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


The game at hand

Short-attention-span synopsis: Buckeyes bounce back, show they know rout from rong. This is Sparta? Never in doubt. Never doubt Vegas. Ground and pound. MSU’s cry: #SaveTheLew.

Pregame buzz: Ohio State’s playoff chances essentially went kaput in the corn a week ago, and all signs pointed to potentially more trouble with Michigan State, always a tough out, coming to town. The Spartans’ staunch defense and traditional hard-nosed style suggested a hand-to-hand game with all the elegance of a Belgian trench in 1917. But the Buckeyes had other, more fleeting, ideas.

The $190 question: After the obvious first question — should we really spend that much for one seat? — the answer becomes a matter of perspective. Face value was $140 for this season’s “second” premium game, against Penn State, and that experience was worth a lot more. So even though you paid more for this “premium” that became a blowout, you’re still ahead of the game. Plus, it’s cold. Can we get out of here?

One-liner: Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke passed for 845 yards and six touchdowns the previous two weeks but the Buckeyes treated him like he was passing bad checks around the Oval.

Just wondering: Think Urban Meyer learned a lesson from the Penn State game? After that instant classic, he (rightly) celebrated and (rightly) threw around the “H word” when discussing J.T. Barrett. After beating Michigan State, though, Urb met the media with a scowl that suggested he had a burr in his Nikes. In other words, stick to business, boys.


The View

How the team sees it: It hurts that we’re probably out of the playoff chase, so let’s channel our pain to whoever is lining up against us.

How the playoff committee will see it: Well, you’re guaranteed to move up at least one spot this week. Unfortunately for you, the season doesn’t last until March.

How Buckeye Nation sees it: Just because a two-loss team has never made the playoff doesn’t mean one never will. Remember LSU in 2007? So you’re saying there’s a chance?


Urban Dictionary

What he said: “I wish I could put them on a desert island,” a reference to isolating his players so they do not read their own headlines, including the fact they control their destiny in the Big Ten East

What it means: “Where the only outside noise is the waves and coconuts dropping onto the sand.”


If this were a monster truck rally …

SATURDAY, SATURDAY, SATURDAY! Come see the Buckeyes’ interior offensive linemen CRUSH it in the Horseshoe Truck-a-Rama, featuring Billy “Towasaurus Wrex” Price, Michael “Grave Digger” Jordan and Demetrius “Bigfoot” Knox. Admission is … well, not free.


They said it

Your turn/the channel: Former Dublin Coffman/Notre Dame/Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn teamed with Fox play-by-play voice Joe Davis to call the blowout. The duo performed effectively, with Quinn noting how MSU could not keep up with the Buckeyes’ tempo on offense. One viewer, however, was not impressed. “I vote A.J. Hawk comes in and sacks Brady Quinn so I don’t have to listen to his monotone color.” Ouch. Doubt it would happen, though, since Hawk and Quinn are brothers-in-law.


Former Buckeye Corner

Past OSU standouts’ responses on Twitter:

@_taylordecker: BAH GAWD! Just got home and go to check the Ohio State score and goodness

@MattFinkes: Refs huddled and decided they would like to leave Columbus unharmed. Flag was picked up.

@jake_STONYY (Jake Stoneburner): this makes last weekend hurt even more


Numbers for dummies

102: Most rushing yards Michigan State had allowed in any one of its six previous Big Ten games

102: Ohio State’s first-quarter rushing total

335: OSU’s rushing total, the most against Michigan State in Mark Dantonio’s tenure

10: Years since the home team won a game in the OSU-Michigan State series, a span of six regular-season meetings

42: The previous largest point differential in the 46-game series, OSU’s 42-0 win in 1979

11,975: Career total offense figure for OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett, who passed Minnesota’s Adam Weber to rank No. 2 all time in the Big Ten. Barrett is 717 yards behind Drew Brees of Purdue.

65: Plays from scrimmage before Ohio State committed its first penalty. The Buckeyes finished with season-low totals of two penalties for 27 yards.


On tap

Easy pickings, though Ohio State coaches will make it sound like the Chicago Bears will be invading Ohio Stadium next week instead of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Fighters? More like palookas. The Illini have lost eight straight and are averaging a mere 13.8 points in Big Ten play. But can the Buckeyes take anything for granted? Hell to the no.



Best responses to @rollerCD on Twitter:

@TheUltimateRyan: Who let Woody Hayes call the plays?

@seasonednotold: This is the most schizophrenic team I have ever seen. Last week they looked like Nebraska this week they might roll Alabama

@Buckeyes1117: Last week Buckeyes played so poorly. This week, like champs. You would think the players are 19 and 20 years old. #realitycheck #Pressure

@TheCincyBuckeye: Easily JT’s best game of handing the ball off in his career.

@BuckMichigan: All of my snarky replies have been ejected for Targeting...

@cathywf: going from butt kicked to kick butt. #gobucks

@SILVERFOXJF: Can we have an Iowa do over?

@Coachjayryan: 8yds and a cloud of green dust


Horseshoe haiku

Big Ten truism:

Get kicked in the teeth one week,

Dispense kicks the next