Sunday, November 9, 2014

On The Mark 11.9.14: #Buckeyes Recap

Big Statement: Ohio State Defeats Michigan State 49-37 As J.T. Barrett Shines Even Brighter
By @MarkW2112

I am gladly eating my words.  I felt the Ohio State Buckeyes, going in to Spartan Stadium to face the Michigan State Spartans, might be a slight underdog to beat them at home.  I was wrong.  Behind a phenomenal statement game by J.T. Barrett, the Buckeyes win 49-37 in convincing fashion.  The young offensive line came together for Barrett, who was able to have time to throw at will.  He went 16-of-25 for 300 yards and 5 total touchdowns, including 1 to Devon Smith, who had a monster night with 6 receptions and 129 yards.  Smith's touchdown right before halftime made it 28-21.  Before that, Barrett a threw a 79 yard TD to Michael Thomas to tie the game at 21.  This was significant because before that, Dontre Wilson fumbled a kick off return yet somehow the Spartans weren't able to capitalize with any points.  So the Thomas touchdown was a huge momentum shift in the Buckeyes favor.  From there, they were able to score at will, including 2 rushing touchdowns by Ezekiel Elliot, who also had a fantastic night with 150 yards rushing.

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook did a great job, going 25-of-45 for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Jeremy Langford was able to run at will, with 137 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns.  However, the defense was able to make just enough stops to allow the Buckeyes offense to take the lead.  There were a few times where the Buckeyes forgot how to tackle but it worked out in the end.

My take: the Buckeyes came in to East Lansing and faced an extremely confident Spartans team who knew they had the Bucks number last year during the Big 10 Championship.  But this year, with J.T. Barrett in tow, the Buckeyes were able to do whatever they wanted on offense.  While perhaps not as dynamic as Braxton Miller, Barrett may be a better overall quarterback, showing great touch and accuracy as well as toughness running the ball, getting first downs when needed and pushing it in to the end zone twice.  Connor Cook and Jeremy Langford had great games for Sparty but the defense did just enough to allow the offense to come back on the field and score at will.  It was one of the best Big 10 games I've seen in quite a long time.  It was also the first real signature win for Urban Meyer.

Next up: facing the surprising Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis.

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