The Buckeye Watch: Ohio State Shutout Leaves Cincinnati Chilly

Baron Browning Ohio State Buckeyes Linebacker

Just as somebody probably predicted somewhere, the Ohio State Buckeyes put it to the Cincinnati Bearcats and came away with a 42-0 shutout win.

Justin Fields was accurate, JK Dobbins was explosive, the receivers were open, the offensive line was suggestive, and the defensive line was not.

The back seven continues to look like they should look — fast, ferocious, and flying to the football.

All is good in Columbus right now. Many expected some struggles this week for the Buckeyes before they eventually pulled free. Those struggles never really materialized, which is a pretty good sign moving forward.

10:35 I’m a little bit surprised that Tyler Friday was listed ahead of Tyreke Smith in the depth chart this week, but I’d remind you that Jonathon Cooper was also listed ahead of Chase Young to start the year last season as well. Both are going to play, provided Smith is full go.

10:48 Today is an opportunity for JK Dobbins to get back on the good side of Buckeye fans who have grown to doubt him. He needs to make some yards on his own, rather than continuing to just get a little more than the bare minimum from what his offensive line allows.

10:53 I ran out of time last night to write about it, but today is either the day that Justin Fields announces his presence to the rest of the nation, or the day he shows that he’s still just a true sophomore making his second career start and there is still more construction to be done here in Rome.

11:29 Urban Meyer just said on the FOX pregame show that he knows Ryan Day shut down the game plan after the Buckeyes went up 28-0 last week and held plenty of stuff back for this week. He also said that OSU has likely been preparing for Cincinnati in camp because they opened with a lesser opponent like Florida Atlantic.

11:36 First-team DEs warming up are Chase Young and Tyler Friday. Twos are Tyreke Smith and Zach Harrison.

11:44 I’ve got the Michigan game ready to go on my phone because I plan to be super-bored by this Cincinnati game.

12:03 Cincinnati wins the toss, so OSU will get the ball. I’m not sure which way the wind is blowing. The flag is twisted around the pole. It’s amazing that flag technologies have not advanced since Betsy Ross invented them back in 1776.

12:08 Justin Fields takes off and picks up a first down on second and seven but it’s coming back because of a hold by Jonah Jackson. I knew it was dangerous signing an offensive lineman from New Jersey who “fell off the back of a truck.”

12:10 Drue Christman punts and Chris Olave waits for it to bounce to him at the 1-yard line. That’s some stellar execution that is going to put the Bearcats in an impossible situation.

12:17 KJ Hill drops another pass as he gets hit. That’s two in two weeks, though I’m not sure his foot was actually in bounds. If he drops another pass next week, it might be time for an intervention. “KJ, I think you know why we’re all here.”

12:20 First and goal from the 7-yard line. Will they pound it in to make a point? Nope, well…sort of. Fields faked the hand-off, but then took off up the middle for the touchdown. He got hit hard at the goal line. He sticks his arm up and gets pulled to his feet. That was pretty easy. Buckeyes lead it 7-0 with 8:58 to play in the first quarter.

12:21 Ohio State is currently 14 points off of their 45-point pace from last week. Not good.

12:24 Army just scored. Prepare for chaos.

12: 25 Nice 21-yard gain to the tight end just over Malik Harrison’s hands. Good throw by Desmond Ridder. That’s an example of just how precise a quarterback needs to be in order to get something on this pass defense.

12:27 Third and nine. Ridder drops back and gets sacked by Chase Young. Or Davon Hamilton. Or Malik Harrison. I guess that’s a good thing to try and figure out who got a sack for a change.

12:30 Fields hits KJ Hill on a corner route for a big gain, but then he gets the ball ripped out and Cincinnati recovers it. There’s a penalty. Holding on defense, so the Buckeyes get bailed out. Do we bring this up at KJ’s intervention? I’m not sure.

12:33 Pass into the flats for Austin Mack. I’ll call that a “power swing pass” and Mack fights for eight yards.

12:34 Fields keeps it for one and slides down on his back like he’s getting ready to breakdance. He doesn’t even have a sheet of cardboard with him. Is he crazy? (He’s still a better slider than Dwayne Haskins.)

12:35 Fourth and one.  Justin Fields goes empty, he gets hit early and falls just short of the first down on the counter keeper to the left. Good thing Ohio State has started going under center so they can ignore the quarterback sneak and infuriate even more people.

12:44 Cincinnati running back Michael Warren picks up a yard before Baron Browning wraps him up and throws him down. What a difference a year (and some new coaches) have made on Browning’s play as a Buckeye. He’s noticeable. In fact, he’s dang hard to miss.

12:45 Roughing the quarterback by Tommy Togiai on third and seven. Kind of a weak call. Not a super-smart game today for the Buckeyes, but that was an iffy call. Also, say what you want, but any time a nose tackle runs that far, they should be allowed to hit a quarterback at least a little.

12:47 No doubt about that one! Tyreke Smith pummels Ridder on the sack and I have no idea how he didn’t force a fumble right there. That was a breadbasket blast. Cincinnati’s offensive tackles are in for a long day.

12:48 Bearcats are attempting a 31-yard field goal. It’s blocked by Chase Young or freshman lineman Dawand Jones. Looks like Young. Interesting that they have the big freshman Jones in on field goal blocks. To me, he’s still a guy you have to redshirt, but we’ll see if they let him get past three games early in the season.

12:50 I wouldn’t mind seeing Master Teague get a series at some point. Ooh, beautiful back-shoulder throw to Binjimen Victor for 20 yards to get them out of field position danger. That was easy yardage. Victor and Fields are becoming a pretty good duo.

12:53 Big hole for Dobbins for about 24 yards. Nice blocking out wide by the receivers. Things are happening with the running game.

1:02 Four wide. JK Dobbins goes right up the middle untouched for the 4-yard touchdown run. Buckeyes lead it 14-0 with 9:40 to play in the half. Ohio State is doing a better job of stopping themselves than UC has done today.

1:03 I’ve been impressed with Fields so far. He’s 11-13 for 129 yads and 5-28 rushing. No nerves. Doesn’t seem caught up in his biggest opponent of the season so far. But then he did play in the SEC East, so he’s seen similar talent to Florida Atlantic and Cincinnati before.

1:06 Shaun Wade on another slot blitz, this time he forces a fumble, but for at least the third time this season the Buckeyes fail to recover. Wade even made a pass rush move on that one.

1:14 KJ Hill goes in motion, JK Dobbins gets the ball and there is a hole the size of 315 and Dobbins has the highway all to himself as he races the last defender into the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown run. That’s his first run of 50+ yards since the Big Ten Championship Game his freshman season. Buckeyes lead it 21-0 and this running game has answered every question we went into the day with.

1:17 Well, 21-0, time to shut things down.

1:18 Desmond Ridder is hurt after a run. Ben Bryant in at QB now. This isn’t going to help the comeback attempt for the Bearcats.

1:18 Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about this defense today. Michael Warren was given the ball, the Buckeyes lost contain for a brief moment, and Warren was only able to get three yards out of it. This defense doesn’t make catastrophic mistakes because they run to the ball so well.

1:19 Bryant drops back, Chase Young gets held like a purse in a bad neighborhood. Wade blows up the pass and it lands right into Young’s hands, but he drops it. That could have been a pick six and it would have been a Heisman moment for Chase Young.

1:23 Justin Fields pumps it, scrambles, calls his shot and throws it deep to Chris Olave who picks up 39 yards. Olave got pushed out of bounds on the scramble drill, but he came back in and they’re going to give him the catch. Man, Fields is looking good.

1:25 Third and eight. Fields throws a flatfooted fade to Garrett Wilson and there was never a doubt. Touchdown Buckeyes. Wilson’s first career catch is a fade in the end zone over a cornerback. This surprises no one. Wilson is the world’s tallest 6-foot receiver. Buckeyes lead it 28-0 for the second week in a row.

1:32 Ohio State will get the ball back with 1:14 to play. Day likes to talk about being aggressive and not letting up. We’ll see what he does here.

1:35 The Buckeyes have run out the clock and that’s probably okay. There is no difference between being up 28-0 or 31-0 or 35-0, but there is a huge difference between 28-0 and 28-7.

1:43 The second quarter box score should be put in an art museum. JK Dobbins rushed for 117 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns, and Justin Fields completed 7-of-7 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. And the Bearcats managed 54 total yards. But they did win the time of possession battle 9:26 to 5:31. I don’t know who got the missing three seconds.

1:56 Warren for four yards. Even when he gets room, it’s only four yards. Last year, those go and go and go.

1:59 Third and seven. Josh Proctor comes into the game to get the interception. Desmond Ridder sees Proctor, obviously diagnoses the need to not throw the ball his way, and calls for the snap. Malik Harrison comes on the blitz and Chase Young just saved Ridder’s life by sacking him before Harrison could get there. Chase Young, humanitarian.

2:02 Justin Fields rolls out, sidearms it to KJ Hill for another first down. That’s a pretty nifty throw. He altered his arm angle to get it around the outside defender. This dude is comfortable right now.

2:05 Army is about to make it 21-7 over Michigan. This would not be good for the Buckeyes.

2:06 A hearty cheer as the scoreboard shows the Michigan score as OSU fans are imploring the Wolverines to get back into the game.

2:18 Buckeyes run it on third and seven with Master Teague and he fights and carries the defense for 12 yards. He’s getting a good sweat going. His next carry goes for 13 through a massive hole on the left side down to the 2-yard line.

2:22 JK Dobbins comes back into the game with a second and goal from the 4-yard line. He provides a tremendous lead block for Justin Fields who takes it in for the score and gives Ohio State a 35-0 lead with 3:32 to play.

2:25 UC attacks Damon Arnette downfield and he’s there, but the throw is absolutely perfect for the 46-yard gain. Arnette was looking back, and got his hand in there, but there was nothing he could do to mar perfection.

2:28 First and goal from the 9-yard line. Shaun Wade pops the pass up in the air and Tuf Borland comes down with it!

2:33 Borland gets tackled around the UC 45-yard line after a 50-yard return. Get that man some oxygen. And somebody get Shaun Wade another Buckeye leaf.

2:44 Third and goal from the 5-yard line. Fields rolls out and finds KJ Hill for the touchdown. Buckeyes lead it 42-0. Those rollouts on the quick outs have been impossible to stop today.

2:48 Not gonna lie, I’m watching Michigan now. Welcome to the Wolverine Watch!

2:50 Third and nine. Baron Browning and Brendon White on the quarterback sack. Haven’t seen much of White or the Bullets today, it seems. If that is true, it just further shows the versatility of this defense.

2:54 Chugs is in, which is my signal to start heading down to the field. This was a surprising performance in that the Buckeyes did what they were capable of doing against a quality opponent, but it is far from a surprise that this is what they were capable of doing.

6 Responses

  1. Absolutely the best! I missed this the last year or so. It is funny and always brings a smile to my face. Thanks for bringing it back.

  2. Tony, you should cut and paste your 1:03 report
    for your resume-genuine (and true).

  3. Thank you for keeping the Buckeye Watch alive and well. It’s been a very good part of the Ozone for many years.

  4. Thanks Gerd! My 2nd favorite weekly, only topped by the Tip Sheet!
    If defense keeps going the way it’s going, you might have to bring back the Monday Morning Quarterback Club too!

    1. If I’m not mistaken, Cliff Kingsbury was a member of that club, wasn’t he?

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