Ray Stein and Rob Oller of The Dispatch offer observations about Saturday's game:
The game at hand
Short-attention-span synopsis: In a stadium surrounded by hospitals, Iowa puts on a clinic. Blackout crowd, knockout punch. The Hangover, Part IV? An awesome wave. Picked apart. Corn Belted.
Pregame buzz: Ohio State seemed to be covered in pixie dust after evading the claws and jaws of Nittany Lions a week ago. The Buckeyes leaped in the polls, though the College Football Playoff committee suggested the rise was not yet warranted. But the talk in town and throughout college football was, “What if this team wins out, or that one?” Such chatter can be hereby shelved in Columbus.
Worth the trip? That depends, one must suppose, on what else was on the itinerary besides a football game. Like, seeing the World’s Largest Truck Stop on I-80 in eastern Iowa might not be such a good idea on the trek home. Plenty of scarlet jackets were dispersed among the black-clad crowd, and surely, some of them recalled a trip to Penn State 23 years ago that ended with a similar mauling.
Join the conversation at Facebook.com/BuckeyeXtra and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra
One-liner: Urban Meyer’s best move of the day occurred as the final seconds were counting down. He started to cross the field to shake Kirk Ferentz’s hand, spotted the crowd beginning to rush the field, and made a sharp left up the tunnel.
You write the headline: “Hawkeye Piercing.” (Thanks to Bill and Beth Cannell.)
Just wondering: What did Ferentz know and when did he know it? The veteran Iowa coach, a fixture in Iowa City since 1999, was collegial and classy afterward about his team and his opponent, but he revealed nothing about the traps he had set. (Hey, conspiracy theorists: There were rumors circulating that he watched films of Greg Schiano’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. But you didn’t hear it here.)
How the team sees it: Did anyone get the license plate of that harvester that just separated every kernel of hope from our playoff dream?
How the playoff committee will see it: Nice knowing you, boys. It’s Wisconsin or bust as far as we’re concerned.
How Buckeye Nation sees it: Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on everyone in the universe. Won’t get fooled again! Except I will!
What he said: “I can’t see much down there,” regarding J.T. Barrett’s four interceptions
What it means: “And trust me, the little I saw I didn’t want to see.”
If this were a horror movie …
OK, here’s the pitch: The title is “The Iowa Combine Massacre.” And here’s the plot: During “Halloween” week the Hawkeyes go “Psycho” on the Buckeyes, chasing them down, turning them into feed and killing OSU’s chance at enjoying One “Shining” Moment in January. And nobody “Saw” this coming.
They said it
Your turn/the channel: ESPN took the reins from Fox, which meant it was a much more quiet broadcast without Fox screamer Gus Johnson. (See you soon, Gus?) Viewers generally considered it a lesser broadcast as well, one describing the drop-off as going from the penthouse to the outhouse. The main beef was with play-by-play announcer Steve Levy, who more than once called Nick Bosa by his brother’s name (Joey). But, as another viewer put it, “Full disclosure, it’s always annoying when Ohio State loses.”
Former Buckeye Corner
Past OSU standouts’ responses on Twitter:
@DustinFox37: We look terrible.
@ClarkKelloggCBS: Didn’t see THIS coming. @HawkeyeFootball played its best and @OhioStateFB its worst. That combo = Blowout
@1Tyvis (Tyvis Powell): Tell me I’m watching the wrong game right now
@MalikHooker24: Turning It Off
Numbers for dummies
246, 1: Pass attempts and interceptions for Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett in the first eight games
34, 4: Attempts and picks for Barrett against Iowa
25: Points-per-game average by Iowa in its first eight games
31: Points in the first half for the Hawkeyes vs. OSU
4-1: Iowa’s record at home against top-five opponents since 2007
9: Combined receptions by Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, resulting in five first downs and four touchdowns
371: Total yards by Ohio State, 200 below its season average
After slinking home, the Buckeyes try to get their heads straight and begin preparations for a game against Michigan State with first place in the Big Ten East on the line. All things considered, OSU players might prefer root canals to the week ahead.
Best responses to @rollerCD on Twitter:
@CarlHunnell: Tell me again why Schiano is such a hot cosmic property?
@HockingHick: We ain’t who we thought we wuz.
@JonBauer7576: Remember when kickoffs were the main cause of heartburn?
@G_MillsieVRadio: Urbs getting outcoached. And I’m sure it started Monday.
@TheCincyBuckeye: Very touching to see the kids at Iowa Children’s Hospital wave goodbye to our playoff chances.
@jenniferdayton: Suddenly my Saturdays have gained an additional 3 hours. Thanks #buckeyes #fallback
@R_A_Lash: Urban Meyer to Kevin Costner, “Is this Hell?” “No, it’s Iowa.”
@buckmarko: Kids this is what losing to Michigan in the ’90s pain feels like. #butnotquiteasbad
Buckeyes had one job:
Escape Iowa unscathed
Instead, they fell back.