Favorite Stat of the Game: 424 total yards and 6 touchdowns. That’s the combine yards and scoring of J.K. Dobbins and Justin Fields. After only a half and a series. In back-to-back weeks they only played a half and a series a piece, and without the best player in college football being on the field while they were on the bench and they’ve had no problem. Next week the third head of the Cerberus that is Ohio State football returns. Watch out world.
The Brooklyn Dagger Award: Chris Olave’s big catches. His circus catch in the early part of the second half was out of this world. His first big catch in the first half was the end for Rutgers as the Buckeyes scored to make it a 21-0 and then in the second half 49-7. Olave the deep threat was a back breaker. Olave had a total of four catches for 139 yards and a long of 58 yards and a circus catch for 42 yards.
Dwayne Haskins (Player of the Game) Award: Justin Fields. Fields was 15 of 19 for 305 yards and four touchdowns through the air, plus three carries for 30 yards on the ground. Fields does it all. His season total in touchdowns is now 41. He could seriously challenge Dwayne Haskins’ less than year old record of 54.
Defensive Player of the Game: Malik Harrison. Harrison tallied six tackles, two for a loss, and broke up a pass. Outside of Chase Young he’s been the statistical leader for the Ohio State defense. The senior is playing like you’d expect any great senior to play, like he’s trying to leave a legacy worth remembering, and for me he’s getting it done.
Ryan Shazier-Devin Smith Award: K’Vaughan Pope. Pope made his second interception in as many games and is doing the jersey number 36 justice so far. He’s working hard as a sophomore to show he’s going to be in the starting line up at linebacker for the scarlet and gray. He’ll be a fun one to watch as his career progresses.
Dane Sanzenbacher Award: K.J. Hill’s chase for David Boston’s reception record of 191 continued. Hill had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown making his career total 182. K.J. Hill will need to be a factor in the coming weeks as he’ll be the guy to look for if opposing defense manage to take Olave away. The way he’s played in his time at Ohio State, Hill seems more than up for the task.
Taylor Decker Award: Six penalties for 54 yards is still too much but give the team credit for reducing the numbers from double digit number of penalties and triple digit penalty yards from last week. And as someone pointed out to me, last week was mostly backups, so give those same backups for making fewer mistakes this week.
Fedora Award: Through ten games Justin Fields has been responsible for 41 touchdowns. If the Buckeyes play only at worst three more and Fields keeps his average going, he’ll be the second Buckeye in as many seasons and throughout their entire history be responsible for 50 touchdowns in a season. That is an unreal number to me. Then for it to potentially have it twice in back to back years and by two different players. It goes beyond words. If anyone can do it, it’s Justin Fields. I hope we see him get to at least 50!
Sweater Vest Play: Jim Tressel wouldn’t have been happy with the special teams in this one. Chrisman had his worst game of the year, Wilson had a special teams’ turnover, and the kicking game wasn’t the asset it had been previously. The good thing is, you hope they’re getting a rotten game out of the way against the right team. And a team you can beat 56-21 is the right team to iron out any late season kinks against.
Archie Award: Chris Chugunov has been a guy we love to see and hope to never see under any other circumstance. We want to see him come in if it means a blowout win is nearing its garbage time. Other than that, may he sit the bench forever. When you’re the back up and that’s how your fans feel about you, it’s nice to come in with a lot of people in the crow who just plain outright love you with no situational conditions attached. It had to be great for him to play in his home state and with a number of around 60 family and friends there to see just him. He made good on it too, by tossing a couple of touchdown passes. So, here’s to Chris Chugunov! May we only see him in blowout wins for the rest of his Buckeye career.
Horned Rimmed Glasses Award: Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters flew over the stadium before the game to continue to honor our veterans this week. Coach Hayes would always appreciate a salute to those who safeguard our freedoms. He also would have appreciated Ohio State moving their record against Rutgers to 6-0. He also would have liked the combined score of Ohio State in Rutgers house 161-28.
Urban Meyer Coaching Moments of the Game: It’s not an easy task to play someone you should throttle and then do it. The 2015 squad taught us that. It has to be appreciated that without Chase Young, Ohio State handled the two weakest teams on its schedule by a combined 129-35. And did it today without Jonathan Cooper, Austin Mack, and Damon Arnette too. Ryan Day called a great game. The offense stayed balanced and attacking, the defense, though in a small way depleted, played almost as well as you could reasonably ask. There is no play that seems to be missing on offense and no play that seems to be unstoppable to the defense. Hat tip to Ryan Day and company.
Glass Half Empty: Rutgers scored. Not only did they score, they scored 21 points. Rutgers should never score on Ohio State, especially late in a season. They got their second passing touchdown in Big Ten play against the Buckeyes. Ohio State couldn’t convert goal to go from the Rutgers one on two straight handoffs. An even more troubling thing from today’s game; Ohio State only had one sack without Chase Young. Garrett Wilson reminded everyone that he’s a true freshman and despite the high level of play from Ohio State’s outstanding rookies, led by Wilson, they’re still just teenagers, freshmen, and human. With Penn State coming to town after having such tight contests the last three seasons and a trip to that team up north following, this stuff makes me nervous. And for reasons beyond me, so do the ghosts of 1969. Indiana will be a better gauge, but that team up north seems to be living up to their preseason potential.
Glass Half Full: This was the tenth straight win by at least 24 points. We’re third in rushing behind only Navy and Air Force who run on the vast majority of their offensive snaps. We’re 10-0, with all goals still in front of us and still under the control of Ryan Day and his men. The offense is humming in all facets, the defense is getting game changers in Chase Young and Damon Arnette back next week. We’ll be back in the comfort of home. This team looks like one of the best, and most consistent, if not the most in the country. Have faith in these Buckeyes, they know what they are about!
2014 Moment: Fields to Olave in the first quarter. Fields to Olave in the third quarter. I love those plays because it’s the Barrett or Jones bomb to Smith play of 2014. Those are very important to an offense because it keeps a defense honest. They can’t creep up to the line and play downhill as much because they risk giving up the homerun. You need that against teams in November that know you and are similar in talent. PSU and TTUN have to take note. Which makes it even tougher to defend this great offense.
2002 Moment: Shaun Wade’s pick on the second play of from scrimmage. It was a pick doing number 24 proud. Like Malik Hooker before him, Wade tipped the ball and caught falling to his back. It all started because Wade did something only smart great defensive backs do; look back for the football. That’s textbook of how you defend a pass.
1968 Moment: To me, it was all about showing the killer instinct. Ryan Day using his first half timeouts again. Throwing deep and taking shots. Running the offense with the backups in. Adjusting the defense to play without two first-round draft picks. And the mentality of this team. It’s cutthroat. When Ryan Day was asked earlier this week about Don Brown saying the Buckeyes to watch out. Out loud, he said no comment. But you could see a flicker of fire in his eyes. When asked about if he’ll be prepared to run for four quarters against PSU and TTUN, J.K. Dobbins asked; why should he? He wants to keep the hammer down on them as much as on everyone else they played this year. You love to see that. Here’s to getting it done!