After another win from the Ohio State Buckeyes to get to 6-0 and what was seemingly the best all-around effort and performance of the season, the game of the year to this point is now looming.
Let’s take a look at who helped and who hurt their stock in the Buckeyes 41-7 win over Purdue.
Big games: It is about that time again. The Buckeyes are heading into another monster of a game, and all eyes will be on Columbus next Saturday at noon. The No. 3 Buckeyes will host the No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions in Columbus as both teams are now 6-0 and truly are two of the top teams in the country.
And let’s be honest. This is what it is all about. This is why the players play, and this is what the fans look forward to as well. Penn State has had this game circled for a while with their recent struggles against Ohio State, while the Buckeyes know the Nittany Lions stand in their way to get back to the College Football Playoff. Here we go.
Carnell Tate: Tate has been quietly getting more comfortable every game in the offense, and with Emeka Egbuka not traveling to Purdue, he was a popular pick to step up and have a big game.
Although he did not have the big game in terms of quantity and only had three catches, he had 79 yards, and all three catches came at big moments for the Buckeyes to keep the momentum moving forward. With Egbuka still dealing with an injury, Tate will have more opportunities moving forward to stay involved in the offense.
Conquering the demons: There was a lot of talk this week heading into the game at Purdue about the Buckeye’s previous struggles in West Lafayette. Since 2000, the Buckeyes were 3-5 at Ross-Ade Stadium, and some of the best quarterbacks, coaches, and teams in recent school history have lost there. The most recent one was a 49-20 drubbing of an Ohio State team that was the No. 3 team in the country and 7-0 before that game, ruining a possible national title campaign.
However, this team did not care about previous failures. It is a new team with new players, and they walked in and handled their business from the first snap to leave no doubt in this one. Even though a team of this talent should handle Purdue easily, home or away, it was nice to see the demons of teams past had no impact on this one.
Special teams: This goes for both teams. Ohio State struggled with kicking, Purdue missed three field goals, and the Buckeyes had some penalties on that side of the ball. Obviously, the weather played a factor in that, and kicking is not easy, but it was not a banner day for either team on that end. Hopefully, Ohio State bounces back against Penn State when the special teams will matter more in a close game.
Buy: Pass rush. Every game, it seems the pass rush gets better and better. This time, the defense got a couple of sacks and made Hudson Card very uncomfortable. With Drew Allar of Penn State walking into the most hostile environment he has faced in his young career on Saturday, it will be key for the pass rush to get home early and make him uncomfortable from the jump. Sacks are great, but pressure is what matters most.
Buy: Jermaine Matthews. The special teams have not been great, but the young cornerback Jermaine Matthews has been a bright spot so far. The top-150 recruit from Winton Woods has a lot of potential on defense, and as a young player, the best way to show that is on special teams, like Sonny Styles last season. If Matthews’s effort and skill translate to defense like it has to special teams, he will have a great career in Columbus.
Sell: Peacock. I am not going to pile onto Peacock because everyone else has said what needs to be said, so all I will say is I am glad there is only one game on Peacock this season.
Unfortunately, there are five men’s basketball games and seven women’s basketball games on that platform this season.