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Dwayne Haskins ties Ohio State record with 6 TDs as No. 3 Buckeyes avoid letdown vs. Indiana

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A year ago, Ohio State celebrated a thrilling one-point victory over Penn State only to be blitzed by Iowa the following week. This year, a week after another thriller of a one-point victory over Penn State, No. 3 Ohio State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) did not look particularly sharp for a while against Indiana (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) but the Buckeyes used their talent advantage to avoid a letdown with a 42-26 victory over the Hoosiers.

Dwayne Haskins tied an Ohio State record previously held by J.T. Barrett and Kenny Guiton with six touchdown passes in the same game. That, along with 455 passing yards, was enough to forget about two interceptions thrown, one of which led to an Indiana touchdown that gave the Hoosiers a 17-14 lead in the second quarter. Ohio State responded with two touchdowns before halftime to take a lead into the break, but the Buckeyes restored order in the second half.

Ohio State allowed just one touchdown by Indiana in the third quarter while the offense continued to put points on the board. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns put the game out of reach for Indiana, who suddenly struggled to get some scoring opportunities. Patrick Ramsey did throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, but there was not enough in the tank to keep pace with a stronger and deeper (and more skilled and athletic) Ohio State on the road.

There was a scary moment on the Ohio State sidelines when head coach Urban Meyer was seen receiving medical assistance and going down to one knee with a hand on his head. His medical history certainly was a cause for some alarm, however, it was later reported Meyer had just collided with someone on the sideline while running down to give some instructions.

The Buckeyes remain the lone undefeated team in the Big Ten and now sit atop the Big Ten East standings tied in conference play with their rivals from Michigan. But while the Wolverines are about to embark on a challenging three-game stretch that could define their season, Ohio State will get some games that look to be very favorable for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State will stay home next week to play Minnesota. Indiana will play at home next week against Iowa.

Urban Meyer says Nick Bosa is out for Penn State game

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As had been speculated as a possibility last week, Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa will not play this weekend when the Buckeyes travel to Penn State for a key Big Ten East Division matchup.

“It’s going to be a few more weeks, but we expect him back,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said while meeting with the media on Monday.

Bosa left Ohio State’s win against TCU two weeks ago with an injury. What was declared an abdominal and groin injury would leave Bosa out of action this past weekend against Tulane. Meyer confirmed Bosa underwent surgery and there has not been a released timeline of when Bosa is expected to be able to return to the team, or whether he will or not. Although, Meyer’s comments suggest there is optimism Bosa will be able to return down the line for the Buckeyes.

Penn State may stand to benefit by the absence of one of the nation’s top players, not just top defensive players, but the Nittany Lions will still have their paws full with Ohio State’s defensive front. Holding off the defensive line from Ohio State will be instrumental in Penn State’s chances to defend the home field and get the running game on track early and give Trace McSorley time to make some plays. Not having Bosa chase McSorley down is a plus for Penn State, but Ohio State’s depth will still give Ohio State an upper hand in terms of overall talent on the field Saturday night.

Chase Young started for Ohio State this past weekend against Tulane in place of the injured Bosa. He and Tyreke Smith figure to continue trying to plug the end in the meantime, while Dre’Mont Jones will continue to anchor the other end.

Nick Bosa is out this week for Ohio State vs. Tulane

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While making his first media appearance since his controversial appearance at Big Ten media day, Urban Meyer was faced with plenty of questions about his handling of the Zach Smith situation that resulted to his three-game suspension to start the season. But there was one football question mixed in at some point after nearly half an hour, focusing on the status of defensive star Nick Bosa.

Bosa will be out for this week’s home game against Tulane, Meyer said. After leaving Saturday night’s game against TCU with an injury, Meyer announced Bosa is receiving tests on an abdominal and groin injury.

Bosa has been one of the top defensive players in all of college football and was responsible for Ohio State’s first touchdown of the game against TCU by forcing a fumble that was recovered in the end zone.

How long Bosa remains out remains to be seen, but it is safe to assume Ohio State will manage just fine this week against Tulane in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State will hope Bosa can make a quick return though, because a road trip to Penn State is coming up the following week and Bosa could have an impact on that game.

With suspension over, Urban Meyer releases another statement on Twitter

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is no longer suspended by the university. Meyer, who served a three-game suspension after the university investigated information connected to Meyer and the allegations made against former wide receivers head coach Zach Smith, took to Twitter Monday morning to share the latest in a series of statements, following up his first sit-down interview with ESPN since his suspension.

Meyer thanked interim head coach Ryan Day, who navigated the Buckeyes to a 3-0 record in Meyer’s absence capped by Saturday night’s win against TCU in Arlington, the Ohio State coaching staff and players for performing well in his absence from gameday operations. Meyer also said he has taken his forced time off from the program to reflect on the entire situation regarding the handling of Smith and said he should have done a better job with addressing Smith as an Ohio State assistant and with the way he addressed the media at Big Ten media day.

This statement was shared directly by Meyer by way of his Twitter account and was not distributed through Ohio State’s sports department. Meyer is scheduled to meet with the media during the typical weekly scheduled this week with media opportunities at Ohio State and through the Big Ten coaches conference call. He will be asked about all of this but how much he tries to deflect the attention to Ohio State’s next game remains to be seen.

In an interview with Tom Rinaldi of ESPN, Meyer said he did not directly talk to Courtney Smith and he denied deleting any text messages from his phone.

Meyer will make his 2018 coaching debut when Ohio State faces Tulane this week at home. Meyer makes his first road trip of the season next week, at Penn State.

CFT 2018 Preseason Previews: The Big Ten

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For the first time in the brief history of the College Football Playoff, the Big Ten found itself without a playoff representative last season. But in 2018, the conference appears to be stocked with teams worthy of being on the playoff radar as the season begins and there are a handful of programs in the early stages of turning things around and growing with fresh new leadership over the past couple of seasons. Whoever comes out on top of the Big Ten will certainly have earned it given the road any school will have to travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship game, but will it end up being enough to justify waving the Big Ten flag in the College Football Playoff?

Ohio State has made the most trips to the playoff among Big Ten programs, including winning the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship, but the season begins with a dark cloud flying above Ohio Stadium with head coach Urban Meyer serving a three-game suspension. Fortunately, Ohio State should be in good position to weather the storm thanks to young offensive stars like J.K. Dobbins running the ball and Dwayne Haskins anointed as the starting quarterback. But it will be the defense, led by Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones on the defensive line, that carries Ohio State early on, including a road trip to Arlington to play TCU. Ohio State’s playoff bubble could hinge on the September schedule with the TCU game and a road trip to Penn State at the end of September.

Penn State was maddeningly close to making the playoff last year, but losing two games by a combined four points in back-to-back weeks leaves the football program hungry for more. And with Ohio State and Michigan State each coming to Happy Valley early in Big Ten play, James Franklin‘s Nittany Lions have a chance to make some noise early on despite a significant amount of turnover on defense and key losses on the offense. Despite the changes, having the Big Ten’s top quarterback in Trace McSorley should allow for some smooth transition while the rest of the pieces come together. Miles Sanders will not be Saquon Barkley, but he may not have to be running the football. Penn State’s best offensive line depth in years should be noticeable and a home schedule that also brings Wisconsin to Beaver Stadium puts Penn State in position to make a playoff case of their own.

Elsewhere in a stacked East Division is, of course, Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. Harbaugh may have the Big Ten’s top defense with players like Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich on the ends of the line and Lavert Hill playing corner. and the hope is transfer quarterback Shea Patterson will be a dramatic improvement for the entire offense. An early trip to Notre Dame should be a good litmus test for what the Wolverines will do this season. Meanwhile, Michigan State will continue to chug along and be a factor in the East race with 19 starters back from last year’s team.

Wisconsin has become the easy pick in the West Division, and they are a popular pick once again this season as the most reliable program in the West. But they are not without some potential hurdles as well. A challenging road schedule (Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State… Purdue?) and just three returning starters on defense to go with questionable quarterback consistency from Alex Hornibrook is a lot to counter-balance the expected strong running game led by a monster offensive line paving the way for sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor, a popular preseason Heisman Trophy favorite. The West is littered with programs in rebuilding modes like Minnesota, Purdue and now Nebraska with Scott Frost, but Northwestern is always ready to pull an upset or two and this could just be one of those years where Iowa makes a run.

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

BIG TEN EAST DIVISION

  1. Penn State
  2. Ohio State
  3. Michigan State
  4. Michigan
  5. Maryland
  6. Rutgers
  7. Indiana

BIG TEN WEST DIVISION

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Iowa
  3. Northwestern
  4. Minnesota
  5. Nebraska
  6. Purdue
  7. Illinois

IN SHORT: