Three And Out: Iowa Observations

Ohio State picked up its 19th consecutive win over the past two seasons on Saturday, a 34-24 victory over Iowa. Removed from their first off-week of the year, there may not be a better time to evaluate the Buckeyes, and what we learned about them against the Hawkeyes.

It wasn't always pretty, but just like it has for the better part of the past two years, Ohio State got the job done in its 34-24 win over Iowa. Some may have been expecting more from the Buckeyes, who were a week removed from their first off-week of the season, but nevertheless, OSU remains in the national title hunt, now ranking fourth in both major polls.

With this in mind, here are three observations I made during Ohio State's latest victory over the Hawkeyes. There's some good, some bad, and some ugly to be found in each, but as the season rolls forward, the Buckeyes remain hopeful that their undefeated record will speak for itself.

The Good
Braxton Miller is back. I mean actually back.

After a shaky outing against Northwestern that saw him turn the ball over three times, the OSU signal caller bounced back with a 22-of-27 passing performance against Iowa, compiling 324 yards of total offense, in addition to two passing touchdowns. Miller looked arguably the best that he has as an overall player in the two seasons that Urban Meyer's been in Columbus, which bodes well for the Buckeyes, who are most likely now at the midpoint of their season -- Big Ten Championship Game pending.

Couple Miller's big game with another stellar showing from Carlos Hyde, and the Buckeyes appear to be right where they want to be as an offensive rushing team. Additional playmakers --hello, Dontre Wilson -- would also be welcome, but for now Meyer has no problem riding the formula that led to his team's undefeated record a season ago.

The Bad
Bradley Roby's targeting ejection may not have been a popular call, but it was the right one.

By definition of the rule, the hit that Roby laid on C.J. Fiedorowicz was indeed targeting. You can argue with whether or not you agree with the rule itself, but it was in fact enforced properly by the officiating crew.

Along with an untimely block in the back by wide receiver Corey Brown, and the Buckeyes weren't without their fair share of mistakes against Iowa. Perhaps most alarming is that both costly penalties cam as the result of plays from upperclassmen, a habit that Ohio State would best be served minimizing moving forward.

The Ugly
Just why was Roby's penalty so costly? Look no further than the shaky play of Armani Reeves in his absence.

Reeves gave up two touchdown throws while playing in place of Roby at the field corner position, including an 85-yard bomb to tight end Jake Duzey. More shaky play from the other Corey Brown only compounded the Buckeyes' defensive problems, as did a linebacking corps that looked lost in coverage.

The most worrisome thing from an Ohio State perspective is that Penn State possesses a significantly more potent passing attack, led by freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, wide receiver Allen Robinson, and tight end Kyle Carter. Ohio State will look to shore up its secondary issues in the coming weeks, something that may be necessary to keep the team's undefeated streak intact.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories