OVERVIEW: In the game preview I wrote that this game was the type of game Urban Meyer wins, and the type of game Bob Stoops loses. Hello. As we've said over and over and over and over, the way to beat Ohio State ABSOLUTELY starts and ends with controlling the area between the guards. When Mike Weber runs it 18 times for 123 yards, you cannot and will not beat Urban Meyer. To beat Ohio State, you must beat them up physically. It's tough for the Big-12 to do that. The only time Meyer has lost a shootout was to amazing athletes Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Martevous Bryant. Other than that, it's been Mark Dantonio street-fighting them to submission, and Bud Foster putting the Eagle up their collective snouts. If Ohio State is to be defeated, it won't be by out-athleting, out-speeding or out-spreading Urban Meyer. That's how you beat Alabama, because you can't out-physical them too often. Which is why Bama hates the full out spread teams.
THE COACHING: Right now, the mix between Meyer, Ed Warinner, Tim Beck and Greg Studrawa seems perfect. Last year, with all the talent in the world, Ohio State had trouble picking a quarterback, picking a style of play, and picking out how to exactly call plays offensively. This year? Meyer has this offense solved and the results are showing it with lesser talented players.
THE QUARTERBACKS: J.T. Barrett was smooth as butter against Oklahoma and made the plays needed to win. This was an easy defense for Ohio State to attack, and they definitely attacked them at the line of scrimmage which made Barrett's job easier. Still not convinced they can throw it when forced to, but they can throw it well enough when they want to. Can they come back in a game down 10 points in the fourth quarter? We don't know that right now. Barrett threw for 152 yards and ran for another 74 yards, and basically controlled the game like a point guard. No mistakes.
THE RUNNINGBACKS: Great coming out party for Mike Weber, who rushed for 123 yards. He looks like he's getting more comfortable with each carry, and he also is blocking much better. He's going to be a heck of a player before he leaves Ohio State.
THE WIDE RECEIVERS: Noah Brown had a great night and for someone as well liked as he is, that made a lot of people happy. Might not have the historical significance of some other catches, but the behind the back grab might be the best catch I've ever seen and I've been watching OSU football for 50 years. Looks like Brown is the bell cow of this unit, and it would be nice to see a few others step up.
THE OFFENSIVE LINE: Make no mistake about this game: THE OFFENSIVE LINE MADE THIS OFFENSE PERK. Barrett, Brown and Weber were really good, but the O-line performance made it a stress free night for the playmakers. Barrett wasn't pressured. Weber had gaping holes to run through. Brown was able to have balls thrown in perfect spots. All that happened because Elflein, Price, Jordan, Prince and Jones mauled and roadgraded the Sooner front-7. This offensive line is better than what Ohio State had last year, even with losing first round pick Taylor Decker. There is no weak spot, unlike last year with Chase Farris. Jordan just keeps getting better and better, and there's really no reason to think of him as a freshman anymore. All five of these guys will be drafted, with Jones, Jordan and Prince all possible first rounders.
THE HYBRID: Didn't know where to put Curtis Samuel, but he might be their best all around football player. Makes so many winning plays it's not funny. They didn't really need him Saturday night, but he still ends up with over 100 yards on only 13 touches.
SUMMARY: I guess all I want to see from this group is how they will respond to a physical, street-fight type of game. And can they throw the football when they are forced to throw it? They're getting better for sure, but the defense is causing so many turnovers and scoring themselves that it's inflating the scoring number. Back to back road games with Wisconsin and Penn State will be good tests. Of course, Michigan State and Michigan at the end will be wars. Other than that, expect lots of 50+ point totals.