Football Hayes & Cannon

The Grumpy Old Buckeye: OSU vs. Rutgers

Chase Young Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Welcome back, friends. In case you’re new to the Grumpy Old Buckeye, this column aims to be the voice of negativity, even when things are generally pretty great. I’ll point out the things from each game that make me want to walk out onto my lawn in my bathrobe and yell at people about it.

This week, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, we’re talking Ohio State vs. Rutgers.

You’re Late

I had to wait until 3:37 p.m. to get a look at the Buckeyes because something called a “Purdue” was busy giving up a late, game-winning field goal to a directional MAC school. Whatever a Purdue is, it delayed my Saturday dose of gratification by multiple minutes, and for that, those Boilers should drive their choo-choo right into a wall. Then again, maybe they already did and that wall was called Eastern Michigan.

More Punt Return Wackiness

We saw Demario McCall on punt returns right away this week and maybe we shouldn’t have. McCall muffed his first attempt. He had another issue fielding a punt a bit later in the game before giving way to C.J. Saunders. McCall is a dynamic player, but if he can’t catch punts, he shouldn’t be returning them. Saunders had trouble with his first one because he was interfered with. Again. When Saunders finally got an opportunity to field one, he had a nice 20-yard return that nearly went to the house. I’m OK with Saunders being the returner if he’s got the better hands. Yes, I want to see McCall more too, but the punt returner’s priority is to catch the dang ball.

Sack Shutout Ends

The Buckeyes’ offensive line finally allowed a sack. Thayer Munford was beaten inside and J.K. Dobbins didn’t pick up his blitzer on the play. That’s a bad combination. Dwayne Haskins can only do Dwayne Haskins things if he’s upright in the backfield. The line play has been pretty good this season (so far) but the competition level isn’t nearly as high as it will get in the weeks to come.

Forward > Backward

Interceptions are great, but they are less great when the defender who makes the play decides to run backward to try to make a hero play (then fails to do so). Kendall Sheffield’s interception in the second quarter was a fine play but then he lost yards on the return. Ohio State got a bit conservative with the field position and failed to pick up a first down on the ensuing drive. Sure, the game was lopsided by then, but this situation could arise again down the line against better competition. Better field position gives coaches more confidence to call any play in the book.

Sheffield also dropped an easy interception in the third quarter. More on that later.

Young Player Makes Young Mistakes

After two offside calls in the opener (while looking down the line of scrimmage at the ball), Chase Young took with another dumb penalty in the second quarter when he spiked the ball after his strip sack of Art Sitkowski. It was pretty weak as spikes go, but it was an unsportsmanlike penalty call and it didn’t have to happen.

The officials made me twice as grumpy on the play by not noticing that Sitkowski was lucky to have his skull, let alone the ball, at the end of the play. Despite the ball being dislodged, apparently there wasn’t enough video evidence to overturn the call. To make matters worse, Sitkowski got destroyed by Bosa a couple of plays later and was injured. That unfortunate situation could have been prevented had the fumble been called correctly because the Rutgers offense would have been off the field.

To make matters even worse than that, Young got another silly penalty for running onto the field to celebrate Shaun Wade’s interception in the fourth quarter. That was his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game and he was ejected for two easily preventable mistakes.

Cracking the Goose Egg

Ohio State’s shutout streak of more than three games against Rutgers came to an end on the Scarlet Knights’ first drive of the second half. Rutgers had a backup quarterback in the game and the defense either let up or came out of the locker room flat for the second straight week. I’m not sure which is more irritating but both are bad. The aforementioned dropped pick by Sheffield prevented the Buckeyes from prolonging that streak, as the field goal came just a few plays after Sheffield’s drop.


McCall had a chance to make up for his punt return issues when he returned a kickoff in the third quarter. He made a nice move and a burst of speed to get by most of the coverage team, and with only the kicker to beat…he didn’t. Let me say that again: Demario McCall allowed the kicker to tackle him in the open field. SMH.

That’s what stood out to me in the Buckeyes’ romp against Rutgers. Obviously the good outweighed the bad by a mile, including Tate Martell’s amazing run, the bombs to Johnnie Dixon, and plenty of Nick Bosa destruction.

Things get a bit tougher now and I might be a bit grumpier after next week’s matchup with TCU.

14 Responses

  1. Run blocking was off this game for some.reason.

  2. Special teams are better so far. No kicks out of bounds and seem very consistent. Place kicking seems solid. Now need consistent hands for the punt. I hope we already found him. LBs are still a big question. They will still make big.mistakes and the way we are calling the defensive line strange sometimes. We seem to vacate the middle and count on the DL to make the tackle. If.we.miss, long run. Really strange. Get Mc.Call the ball in space and watch what he can do.

  3. Pump the Brakes – that was Tongue in Cheek – there are those who were adamant that we kept the wrong guy. I still think they are waiting for Dwayne to fail. I’m not one of them. But they are less vocal than normal. Go Bucks!

  4. Does Young still think he is playing in high school??? Spiking the ball because you did what you earned a scholarship for doing??? Then, like you were still in high school you ran onto the field in a blow-out game??? Sounds like someone needs to mature pretty fast! Maybe a little bench time might cure some of that immaturity.

  5. If Joe Burrow was better, why did he leave?

  6. I think the officials benched him (Young) and he was no help to the team. Also, I think Mike Weber got home run happy. Seems he was trying to get the big one on every carry. Take your 3-5 yards when it’s there. Also, I’m grumpy ’cause we’re not talking about why a clearly better Joe Burrow (who absolutely beat out Haskins and is far more accurate) is not Quarterbacking the Bucks. He looked so much better than Haskins in his debut with LSU. We kept the wrong guy.

    1. What? Compare the stats between Burrow and Haskins for the first, second, or first and second games combined, and it’s not even close. So far this season through 2 games:

      Joe Burrow: 21 of 44 (47.7%) for 291 and 2 TDs / 118.3 QBR

      Dwayne Haskins: 42 of 53 (79.2%) and 9 TDs, 1 INT / 218.0 QBR

    2. Burrow was 11-24 for 140 yards with 0 TDs and 0 INTs in his debut with LSU. Haskins was 22-30 for 313 yards with 5 TDs and 1 INT. He set a record for most yards and TDs in a first start for a Buckeye QB. I’m curious as to why you think Burrow looked so much better than Haskins.

      1. See my note above – this was a Tongue in Cheek response to the legions of Burrow fans who thought the CEO and his OC’s were clueless. Burrow was and is a good QB and a Spring Time QB savant – but we know how that works when the bodies are flying and first teamers are being – well first teamers. Nevertheless I wish him well – but when its all said and done -I’ll take UM over the guy down in Baton Rouge any day – meaning he knows what the heck he’s doing.

        1. Dammit. Been undone by my own specialty. LOL.

    3. The two games I watched show haskins has tremendous accuracy. Anyone saying Burrow is FAR more accurate is simply ludicrous .

  7. Young needs to be benched until he learns how to control his emotions. He’s no help to the team if he get ejected and commits stupid penalties.

Comments are closed.