Football Hayes & Cannon

Hayes Gaze and Cannon Fodder: Maryland

If you are not an Ohio State fan, Saturday’s game against Maryland was very entertaining. There were explosive plays, a lot of back-and-forth lead changes, and some great football. There also was some terrible defense from an Ohio State team that has not played a lot of great defense in 2018.

Somehow, Ohio State escaped College Park with the win. A conference win on the road before rivalry week is a good win, no matter how ugly it is. I will take it, the good and the bad.

That being said, lets take a look at each, and hand out some post-game awards! Here is this week’s Hayes Gaze and Cannon Fodder:

Hayes Gaze

If you take off the Ohio State – Scarlet glasses, there were positives in Saturday’s game against Maryland. Dwayne Haskins set a couple more single season records. He also is credited with 15 carries against the Terps. It was a positive seeing Haskins carry the ball on read options, something we haven’t seen since last year against Michigan.

However, the biggest piece of the win on Saturday for the Buckeyes was J.K. Dobbins.

All through the game, there was a confusion as to what happened to Mike Weber. Was he suspended or being punished? Was he injured? Did the Ohio State staff forget about him like they did Ezekiel Elliot against Michigan State a few years ago? Somewhere around Dobbins’ 25th carry, we finally figured out Weber was hurt.

But Dobbins showed on Saturday that he is “The Man”. His 203 yards rushing was easily is career best. The 5.5 yards per carry reminds the Buckeye faithful of his performances last season when he took the Big Ten by storm.

But it was more than that. Dobbins got stronger as the game went on. He ran harder. He was more explosive. Did he develop some kind of superpower? I don’t think so. However, he finally got into a rhythm, at a time when Ohio State needed it most.

I don’t expect Ohio State to have a single running back with 200 yards rushing this weekend. But for the first time all season, OSU’s opponent has to actually prepare for a rushing attack.

As such, this week’s Hayes Gaze is cast lovingly upon the sophomore from La Grange, Texas. Number 2 in the program and number 1 in our eyes, JK Dobbins!

Cannon Fodder

For as great as the Ohio State offense played, there were spots on defense just as bad or worse.

There is no way that any Ohio State team should be giving up nearly 300 yards rushing to any single Maryland running back.

In no world should any non-basketball team from Maryland ever score 50+ points on an Ohio State team.

And it all goes back to the linebacker play. Particularly, Tuf Borland and Pete Werner. Far too often on Saturday, one of these two were either not in a position to make a play, or made a bad play.

For Werner, I had to double check if he was even playing Saturday. He had the quietest 5 tackles and forced fumble I have ever witnessed.

Tuf, on the other hand, was on the field a lot and his play was noticed by everyone. More times than not, he took bad angles on bad reads to bad spots and moved himself out of the play. Multiple times, he was seen trying to duck behind and under blocks, which took him out of the play. And if this defense needs one thing in 2018, it is for linebackers to be around a play.

Looking Ahead

This is easily the best Michigan team that Ohio State fans have seen in a long time. They are playing the best “Michigan” football that most Buckeye fans have seen since before Tressel was hired. The defense from Michigan will be the best defense Ohio State has played this entire year.

Can Ohio State move the ball on Michigan? Absolutely. The talent on offense for Ohio State is deep enough they can and will create positive plays. Can the Silver Bullets slow down a potent Michigan rushing attack and a sneaky good passing game? I am not so sure.

Super early prediction? I feel dirty and hope I am wrong. Michigan 37 – Ohio State 35

Go Bucks! O-H!


“Hayes Gaze and Cannon Fodder” is the weekly look at the good and bad for Ohio State football from Mike Meals. Each week, Mike will look at the good of the week with a loving Hayes Gaze, and at what was the Cannon Fodder at best. You can also catch Mike along with Hayes & Cannon Content Manager/Writer Brandon Zimmerman on the weekly episodes of “The Sons of Schmidt” podcast on the Ozone Radio Network. Follow Mike on twitter (@mmeals)

4 Responses

  1. Actually, there were not back and forth lead changes. The only time the Buckeyes lead was in overtime.

  2. After the Nebraska game I predicted wins over both schools from the up north state but though we might lose to MD. I didn’t see how we could lose to MD both thought we might.
    I don’t see how we well win this week however we shall prevail!!

  3. I truly enjoy reading your column each week! I believe you give an honest assessment to the Buckeye’s playing each week and I find it very insightful and entertaining. However, this week there is a glaring error that makes you seem like a novice Buckeye writer. I don’t know if your auto-correct was in high gear or what, but #20 on this years team is Peter Werner, not Warner! Go Bucks!!

    1. Becky, thank you for the kind comments. I truly appreciate it.

      As for the typo, I have to accredit that to autocorrect. But we’ve got the correction up now. Thank you!

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