Ohio State looked like a complete football team for the first time all season last Saturday at Rutgers. The Buckeyes were prolific on offense – as they have been all season – but also showed up with a stifling defense the likes of which the team hasn't seen much over the past couple of seasons.
With the standard caveats about the strength of the opponent stipulated, it was a breathe of fresh air for a team that was viewed as "struggling" in the wake of a loss to Oregon early in the season.
Could this team be channeling its inner 2014? Too soon to tell, but it's not too soon to say that Matt Barnes has made some critical changes to the defense's uber-vanilla scheme by adding new looks and bringing more pressure. Both moves paid off handsomely against a Rutgers offense that... isn't great to start with. BUT! It's a step in the right direction.
C.J. Stroud was back after a week off to rest his shoulder, and he looked fantastic. The offense was clicking from start to finish, continuing to showcase the weapons Ryan Day has at his disposal.
What's next? An interesting Maryland team that was off to its best start in years prior to a dumpster-fire outing against Iowa. We'll talk about that, as well as take a whiparound the Big Ten and a surprisingly stout East division.
Plus: Ask Us Anything (which you can do at firstname.lastname@example.org) wants to know if we can have Kyle Jones on every game, and what advice we have for a new homeowner.
RUN OF THE SHOW
0:00 Ohio State did it again! Two weeks of dominance in a row! C.J. Stroud looked fantastic in his return from resting his shoulder.
15:21 Credit Matt Barnes and the defensive brain trust: the turnaround in just two weeks has been a welcome change of pace.
22:41 Up next: Maryland. Are they good, are they bad? Historically, it hasn't mattered.
32:15 The Big Ten is super lopsided, East vs. West. Penn State, That Team Up North and Michigan State all look (relatively) legit this season. Oh, and Iowa! Also good, so far.
44:59 Ask Us Anything has a very good question about the Pope dismissal situation, and asks what advice we have for a new homeowner.
63:58 The Buckeyes are up to No. 7 in the polls – how do we feel about where things stand nearling midseason? (P.S., Clemson stinks!)