The Most Underrated Thing Was …
Ohio State 66, Maryland 17
On a weekend when weird, fun, and crazy things were happening all over the place, all of a sudden, the superpower that’s been all but ignored in the College Football Playoff chase really, really, started to look the part.
Iowa already burst the Maryland bubble two weeks ago with a blowout win, and taking down the Terps and beating Rutgers isn’t any big whoop, but when it comes to 2021 Ohio State and its development and confidence, those two games matter.
Everyone is gushing over the Hawkeyes, and Michigan is interesting again, and the world got caught up in Penn State because it beat Auburn when everyone in the crowd wore white t-shirts, but Ohio State still might be the best team in the Big Ten.
We’re now a month out from the Oregon game when the defense allowed – gasp! – 35 points.
That was coming off the 31 points given up in a win over Minnesota. Combine that with the loss to Alabama in the national championship to end the 2000 season, and Ohio State was on the worst three-game bender of scoring defense in the history of the program.
That all changed over the last few weeks.
The light and fluffy competition certainly helped, but this might be a case of a team needing a little time and a few layups to work its way into the season.
The offensive parts are NFL good, the offensive line is still fantastic, and there are big-time players on the defensive side, even if they struggled early on.
The D has responded by getting more aggressive – it sacked Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa five times and allowed just 56 rushing yards – TreyVeon Henderson ran for three scores, and CJ Stroud threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns.
Yeah, that’s what Ohio State is supposed to do, and that’s sort of the point.
It looked and played like Ohio State again, winning the last three games by a combined score of 177 to 37. Now it gets a week off, a tune-up at Indiana, and then it’s on with Penn State, at Nebraska, Purdue, Michigan State, and at Michigan to close things out.
Now that just about everyone but Georgia seems vulnerable, the Buckeyes are right back in it.
WIth all of that said, another loss might be fun for the rest of college football because …