Another game, another blowout win, another stunning performance from Ohio State’s offense. After several years of offensive struggles going back to 2015, performances like this one— no matter how many times they happen— will never stop being enjoyable to watch.
After taking care of business last week against TCU, No. 4 Ohio State returned home to a final tune-up game before the Big Ten season starts in earnest next week, as Willie Fritz and Tulane came to town. We knew coming into the game that Ohio State had a big advantage, and we expected a big win.
Just like they did against Oregon State and Rutgers, Ohio State delivered on those expectations, blowing Tulane out of the water from the very start of the game, on the way to 49-6 victory, putting Ohio State at 4-0 as they get ready to head to Happy Valley next week.
While the lofty final score accurately depicts how much of a blowout this game was, it’s really hard to quantify just how dominant Ohio State’s starters were in the first half. Dwayne Haskins put on one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from a Buckeye quarterback, launching five touchdowns on 21-24 passing and 304 yards. He did that in five possessions. Enjoy him now, Buckeye fans, because he’s not long for college football.
With such a great performance from the whole team, there are plenty of Buckeye stocks rising in this week’s stock report. Without any further adieu, let’s get right into the stock market report.
Dwayne Haskins, Heisman contender: With a performance like that, Dwayne Haskins will somehow be making the weekly stock market report for the fourth straight week, and, at this point, I think that we can just mark him down on the blue-chip stocks list every single week. He’s a superstar, and he seems to get better every single week.
This week we will change things up a little bit though. Haskins is excellent, and we know that, but the college football world as a whole doesn’t seem to have really taken notice yet. It’s time for that to change. With a primetime game already under his belt, and another coming against Penn State, Dwayne Haskins is about the take charge of the 2018 Heisman race.
Urban Meyer, game manager: Earlier in this week, Urban Meyer said during the Big Ten teleconference that after Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson did such a great job with the offense that he’d be trusting them with it moving forward. He also said that he’d be more of a “game manager” the rest of the season, leaving the play-calling decisions up to his assistants on both sides of the ball.
While I’m not sure if I believe this fully— and could see Urban taking over if a game is close late, especially in an environment like Happy Valley next week— the early returns are encouraging. The offense looked the same against Tulane as it did in the three games of Urban’s suspension, and that’s the way it should be. Let Dwayne Haskins work, and leave the running to the running backs.
The defensive line depth: There were plenty of people very worried about Ohio State’s defensive line when Nick Bosa was announced as being out indefinitely following surgery for a core injury. While the concerns were certainly valid, I really don’t think they’re necessary anymore.
With Bosa out, his primary backup, Jonathon Cooper, another former five-star recruit, picked up the slack, and while he didn’t have a big day on the statline, he did more than enough to force Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks into tough situations. Behind Cooper and Chase Young, four year vet Jashon Cornell, and freshman duo Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday all had great showings, and Friday picked up his first career sack. The Buckeyes are in good hands, with or without their star.
Jeffrey Okudah, CB: Of the top corners on this team, the one that has had the roughest start to this season has probably been Okudah. The Texas native hasn’t been bad by any means, but the game hasn’t really slowed down for him yet, and he’s been burnt a couple of times early this season.
While Okudah did give up one big completion today, I think it was his most complete game yet. He had two near interceptions, including one that he actually came down with, only to have it called back because a lineman was offsides on the play. Okudah’s coverage skills seem to be improving with each passing week, and it seems like he’s the next star cornerback in a long line of star cornerbacks at Ohio State.
Parris Campbell, WR: After a couple weeks of being used mostly as a short yardage, drag route and screen receiver, Parris Campbell finally busted through today, in a huge way. While he still did most of his work in the underneath game, Campbell had his best game of the season, picking up 147 yards on eight receptions.
Campbell also found the endzone twice, including a phenomenal over the shoulder catch on a beautiful lob from Dwayne Haskins. Campbell bobbled it a bit, but after spending the entire season working on catching deep passes, Parris was able to pull it in for the score. If he’s finally put it all together, and can be a threat downfield, the Big Ten should watch out.
Demario McCall, RB/WR/GOAT: FREE DEMARIO
Penalty troubles: For the third time in four games, Ohio State struggled a lot with penalties today. From offsides to holding to unnecessary roughness calls, Ohio State was getting hit with flags all game. While early season sloppiness is to be expected, that’s the kind of thing that can really come back to bite this team later in the season, against better teams… like next week.
Those habits are hard to break, and sloppiness is hard to clean up. It didn’t really hurt them against Tulane, but against Penn State, you can’t expect to give up so many free yards and still win.
Sell: Ohio State’s second team offense. In a game like this, there really isn’t much to complain about. Ohio State won, and did it easily, so it feels strange to get riled up about much of anything. If there is anything to sell about this performance though, it would be the execution of the second team offense in the second half. They struggled mightily, specifically up front, which is something Ohio State will need to fix before the guys are the starters next year.
Buy: Alabama and Ohio State are the two best teams in the country. While I think Georgia, Clemson and Oklahoma are very good, it’s obvious who the best teams in the country are. With Tua Tagovailoa running Alabama’s offense, and Dwayne Haskins running Ohio State’s, it feels like these two are on a crash course for an awesome showdown come December or January.
Sell: Reviewing a lateral/forward pass in the third quarter of a 42-6 game. I know that rules are rules, and that Tate Martell’s pass to C.J. Saunders was technically illegal, but come on. Who cares. The game was already over at this point, the play went for like a yard, and the refs spent at least five minutes reviewing it. We’ve all got stuff to do, there’s no reason to be stopping the game like that.