Ohio State fans live in the extremes, whether good or bad. As they say, we have no chill. So, I am going to give voice to those passionate opinions by running through my completely level-headed, not-at-all over-the-top, 100% unbiased takeaways from Saturday’s 44-31 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions.
J.T. Tuimoloau just had the greatest defensive game in Ohio State history
I have been watching Ohio State football for a very long time, but I also have the memory of a goldfish, but I am still pretty darn comfortable saying that Ohio State edge rusher J.T. Tuimoloau just had the best game by a defender in Ohio State history. Sure, some of you people that actually have fully functioning neo-cortexes might be able to point to a better game in 1926 in which 5-foot-6, 162-pound linebacker Theodore Stimelweiss had 27 tackles, six fumble recoveries, and 13 tackles for loss, but I’m not having that.
On the day, Tuimoloau had six tackles — three of which were for a loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a tipped pass that resulted in a Zach Harrison interception, and two INTs of his own, including this game-sealing pick-six.
I dare you to show me a stat line from Three-Finger Armstrong back in aught-nine that compares to that. Absolute insanity.
According to 247Sports’ Chris Hummer and Sports Reference, Tuimoloau is only “only the second FBS player since 2000 to post at least 2 INTs, 2 sacks and a forced fumble in a single game.” I’d imagine when you throw in the fumble recovery, touchdown, and the other tackle sand TFLs, that list probably shrinks to just one name.
Tuimoloau took his time in deciding where he wanted to play his college football, and I am sure that there were some out there that didn’t like the deliberateness that he displayed throughout that process, not deciding to become a Buckeye until just a handful of weeks before he had to be on campus. But today’s performance showed why you wait on a dude of that caliber.
He has been very good through his first year and a half as a Buckeye, but neither he nor fellow sophomore phenom Jack Sawyer has yet put up the consistent numbers that we had imagined that they would; even though I argue that they have been dynamite this season and a big part as to why OSU is a top-10 defense.
However, perhaps today’s absolutely unfathomable game against the best competition that the defense has faced all year will be the beginning of the next phase of J.T.’s Buckeye career, the one in which he asserts his will against each and every opposing offense.
Ryan, my guy, it’s time. I know it will sting, but it’s what’s best for the team.
I hate having to say some version of this every week, so I’m not going to. I’m just going to point you to three articles written over the past 10 months that all say the same thing that is painfully obvious to anyone paying attention.
Quick gut overreactions:
- Going 26-of-33 for 354 yards on the heels of his 20-for-30 for 286 yards against the two best defenses that the Buckeyes will face until after Thanksgiving should not only keep C.J. Stroud in the Heisman conversation, but it should remind every voter out there, that he is the Heisman conversation.
- I am a big proponent of using both TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams in every game, especially given their propensity to get injured. But, Henderson needs to focus on hitting holes and not getting preoccupied trying to turn every play into a 70-yard scamper. Dancing behind the line of scrimmage far too often results in negative yards, especially with an offensive line that is far better equipped to pass block than run block.
- We all need to take deep breaths during games.