“Some guys are walking around the locker room like, man, what happened? 52-17, that's a pretty good day, boys.”
That's what Ryan Day said Tuesday regarding the expectations surrounding his Ohio State team right now – which caused some Buckeyes to be displeased by their performance despite a 35-point win over Nebraska in Saturday's season opener – and we're sharing a similar message on this week's Real Pod Wednesdays.
While much of the narrative following Ohio State's first game has been about its shaky defensive start and its underwhelming running game, some growing pains in the Buckeyes' first game shouldn't have been unexpected – especially considering the unusual offseason and the fact they were opening the year against a conference opponent – and there were plenty of positives to take away from the game, like Justin Fields' almost perfect performance and Ohio State scoring 38 of the final 41 points.
So we spend the first 30 minutes of this week's show by talking about why you should be happy with how the Buckeyes started the season and what our biggest takeaways were from Saturday's opening game.
In the show's second trimester, we look ahead to what should be a tougher test this week at Penn State, where the goal for Ohio State should be just to get a win in its first road game of the year against the Big Ten team that's given the Buckeyes their most consistent competition for the past four years. We discuss what Ohio State must do to contain Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford and tight end Pat Freiermuth, why we're looking forward to the matchup between Ohio State's offensive tackles and Penn State's defensive ends and much more about Saturday night's showdown in Happy Valley.
In Three Things We Think (47:20), Dan argues that Ryan Day shouldn't have apologized to Scott Frost and considers the dose of reality that comes with Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz testing positive for COVID-19, and Colin shares his thoughts on Nicholas Petit-Frere's strong debut at right tackle, the continued wait for Tyreke Smith to break out and why he disagrees with the notion that Ohio State is playing the wrong linebackers.
Finally (1:05:00), we wrap up the show by answering a large batch of reader questions about why Justin Fields will likely continue to run the ball often, whether Ohio State will have a 1,000-yard rusher or receiver this season, who the Buckeyes' No. 3 receiver will be and whether Pete Werner should move back to Sam.
Listen to this week's episode of Real Pod Wednesdays in the audio player above and Apple Podcasts. (We apologize for the delay in new episodes of the podcast showing up on other platforms, but we're working on it – thank you for your patience).