Ray Stein’s observations about Saturday’s game:
The game at hand
• Short-attention-span synopsis: Chase who? The weather: cold. The Buckeyes: hotter than Cheryl’s chichier she-shed. Take your pick: Terra-pinned or Turtle-waxed. Behold, the perfect onside kick.
• Pregame buzz: In the name of accuracy, first came the buzz — Ohio State on Tuesday was ranked first in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Then came the buzzkill — OSU announced on Friday that its most disruptive player, All-America defensive end Chase Young, would miss the Maryland game while the university investigated whether he broke an NCAA law last season by accepting a loan. As for the game, say hello to the buzz saw.
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• The $92 question: They didn’t set this as the cheapest Big Ten ticket on the home schedule for kicks. Last season’s shockingly narrow escape in College Park notwithstanding, OSU-Maryland is a haves vs. have-nots in the Big Ten, and hundreds of empty seats confirmed the obvious: A whole bunch of fans said, “I have something better to do.”
• Spread the wealth? Bookies have taken a bath this year because of the Buckeyes, who has covered the spread every week since the opener. Thus Ohio State being installed a ridiculous 42½-point favorite for a game against a Big Ten team that plays two-platoon football. And still the Buckeyes blew that out of the water. Lord only knows how wide the gulf will be for Saturday’s game at Rutgers.
• This week in classic film: This week we dig into the vault back to 1963 for a vintage Alfred Hitchcock thriller, “The Birds.” Except that this new version doesn’t include the director throwing real birds at Tippi Hedren. Instead, the Ohio State football team throws real claw hammers at the Maryland Terrapins.
• This week in vanity plates: ANGR MGT
• How the team sees it: We play for Chase today. We would love to play with him again, sooner rather than later.
• How the playoff committee will see it: Putting up 73 points is darn impressive, but you would have needed 173 to top LSU whipping Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
• How Buckeye Nation sees it: First Wisconsin and now Penn State: These teams keep losing before we get a chance to hand them their first loss. No fair.
Hey, what did Day say?
• What he said: “When this team faces a little bit of adversity, we have an edge and want to come after you and be aggressive.”
• What it means: “Actually, even if Chase gets reinstated, I might not tell the team so they keep playing like that.”
They said it
• Your turn/the channel: Ohio State games at noon have been great for Fox ratings this season, but the monotony of the OSU hegemony apparently is wearing thin even on Gus Johnson, Fox’s lead play-by-play announcer and embodiment of human merriment. As one Twitter watcher noted, Johnson sounded bored by the middle of the first quarter. Dude was styling, though, in that faux brown whatever-it-was.
• Scoop? Just before halftime on the broadcast, Johnson hinted that Maryland might have turned in Young’s apparent misdeed to the NCAA. Much later, when virtually everyone else had moved on to another game, Fox cameras might have inadvertently confirmed it. The postgame scene included Maryland linebacker Keandre Jones being greeted by his former OSU teammates, one of whom can be heard saying, “Why you do us like that, man?” Another added: “You a snitch.” Maybe it was all in fun.
Numbers for dummies
17, 212: Points and yards, respectively, that Maryland totaled in the first quarter against Ohio State last season
0, 1: Points and yards, respectively, for Maryland in the first quarter Saturday
192: Yards for OSU in the first quarter, leading to a 21-0 lead
30.3-3.4: Average halftime score, in OSU’s favor, this season
1: Buckeye leaf stickers lost by Chris Olave on a crunching second-quarter tackle
The Buckeyes’ layup drill continues on an 8-foot basket Saturday when Ohio State visits Rutgers for a 3:30 p.m. kick. The Big Ten Network has the telecast, which will carry an R rating. Seriously, keeping with the basketball theme, if this were a game of H-O-R-S-E, OSU could spot the Scarlet Knights A-P-P-A-L-O-O-S and still beat their A.
Best responses to the game on Twitter:
@DTRocks77: It’s really not about you, Maryland. But you’re going to have to take this one
@juandemayo: Buckeyes just executed the best onside kick in the history of onside kicks.
@brian_bjones: Maryland QB: “Are you sure Chase Young isn’t playing?”
@MattTwombly1: Feels like the Spring Winter Game
@randella22: This Buckeyes team could win the B1G with 10 guys on the field.
@OLDBROOKLYNJIM: It’s amazing to me the lack of talent at the skill positions in the Big 10. This conference blows. Buckeyes would be .500 in the SEC
@Pray4Pax: This just in: Rutgers requesting that Ohio State only bring its 3rd team to NJ next week
Two, four, six, eight – who
is up next for OSU