Ohio State has had a few games in years past against opponents well below their talent level that make fans nervous. Saturday afternoon had all the makings of being one of those outings.
That is, until, the Buckeyes had an epiphany.
The first two offensive plays resulted in a zero-yard gain on the Ohio State 2-yard line, and a fumble by Justin Fields that squirted out of the end zone for a Miami safety. And after that, the RedHawks had a little something going on offense, with the drive stalling but netting three points.
So things started out 5-0.
They ended up at 49-5 by halftime. And 76-5 in the end.
Remember Miami’s head coach Chuck Martin, saying playing the Scarlet and Gray was like playing a game at recess and the other team has the first 85 picks? That never rang more true than after Miami got out to that five-point lead.
76 Points In-A-Row
Ohio State captured the lead at 7-5 at the end of the first after trailing for more than half of the first quarter, thanks to an inspired 26-yard run and Superman leap into the end zone for J.K. Dobbins.
And then, 42 points happened.
All of them coming from Fields.
The sophomore scored on two runs and touchdown passes of 53, 30, 13 and 10 yards, two of which went to Chris Olave. We’ll have more on another monster day for him later.
Fields caught fire, becoming the first Buckeye quarterback to score six times in a single quarter. The offense was helped by a defense that allowed -5 yards on five drives, which resulted in a pick, two fumbles and two punts.
That’s borderline graphic in nature.
Guess the Defense
Ohio State has shown defensive alignments and attacks fans could only dream of last year. From zone defense to an occasional safety blitz and even some stuff that’s difficult to identify, Jeff Hafley and Greg Mattison have cooked up a masterpiece. There was a brief moment when fans groaned a bit, worried they were seeing a team too apt to give up big yardage and get embarrassed multiple times.
Well, forget that now.
Freshman Brett Gabbert showed some promise early but got hammered a handful of times and was pulled. Jackson Williamson did not fare much better. Even with a few runs totaling over 15 yards, the Buckeyes gave up just — rushing yards when you remove the negative yards credited to Williamson on sacks.
28 sacks this year?
Okay this is not going to happen because it does not seem humanly possible.
But that’s what Chase Young is on pace for through four games with six total sacks. The man is hands down unblockable. Need proof? Go find his highlights and watch how easily he brushes past the right tackle. Young is fast enough he’s beside the entire offensive line by the time they can react. And he’s got some of the best lunch and rip you will find at the college level.
There are so many elements to his game that resemble pieces of other all-time great pass rushers, all mashed into one athletic freak.
That’s also being said in a good way.
Not only is Young on fire, Baron Browning has shown an incredible leap this season, using quickness and solid decision making to meet ball carriers at the line of scrimmage. Davin Hamilton is another guy who’s impressing lots of coaches as well. But this was Young’s moment in the limelight, so don’t forget he is on pace to best the Ohio State single-season sack record by doubling Vernon Gholston’s record of 14.
Urban Meyer would be proud
Special teams, ladies and gentlemen, will always win you football games. Granted they weren’t really needed tonight, but Seyvn Banks shone bright with a blocked punt, which is becoming a commonplace of an Ohio State football game. On top of that, Miami almost seemed to refuse to return any kicks, due to a coverage team that’s shown it’s nothing to be messed with. Garret Wilson (more on him later) had a beauty of a return that went 52 yards as well, while both of Drue Chrisman’s punts were downed inside the 20. Meyer used to put a large emphasis on special teams, and it looks like Day has been as well.
Two-deep or three-deep?
The statsheet for this game for Ohio State is long. That’s what happens when you have guys who rarely see the field gaining extensive playing time. There are almost too many names to list who are not primary starters, but here’s a few who opened some eyes Saturday.
- Chris Chugunov: 6/7, 86 yards, Two TD
- Steele Chambers: Eight carries, 63 yards, TD
- Jameson Williams: Two catches, 74 yards, TD (61 long)
- Dallas Gant: Five tackles, one and a half for a loss and a sack
- Haskell Garrett: Four tackles, one and a half for loss
- Garrett Wilson: Four catches, 54 yards, TD, 52-yard punt return
Wilson is an inbetween guy with this list given that he’s seen some playing time that is more than just a nod at the end of the game. As a freshman, he’s showing Ohio State has a bright future ahead with playmakers.
The presence of Josh Myers
Myers is a rather large guy, which is something you’d expect from a starting center at Ohio State. But he isn’t one to throw his weight around when talking with media or interacting with others. There’s a kind of genuine nature about him that is intriguing. It’s a cool, calm approach that can work wonders when analyzing what the defensive line is going to do before the snap. It has to make Fields and Day feel more comfortable knowing they have someone leading the point of attack. Myers imposed his will all game, barrelling forward on a fourth-down quarterback sneak that looked just unfair for the defense. Although young in his starting career, Myers continues to establish himself as the anchor on the offensive line, which features highly touted Wyatt Davis and Jonah Jackson, along with veteran Brandon Bowen and blindside protector Thayer Munford. The Buckeyes offensive line from years ago that was regarded as one of the best in the nation doesn’t even look like it left at this point.
This could go on for page after page. An offense that drops 42 points in one quarter and continues to pour it on with backups, special teams that show promise of future players and a defense that, realistically, only allowed three points, paints the scenario of what this Ohio State tema can accomplish. Truthfully the defense can’t really be faulted for the field goal, given the Miami starting field position after the free kick and the subsequent adjustment period early on. As for holes, they are hard to come by. Other than a sluggish start that saw this game reach the end of the first quarter at 7-5 (How is that possible?) and maybe the fumbles by Master Teague and Fields are drawbacks, but the only way to spin this is a positive for the Buckeyes. With a potentially tricky Nebraska team next, this kind of obliteration could be perfect with eight Big Ten games ahead. To sum it all up, for any UFC fans, this was like watching Forrest Griffin flail a few punches at Anderson Silva before eating the canvas after a stiff jab. For non-fight fans, it was just plain ugly.
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