Football

Buckeyes Humiliate Spartans in 48-3 Rout

Mike Webber vs. MSU

“Last week’s gone.”

Those were the words from Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer after the Buckeyes’ 48-3 shellacking of Michigan State on Saturday.

With all due respect to Coach Meyer, no it’s not.

In an eerie and unfair way, OSU’s complete domination of Michigan State brought flashbacks to last week’s horrific loss to Iowa. Admit it, the words, “Where the hell was this team last week?” ran through your mind more than once as the MSU game unfolded.

The answer to that question has as much to do with how this game went on as it did last week’s outcome, and it was Urban Meyer who gave the answer.

“This week we dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, last week we didn’t.”

And that, as much as anything, sums it up.  The Buckeyes absolutely owned both the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage against Michigan State. The result was a stunning 45-point demolition of MSU that was the worst loss in Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio’s head coaching career.

The Ohio State offensive line took no prisoners and that made room for tailbacks Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins to do something no other tailbacks have done this season — gash the MSU rush defense. Weber rushed for a career-high 162 yards on just nine carries (18.0 yards per attempt) and two touchdown, the most spectacular of which came on an 82-yard sprint in which he outran the entire MSU secondary to get to the end zone.

Dobbins meanwhile added 124 yards on the ground. For the game, OSU rushed for 335 yards against a Spartan defense that coming into the game had allowed just 783 total yards rushing in nine games this season, an average of 87 yards per game.

So yeah, owning the line of scrimmage helps the running game. It helps the passing game too. Quarterback J.T. Barrett had time to throw and went 14-for-21 for 183 yards and two touchdowns, though he did also throw two interceptions.

The defensive side of the ball was more of the same.

MSU could not run the ball against the OSU front that just completely dominated the line scrimmage. The Spartans ended the day with 64 total rushing yards on 34 attempts, just under two yards a try. The Buckeyes also pressured quarterback Brian Lewerke mercilessly. MSU’s passing game managed just 131 total yards despite being in the catch-up mode most the day.

Lewerke was intercepted twice, and the Buckeye defense accomplished all of this without two starting linebackers. Neither Dante Booker nor Jerome Baker played in the game, but Malik Harrison and Tuf Borland were able to get the job done behind a defensive line that kept them clean all game and allowed them to flow to the ball carrier.

So where was this team last week?  Urban Meyer didn’t answer that, but the week-to-week contrast between the Iowa and MSU games leaves no doubt that when the Buckeyes play well up front they can compete with — and even dominate — anyone. When they don’t play well up front, you get Iowa.

You probably aren’t quite satisfied. You are wondering “Why” a team can be so good or bad from week to week.

If I knew that I’d be making the big bucks.  One thing I know for sure though, is the Buckeyes have it in them to be very good every week when they can bring it on the offensive and defensive lines.

We’ll see if they can do that the rest of the season.

11 Responses

  1. Emotion is such a factor in football and difficult to predict. It’s beyond difficult to get a team up every week. Urban’s record speaks for itself. This was a great W after last weeks debacle.

  2. As I said ” the defensive line will either win or lose the game” We won!!

  3. The running attack is back. Thunder and lightening. Best it has looked all season. Offensive line did its job very well and Weber & Dobbins are awesome.

  4. yes last week sucked but this week was simply awesome and unexpected..never seen such an up an down OSU team!….root for chaos because it;s not over yet..it’s a longshot but with Auburn dominating GA, Washington losing, we need to..gulp..be Alabama fans and have them give Auburn it’s 3rd loss and Ga their (at least ) 2nd loss in the sec championship to keep 2 sec teams from getting in…and ..IF OSU can dominate scUM and Wisconsin they still crazily have an outside shot–but a shot for sure..this is a crazy college football season…..im proud of the way the Buckeyes came back this week and can tell the coaches actually did their job, unlike the week before–now they HAVE to keep this edge to them the rest of the year. GREAT win–go Bucks!!!…and about dang time the coaching staff stuck to the run game

  5. Really a terrible Iowa loss. Even if we win out an Take tournament, we have very little chance of being in the Championship Series without major collapse by several teams

  6. We can complain all we want about Urban, but that was the largest spread of OSU beating MSU EVER! After the game, I was saying, I’m glad he’s our head coach, and don’t leave any time soon. We can sit on our College football couch and analyze IA all we want, but that’s in the past. A few thoughts;

    1. OSU’s biggest play was keeping MSU from scoring on their first drive and the devastating sack of Lewerke. Notice that OSU’s D sent the message that MSU’s 2nd and 3rd rate TE’s weren’t going to burn us.
    2. OSU showed MSU that while they have motivated OH kids, they don’t sniff the talent OSU has and when this team focuses, they can play elite.
    3. We finally saw OSU’s run game blossom aided by JTB’s arm that expanded the field with speedy receivers.
    4. OSU’ D wasn’t going to allow MSU/Scott to rush or gash us, our DB’s forced Lewerke to be sharp which he didn’t have time to do. Btw, that’s with missing two LB’s.
    5. JTB’s passes left something to be desired. But he did make much better decision, mainly to take the 3-8 yard run then to force balls.
    6. Jones targeting was foolish, but why wasn’t the same rule applied to the devastating block placed on Hubbard?

  7. John, I’ve been reading the O-Zone for 19 of its 21 years of existence and this may be the most in-agreement I’ve ever been with you on an article. That’s EXACTLY what I thought multiple times and yes, it DOES suck that if Coach Meyer knows he isn’t telling.
    I’d guess last week WAS a “trap game” and that the Buckeyes were “hung over” from PSU.
    No hope of a Natty this year, but as long as they take care of business vs. Illinois, beat TTUN, win the B1G and their bowl, we’re good. Not asking for much, am I? XD

    1. Andrew- first things first, a well played game by OSU today, especially defensively. THIS is how they can play when its coaches actually plan rather than fall back on mantras. For example, letting the O line block rather than our coaches peeing their pants about MSU’s ‘great” run defense and trying all the peripheral nonsense that fails against good teams. A few points:
      1) JT’s passing still wasn’t very sharp, which is all the more reason to RUN our backs.
      2) Loved Denzel Ward today.
      3) MSU played today like we did vs Iowa last week.
      4) Once again, the total misapplication of “Targeting” leaves me scratching my head. Jones committed a personal foul but CLEARLY did not target. It wasn’t even close yet the officials missed AGAIN. Heck, they whistled one of our DBs simply because he hit a guy hard later in the game (which I thought was the point, right?) Even though they picked up the flag, its a bad sign it was even thrown. Big hit does NOT equal penalty. This rule needs REMOVED.
      5) The reason Meyer didn’t answer the question about where OSU was last week, is that HE was the reason (or a very, very large part of it). We won today because our offense finally broke the tendencies of his outmoded and predictable philosophy. This running back thing may not be so bad after all, eh coach?
      6) We need to do this in 2 weeks in an away environment (can’t call UM a hostile environment, as they aren’t particularly adept at protecting their home turf!) It was good to watch real OSU football again.

  8. I believe that the emotional drain from the Penn State game caused both teams to loss the following week. When adversity hit the Bucks there was very little in the tank to draw on. That in summary is the reason.

  9. Well they get Illinois next week, sooooooo! But then again, Illinois? Iowa? same damned level of talent of those rosters.

    This team is schizoid. That’s compounded by lousy coaching when the players are in the Jeckyl and Hyde frame of mind.

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