Ohio State-Oregon State | Rob Oller’s second thoughts
• Urban Meyer was not missed on offense, but could the Buckeyes have used him on defense? They did allow 31 points. It seems counterintuitive, considering that Meyer spends most of his time with the offense, but perhaps his “tough guy” presence has been missed at practice. A voice inside the football facility revealed last week that the building has lacked “edge” during the week. Defense operates in large part on nasty attitude. “It’s his leadership we miss (most),” linebacker Pete Werner said.
• Safety first. I get it. I agree with it. But no question, some of the energy of special-teams play has been lost with the rule that allows fair catches inside the 25-yard line to be spotted at the 25. The result is fewer kicks aimed at the corner to cut off half the field — a Meyer favorite — and more kicked through the end zone. Only four of 16 kickoffs were returned Saturday.
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• What does a 46-point win prove? Oregon State was terrible last season: one win, and it was against FCS Portland State. But it means something that the Buckeyes won so handily without Meyer rowing the boat (and by the end of this weather slog, a boat was needed), without needing a spectacular performance from the defense (far from it), and with J.K. Dobbins rushing for “only” 74 yards (Mike Weber took up the slack with 186). In other words, not everything clicked, which is good news for a team that will need something closer to perfection to run the table in the Big Ten.