Bank Blog: Week-Two Review

Ohio State defeated Hawaii 38-0 Saturday in the home opener for the Buckeyes. What stood out in the win?

- First off, there was no way in Heck Ohio State was going to be sharp last Saturday against Hawaii, and the fact that they weren't should not surprise or alarm anyone. Coming off a very emotional win. Short week of practice. Playing a clown show of an opponent. Working the suspended guys back. Still toying with the QB rotation. And with all that, they won 38-0. You don't win national titles in September, but you can lose them. Ask Arkansas. And nearly Auburn. Right now, it's basically win and get ready for Michigan State.

- I still have Ohio State as my favorite to win it all. I'm looking for reasons to not feel that way, but right now I have zero. My personal rankings right now would be 1- Ohio State. 2- Michigan State. 3- TCU. 4- Georgia Tech. I don't think Alabama is all that good, and I think they can lose this week to Ole Miss. That should be a 20-17 game and the Tide better hope they have the 20.

- Not much to review after the Hawaii scrimmage, and the main positive is no major injuries to key players. There have been some killer injuries already in only two weeks, but Ohio State has not been touched in that regard. I look at the Hawaii deal as a high level practice or scrimmage, and they now have things to emphasize in this week's practices.

- The QB situation is still one they're figuring out on the fly, and I have no problem with that at all. It will lead to some inconsistency on offense, but they need to have this rotation figured out by Michigan State, and I think they will. I think they can win with either guy, but J.T. Barrett does not look fully recovered from the leg injury to me. He isn't running as free and easy as he was before getting hurt. I wouldn't worry about this position at all right now.

- The offensive line was not sharp last Saturday, and Billy Price has struggled through both games so far. Is it a concern? No. They were awful early last year, and really came on as the season progressed. They certainly aren't awful right now, and they aren't that far away from being really good. It's usually one breakdown on a busted play, not the entire line getting rolled. No worries.

- Defensively is why they stay at Number-One for me, and Chris Ash will hold things down while Urban Meyer/Ed Warinner/Tim Beck sort out the offense. I called the defense the "dirty little secret" of college football before the season, and they are just that. This is the offensive era, so the team that can get stops is going to be far ahead of the others. I love this defense under Ash, and it's going to continue to get better.

- Gareon Conley deserves special mention because of how he's playing right now. There were concerns about him before the season, and rightfully so, but he looked great in the spring and that has carried over to the field. His tackling has been way better than I expected, and his coverage has been spot on.

- For the offense, the quarterback rotation is not settled right now, so that leads to issues. The offensive line is breaking down right now, and that leads to issues. The wide receivers have dealt with suspensions, and replacing Devin Smith and Evan Spencer. Then you have the matter of exactly how to use Braxton Miller to his full potential. This isn't Madden, and you don't just plug and play in real football. It could take a month or so for the staff to fully integrate all the weapons into how they want to play. To me, they are playing too much East/West, and being too cute with the approach. Once they become more physical, it should open up the horizontal game.

- This will be a full week of practice, and Urban will have everyone's attention. No SportsCenter spin moves or highlight touchdown catches this week. It will be film sessions of how plays broke down, and it might not be pretty. I expect a tighter, more consistent performance next week from Ohio State. One indicator of how good a team is shows up the week after a shaky performance, and I expect to see a different approach and attitude next Saturday.


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