Ohio State’s 28-17 win over Penn State on Saturday was far from perfect, which might lead to a record number of Peeves this week.
I don’t know what the record is, but it’s probably proportional to the Buckeyes’ margin of victory. And with this being the smallest margin this season by double — or half? — there’s probably some harsh criticisms coming.
Sure, the Buckeyes got out to a 21-0 lead, but it should have been 28-0 and it never should have ever gotten to 21-17.
But there were some positives as well.
At least on the defensive line.
I have to give a Buckeye Leaf to Chase Young. But I also think there are a lot more guys on the defense who deserve leaves. Ryan Day talked all week about how each play would matter and there were a few guys on Saturday who stepped up to make big-time plays in a big-time game on that side of the ball. I think Zach Harrison deserves a leaf, Justin Hilliard, Baron Browning, and Jashon Cornell. Their efforts and big plays can’t go unnoticed.
Buckeye Leaf for JK Dobbins. He was front and center into a backasswards game plan and he carried this offense today.
Look, it’s really hard to be upset after a Top 10 win, but I’ve got a peeve for the play calling. Penn State came into this game with a very strong rush defense and a lousy pass defense which had been fleeced by subpar quarterbacks in the last two weeks. For some reason, the coaching staff decided to run JK Dobbins and Justin Fields 57 times! It worked, but it subjected the two best players on offense to more hits than they have faced at any points of their college careers. Not surprisingly, Fields was banged up by the end of the game. This game was harder than it needed to be. The coaching staff is to blame for that. Great win. Not the greatest coaching performance we have seen from Ryan Day.
I’m giving a leaf to each of the guys who wear No. 2 again because I’m unaware of any limits on my leaf-giving powers and also because they both excelled in the game.
I’m giving my peeves to a coaching staff that watched Penn State’s defense give up 700 passing yards in two games and decided to run it 61 times. It worked, I guess, but I didn’t have to like it.
Leaves to the pair of deuces on the Ohio State roster who played tremendously well against Penn State at crucial times — Chase Young and J.K. Dobbins. Young was as dominant as possible, even with blatant holds not being called by the officials. Yes, Dobbins had a costly fumble, but his 157 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns were the steady part of the offense against the Nittany Lions.
Peeves for the careless fumbling that allowed Penn State to get back into the game. Ball security must be paramount for this week’s preparation for THE GAME.
Peeves for the offensive play calling in the second half that was predictable. Ohio State cannot play like that at That Team Up North next week against a better defensive opponent in the Wolverines.
My R-S-T-L-N-and-E Buckeye leaf goes to Chase Young because duh. He is the best college football player I think I’ve seen since Orlando Pace. Even when the crowd is at its loudest, you can still hear a quarterback’s spleen cry out for help.
Leafs also to linebackers, every single one.
A leaf to Ryan Day for spreading the offense out and finally getting the most out of Justin Fields’ ability to run.
A rare peeve to Fields for taking a bit long to throw his deep balls and thereby underthrowing Chris Olave a few times.