It was another effortless performance for the Buckeyes on Saturday night.
Ohio State found the end zone with ease, winning 49-20. To start, the Buckeyes were without star receiver Smith-Njigba and bruising running back Miyan Williams. Ultimately, it never mattered for Ohio State. Both the passing game and the running attack moved with ease, showing the chasm in talent between the two teams.
Another great performance from the offensive line helped get TreVeyon Henderson to 118 yards and a touchdown for the day. It should be worth mentioning that TreVeyon had already accumulated over 70 of those yards just in the first quarter. The offensive line made it a clear point early to dominate the line of scrimmage, and it was easy to see.
Furthermore, quarterback C.J. Stroud enjoyed another great game, adding to his Heisman resume. The second-year quarterback had complete control of the offense, passing for 361 yards and six touchdowns. The lone blemish was an interception coming from a miscommunication with his receiver. With big games left against Penn State, Michigan and possibly a Big Ten Championship, Stroud should have quite the resume if he can continue this level of play.
Receivers at Ohio State are built and developed differently.
To any wide receiver recruit debating where to go in hopes to make it to the next level, the choice should be clear each week. That isn’t to say there isn’t another high-quality program and certainly, the competition at that spot is high at Ohio State. But, with another dominating performance from the trio of usual wide receivers. This passing game figures to become even scarier with the return of possibly the best receiver in College Football, Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
At any rate, Fleming, Egbuka and Harrison Jr. are holding down the fort with ease as they await the return of their teammate. Fleming continues to enjoy his first healthy season, showcasing his unique blend of speed, strength and route running, adding four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Egbuka continued his strong sophomore season with 143 yards and a touchdown, his 4th 100-yard performance of the season. Perhaps no one had as great of a game as Marvin Harrison Jr., collecting 131 yards and three touchdowns. It was clear that the skill position players were a clear mismatch between the two programs. It’s scary to think of the numbers that could have been put up if they had played a full game.
The Buckeye defense was no slouch either, but still has things to work on.
The Buckeyes dominated the line of scrimmage, showing great play on the line and with the linebackers and safeties. Michigan State only managed seven rushing yards on the game, partially due to being down big so early, but even so, every attempt was quickly shut down.
Meanwhile, the passing game barely faired any better. QB Payton Thorne passed for 113 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 11-18 and a 48.4 QBR. Those numbers certainly depict a struggling quarterback, but there is still some concern when this team faces better competition.
The corners have been the weak point of the defense so far, showing visible frustration at many points this season. While better yesterday, sophomore Burke has had an up-and-down year and yesterday teammate Cameron Brown had a difficult game. He was picked on at times by wide receiver Jayden Reed. This went to the point of Brown being pulled to the sideline to recollect himself. The talent is there and they have had their injuries at the corner position, but the play must improve if Ohio State is to compete with the likes of teams with the dynamic quarterback and receiver combos.
Ohio State now heads into its bye week at a convenient time. They can regroup, get healthy and game plan for a difficult stretch that includes Penn State, Maryland and Michigan, starting with Iowa coming out of the bye week. The Buckeyes continue to improve and look like one of the nation’s best teams. The best part about being 6-0 is the opportunity to be 7-0.