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Historic rout of No. 12 Michigan State has No. 13 Ohio State en route to Big Ten East crown

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No. 13 Ohio State (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten) certainly stormed back from an embarrassing loss on the road the previous week. No. 12 Michigan State (7-3, 5-2 Big Ten) had no chance against the Buckeyes on this Saturday as Ohio State took control of the game right from the start with an overwhelming running game en route to a 48-3 victory that puts Ohio State in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten East Division with two games remaining.

Mike Weber carried the ball for 161 yards, with over 120 of those yards coming on two touchdown runs against the Spartans defense. Weber had a 47-yard touchdown run right up the middle of Michigan State midway through the first quarter on a third-and-short and he took one 82 yards on the first play from scrimmage later in the second quarter as Ohio State was pouring it on in Ohio Stadium. J.T. Barrett got in on the fun with a pair of rushing touchdowns and he completed an eight-yard touchdown pass to freshman J.K. Dobbins (who later became the third true freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season) as Ohio State stormed their way to a 35-0 lead in the first half.

Barrett opened up the second half of the game with a 48-yard strike to Binjimen Victor for a score to extend the lead to 42-3. It was total domination all game long for the Buckeyes on offense and defense. A week after effectively leading the Spartans to an upset of Penn State, Brian Lewerke never managed to get on track in the passing game for the Spartans, and the running game never had space to get going either.

Ohio State’s 45-point victory was the most lopsided margin of victory for the Buckeyes over the Spartans, and it is the third most lopsided victory over a ranked opponent in school history.

With the win, Ohio State is now in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East with a one-game lead in the loss column and they own head-to-head tiebreakers against both Michigan State and Penn State. With just two games left to play against Illinois and at Michigan, it would appear Ohio State fans can start making reservations in Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin. The question may be if there is enough in the tank to fuel a playoff push. That seems unlikely at this point, but Ohio State did pick a great day to score a blowout win like this. Three top 10 teams are guaranteed to lose today on the college football schedule, and No. 9 Washington suffered a loss Friday night. If Ohio State can play like this the next three weeks, they will remain on the radar for sure, although they may still need a little too much help to get back to the College Football Playoff for a third time.

Ohio State will host Illinois next week. Michigan State will return home for a game against Maryland.

Two Saquon Barkley TDs help Penn State hold halftime lead at Ohio State

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For the second straight week, Penn State took a 14-0 lead just minutes into the game, but this time they did it on the road to silence the Ohio State crowd a bit out of the gates. Penn State also capitalized on a controversial call by the Big Ten officials and holds a 28-17 lead on the Buckeyes at halftime of a colossal Big Ten showdown.

Saquon Barkley returned the game’s opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to get Penn State off to a great start with a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game.

After the defense forced a fumble by Parris Campbell, the Nittany Lions took an early 14-0 lead on a Trace McSorley pass to DaeSean Hamilton inside the red zone on third down. After Ohio State got on the board with a field goal, Penn State went back to work a couple of possessions later and extended their lead to 21-3 on a 36-yard touchdown run by Barkley, getting a key downfield block by McSorley. An official review checked to make sure Barkley did not step out of bounds and upheld the initial call for the touchdown.

Down 18 points at home, Ohio State was already getting desperate for a touchdown, and they finally got it with a J.T. Barrett touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin to cut into the Penn State lead. The pass was Barrett’s 91st career touchdown pass, breaking the Big Ten record previously set by Drew Brees of Purdue.

Penn State did get a lucky break following a terrific kick return following the Ohio State touchdown. McSorley was picked off in the end zone but a pass interference call on Ohio State negated the interception, and McSorley ran in for a score on the next play to push the lead to 28-10. The call that will be scrutinized can be seen here…

Ohio State gets the ball to start the second half. It’s still anyone’s game with first place in the Big Ten East on the line.

No. 9 Ohio State looks like a contender in crushing Nebraska for second straight year

Associated Press
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In theory it should be the kind of spectacle only college football can produce. Ohio State and Nebraska, two programs that have been proud about their brand of football for more than a century, playing on the same field under the Big Ten banner in a primetime broadcast. What could be better?

The games, it turns out. The games could be a lot better.

The first edition was great. Ohio State went to Lincoln for the first time ever in Nebraska’s first Big Ten season, and the Huskers won, 34-27. They’ve played three times since, and none of them were close. The Buckeyes cruised 63-38 in 2012, demolished the Huskers 62-3 last season and did the same again on Saturday night, as No. 9 Ohio State had its way with overmatched Nebraska, 56-14 in Lincoln.

Ohio State scored touchdowns on its first eight drives and did not punt the entire night. J.T. Barrett posted one of the best statistical nights of his lengthy career, hitting a video game-like 27-of-33 passes for 325 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing 10 times for 48 yards and two more scores. J.K. Dobbins added 12 carries for a game-high 106 yards and a long touchdown run of his own, and Mike Weber poured in 82 yards on 18 carries.

Overall, Ohio State threw for 354 yards on 39 attempts and rushed 47 times for 279 yards, adding up to 633 yards on 7.36 yards per play with 41 first downs and 10 third-down conversions on 13 attempts.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes’ defense held Nebraska scoreless in the first half for the second time this season — that feat had been accomplished once in the previous 20 years — and limited Nebraska to 44 yards on 16 carries. Nebraska threw the ball nearly every play because it knew it had no chance of running on Ohio State, but it had no chance of throwing on Ohio State, either. Tanner Lee completed 23-of-38 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns, but the lion’s share of those yards came after the Huskers were already down 42 points.

Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) looked every much like a Big Ten and College Football Playoff contender. Nebraska (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) looked like a team that will be making a coaching change after the season ends.

And whoever Nebraska’s next coach is needs to just turn on the first half film of tonight’s game to see how far Nebraska is from the top of the sport.

Ohio State blowing Nebraska off its own field

Associated Press
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Ohio State has played very much like a team playing its way back into the national championship picture so far. The Buckeyes scored on all five possessions and allowed Nebraska to score on none of theirs, claiming a 35-0 lead at the break.

The Buckeyes’ first drive needed just 2:44 to travel 96 yards, the last 52 of which coming on a J.K. Dobbins burst. After forcing a three-and-out, Ohio State’s next drive covered 85 yards in nine plays, ending on a 6-yard J.T. Barrett run.

Continuing the theme of incrementally shorter drives, Ohio State’s next touches moved 80, 71, and 59 yards yards, culminating in Barrett touchdown passes to K.J. Hill and Terry McLaurin and another Barrett run. Barrett closed the half with Heisman-esque numbers: 18-of-21 passing for 203 yards and tow touchdowns with six carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Dobbins added seven carries for 80 yards; the Buckeyes totaled 163 yards on 21 total carries.

Nebraska mustered only 20 yards on 10 total carries, and Tanner Lee completed 12-of-23 passes for 96 yards. The Huskers managed three first downs.

Ohio State will receive to open the second half.

Urban Meyer now 10-1 vs. his former assistants with romp over D.J. Durkin and Maryland

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Once again, the teacher has taken a former student to school.

Despite an embarrassing series of first-half special teams gaffes that bled into the third quarter, and with their opponent starting their third-string quarterback, Ohio State jumped out to a 41-7 halftime lead and never really looked back en route to a 62-14 woodshedding of overmatched Maryland.  In the first half alone, the Buckeyes held a 361-26 advantage in total offense; they finished the game with 584 yards to the Terrapins’ 66, 27 of which came on a late touchdown drive following an OSU fumble by backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

J.T. Barrett accounted for four touchdowns — three passing and one rushing — in three quarters worth of work.  True freshman J.K. Dobbins led all rushers 96 yards on 13 carries.

The Terps, which were forced to go to fourth-string quarterback Caleb Henderson after third-stringer Max Bortenschlager was knocked out of the game late in the third quarter, wer limited to just 16 yards passing for the entire game.  They also averaged just 1.2 yards per carry, and their only touchdown prior to the one in garbage time came on a kickoff return for a score in the first quarter.

With the win, Urban Meyer improved to 10-1 all-time against his former assistant coaches who went on to become head coaches.  The lone loss for Meyer?  Florida’s 10-7 defeat in 2010 to Mississippi State and Dan Mullen, Meyer’s former offensive coordinator with the Gators.

Since that loss, Meyer has ripped off nine straight wins over his former assistants, all of which have come since he came to OSU.  And those wins haven’t, for the most part, even been close as the Buckeyes won those games by an average of 42.6 points per game.  The only team to come within 25 points of OSU Urban was Gary Andersen‘s Wisconsin Badgers, which dropped a 31-24 decision in September of 2013; take out that game, and margin of victory stretches to 47.6 ppg.

Below are the all-time records of Meyer assistants vs. their former boss:

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State, 1-1 (29-19 loss in 2009; 10-7 win in 2010)
Tim Beckman, Illinois, 0-3 (52-22 loss in 2012; 60-35 loss in 2013; 55-14 loss in 2014)
Gary Andersen, Wisconsin, 0-2 (31-24 loss in 2013; 59-0 loss in 2014)
Chris Ash, Rutgers, 0-2 (58-0 loss in 2016; 56-0 loss in 2017)
D.J. Durkin, Maryland, 0-2 (62-3 loss in 2016; 62-14 loss in 2017)

This was also the 200th game of Meyer’s career as a head coach, with his teams going 170-30 in that span.  His .850 winning percentage is fourth all-time among FBS head coaches behind a pair of Notre Dame greats, Knute Rockne (.881) and Frank Leahy (.864), as well as Bowling Green’s Doyt Perry (.855).  It’s the highest for any coach with at least 200 games under his belt; Nebraska’s Tom Osborne and his .836 clip in 307 career games had previously held that honor.