Young Buckeyes steamroll Oklahoma

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 18-09-2016

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Found at ESPN:

 

NORMAN, Okla. — After a weather delay of more than an hour, Ohio State finally escaped a cramped visitor’s locker room and jogged onto Owen Field to warm up. As the team crossed the back of the end zone and approached Oklahoma’s tunnel, the Sooners tried to take the field too.

Except they couldn’t. Instead, the Sooners watched one of the youngest teams in the country run right through them. That continued once the game started.

Despite returning only six starters from last season’s squad, Ohio State stamped its passport as a playoff contender on Saturday, with a resounding 45-24 rout of the Sooners.tornado1

The too-fast, too-furious Buckeyes harassed Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who most certainly didn’t light them up. Instead, Ohio State’s basic but dominant defense picked off Mayfield twice, with Jerome Baker returning the first off a Jalyn Holmes tip 68 yards for a first-quarter touchdown.

From there, the blowout only ballooned. Ohio State’s dynamic defensive backfield, headlined by super sophomores Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore, blanketed Oklahoma’s receivers with ease, save for a couple of plays. Whenever Mayfield escaped from the pocket, he found no reprieve via an open receiver downfield. Up front, the Buckeyes contained Oklahoma’s running back tandem of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon well enough.

On the other side of the ball, the poise of quarterback J.T. Barrett, the speed of running backs Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel and the acrobatic pass-catching of Noah Brown, who hauled in four touchdowns, overwhelmed Oklahoma’s defense. Underscoring its supremacy across the board, Ohio State dropped off 35 points in the first half, the most Oklahoma had surrendered in a first half since USC scored 38 against the Sooners in the 2004 BCS championship game.

Like those 2004 Trojans, these Buckeyes look the part of a title contender. And the most frightening element for the rest of college football? Ohio State starts only two seniors. These Buckeyes, who just dismantled a team that made the playoff last year on its home field, figure to only get better.

Rain Rain Rain

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 12-09-2016

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found at ESPN:

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s stout defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in two games against overmatched Bowling Green and Tulsa. Urban Meyer knows the first real test will come at No. 14 Oklahoma next week.

The Buckeyes intercepted four of Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans’ passes Saturday — including pick-sixes by safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Marshon Lattimore — in in a 48-3 victory.

“Our defense is playing so well right now,” Meyer said. “Obviously, the challenge will come next week against a very good team, and we’re going to jump on that one early and get ready to go.”

The offense, on the other hand, was a little slow to get going Saturday.

After piling up a school-record 776 yards last week against Bowling Green, Ohio State (2-0) didn’t score an offensive touchdown against until quarterback J.T. Barrett ran in from 11 yards with 9:42 left in the third quarter.

Tailback Mike Weber, Barrett and H-backs Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson added scoring runs later in the second half to put the game out of reach.

Wilson said Ohio State must come out gunning next week in Norman.

“It will be tough, it will be tough,” Wilson said. “That’s the plan not to start that way, and I don’t think we’ll start that way. We’ve got to establish the running game. Once the running game pops we can start doing better.”

Tulsa (1-1) managed only Redford Jones’ 37-yard field goal in the first quarter and was limited to 188 total yards on offense.

“We got some things going but just didn’t finish when we got in the red zone,” Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said. “We just made too many crucial mistakes at bad times.”

Barrett was a pedestrian 14 for 22 for 149 yards and no touchdowns after throwing for six last week.

Weber gained 92 yards on 17 carries and scored his first touchdown as a Buckeye.

Lightning in the area extended halftime to about 70 minutes and driving rain fell throughout the second half, chasing away many of the 104,410 fans.

THE TAKEAWAY

TULSA: The Golden Hurricane played tough against Barrett and the Ohio State offense in the first half, but Tulsa’s offense made too many mistakes to stay in the game.

“Right before the half, the picks were a tough pill to swallow,” Montgomery said.

OHIO STATE: Ohio State again flexed its defensive muscle and showed its secondary could be among the best in the country. The Buckeyes managed just 158 yards of offense in the first half against a four-touchdown underdog, but the harder the rain fell in the second half, the more they scored. They finished with 417 yards.

KEY NUMBERS:

Samuel again put together a solid game, catching five passes for 62 yards and rushing for 78 yards on 8 carries….The Ohio State defense limited Tulsa to 77 rushing yards on 36 carries for a 2.1 yards-per-carry average….Hooker’s second-quarter interception was his third of the season. He returned it 26 yards for a touchdown, marking the second-consecutive game an Ohio State defensive back has a pick-six. Later in the second quarter, Lattimore returned an interception 40 yards for a score….Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard tallied a career-high six tackles. Linebacker Raekwon McMillan led the Buckeyes with nine.

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS

Barrett said Ohio State was confounded by the Tulsa defense in the first half, but halftime adjustments kick-started the attack in the rainy second half.
“That was a hard thing in the first half,” he said. “They threw the kitchen sink at us. It was a really good defense. With that being said, trying to adjust to that on the sideline was kind of rough in the first half. Once we got to halftime we made better adjustments.”

He said the driving rain wasn’t a factor.

POLL IMPLICATIONS:

No. 4 Ohio State walloped a weaker opponent as expected. No. 2 Clemson struggled with an underdog so could possibly lose some votes.

UP NEXT

TULSA: A home game against FCS team North Carolina A&T next week.

OHIO STATE: The real season starts as the Buckeyes travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners. Oklahoma slipped to No. 14 in the polls after an opening loss to Houston.

 

College Football Playoff snap judgments from Kickoff Week

Posted by Buckeye D | Posted in College football news | Posted on 07-09-2016

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Don’t kick anyone with those Week 1 knee-jerk reactions.

There’s no time like the present to jump to conclusions in college football, but some claims have more validity than others. Here’s a look at the biggest overreactions from the first games of the season, and whether or not you should buy into them:

ACC

Snap judgment: The ACC has two top-four teams
FSU and Clemson 2, SEC 0. The ACC’s heavyweights survived scares but came out unscathed against what will be some of their toughest competition this year outside of each other. Clemson escaped with a 19-13 win over Auburn, and FSU knocked off Ole Miss, the only team in the SEC that has been able to beat Alabama the past two seasons. If FSU or Clemson can finish the season unbeaten, and the other finishes with just one loss to the ACC champ, it will force the committee to seriously consider both teams. Of course, the league’s runner-up must be “unequivocally” one of the four best teams in the country to unseat a Power 5 conference champ, but after just one week, it at least kept that hope alive.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

BIG 12

Snap judgment: Texas is back
Even coach Charlie Strong knows there is still plenty to prove. Asked after the game if he feels any relief, Strong chuckled. “No,” he said, “because I’ve still got a few more to go, so I don’t have any relief.” It’s a long season, and as impressive as the Longhorns’ double-overtime win against Notre Dame was, it will be meaningless unless they can parlay that into a Big 12 title. After next week’s game against UTEP, Texas’ season could be defined by a string of games against Cal, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. ESPN’s Football Power Index favors both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in those games. Let’s see how the Longhorns fare through that stretch before declaring a return to the sport’s elite.

Verdict: Overreaction

BIG TEN

Snap judgment: Michigan is ready for the next step under Jim Harbaugh
The big question heading into this season was if Michigan’s play could match its coach’s personality. The Wolverines left no doubt they can play, too, dominating Hawaii in a 63-3 win — Michigan’s most lopsided victory since 1979. They didn’t even have to punt. But they were playing Hawaii, a team that had just traveled 20,000 miles and was overmatched from the start. It’s quite possible Michigan will be 7-0 heading into its Oct. 29 game at Michigan State, but much like Iowa last year, we won’t know how good Michigan really is this year until it starts playing ranked competition.

Verdict: Overreaction

PAC-12

Snap judgment: The power still lies in the North
No. 16 UCLA, No. 20 USC and Arizona all lost, while No. 8 Stanford, Cal, No. 24 Oregon and No. 14 Washington took care of business. The top two teams, Stanford and Washington, both earned nonconference wins against Power 5 opponents. The selection committee isn’t going to penalize USC for losing to the defending national champs, but it’s possible USC could start 1-3 with games against Utah State, Stanford and Utah looming. The North is still home to the league’s highest-ranked teams, and there’s no sign of that changing anytime soon.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

 

SEC

Snap judgment: The SEC is overrated
An unprecedented seven SEC teams lost their openers: Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Auburn, Kentucky, Missouri, and No. 5 LSU. Since the SEC re-expanded to 12 teams in 1992, there had never been a season where seven SEC teams lost their season openers — until now. It wasn’t just that they lost; it was who they lost to. Mississippi State fell to South Alabama and Kentucky lost to Southern Miss. Even Tennessee looked underwhelming and needed overtime to beat Appalachian State. Ole Miss blew a 28-13 halftime lead against FSU before losing 45-34. Texas A&M and Georgia had nice wins, but LSU was also a huge disappointment, continuing to look stale and predictable on offense as quarterback Brandon Harris threw two picks. After one week, it’s Alabama and everyone else.

Verdict: Not an overreaction

GROUP OF 5

Snap judgment: Houston is top four material
What was so intriguing about Houston’s upset of No. 3-ranked Oklahoma was that it wasn’t a fluke. Houston looked scary good, but it has to continue to win and keep quarterback Greg Ward Jr. healthy in order to crack the top four. He had an MRI on his throwing shoulder Sunday and missed most of practice, but coach Tom Herman told the Houston Chronicle it wasn’t serious. Still, the only time Houston has lost under Herman was last year against UConn, when Ward was out with an injury. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives Houston a greater than 50 percent chance to win each remaining game except Louisville (36.4 percent). If the Cougars go undefeated, there’s no question the selection committee would seriously consider them for the top four. One loss and it’s going to need a lot of help.

Verdict: Not an overreaction