The Buckeyes hosted the Toledo Rockets in the final non-conference game of the season, looking to finish fine tuning both the offense and defense ahead of next weekend’s matchup against Wisconsin. Things went pretty well overall, with Ohio State cruising to a 77-21 victory. One could be forgiven for not thinking there is anything to complain about in such a comprehensive victory, but… well, that’s kind of my thing. I now present my list of items that vexed me on Saturday night.
Look, whatever. I’m fine with Tim Brando going away and never calling another game, particularly an Ohio State game. He’s annoying, frequently has bad takes, and is in love with his own voice. He’s also wrong a lot, whether because his vision is fading or for some other reason. Pairing him with the bland Spencer Tillman is a lot like adding 0 + 0. I suppose the bright side is that knowing he’s on the call is a great reason to buy a ticket and go see the Buckeyes in person. That’s true even if you live a 15-hour drive from Columbus like I do.
Come on, Cam!
Cam Brown is a college graduate and he’s a lean, mean 192-pound specimen from St. Louis. However, Brown let Thomas Zsiros, a 210-pound redshirt freshman from Maumee, Ohio, run away from him like he was running in wet cement. Maumee! That’s embarrassing. Not the Maumee, part. I have nothing against Maumee and that is most likely because I’ve never been there. I can find something to dislike about almost anything if you give me enough time. Look, Dane Sanzenbacher was from Maumee, and he was just 180 pounds, but he didn’t run away from people. Sziros looked more like a tight end than a receiver, but he had no trouble burning Brown.
Anyway, that huge play over the top allowed Toledo to tie the game easily on the Rockets’ first drive. The other team isn’t supposed to answer even more easily than Ohio State’s initial, sweat-free march down the field, but it took Toledo only four plays to go 75 yards.
Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves
It was nice to see Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming back on the field, but then TreVeyon Henderson got hurt either while scoring the game’s first touchdown — or on the sideline sometime after scoring — before the second OSU drive. That’s not ideal, nor is it encouraging that he left the game in a walking boot. Hopefully Henderson can bounce back quickly because he’ll be needed.
Actually it wasn’t just Henderson who left, as Brown also had to exit the game as the defensive backfield injuries mount. But, in my defense, I wrote this subhead when Henderson got hurt and I liked it too much to change it.
Hang a Hundred on ‘Em
Look, 77 points is OK, but Ohio State left the job unfinished. You have to show these upstart in-state schools that if they’re going to come to the Horseshoe for their big payday, it’s going to come out of their flesh. How is Ryan Day going to hang a hundred on Michigan if he can’t even do it to the school from noted wannabe-Michigan city Toledo? Let Kyle McCord and Devin Brown cook, for crying out loud!
Around the country, people are going “Oh, OK” when they see the OSU-Toledo score. But triple figures? That stands out. That gets people’s attention. Some of those people are five-star recruits. Where would you rather go? Stupid Alabama, where they only score in the 60s or 70s on weaker opponents, or an Ohio State machine that reaches the century mark? I know where I’d rather go, and I wouldn’t need to grow Bama bangs or buy any houndstooth hats or other clothing items.
And while we’re on the subject of milestones, why not go for a thousand yards in a game? You’re already almost at 800. The hard part is already behind you!
Where’s the Love?
Speaking of hanging a hundred on them, Cade Stover did much of the offense’s heavy lifting early, quickly catching three passes for 83 yards, with most of the damage coming on the first two drives and all of it in the first quarter. And then… nothing (despite an errant pass that prevented him from scoring on the third drive). Look, we all get it. Ohio State is not where tight ends go to catch lots of passes and rack up yardage. This is, apparently, not Iowa, Wisconsin, or any number of other programs. Still, it was a chance to get a tight end to a hundred yards and it would only have required one or two more throws to Stover to do it, and Ryan Day had practically the entire game to make it happen.
I’m not mad about this one, just disappointed.
Those are the things that burned my bacon on Saturday. Hey, I know this week’s column is shorter than usual, but it’s not easy finding things to be mad about when your team wins 77-21. The defense even forced a couple of turnovers for a change and the penalties were minimal. However, I work hard for you, the home reader, so these are my gripes.
What stood out to you? Some B1G grumpiness is coming next week when the Buckeyes host Wisconsin.