Big Ten Quick Thoughts, Takes On Every Game: Week 13. Ohio State Wins Big Ten East

Big Ten Quick Thoughts, Takes On Every Game: Week 13. Ohio State Wins Big Ten East

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Big Ten Quick Thoughts, Takes On Every Game: Week 13. Ohio State Wins Big Ten East

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Ohio State 28, Penn State 17

So, essentially, that’s about as bad as Ohio State can play in a whole slew of ways, Justin Fields was banged up, and there were way too many missed opportunities, and it still beat a top eight team by 11. The Buckeyes aren’t going to be that loose and sloppy again.

Fields was brilliant … except for the fumbles. JK Dobbins put one on the ground, too, but it was Fields’ fumble at the goal line early on that kept the score from being 14-0 and effectively over.

On the day, Fields completed 16-of-22 passes for 188 yards and two scores, and he took off for 68 yards doing a great job of making things happen without taking any chances down the field. He appeared to hurt his left arm, and got his leg rolled up late, but all appears to be fine. Now he has to clean up those fumbles.

Dobbins was a powerhouse. He ran 36 times for a hard 157 yards and two scores against one of the nation’s best run defenses. Once again, the Ohio State offensive line was fantastic, Dobbins was able to settle things down and take control of the game, and it kept Fields from having to take over through the air.

Oh yeah, Chase Young. So that’s what the guy looks like when he’s rested, healthy, and ticked. Five tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, four tackles for loss – he was okay. Even when he wasn’t making big plays, he required all the energy and focus of the Penn State offensive front.

Oh yeah, now Ohio State wins the East and is off to the Big Ten Championship. OF COURSE THIS WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER HAPPEN, but … since the Michigan game is now, effectively, meaningless to the greater goal of wining a national title, do you sit … nah.

Beating Michigan will always be slightly bigger than winning a Big Ten championship and slightly below winning a national title to so many Buckeye fans, but if Fields really is banged up, and there’s no actual reason to play your starters since a loss to the Wolverines and a Big Ten title still means a spot in the playoff and … nah. The Michigan game is why you come to Ohio State. That, and being able to turn pro as soon as possible.

Beyond that, blast away on Michigan, and the Big Ten Championship might not matter. A dominant performance in a win over the Wolverines might lock in a College Football Playoff spot in a Four Best Team theory.

Sean Clifford was beaten up all game long, was out in the third quarter, and he only hit 10-of-17 passes for 71 yards. He was simply never able to do anything. The running game didn’t help with just 99 yards and averaging fewer than three yards per carry, but the team was still in the game because of the big stops on D. The O couldn’t do anything when it had its chances.

He wasn’t Chase Young, but Yetur Gross-Matos showed off why he’s a top ten drat pick talent. Always working, he came up with five tackles, two sacks, and was always bringing the pressure. Safety Lamont Wade was fantastic, too, with eight tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

Penn State might be out of the Big Ten championship chase now, but after it obliterates Rutgers, at 10-2 there’s an outside shot of a New Year’s Six bowl slot. Overall, the team played well enough against – arguably – the nation’s best all-around team to not drop too far in the CFP.

NEXT: Minnesota 38, Northwestern 22

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