Oklahoma is good. Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield is quite good. Their offensive line is one of the best in the country. Even with all that said, the majority of people predicted that Ohio State would take care of business in the Top 5 matchup not only because it was in Columbus, but because of what happened last year in Norman.
But Saturday night, the Sooners came into the Horseshoe, silenced Buckeye Nation, and shocked the college football world with a dominating 31-16 win over the Buckeyes in a game that felt like much more of a blowout than just a 15-point loss.
With that said, there were a few good things and plenty of bad and ugly things for Ohio State. Let’s take a look:
It seems as though when Ohio State has lost during the Urban Era, many question why the running back(s) didn’t get as many touches as they should have. That trend continued Saturday night.
After a dominating performance in his college debut at Indiana, Dobbins had just 13 carries against Oklahoma. He turned that into 72 yards and his first touchdown, but why wasn’t he given the ball more often, especially because of how much J.T. Barrett was struggling in terms of the passing game? Urban Meyer wasn’t happy about it either.
“I wasn’t happy with it. So we’ll just keep reevaluating and I saw what you saw. J.K. was hitting the ball pretty hard and doing some good things,” he said. “Mike Weber did some good things. And we’re just not getting enough flow on offense. And I’m seeing the same things you guys are seeing.”
Here’s Dobbins first touchdown of his young college career:
After missing the opener with a nagging hamstring injury, Weber was able to work his way back a little against the Sooners. Although he didn’t get the start, the sophomore was able to run for 29 yards on three carries.
He and Dobbins can be one heckuva duo in Ohio State’s backfield if the Buckeyes’ play callers allow them to both.
When Ohio State’s offense is flowing, many people seem to forget about the punter. With the way the offense was Saturday night, Chrisman was one of the few bright spots. The freshman averaged 45.8 yards per punt and all four of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line.
The linebacker was all over the field against the Sooners, especially early in the game. He not only led the team with nine tackles, but he has had a tackle for loss and forced a fumble that was recovered by Damon Webb as well. He was the only bright spot on the Silver Bullets that doesn’t include the defensive line.
The defensive line didn’t seem to be themselves, which could be due to just how good Oklahoma’s offensive line is, but Hubbard did his best to get in the opponent’s backfield. He totaled five tackles, one sack, and two tackles for loss in the game, but he caused havoc in the backfield, Baker Mayfield was just so good that the quarterback could escape the pocket and still make a play.
Much like Hubbard, although it won’t get on the stat sheet, Bosa was also in the Sooners’ backfield more often than not.
The sophomore had 2.5 tackles, one sack, and two tackles for loss. His lone sack was very close to a safety and pinned Mayfield and Oklahoma near the goal line.
Oklahoma may have ran for 104 yards, but it came on 37 rushing attempts, which comes out to be just 2.8 yards per carry. Ohio State is known for their impressive defensive line and they played well yet again Saturday night. If only the secondary was as good as the front-seven.
Considered one of the Buckeyes best defensive ends in the loaded group, Lewis didn’t even register a tackle in the loss. He had a couple batted balls that could have turned into completions if it weren’t for him getting his hands on it, but still.
Ohio State may have converted all four of their red-zone opportunities, but only one was a touchdown. With three field goals in four trips to the red-zone, that won’t be good enough to beat a team as talented as Oklahoma. Part of this could be due to the abandonment of the run game, but it’s on J.T. Barrett, the receivers, and basically everyone but the offensive line and running backs as well.
Last season and so far this season, Ohio State hasn’t been able to establish a deep threat. Along with that, the receivers have struggled getting open. You can blame Barrett, but outside of short passes where the Buckeyes have used their speed to then run passed the defense, the receivers can’t get open downfield.
Second half adjustments
They did them against Indiana, but it seemed as though no adjustments were made at halftime of this one. Mayfield dominated in the second half, Barrett continued to struggle, the running game was a non-factor, and Oklahoma just flat out dominated the second half.
Whether it was abandoning the run game, not calling the right passing plays, or whatever was being done in order to stop the Sooners’ pass attack, the Buckeyes were outplayed, outcoached, and just flat out looked much worse than Oklahoma..at home.
J.T. Barrett’s passing attack
Ever since he broke his ankle in the final regular season game of the 2014 season, before Ohio State went on to win it all, Barrett has seemed like a much different quarterback. He has the ability to run the ball and is a good short-yardage passer, but the redshirt senior cannot seem to complete a pass any further than 15 yards downfield.
It's been a rough start to the year for Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett.. really struggling on any throws beyond 15 yards pic.twitter.com/I7laZxeHXc
— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) September 10, 2017
After surrendering 386 passing yards to Mayfield and the Sooners, the Buckeyes have now given up over 800 yards through the air in the first two games of the season, which is dead-last in the country.
Yeah, they’ve lost plenty of talent in the defensive backfield the last two years, but this is just straight horrible. If they don’t improve and it doesn’t matter how good the defensive line is, Ohio State is in for a long season.
Meyer wasn’t happy with the way the offense played, especially Barrett.
“Offense was bad. So we’re going to do what we do and that’s go back to work as hard as we possibly can, starting somewhat tonight and tomorrow and figure this thing out.”
Baker Mayfield planting the Oklahoma flag inside the Block O on the 50- yard line
Nothing else needs to be said. Just watch (and don’t forget what happened last season at Oklahoma.