Ray Stein’s observations about Saturday's game:
The game at hand
• Short-attention-span synopsis: Truth: They are what they are. Well, at least they didn’t fall back. The RBs re-emerge. Tough to tell at times which team entered 2-6, right? Blackouts are tough to pull off in bright sunlight.
• Pregame buzz: The last time Ohio State had shown its face on a football field, it was helplessly absorbing roundhouses from a Purdue team that left the Buckeyes battered and bruised. But OSU had a week off to rediscover its health and find its schematic sanity. At least that was the idea. Nebraska had other ideas.
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• The $120 question: For the price of six Andrew Jacksons, apparently the going rate for a noon game against an erstwhile college football power now rebounding above the line of irrelevance, the day should include more than a 3½-hour chess match and some band formations. A better idea would have been to include in the package a couple of hot Runza sandwiches — a Nebraska thing, and a tremendous thing at that — and a glass of cold beer. The game itself was entertaining enough, and the weather was fall splendor, but still the place never rocked.
• Spread the wealth? Six weeks have passed since Ohio State last covered a point spread, so it was no surprise that a lot of money went Nebraska’s way when the Buckeyes opened the week as 22½-point favorites. That line backed up until it reached 19½, and it obviously could have kept coming back. The reality right now is that if Ohio State is favored in any game it will be based on reputation alone.
• This week in vanity plates: STL W8NG
• How the team sees it: Run game: fixed. Red zone: mostly fixed. Defense: um, developing. Turnovers: OK, let’s not push this.
• How the playoff committee will see it: The idea is to improve as the season goes along.
• How Buckeye Nation sees it: Oh my goodness, That Team Up North is going to mop the floor with these guys.
• What he said: “I still don’t think we’re close — I do, I think we’re close. We better be when you see what’s coming up.”
• What it means: “I love my team. I love them not. I love my team. I love them not.”
They said it
• Your turn/the channel: Fox was on hand again, with Joe Davis handling play-by-play and the ever-improving Brady Quinn — son of Dublin — handling the analyst duties. Some viewers weren’t feeling the love about some of the camera angles offered — “Could you not get any cameras into the stadium,” one asked on Twitter and some others had some problems with the banter. One alert viewer pointed out that the spoken opinion that quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. “is the last issue OSU has” failed to acknowledge his interception, to say nothing of that dreadful open-field rushing attempt.
Numbers for dummies
196: Offensive plays run by Ohio State against Nebraska between punts for the Buckeyes (fourth quarter 2012 to second quarter Saturday)
3.1: Average yards per rush for Ohio State in its previous four games
5.7: Average yards per carry against Nebraska
12: Consecutive touchdowns by passing by Ohio State before J.K. Dobbins’ 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter
6-0: OSU’s record under Urban Meyer in games after a regular-season loss
21: Nebraska’s edge over Ohio State in all-time victories after the 2011 season (846-825)
11: OSU’s edge over Nebraska in all-time victories after Saturday (905-895)
At the same time Ohio State was dealing with the Big Red menace from the Plains, the Buckeyes’ next two opponents were matched up in suburban D.C. Michigan State, up next for the Buckeyes next week in East Lansing, boasts the best defense OSU will have seen this season. It throttled Maryland 24-3 on Saturday. The Spartans don’t scare many legitimate defenses, but offenses tend to get healthy against the Buckeyes.
Best responses to the game on Twitter:
@lynngotts: Dropped a can of soup on my foot and probably broke a toe. It’s still not as painful as this #OhioState football game.
@CeeVoy614: These jerseys work well for the defense. Harder to see the numbers and who is missing each tackle or taking a bad angle.
@laxreftom: It’s comforting to know that the Buckeyes can wear special black Nike uniforms and still play just as bad.
@jrdunn75: Since they're dressed like Rutgers, #OhioState decided to play like Rutgers. #notGood
@MattTwombly1: With all of these 4 & 5 Stars collapsing, Ohio State should call this a Black Hole instead of a Black Out
@BoBlumenthal: Urb getting out-coached is becoming a weekly thing. His sideline looks so chaotic and tense.
@pcdulac: This game has moved slower than ‘The English Patient’ and just as painful to watch.
@BillKlosterman: OSU has a knack of making so-so teams look so-so much better.
@AllDahill: Is it just me or does it seem like as soon as #OhioState gets a lead they just quit playing until they lose the lead then they decide welp I guess we better start playing again.
Anyone who sees
Has blackout issues