Rob Oller and Ray Stein of The Dispatch offer observations about Saturday's game:


The game at hand

Short-attention-span synopsis: What’s so special? D-line makes a beeline — to the quarterback. Turtle soup, mmmmm. Penn State’s coming into view, but was that a speed bump? J.T. again quiet, effective.

Pregame buzz: Maryland strolled into Ohio Stadium as a team on the come, with a wunderkind coach and two road pelts already in its saddlebag. But Ohio State is a different animal, one that’s not to be trifled with since Oklahoma came to town.

The $80 question: The wind blew and the clouds darkened for a while — and then the game resumed after Denzel Ward was called for an unwarranted targeting. It never got louder than that, though a few exasperated sighs of “Geez Louise” were audible as the specialists performed their pratfalls.

One-liner: Third-string Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager isn’t chopped liver. You’re thinking of Braunschweiger, the only thing that stinks more than him.

Just wondering: What is the deal with that Maryland flag on the Terrapins’ helmets, anyway? It looks like a cross between scrambled eggs and red Legos. One thing for sure, it wasn’t planted in the “O” after the game.


The view

How the team sees it: Happy to get another dominating W. Now let’s hope I don’t get singled out in film study.

How the pollsters will see it: You guys can make layups, we’ve got to give you that. But does Oklahoma losing make you look better or worse?

How Buckeye Nation sees it: What a great game! I didn’t think the Spartans could pull it off.



Urban dictionary

What he said: “I’m still befuddled. ... We’re the only team in the country that can’t kick the ball down the field. It’s something I have to strongly evaluate.”

What it means: “You know what befuddled means, right? Unable to think clearly. That’s what our kicker is going to be after I — ahem — evaluate him.”


If this were a greasy-spoon diner …

Special teams? Say, Alice, what’s the special? Runny eggs and burnt toast? Come to think of it, after a botched extra point, a blocked field-goal attempt, a missed 29-yard field goal, a kickoff out of bounds, a 22-yard punt and a Maryland kickoff return for a touchdown, the Buckeyes' not-so-special teams got scorched and slid off the plate.


What would Brutus do?

Pretend to box a Michigan fan during the marching band’s halftime show, apparently. Here’s guessing it wasn’t his idea. It’s just … nutty.


They said it

Your turn/the channel: Love him — and most viewers seem to — or hate him, Gus Johnson of Fox IS REALLY, REALLY LOUD. Dude makes a 1-yard run sound like a 100-yard kick return. More than a few listeners were left wondering what he sometimes meant, but what the heck, he delivers with ENTHUSIASM. Said one Gus fan, “If Ohio State ever gets a network deal a la Notre Dame, Gus Johnson better be calling the games.”

Overheard: “Denzel Ward! You got barbecue back there — and you didn’t invite me?!?!” — Johnson on Ward’s targeting penalty, open to your own interpretation


Numbers for dummies

518: Disparity in total yards between Ohio State (584) and Maryland (66)

6: First downs for Maryland

3: First downs for Maryland awarded by penalty

7: Number of games in the past 80 years that Ohio State’s defense has allowed fewer yards than Maryland’s 66

16: Passing yards by the Terrapins

32: Sack yardages by the Buckeyes

10-1: Urban Meyer’s career record against former assistants


On tap

To the Great Plains! Or, as they say these days in Nebraska about the state’s football team, “Oh, is it Saturday already?” The Cornhuskers, once great, are average at best.



Best responses to @rollerCD on Twitter:

@Buckmich1: If special teams were special buckeyes would be too

@sylvaniaperl: I’m done with this blowout. I switched to Geico and saved 15 pct.

@pcurran22: It’s now official. You can’t hit anyone hard in football anymore. Absolutely awful targeting call on Ward

@mikethompsoncbus: Ward got the targeting call because of Gus's call. “OH, WHAT A HIT!” Ref must've heard him.

@MattTwombly1: Maryland has 12 yards total offense. My fridge is 10 feet away and I’ve had 2 beers. So I’ve had more yardage.


Horseshoe haiku

The kicking game stinks

Though a turtle cracked open

Smells way nastier