Each week, we’ll break down something that happened during the Ohio State game (and occasionally other games) that we’ll be talking about for a while—you know, the silly sideline interactions, the awful announcing and the weird storylines that stick with us for years to come. We’ll also compare each of these happenings to memorable moments in pop culture, because who doesn’t love a good Office reference?
Ohio State had a slow start against the Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday, but by the time the clock ticked to zero, everything looked like we expected: another monster win for a team that has a whole Monster Book of Monsters of such wins so far this season.
In some ways, it felt like kicking a team that was already down. Iowa has been truly bad this year on offense — so bad that even an elite defense couldn’t even keep things close by the second half.
Ohio State is somewhat confused playing a competent defense.— Go Iowa Awesome (@IowaAwesome) October 22, 2022
Unfortunately, Iowa is confused by playing offense in general.
That offense left Ohio State with short fields four times in the first half, all of which led to field goals, but those field goals turned into touchdowns and a 54-10 victory in the second half. One would have thought that, especially seeing Jaxon Smith-Njigba once again leave the game with an injury, the starters might see an earlier exit once it became clear the opposing offense was not capable of moving the ball.
Interception already…— Barstool Iowa (@BarstoolUIowa) October 22, 2022
Please Ohio State. Think of the kids.
Those 54 points were the most allowed by an Iowa defense since 1995, also in a loss to Ohio State. It was also reminiscent of the last time Ohio State and Iowa faced off on a rough night in 2017 when the Iowa Hawkeyes thrashed Ohio State 55-24 in Iowa City.
That game, like 2019’s loss to Purdue in West Lafayette, stings in the collective memory of Ohio State fans. In 2017, the Buckeyes had managed to bounce back after an early loss to Oklahoma and were ranked No. 6 when they traveled to Iowa City to face the unranked Hawkeyes. The whole game was shocking, indecent — and demanded revenge.
Well, revenge is a dish best served cold, which is convenient because it’s been five whole years since that game and since the teams have squared off.
Now frankly, Ryan Day has always been one to pile on the points. Of course he was going to keep his first-teamers on the field through much of the fourth quarter and of course he was going to go for more points. The fact it came against Iowa likely didn’t play into Day’s game plan much. Heck, he piled on against Rutgers until Greg Schiano had to physically come to Ohio State’s sideline upset about it.
For fans, however, we’ll be talking about this revenge game for years, just like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite’s memories of high school football.
While that 2017 game probably occupies a fond spot in the minds of Iowa fans, it’s been long forgotten by the rest of the world but for Ohio State fans.
It often feels like we take pride in hanging on to these bitter memories because it was so easy to point to that game as though this win in 2022 absolved the pain of bitter defeat. And I know that as Ohio State fans, we’re going to continue to harp on this win as though it is somehow more meaningful than the other 40+-point wins the Buckeyes have had so far this season.
It’s not, but maybe now is just the right time to let it go.