Before I get too deeply into this article, a quick point that I watched this game with my best friends from high school up at Lakeside, Ohio. My best friend has a cottage that we all get together to “winterize” it, which means we somehow turn an hour’s worth of work into a full day of mocking, ridiculing, and a tremendous weekend to enjoy our friendship at a local restaurant/bar.
It is under that vein that I submit my article about what we saw, and what we enjoyed about Ohio State’s 37-3 win over Minnesota.
Feeling more comfortable about Ohio State going to Ann Arbor
I predicted an Ohio State win over Michigan this past August, and I will say that my feelings about the prediction are feeling better. While I will not go out and say that Ohio State is going to have a blow out win (although that would be nice), I feel the Buckeyes are peaking on both sides of the ball at the best time of the season.
Kyle McCord needs to play at his best
Recognizing that this statement will be read by Ohio State fans as being as profound as water is wet, just give me a moment to elaborate. When Kyle McCord forces the ball into coverage, trying to get the ball to Marvin Harrison Jr., is where Ohio State fans become exasperated. If Ohio State sees that type of play from Kyle McCord in Ann Arbor, Ohio State will lose — guaranteed.
When McCord plays smartly — getting rid of the ball quickly, not forcing the ball into coverage, using the checkdown options, etc. — he has the Buckeyes playing among the best in the nation. Play well, Kyle. The opportunity to establish a positive legacy among the Ohio State faithful is there.
Ohio State should go into Ann Arbor healthy
Forgive me for exhaling after this game, because I was tremendously concerned about any of the starters, on either side of the ball, getting injured. Even though it was not as early as I would have chosen, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day began substituting players at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Dallan Hayden, Lincoln Kienholz, Evan Pryor, Hero Kanu, Gabe Powers, Jermaine Mathews Jr., C.J. Hicks, etc. All were inserted into the game, getting valuable game repetitions that will be valuable in 2024.
More importantly, Ohio State can go into The Game with a fully healthy roster — minus Lathan Ransom — for the biggest game of the season.
It will all come down to this final game of the season, as it should be. You will notice that I have not addressed the seemingly never-ending saga of scandal that has enveloped Ann Arbor. My reasoning is this: it is almost impossible to keep up with the latest drip, drip, drip of bad news that is coming out of Ann Arbor.
Ohio State won 37-3 over a Minnesota team that is truly fighting for bowl game eligibility. For the second-straight week, Ohio State came out, and decisively took control of this game from the onset.
Enjoy this coming week. Embrace the hate. The Game is here.