Thoughts On Last Week
I don’t have a whole lot to say on last week other than it was a great game to watch. The first quarter was a bit slow and clunky, but after that the Buckeyes turned on cruise control and steamrolled their way to a 58-0 victory. The offense looked smooth as always under J.T. Barrett, and Mike Weber had another big game as well. It was also nice to see the wide receivers finally get some action as 12 different guys caught balls last Saturday.
The defense continued to dominate, limiting Rutgers’ passing game to only 33 yards and keeping the running game to 83 yards on the ground. It was a total defensive team effort, but Robert Landers and Chris Worley stood out to me as the stars by how they clogged up the middle and chased guys down on the outside, respectively.
Indiana surprised a lot of people last week when it beat Michigan State in overtime, basically ending the Spartans’ bid at a Big Ten Championship. This week, the Hoosiers travel to Columbus to try their luck with the Buckeyes. Junior quarterback Richard Lagow leads the team, and he’s doing well for a guy who’d never played a down of FBS college football until this season. Lagow is a pocket passer who isn’t much of a run threat, at least not yet. The Hoosiers also have Devine Redding at running back; he’s averaging 5 yards per carry so far, but he hasn’t found the end zone yet. Indiana has a trio of good wide receivers in Nick Westbrook, Ricky Jones and Mitchell Paige, who’ve combined for 52 receptions this season.
Overall, the Hoosiers’ defense has played well this year, and they’re only giving up 21.8 points per game so far. Linebacking duo Tegray Scales and Marcus Oliver have 64 tackles between them, along with 7.5 tackles for a loss. We’ll see how they handle the speed and versatility of the Buckeye attack.
Ideally, it should be more of the same from Ohio State. The Buckeyes should move the ball up and down the field easily and shut down Indiana’s offense. The Hoosiers always seem to give Ohio State fits though, so it’s never wise to count them out of a game – just ask Michigan State – especially after a big win last week. I fully expect the Buckeyes to come prepared for battle, not looking ahead to next week’s game at Wisconsin.
Prediction: Ohio State 56, Indiana 6
A Fan’s Playoff Standings
- Ohio State – I moved them the Buckeyes a spot after their dominating performance last weekend. Yes, it was against Rutgers, but both the Buckeye offense and defense are No. 1 in the nation in several categories after four weeks of play, so I feel my ranking is justified.
- Alabama – The Crimson Tide got by Kentucky last week, 34-6, but they travel to take on the dangerous Arkansas Razorbacks this weekend. It should be a good game, and it will test young Jalen Hurts. He managed to lead a comeback against Ole Miss in a hostile environment a couple weeks ago, so we’ll see how he handles another rowdy crowd in Arkansas.
- Clemson – Win a top five matchup, move into my playoff rankings. The Tigers didn’t look much like last year’s team that made the playoffs, and they were on the outside looking in. Now that they’ve survived Louisville, they look like the ACC’s representative again this year.
- Washington – Another battle of top teams, but this one ended unexpectedly for me. Washington dominated Stanford in all facets of the game, shutting down Heisman contender Christian McCaffrey all night and holding the Cardinal to six points. Washington has Oregon this week it a tough game.
A Fan’s Heisman Standings
- Lamar Jackson – Despite losing to Clemson, he still put up video game numbers. He’s accounted for 28 touchdowns in five games this season, and his gaudy numbers should only continue to get better as the Cardinals coast through the remainder of their season (excluding the Houston game).
- J.T. Barrett – He became the all-time passing touchdown leader at Ohio State last week, and he’s within striking distance of Braxton Miller’s school record 88 total touchdowns. Those are career records, but he’s having a great junior season, leading the Buckeyes to the No. 1 ranking in total offense and No. 1 spot in scoring offense in the country through five weeks.
- Deshaun Watson – He moved himself back into contention after last week’s big win against Louisville. Sure, he threw three interceptions, but he was calm under pressure and led the Tigers to victory after Louisville stormed back after halftime. Clemson has a pretty favorable schedule remaining, so Watson should be able to put up some big numbers.
- Greg Ward, Jr. – Houston is 5-0. Although Ward only played in four of those games, he’s having a great season so far. He has over 1,300 yards passing on 70 percent completions and 13 total touchdowns. Last week against UConn, he had an 84 percent completion percentage and over 450 yards of total offense.
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