Ray Stein’s observations about Saturday's game:
The game at hand
• Short-attention-span synopsis: Never say never — like never. McSorley McSurely had the Buckeyes feeling McSorely. But only one team went to finishing school. White noise is real.
• Pregame buzz: The talk was all about offense, offense, offense as the last of the undefeated Mohicans met with Big Ten supremacy on the line. The nation’s top two scoring teams did not, however, produce the promised track meet. More like the first fire drill of the year in elementary school: chaos.
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• Worth the trip? As always is the case for OSU fans making the roadie at Penn State, it depends on the result. So, yes, eventually. Because, really, there’s not much to recommend a weekend in State College, which might be a great place to live, but I wouldn’t want to have to drive there. And no Big Ten venue is less accommodating to Ohio State fans, who are parked so remotely in the upper reaches of the south end zone that they have to duck when the Goodyear blimp passes overhead. But here’s guessing the final serenade was a sweet one.
• Cover your ears: Exhibit A for not televising band shows was in ear-splitting display at halftime. Actually, a little band marching music would have been fine. The accompanying singing screamed — literally — for gongs.
• This week in vanity plates: CLOS SHV
• How the team sees it: That was about as comfortable as a root canal. But just look at that smile!
• How the pollsters will see it: You guys showed the country something. Now try to avoid stepping in the same hole you did after last year’s Penn State game.
• How Buckeye Nation sees it: Bring on Alabama.
• What he said: “That’s one of the best wins I’ve ever been a part of.”
• What it means: “Well, actually, that’s pretty accurate.”
They said it
• Your turn/the channel: ABC/ESPN’s top team of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit rolled with the punches of a suddenly punchless Ohio State offensive attack, then held on for dear life to bring viewers the crazy finish. Herbie, in particular, astutely pointed out how Penn State’s pressure had affected OSU quarterback Dwayne Haskins — even when Haskins wasn’t facing a heavy rush.
• This week in College GameDay signs: The Urban Meyer suspension is over, right? Yes, but the coach is still the main target of ire and ridicule, based on many of the handmade signs on display for ESPN’s morning preview show, somehow condensed into 180 tight minutes. Among the winners: “Who names their child Urban?!”; “Urban Meyer’s suspension was shorter than Zeke’s shirt”; “Urban googles ‘google.com’”; and, in a slap at the state, “Ohio’s so bad LeBron left twice!”
Numbers for dummies
9: Meetings between Ohio State and Penn State when both teams were ranked in the top 10
6-3: OSU’s record in those games
599.0: Yards-per-game average for Ohio State entering Saturday’s game
93: Yards for Ohio State in the first half against Penn State
93.7: Percentage of Penn State’s 492 yards generated by QB Trace McSorley, who passed for 286 yards and ran for 175
33: Consecutive games with a TD pass by McSorley, the longest streak in FBS
58.8: Ohio State’s third-down percentage through four games
23.5: OSU’s percentage against Penn State (4 of 17)
Indiana’s colors are crimson and cream. But to Ohio State football fans, the Hoosiers might as well show up for games wearing a yellow shirt with a black line zig-zagging horizontally across the front. Yep, it’s time for the annual Charlie Brown-Lucy Van Pelt matchup, the Hoosiers convinced that this will be the time they kick the football — or the Buckeyes. It has been 1988 — John Cooper’s first season — since Indiana last beat Ohio State. And since 1951 — Woody Hayes’ first season and a year after the “Peanuts” comic strip began — the Buckeyes have a 54-2-2 record against IU. Or, as Hoosiers fans put it, “Aaugh!”
Best responses to The Dispatch crew on Twitter:
@jleegill: I'd like to use white out on first quarter stat sheet
@MattTwombly1: welcome to Butterfinger Beaver Stadium
@jwelle16: Might need to try unplugging Haskins and plugging him back in. That solves everything, right?
@BradCla41529945: Looked more like a yellow out for the Buckeyes.
@johnnybunn: Without Bosa OSU's chances of containing McSorley are groin, groin, gone.
Patience may be a
virtue, but must the Buckeyes
push the limits so?