Debriefing: Ohio State Is The Only #VARSITY Team in the State

By David Wertheim on September 8, 2019 at 8:25 am
Baron Browning

I'm done hearing it. Forever.

I was born and raised and spend my summers now in the greatest city on earth: Cincinnati, Ohio. I work at Kroger. Every time is Skyline time. I love everything about that place except for the school in Clifton. 

You see, the city has an inferiority complex towards Ohio State. Unless you went/go there, there's about a 95% chance you don't like Ohio State. Why? You don't know! Nobody knows! You just don't like them!

So when this game rolled along, I was understandably nervous. I had a lot of friends here for the game, who came up from UC, and it was over for me had the Buckeyes lost.

So thanks Justin Fields and Chase Young. If I ever see you around "studying" at the
"library" I'll be sure to mention it in person.

Big win for #VARSITY.

The Short Story

Ohio State dominated in every facet of the game. Offense scored 42 points. Defense allowed 0. Special teams was excellent, blocking a field goal and downing a punt at the one-yard line. Justin Fields was 20/25 for 224 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and added two more rushing scores. He was great again.

Ohio State dominated both halves, jumping out to a 28-0 lead at halftime before scoring twice more in the second half to ice the game.

Quick Breakdowns


As noted above, Fields was excellent once again this week. He looked sharp all game, didn't miss on many throws whatsoever, and seemed to be better with his reads in the run game, which opened up some great holes that J.K. Dobbins took advantage of, and then some.

Dobbins finished with 141 yards on 17 carries (8.3 avg) and two touchdowns, including this 60-yarder that he broke.

In the receiving game, the Buckeyes were led by senior Binjimen Victor, who had five catches for 69 yards. Fellow senior K.J. Hill caught eight balls for 57 yards and a score, and true freshman Garrett Wilson notched his first career catch, which also went for a touchdown. 


The defense was great again today as well. After some encouraging play last week, the defense put it all together yesterday and absolutely stifled a Cincinnati offense which certainly appeared to play timid at times as a result.

Chase Young continued his dominance by adding 1.5 more sacks to his résumé. Damon Arnette led the way with six tackles, while Malik Harrison had 2.5 tackles for loss and .5 sacks. Shaun Wade added a sack and a tipped ball that helped Tuf Borland secure an interception. Borland had three tackles, as well.

It was an absolutely dominant effort by the defense. Cincinnati didn't appear to have much momentum most of the day, and when they did, the Buckeyes were able to force turnovers.

Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?

Offense: Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins, and Thayer Munford

These three players were all excellent, and I had to divide up the honor because of it. Fields was on all afternoon with his feet and with his arm, while Dobbins looked a lot like freshman year J.K. It wouldn't have been possible without Munford and Jonah Jackson doing an excellent job on the left side of the offensive line.

Watch out, college football. 

Defense: Everyone

How can it not be everyone? From coach Greg Mattison to Chase Young to Shaun Wade to Tyreke Smith, the Silver Bullets were everywhere in force. They were men amongst boys yesterday and it was really, really fun to watch.

Bringing in Mattison, Jeff Hafley, Al Washington, and Matt Barnes has done wonders thus far for an Ohio State defense that was frankly pretty bad last year. It's been really fun to watch and we can only hope that it will continue into the remainder of the season.

Biggest Surprise

I honestly don't think anyone saw the final score being 42-0. I'm not complaining, but I don't think anybody was really expecting it.

When I first was able to think about how this game might go, my thoughts as a Cincinnati resident immediately went to fearing the worst. But after thinking about it rationally, I predicted an Ohio State win by two touchdowns. Cincinnati was a good team, but didn't seem to have the athletes to keep up with Ohio State for four quarters. I guess that part was true? This is one of those instances where I'm pleased to be wrong. 

Well done, gentlemen. 

Jim Tressel's Favorite Moment

The ball coach loved this game. It was a dominating performance by his Buckeyes on all three levels.

See, Jim, as the president of Youngstown State, wrestled with a decision all week: he had coached at Ohio State, but was the president of a "minor" Ohio university. Thus, would he root for the other "minor" Ohio university?

Ellen reminded him of all the great times they had in Columbus, though, and Jim's decision was made. He would root for the Buckeyes. 

So at 11:55, after mowing the lawn and doing the laundry, Jim and Ellen settled on the couch to watch the Buckeyes.

It didn't take long for the most beautiful moment of the game to arrive: after the Buckeyes first drive of the game stalled, Drue Chrisman was brought on to punt and pin UC back deep.

And man, did he do exactly that.

Chrisman's punt was downed at the one-yard line and Ohio State's defense was able to force a punt of their own on the ensuing Cincinnati possession. Jim cried, it was so beautiful. What a punt. That's one he will remember for a long, long time. 

Oh, and the Buckeyes blocked a field goal, and Blake Haubiel saved a potentially long return with a nice tackle. 

Biggest Question Going Forward

Seriously, there isn;'t much to say after that one. If I had to nit-pick one thing, it's that we have seen zero attempts in the vertical passing game so far. That is one thing I would like to see. 

It's a big week next Saturday as the Buckeyes will be in Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers. But after this romp, the Buckeyes are 2-0. And that's a great thing.

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