Sunday, September 20, 2015

On The Mark 9.20.15: #Buckeyes v. Northern Illinois #NIU Recap

Offense offensive but the defense stands as Buckeyes survive Northern Illinois 20-13
By @MarkW2112

Yes, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Northern Illinois Huskies 20-13 at Ohio Stadium today. But on this day, it was the defense that won it for the Buckeyes. The offense struggled mightily against a very stout NIU defense.

Cardale Jones started the game for the Buckeyes but gave up 2 interceptions before being pulled for J.T. Barrett who didn't fare much better. Turnovers were the name of the game for the offense, which fumbled twice and another interception by Barrett. Ezekiel Elliot led all rushers with 108 yards on 23 carries. Michael Lee had 60 receiving yards and the only touchdown for the offense.

Defensively, the Bucks were incredible, with Darron Lee leading the way with an interception for a touchdown which, in essence, won the game for Ohio State. NIU quarterback Drew Hare was harrassed all day, throwing for only 80 yards and 2 interceptions.

My thoughts: The Buckeyes offense has to be a concern. Neither Jones nor Barrett seperated themselves today. In fact, Jones appears to have regressed from the end of last season. But you have to give it up to NIU who played a heck of game themselves defensively. At this point, the defense is keeping the Bucks in games. This needs to change if they expect to beat the creme of the Big 10 crop, Michigan State.

Player of the game: Darron Lee, who saved this game for the Buckeyes with his 41 yard pick 6.

Turning point: Again, Darron Lee's interception for a touchdown.

Next game: Against Western Michigan at Ohio Stadium next Saturday

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