25 words or fewer: Definition of you've made it in major-college football: winning any game 38-0 and having people question what went wrong. The Buckeyes have made it.
25 words or fewer
Definition of you've made it in major-college football: winning any game 38-0 and having people question what went wrong. The Buckeyes have made it.
In the polls
Ohio State maintained its tight grip on No.1 in the coaches poll, again holding 62 of the 63 first-place votes. The Buckeyes lost their unanimous hold on No.1 in the Associated Press media poll, getting 59 first-place votes, and look who has the other two: Michigan State, which sits No.4 behind Alabama and Texas Christian. Just like in 2006, when Ohio State and Michigan were on a collision course that whole season for "the game of the century," plots now have been set for Michigan State at Ohio State on Nov.21.
>>Dispatchcollege football writer Todd Jones answers your questions about Ohio State, the Big Ten and whatever else is on your mind during our weekly chat, 1 p.m. Thursday, dispatch.com/osuchat
The Ohio State defense, which completed a shutout against a team whose forte is the forward pass. Remember just a couple of years ago when a team that could throw had at least a scorer's chance against the Buckeyes? With Joey Bosa back next to Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt, Tyquan Lewis and, at times, Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes, the front - augmented by linebacker Darron Lee (two sacks) - brought pressure all day. Then safety Vonn Bell delivered the fatal blow, a 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
What's not hot?
Coach Urban Meyer said the east-west stuff is as basic to the Ohio State offense as the north-south stuff. But it was obvious from the start that Hawaii had flown in from the West intent on taking the east-west stuff away. Not even Braxton Miller could break through. It took the Buckeyes a long time to realize that their money gains were going to be the straight-at-'em run and pass plays - power football, with superior talent reigning supreme.
What went right?
Diversity. What sets the Ohio State offense apart from most others nationally is its ability to attack in a lot of ways, and with talented players doing it. That showed against Hawaii when the Buckeyes stowed the sling at times and went with the hammer - Taylor Decker, Billy Price, Jacoby Boren, Pat Elflein and Chase Farris blocking pretty much straight ahead and Ezekiel Elliott, Miller and company running to daylight.
Back to the drawing board
Make that the lineup board in the offense's meeting room. Is it going to say Cardale Jones or J.T. Barrett at quarterback all season? The definitive statement, actions-wise, appeared to be made by Meyer when, after replacing starter Jones with Barrett in the second quarter without much change in effectiveness, he went back to Jones to start the second half.
There were no injuries reported, but just like in the Virginia Tech opener five days earlier, it was a physical affair.
Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley did, when Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek threw it right at him. Conley was engaged with a receiver in the right flat when he turned at the last second to find the ball headed toward his bread basket. He grabbed his first collegiate interception, accentuating a second strong game as a first-year starter.
Northern Illinois (2-0), which owns victories over Nevada-Las Vegas (38-30) and Murray State (57-26). The Huskies are coming off five straight 11-win seasons. Led by quarterback Drew Hare (50 of 64 passing for 718 yards with six TDs and no interceptions), the Northern Illinois offense has averaged 594 yards while the defense has given up an average of 433. Wide-open throttle best defines the Huskies' approach.
No MAC cupcakes
The next two opponents, including Western Michigan, were forecast to challenge Toledo - an upset winner at Arkansas on Saturday - for the Mid-American Conference West Division title. These aren't the cruise games that national pundits would have you believe. But then, the Buckeyes will have a regular week to prepare for each, unlike the flurry they experienced in playing their first two games with only four days in between.