Week Four Recap
What went right?
The Rattlers were absolutely outmatched in every facet of the game. Ohio State did what it wanted on both sides of the ball with little to no resistance. For the Michigan and SEC folks that are criticizing The OSU for this game, please keep in mind that Ohio State long had Vanderbilt scheduled for the game before they backed out at the last minute. Regardless, this game was a brutal mismatch.
What went wrong?
Quarterback Kenny Guiton made a mistake, throwing a bad pass into the end zone that got picked off. Even that wound up working in the Buckeyes favor, though, as the Rattler defensive back tried to return the interception and had the ball stripped away by Jordan Hall. It really was one of those game for Ohio State, where everything worked out.
The Bottom Line
It's true that a game like this doesn't really do much for a team that has ambitions of winning a Big Ten title and wants to be in the discussion for a Rose Bowl berth or a National Championship Game appearance. However, Ohio State's plentiful depth at the skills positions was on full display as a lot of guys got to get some live game experience. With possibly nine Big Ten games looming, it didn't hurt to get some of the youngsters some action and get a few quarters of rest for the starters as they prepare for the physical game looming this week with Wisconsin.
Quarterback Rating - A+
Kenny Guiton continues to show that he isn't just the best backup quarterback in America, but he is far and away the second best quarterback this year in the Big Ten. Regardless of who it was against, Guiton passed for six touchdowns against FAMU, an Ohio State record for passing scores in a game. Did I mention that all of those came in the first half?! He may not be Urban Meyer's starter this week, but Buckeye Nation can rest easy knowing that they have a great player to turn to if Braxton can't remain healthy this season.
Running Back Rating - A+
Jordan Hall saw his most limited action of the season, only carrying the ball four times. Two of those carries went for touchdowns, though. The Buckeye faithful also welcomed back workhorse tailback Carlos Hyde who picked up 41 yards in his season debut. Rod Smith and Warren Ball also saw their reps increase, but the star of the day was true freshman Ezekiel Elliott. He picked up a career high 162 yards on just 14 carries.
Receivers Rating - A
The Buckeye receiving core also had their way with the Rattler defense. On six occasions a Buckeye receiver caught a touchdown pass from Kenny Guiton; in the first half! Everybody knows about Philly Brown and Devin Smith, but Chris Fields and Evan Spencer combine with them to form the most talented set of receivers in the conference. Throw in Guiton's giant targets in tight ends Jeff Heuerman and Nic Vannett and you've got an offense that can beat you in more ways than most defenses will be able to account for.
Offensive Line - A
The offensive line paved the way for 603 yards of total offense, including 388 on the ground. The competition wasn't worthy of being on the field with them, but to give credit where it's due, the starting offensive line played little more than a quarter. Absolute domination.
Defensive Line - A+
Eighty yards of total offense allowed.
Linebackers - A+
Eighty yards of total offense allowed.
Secondary - A+
Again, the defense allowed a total of eighty yards of offense and just two first downs for the entire game. Wow!
Special Teams - A
Through four games, Ohio State hasn't really had to lean on their special teams, which must feel foreign to long time Buckeye fans who remember that the punt is the most important play in football. However, albeit in limited action, the special teams units have looked very solid.
Hit of the Day:
This week I am giving it to the entire defense. From the starters down to the third and fourth string guys, they held a team to a measly 80 yards of offense for the entire game and gave up just two first downs. They certainly weren't playing Oregon, but this unit will continue to get better as the season goes on. Hats off to all of the Silver Bullets this week!
I'm moving the Buckeyes up to #2 this week, just behind the Oregon Ducks. Ohio State has showed me enough since the Buffalo game to leapfrog the not-so-impressive defending National Champs down in Tuscaloosa. In the national media, however, the Big Ten's struggles are hurting the Buckeyes.
2. Ohio State
8. Florida State
9. Texas A&M
12. Oklahoma State
14. South Carolina
15. Miami (FL)
19. Ole Miss
20. Texas Tech
25. Notre Dame
Updated Big Ten Rankings
1. Ohio State - They are the class of the league right now and, on paper, should dominate everyone they play from here on out. W 76-0
2. Northwestern - The Wildcats win was hardly impressive, but due to That Team Up North continuing to play down to their competition's level, Coach Fitzgerald's boys stay here. W 35-21
3. Wisconsin - I can admit when I'm wrong. I was wrong to move the Badgers so far down after their loss to Arizona State. They redeemed themselves this week by blowing out the very disappointing Purdue Boilermakers. Now they travel to Columbus. W 41-10
4. Minnesota - I know. They haven't played anybody. The Golden Gophers, for whatever reason, have my attention and I really like what Coach Kill has been doing there. We will find out a lot more about this team here in the next few weeks. W 43-24
5. Michigan - Goodness gracious, what is going on with Coach Hoke and his boys. They have the second best roster in this league and are not playing up to their potential. Their bye week couldn't have come at a better time after consecutive close calls against lowly Akron and Connecticut. W 24-21
6. Penn State - The Nittany Lions bounced back in a big way by pitching a shutout against MAC foe Kent State. W 34-0
7. Michigan State - Their defense is good enough to keep them in every game this season. Their offense is bad enough to lose them every game from here on out. L 17-13
8. Iowa - I'm starting to warm up to Iowa a little bit. Their one loss was to a MAC team, but that was defending conference champion Northern Illinois, who also played in a BCS bowl game last year. W 59-3
9. Nebraska - The more I see from Coach Pelini's 'Huskers, the more I realize that this defense is almost as bad as Indiana's. W 59-20
10. Illinois - The Fighting Illini had the week off. BYE
11. Indiana - The two worst teams in this conference right now are from the state of Indiana. I was somewhat high on both of them before the season, too. Disappointing. L 45-28
12. Purdue - Coach Hazell definitely has his work cut out for him with this bunch. L 41-10