The Buckeye Watch — Florida A&M
by Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was the best of times for Ohio State and the worst of times for Florida A&M. While the overcast skies scattered as the game kicked off, that didn't stop the Buckeyes from raining touchdowns on the Rattlers for three hours on Saturday afternoon.
This was a game that never should have been scheduled, but it was, and the Buckeyes did exactly what they set out to do. Kenny Guiton set some more school records and the Buckeye offense looked as good as fans have always thought it should. (The problem is that some of them think it should always look like this regardless of opponent.)
The defense got the shutout and never took a play off. It was about as good of a performance as the coaches could have hoped for. The best thing about the game, however, was that no starters got hurt, and most everybody should be good to go next Saturday night against the Wisconsin Badgers.
9:57 Well, ESPN just reported that Braxton Miller won't play today. His next action will come against Wisconsin. Will he even start next week? Should he? The complexion of this game has just changed. Can Kenny Guiton's magic continue for another week? (I'm just kidding, it wouldn't take much for anybody's magic to continue this week. You could walk up to the Florida A&M defense and “pull a quarter out of their ear” and they'd completely freak out and start checking each other for skull change.)
11:00 Braxton Miller is not dressed, but Kenny Guiton and Cardale Jones are. All of them are throwing to receivers, but if Miller was going to play today, he would already be in uniform.
11:11 The team went back into the locker room. I bet Miller comes out dressed. They're just messing with Florida A&M right now. Just a little FCS hazing.
11:26 Ohio State is now confirming that Braxton is out. Cardale Jones is running with the twos in the drills going on right now.
11:36 Braxton told Urban Meyer that his knee just doesn't feel stable enough right now. This could all be a serious blessing for the Buckeyes as there's very little chance Miller will be able to leave early for the NFL now. The same thing happened when Joey Galloway was injured as a junior.
12:00 Florida A&M calls tails. They win the toss and take the ball. This will be as close to leading the game as they get.
12:01 Whoa. Chase Farris is starting for Michael Bennett. That's a pretty amazing transition for Farris, coming over from the offensive line six weeks or so ago. I assume Bennett is nursing some type of a slight injury, because he's on the sideline and dressed.
12:021 Oh man, Florida A&M gets a delay of game before their first play from scrimmage. Is it too early for a running clock?
12:04 The Rattlers go three and out. Wow, I think the punt just got blocked a bit. Nope, turns out that's just a bad punt. Perhaps it would've been better had it been blocked.
12:06 Third and goal. Kenny Guiton rolls to the left and throws an interception in the endzone, but this little dude is bringing it out of the endzone and he fumbles it and it's recovered by Ohio State. You can't be terrible just by being bad, you also have to play dumb too. Buckeyes get the ball back at the FAMU three-yard line.
12:07 Florida A&M calls a timeout because they are challenging the ruling. It will stand, no worry there. Guiton should've thrown that into the back of the endzone. Instead, he tried to place it in Heuerman's hands rather than letting Heuerman go and get it.
12:08 With Guiton struggling like this, is it time to go to Cardale?
12:10 Touchdown Jordan Hall right up the middle. He got hit at the two and landed a yard into the endzone. Buckeyes are running through tackles today. I can only imagine what Carlos Hyde is going to do. Ohio State leads it 7-0. That drive took one play, went three yards and lasted four seconds.
12:12 The kickoff goes out of bounds, and I'm a little surprised that FAMU didn't try to field the kick and then fall out of bounds.
12:14 Three and out. I hope you don't mind if I skip over FAMU's offense. Here's the punt...and Philly Brown could bring it all the way back, but he gets stopped around the 20-yard line. That was a 65-yard return. The Buckeyes will have now started in FAMU territory for a third time today. This is already ridiculous.
12:16 Guiton rolls out, finds Jeff Heuerman who levels a dude at the goal line for the touchdown. Swinging gate for the extra point gets stopped. That's probably going to be FAMU's best victory of the day. Ohio State leads it 13-0.
12:24 Three and out. Time to punt. It's blocked by Doran Grant, and the Buckeyes will start yet another drive inside the 30-yard line. Isn't anybody going to stop this?
12:25 Guiton drops back and hits Evan Spencer in the corner of the endzone for a diving touchdown. That was pretty close to being an interception as well. Oh well, Buckeyes lead it 20-0 and have once again scored three touchdowns in the first quarter.
12:32 FAMU goes three and out (duh) and they punt. This time the Buckeyes will have to start from their own 25-yard line. Let's see if they can move the ball against this Rattler defense.
12:35 Guiton is pitching and catching with his receivers. He just found Devin Smith for 11 more yards. This is boringly easy. Or easily boring. I'm not sure which.
12:36 I do like the way they are just throwing the ball around. They know they won't be throwing it in the second half, and they need to get as many reps for the passing game as they can.
12:37 Fourth and one. Carlos Hyde enters the game to a nice ovation. Great, that's just what the Buckeyes need today against an overmatched opponent – their best running back. Hyde pushes forward for four yards.
12:45 First and goal. Hyde is still in. Guiton rolls out and shovels it to Hyde for the touchdown. Hyde was wide open at the line of scrimmage. How does that happen at the goal line? Shouldn't there be like 18 players smashing into each other right there? Buckeyes lead it 27-0.
12:47 Oh come on, Bradley Roby intercepts a pass and returns it 42 yards to the FAMU five-yard line. This is starting to feel like the Buckeyes are punishing Gene Smith through their pummeling of Florida A&M. “You see what you're making us do?! Do you see!??!!”
12:48 Well, the good thing is that even though they're out on the field for a fifth or sixth time, there's no way the FAMU defense can be tired. Guiton drops back and throws it up for Devin Smith, who hauls the pass in for a touchdown over the defender's head. The Buckeyes lead it 34-0.
12:49 By the way, that touchdown guarantees that Ohio State is going to win this game because Devin Smith has never caught a touchdown in a loss. Kenny Guiton is now 17-23 for 144 yards passing with four touchdowns. This is still the first freaking quarter.
12:51 We have reached the end of the first quarter, and the nation rejoices. Buckeyes lead it 34-0, though it may as well be 100-0...or 3-0...there's really no difference. Florida A&M isn't scoring today.
12:55 Third and nine. Chase Farris on the sack! He has played extremely well on the defensive line in a short span of time. It's impressive what Mike Vrabel has been able to do with his defensive line, and it probably makes Urban Meyer wonder why similar things aren't happening at linebacker. FAMU punts.
1:00 Guiton hands it off to Jordan Hall who finds a nice hole and then uses a referee like a fullback to spring him into the endzone for a touchdown! The press box bursts into laughter at a ref getting what every ref deserves. Buckeyes lead it 41-0 and at this point you just hope that FAMU knows that it's nothing personal.
1:08 Three and out. FAMU punts. Cardale Jones is in the huddle, but so is Kenny. Probably talking about all of this candy they keep stealing from this baby.
1:11 Tommy Brown is now in at right tackle. In fact, there are four new offensive linemen, with Marcus Hall being the lone starter in the game. Hyde picks up four yards, but misses a huge hole. That's why you have to get him some reps today. He has to be ready for Wisconsin.
1:13 There he goes. Carlos Hyde just broke some tackles and dragged defenders for 21 yards. FAMU was trying to wrangle him, and he wasn't having it. You can lead a Hyde to water, but you can't make him not run over you.
1:15 Third and six. Guiton drops back and finds Chris Fields in the endzone for his fifth touchdown pass, which ties the Ohio State single-game record. Ohio State leads it 48-0 and I'm wondering how much of the second half I'll need to cover here.
1:20 Florida A&M gets their first first down of the game! There is 5:22 to play in the second quarter. What an amazing sight to behold. I think I'm actually crying. We've got a game now!
1:22 FAMU goes six and out. They punt.
1:23 Guiton is still in there. He gives the ball to Rod Smith who busts out to the 41-yard line. That was a 26-yard run, and then he slid down in bounds to perhaps keep the clock running.
1:28 First and 10 from the 15-yard line. Empty set. Guiton has all day to throw, pumps, then flicks the ball to a wide open Evan Spencer. There was nobody within 10 yards of him. It's 55-0 and Kenny Guiton is the Ohio State single-game record holder for TD passes in a game with six.
1:33 That's the half. It's 55-0. How much more do you need? Does your blood lust know no quenching?
1:34 I'm surprised Evan Spencer wasn't called for a three-second violation on that last touchdown.
1:40 Ohio State is averaging 37.75 points in the first half this season. That would be good for 40th overall in the nation for an entire game.
1:52 There is no need to bring Kenny Guiton back out. You know what he can do. Plus, how many interceptions do you want him to throw before his confidence is blown?
1:56 Game on. Zeke Elliott and James Clark are back to return. Interesting, the second stringers are already in. The kickoff goes out of bounds. Smart.
1:56 Cardale Jones comes into the game. He has Elliott behind him. Jones keeps the ball and it's a sweep to the right. He picks up 10 yards. James Clark is down and hurt. This doesn't look good. Yes, he still has his redshirt available to him if this is the type of injury that would warrant it. They're bringing out the cart for him. Jalin Marshall now has his helmet on, but I would be shocked if he went out there.
2:05 Fourth and four. Jones drops back, looks, looks and scrambles for 13 yards. He made one man miss and then cut it back in. Every touchdown this half may need to come with an apology and perhaps some gift cards to Chipotle or something.
2:06 There's Elliott's first career touchdown. He broke a tackle and then raced into the endzone. His speed was too much for the defense. Kyle Clinton with the extra point. Buckeyes now lead it 62-0. It will at least be fun to get a look at Elliott and Warren Ball this half.
2:10 What? Cardale Jones is headed off the field and up into the tunnel towards the locker room. Kenny Guiton will have to come back into the game apparently.
2:16 Florida A&M's punt bounces out of bounds at the 10-yard line. I'm only partially paying attention because I'm on the verge of winning three straight games of solitaire for the first time ever.
2:17 Guiton is back in the huddle. Jones did in fact leave the game. Elliott picks up six yards and he looks close to breaking one.
2:21 And there he goes...but he gets dragged down at the nine-yard line. I believe that was 58 yards down the right sideline. Man, he gets to the edge quickly.
2:22 Elliott gets it again and he bounces it wide and skates into the endzone from nine yards out, but that will be coming back because of a hold.
2:23 Elliott now with 121 yards rushing as he takes it to the left and scores from 13 yards out. Who was the last OSU freshman running back to rush for 100 yards? Beanie Wells? Actually, I don't think he ever did. Oh, and the Buckeyes lead it 69-0.
2:37 I've been spending some time researching. It looks like the answer is Antonio Pittman in 2004. I think I've missed some of this game. I bet FAMU punted. Oh, and here they are to punt again. Wow, it's a 78-yarder and easily their play of the game. In fact, this punter is also their player of the game.
2:45 Elliott picks up 21 more yards breaking tackles to the right side. He's obviously very talented, but at this point most of today's stats have to be chalked up to A&M's defense. I don't expect this to be Elliott's career high by the time he's a senior, however.
2:48 Okay, I'm heading down towards the field. Let's just be cool with this being the end of today's Buckeye Watch. I'm sure I'll miss six more touchdowns as I wait for the elevators, but nobody is keeping track anymore anyway.
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