10 quick thoughts on Ohio State’s 56-27 win over Michigan.
Ohio State 56, Michigan 27
10. It’s not that Ohio State won. It’s not that it was a 56-27 blowout. It’s that it was just so … routine. Yeah, it’s late November, and yeah, Ohio State is good, and yeah, Michigan is good, but yeah, Ohio State is just otherworldly talented, and yeah, Ohio State won again. There wasn’t anything even remotely surprising about anything that happened.
9. 14-14-14-14. Michigan hadn’t allowed more than 14 points in any of its last four games, and it hadn’t give up more than that many in six of its last eight games. That’s what Ohio State came up with in every single quarter.
8. The Michigan offensive line didn’t generate enough of a push for the running game, but it was able to neutralize Chase Young. The superstar pass rusher was able to generate a few hurries, but no tackles, no sacks, no tackles for loss. The cliché was true, though. Michigan spent so much time focusing on No. 2, that everyone else was free.
7. Shea Patterson got almost no help in the second half. He finished with 305 yards and a touchdown completing 18-of-43 passes, but his receivers weren’t making plays, they dropped too many catchable balls, and they didn’t do enough to come up something to bail out their quarterback after the game started to get a bit out of hand.
6. Justin Fields is surviving and advancing. He hurt his wrist and leg against Penn State, and he was out for a stretch against the Wolverines with a shot on his knee. He came back, fired a bullet for a touchdown, and everything was fine. While he might not have been his sharpest, he completed 14-of-25 passes for 302 yards and four scores, and he ran for 25 yards – and he didn’t turn the ball over. He was brilliant, however …
5. This will forever be the JK Dobbins game. He ran for 101 yards as a freshman, wasn’t a big part of the mix last year, and this time around, he blasted away for 211 yards and four scores – and with 49 receiving yards on two catches – to take over the day against a run defense that had been dominant over the last two months. And this performance means …
4. Are we getting three Buckeyes in the Heisman top five? Assume that LSU QB Joe Burrow and Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts are somewhere in there, and Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor will get some consideration, but it’s not crazy to suggest that Dobbins, Fields, and Chase Young can all finish in the mix.
3. Win or lose, Michigan was likely off to the same bowl no matter what. It’s not a total lock, but in general, the bowls with Big Ten ties generally like to keep it fresh – they want new teams every few years. That means the Citrus and Outback bowls are likely out, and it makes the Holiday Bowl against a Pac-12 team – possibly USC or Washington – the best possible option.
2. So that’s it, right? Is Ohio State in the College Football Playoff no matter what? Because this team is so good, and because it was so dominant against the Wolverines – and throughout the year – it should be able to lose the Big Ten Championship and still get in on a “four best team” thing. Of course, it’s going to take a whopper of an upset in Indianapolis for this to matter, but win next week, and it’s the No. 1 seed. Lose, and it’s the No. 4
1. There’s no shame whatsoever in losing to Ohio State. Harbaugh is now 0-5 against the Buckeyes, and the pain continues even without Urban Meyer as the head man. Michigan people are never going to like it, but this is a monster of a Buckeye program that beats the Wolverines right now, and likely LSU, and Georgia, and Clemson, and Alabama, and on and on and on.
There’s a reason this is the No. 1 team in college football. It’s the most complete team in the country, it’d ridiculously loaded with NFL talent, and it looked and played the part of the dominant force it is.