For Ohio State, beating Army was not as easy as Alpha Bravo Charlie, not by a long shot. Before the Buckeyes could be all they could be, they had to solve a funky Black Knights offense that limited OSU's possessions but not its athletic superiority. Hooah! Leaves are awarded on a zero-to-five basis. — Ray Stein
Was it as crisp as a freshly picked apple? No, not always. But J.T. Barrett was sharp enough throwing the horizontal ball — and at least once downfield — and J.K. Dobbins has some serious giddyup as a lightning bolt up the middle. The 586-yard total was a pretty even split between run and pass.
Facing Army’s triple-option offense is as strange as encountering a phone booth on a city street, but the Buckeyes were Tuf enough even though Army had some big-time keepaway going for a while. The Buckeyes won’t be last in the country in passing defense this week, thanks to Erick Smith.
Special teams (3)
OSU’s kickoff adventures continued, including one to open the second half that had fans in the lower A deck ducking like a foul ball had been scorched into the stands. The punting included a gold-star catch at the 1, and Parris Campbell added spice to the return game, though a penalty took away 15.
Urban Meyer knows well that all of the wrinkles aren’t ironed out of Ohio State’s shirts, but he took what the Black Knights gave him and preached patience until his blue-chip recruits could find passage through The Long Gray Line. The deep sighs at the end were real; OSU was worn out.
It was a class act all around, from start to finish — parachutists, helicopter flyovers, both teams meeting at midfield for a pregame handshake. And did our ears deceive, or did the Horseshoe cheer Army’s arrival to the field? Nicely done. The game had some grip, too.
Army is most effective when it is disciplined and precise and composed, and the Black Knights earned some stripes with their 18-play, 99-yard drive to pull to 14-7. But Army QBs look no better than Sgt. Hulka when it’s time to pass the football. The effort, though, is always there.
Conspiracy theorists might surmise that this crew was told to watch for downfield holding by OSU receivers, because they sure did own that game of I Spy. Review upheld what looked to be an iffy call on a lost fumble on an Army kickoff return. Drop and give me 20, ref.
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