Ray Stein’s observations about Saturday's game:
The game at hand
• Short-attention-span synopsis: The 2018 Ohio State opener: all in a Day’s work. Before it rains, the offense shines. Scandal? What scandal? The new kid throws a nice ball, but what if there was a defense? Step lively, boys, the boss is back on Monday.
• Pregame buzz: The Buckeyes’ first game in seven years without Urban Meyer roaming the sideline wasn’t supposed to be a struggle, and it wasn’t. Except for a couple of plays when it was. And then it wasn’t again. In the end, it was pretty evident that OSU has a pretty talented team. The OSU, that is, not the Corvallis bunch.
>> Read more: Ohio State defeats Oregon State, 77-31 in season opener
• The $99 question: Looking on the bright side, the 72-minute weather delay that extended halftime meant more time in the Horseshoe for the money. The downer is that the marching band smartly took shelter from the storm (Dylan reference), choosing to run and hide their heads (Beatles reference). After the deluge, happily, about half the crowd returned to their soaked seats.
• Just wondering: Which member of the football ops staff had the responsibility of calling Meyer to inform him where he could find ESPNews on the remote after ABC switched over to Auburn-Washington?
• How the team sees it: Say, that was pretty fun. Can we play Oregon State again next week? Well, yeah, we suppose Rutgers is close enough.
• How the pollsters will see it: Let’s see if you can keep playing like you have a chip on your shoulder when your opponent isn’t a foot shorter on the talent scale.
>>Watch: Ohio State Marching Band halftime show
• How Buckeye Nation sees it: That’s an offense we can get behind, at least until the first three-and-out. That defense is a potentially a real problem, though.
Hey, what did Day say?
• What he said: “That was a long break for us (at halftime). It was another E, which is an event we couldn’t control.”
• What it means: “There are lots of other E words I’ve been thinking about. Egads, I hope nothing else Explodes around here. It would be nice to Exhale.”
They said it
• Your turn/the channel: The ABC broadcast crew included the announcers Dave Pasch and Greg McElroy in the booth, a pair of talking heads who typically play things as straight as a curtain rod. These are strange days in Columbus, though, and the pair acknowledged the suspensions of Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith without wallowing in the muck. McElroy even acknowledged the poorly handled news conference of Aug. 22. Pasch, however, caught some flak for not having some facts right and for confusing Nick Bosa for Robert Landers. Uh, dude?
• The truth hurts: John Canzano, sports columnist of The Oregonian newspaper, had this to say about the Beavers’ first game under coach Jonathan Smith: “Oregon State offense will help sell tickets. Oregon State defense will help sell beers.”
Numbers for dummies
2: Years since Ohio State last scored 77 points in a game (Bowling Green, 2016 opener; seems like it should be longer, doesn’t it?)
19: Consecutive opening-week wins by Ohio State, the longest active streak in Football Bowl Subdivision
2: Ohio State possessions that did not result in touchdowns (one punt, one interception)
81.3: Ohio State’s success percentage on third (12 of 15) and fourth down (1 of 1)
75: Consecutive Ohio State openers attended by Marv Homan, the school’s former sports information director, whose first year was 1944
The Big Ten race kicks off for real when Rutgers visits Ohio Stadium for an East Division showdown. Or, as some little kids preparing for a birthday party might say: “Daddy is going to bring home a piñata filled with candy, and we’re going to smash it with sticks and all the candy will spill out and we’ll all eat sweet stuff until our bellies are sore!”
Best responses to The Dispatch crew on Twitter:
@BrewdoodCMH: With all the statements coming out recently, I expect TBDBITL to do Script Mea Culpa at halftime.
@ggilliom: Urban at home coaching on Xbox
@osuecon07: And we were worried the team would be different with him missing.
@jackmewhort: Bosa genetics are cheat codes #notfair
@jleegill: TV talking heads say Coach Meyer at home watching game. Bet Pres Drake wasn't invited.
@jayhoster: Schiano's guys seem to be reviving the Ma Bell Defense — instead of tackling, you just reach out and touch someone.
@johnnybunn: A risk-taking QB with a cannon arm and good accuracy is exactly what #Buckeyes fans have been Haskins for.
@MattTwombly1: 2017 QB Run; 2018 QB Run up the score
@BuckMichigan: Excited to try out my true Freshman tweets for 4 games this season and still keep 4 years of #SGM tweet eligibility!
@ktyler7205: it’s not a real Buckeye game without a muffed punt. I appreciate the striving for “normalcy” during this 3 game stretch.
With Urban away,
His Buckeyes don’t miss a beat
Just a few tackles