• Call it the Penn State effect. After Dwayne Haskins Jr. shared how the Buckeyes’ sluggish start likely was due to the emotional 27-26 win against the Nittany Lions — “We were still tired from last week and there was low energy in practice through the week,” he said — I checked to see how OSU performed the week after playing PSU the past two seasons: favored by 24 points against Northwestern in 2016 (won by four); favored 20.5 against Iowa in 2017 (lost by 31). It looked like the trend would continue against IU, but the Buckeyes won by 23 when they were favored by 26.
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• Just call it The Ohio State Penalty. The Buckeyes were penalized nine times for 82 yards to become the second-most-penalized team (behind Michigan) in the Big Ten. It’s a fine line between being aggressive and being undisciplined, and Ohio State is slipping toward the latter side of that line. It’s one thing to jump offsides while trying to pressure the quarterback, but OSU is collecting flags for more-flagrant fouls. If the Buckeyes don’t clean up things up, they’re going to regret their “mistakes” in big games to come.
• It’s been a sore subject for Buckeye Nation going back to Braxton Miller, and manifested again when OSU came up short on a third- and fourth-and-1: Why not run a quarterback sneak from under center? Easy answer: Ohio State runs its offense from the shotgun 99.9 percent of the time, so switching things up in the middle of the game — even if it gets practiced during the week — is not something the coaching staff is comfortable doing. Meyer addressed the issue earlier in the week. It may make sense to slam the 218-pound Haskins into the line to convert, but since when does football make sense?