I went to the game last night. Shoutout to the 90% Buckeye crowd. Let's debrief.
The Short Story
Ohio State started off the scoring with an impressive passing touchdown to Terry McLaurin. Northwestern quickly answered with a 77-yard rushing touchdown, yet another big play given up by the Ohio State defense.
The Buckeyes then scored 17 unanswered points to end the first half, taking a 24-7 lead into the break. Northwestern quickly answered after the half, though, with back-to-back touchdowns to cut the deficit to 24-21.
Haskins then found Chris Olave for a 29-yard touchdown, and after a Northwestern field goal, Haskins found Johnnie Dixon and then J.K. Dobbins for scores to seal the 45-24 win for Ohio State.
Dwayne Haskins is going to New York City. The stud threw for an incredible 499 yards, with five touchdowns (and an interception).
Haskins was incredible all evening, making difficult throws. It was even more impressive considering Ohio State once again had no rushing attack.
J.K. Dobbins rushed 17 times for 68 yards (4 ypc) and a touchdown. Mike Weber carried the ball 17 times for 51 yards (3 ypc).
The wide receivers were balanced once again. Johnnie Dixon paced the way with seven catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Parris Campbell had seven catches for 89 yards. Chris Olave had five grabs for 79 yards and a touchdown, his third score in the last two games.
J.K. Dobbins had four catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Terry McLaurin only had three catches, but he made the most of them, going for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Ohio State's defense was relatively strong in this one. Save for a 77-yard run, the Buckeyes made big plays when they needed too all evening.
Malik Harrison led the way with 10 tackles. Damon Arnette had a big interception, as did Shaun Wade, as you see above. Chase Young had three sacks, while Dre'Mont Jones and Taron Vincent had one.
Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?
Offense: Dwayne Haskins
Could it be anyone else? Haskins threw for 499 yards and five touchdowns, making difficult and impressive throws all night.
Haskins spread the wealth among his receivers, who all had big games.
Honorable Mention: Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell
Defense: Chase Young
The Buckeye defensive end was great in this one, recording three sacks and this big time forced fumble.
It was a huge performance from the sophomore, and could be a sign of major things to come next year.
Honorable Mention: Damon Arnette, Dre'Mont Jones, Malik Harrison
Ohio State spreading the wealth at wide receiver is pretty impressive. Ten different receivers caught a pass, and four different receivers caught touchdowns, including freshman phenom Chris Olave.
Ohio State's improvement at the wide receiver position has been huge for Dwayne Haskins, and ditto the other way around.
Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment
As usual, Tress still woke up at 6:00 a.m, despite the game being played at night. After a hearty lunch at Bob Evans, Jim and Ellen settled in to watch the Buckeyes.
The game turned on. Flag. Later, a turnover. Then, another flag. Then, a turnover. Five penalties later, Jim threw his remote. After another turnover, the remote was shattered.
Biggest Question Going Forward
Playoffs? Well, Oklahoma won. And so did Clemson. So Ohio State's playoff hopes are slim. The only hope for the Buckeyes is the committee making a decision in favor of the local team.
I wouldn't call that likely.
Book your tickets for Pasadena.