Well, we knew the Buckeyes were talented this year, but it remained to be seen how the youngest team in college football would play early in the season. Bowling Green had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of a 77-10 thumping as Ohio State unleashed waves of talented players on both sides of the ball.
The offense moved the ball at will. JT Barrett got off to a slow start with an ugly pick-six, but quickly rebounded on his way to 349 yards and six touchdowns. Curtis Samuel flashed as expected with three TDs, including a 79-yarder off a slant. New starting running back Mike Weber ran for 136 yards on 19 carries, while Dontre Wilson chipped in two touchdowns.
Overall the offense generated a staggering 350 yards rushing and 416 yards passing for a school record 776 total yards. Meanwhile, the defense had a great day as well, holding Bowling Green to just 3 points.
This should be a fun year in Columbus, as the Buckeyes aren’t up against huge expectations like last year’s team that was loaded with senior talent and coming off a National Championship season. This Ohio State team is probably just as talented, and now it’s just a question of how fast it grows up. They took some giant first steps today.
We knew J.T. Barrett would have some growing pains after replacing the injured Braxton Miller, and some of that was on display as the Buckeyes opened the season again a scappy Navy squad and their annoying triple-option offense. Barrett threw an ill-advised INT in the red zone, and on one third and short ran the option very poorly as he pitched when he surely should have cut inside and run for an easy first down.
Still, Barrett flashed some of the attributes that had Buckeye coaches raving about him leading up to the opener. Well, maybe the word “flash” doesn’t apply to Barrett, but his performance indicated he can grow into the job.
That’s primarily because all the hype about Ohio State’s weapons on offense seems to be legitimate. Sure, there isn’t an established star like Carlos Hyde, but the Buckeyes can attack you with waves of talent. Guys like Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall will make defensive coordinators lose sleep at night, and all the of backs and wideouts look like legitimate threats as well. So as many have already pointed out, Barrett just needs to play his game and distribute the ball and he should be fine.
As for the defense, it’s hard to judge a team based on a game versus Navy as their offense offers a unique challenge. Virginia Tech isn’t really known for its offense but let’s see how the Buckeye D performs next week and we’ll start to see if the promised improvement takes shape.
So the Buckeyes avoided disaster in Baltimore and can start thinking about Virginia Tech.