Each week, we’ll analyze the Ohio State game (and occasionally other games as well) through the lens of a sports movie. If this game were the next “Remember the Titans,” “Space Jam” or “The Sandlot,” what storylines would keep us talking? What would make us laugh, reach for the box of tissues, or have us on the edge of our seats? Grab your popcorn and get ready for pop culture references, a hint of snark, and a trip back in time to the Blockbuster Video days.
It’s a tale of two killers, one of whom has recently been revived.
There are a few differences between our on-screen duo and our real-life one.
For starters, the stakes are different. In the movie “Bride of Chucky,” Tiffany Valentine is trying to revive Chucky—a doll possessed by a serial killer—so they can be together. Chucky, for his part, traps Tiffany inside a doll so she can feel his pain, but when they cross that minor hurdle, they work in tandem as a killer team set on winning the ultimate prize—becoming human again.
On the field, our duo is trying to win an ultimate prize of their own, with their sights set on an Ohio State National Championship berth.
Now, our real-life killers aren’t dolls, of course.
In terms of ferocity, however, Marvin Harrison Jr. and TreVeyon Henderson aren’t all that different from Tiffany and Chucky.
Marvin Harrison Jr. is a man on a mission—and much like Tiffany, he takes that mission extremely seriously. It’s as if he will go through anyone who stands in the way of his goals, outsmarting his opponents at every turn.
He’s making a strong case for himself as a Heisman contender (perhaps the only non-quarterback who seriously belongs in the conversation), and Saturday was no exception. Harrison helped remain undefeated in their 24-10 road win over Wisconsin with six receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Wisconsin is just the latest victim of Harrison’s talent. Last week, he had 162 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions in the Buckeyes’ 20-12 victory over Penn State.
There was something different this week, though. Harrison no longer had to act alone.
TreVeyon Henderson returned for his first game since OSU faced Notre Dame more than a month ago, and he ran for 162 yards and a touchdown, giving a much-needed boost to the Buckeyes’ struggling run game.
It was reminiscent of Chucky, revived (in doll form, after being cut up into pieces) when Tiffany performs a magic ritual that reinstates him to the full force of his power.
The difference in Ohio State’s backfield was immediately apparent. Without Henderson, the Buckeyes had struggled to establish any sort of run game that seemed it could hold up.
They ran for just 79 total rushing yards against Penn State (though to the Nittany Lions’ credit, they knew going in that they’d need to win that game through the air given how good PSU’s defense is).
Yesterday, albeit against a different defense, they more than doubled their Penn State performance with 181 yards total rushing. This feels even more impressive because even in Wisconsin’s rockiest seasons, they often turn up the heat when Ohio State comes to town, and they’re a particularly challenging team to play on the road.
Henderson and Harrison were up for the challenge. Together, they worked in tandem to get the Buckeye offense one step closer to their long-term goals, in the same way, Tiffany and Chucky set out on the road to find a magical amulet that will restore their human form.
Without spoiling the ending for those who want to add “Bride of Chucky” to their spooky watchlist this week, it’s important to know that Chucky and Tiffany are undeterred by obstacles, with Chucky at one point declaring, “I ALWAYS come back.”
After allowing Wisconsin to tie the game in the third, Harrison answered with a 19-yard touchdown, unshaken by Wisconsin’s turnaround, and the Buckeyes stayed in the lead for good.
That’s not to say the game wasn’t without its challenges for OSU. Quarterback Kyle McCord (who went 17 of 26 for 226 yards) threw two interceptions—his first since the season opener—and lost a fumble. Harrison and Henderson carried on.
The Ohio State defense remains steady as ever, so if the offense can rally to reach its peak, the Buckeyes should be in business as we edge closer to playoff time.
Harrison and Henderson will play key roles, and if they can channel the unstoppable energy of Chucky and Tiffany the way they did this weekend, running through everyone in their wake, Ohio State is in pretty good shape heading into November.