue their reign in the Big Ten West, or can Minnesota slay their demons and spoil Wisconsin’s championship dreams?