Rapid Reaction: Buckeyes stumble, but still roll past Hawaii
Final: Ohio State 38, Hawaii 0
Telling stat: 165 total yards for Hawaii
Man, that Buckeye defense is loaded. Sorry, this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you something you don’t know. Ohio State’s linebackers were the stars of this one. Darron Lee, Raekwon McMillan and Joshua Perry showed why they be the best unit in the country and harassed poor Max Wittek. He couldn’t do much of anything with the pressure the Buckeye linebackers were applying. And when they did get time downfield, Vonn Bell and Gareon Conley were there to make key interceptions. There was no escaping the Buckeyes.
Key play: Darron Lee forces fumble, Sam Hubbard recovers inside Hawaii 5
This play should’ve been even bigger than it turned out to be. Lee’s blindside sack resulted in the Buckeyes taking over on the Hawaii 4-yard-line but they weren’t able to punch it in. On a day where Ohio State’s defense pinned its ears back and showed what it was capable, the offense struggled to match the effort.
-J.T. Barrett comes in second quarter
Cardale Jones got the start, but J.T. Barrett came into the game in the first half, which didn’t happen against Virginia Tech. Urban Meyer listed both as the starter for this game and maintained the fact that both would play, despite Jones playing until the Virginia Tech game was out of hand. Neither were as effective against Hawaii as they were in the opener. Barrett came back into the game in the fourth quarter when it was 31-0, but it was still interesting to see Meyer see if he could spark the offense after Jones was struggling to get the offense into scoring position.
-Ezekiel Elliott treated like workhorse
After many complained about the lack of carries the Buckeye back got in the opener, Meyer got back to feeding his best player. Elliott got 27 carries for 101 yards, three of which were touchdowns. He wasn’t in playoff mode, but it was Elliott’s seventh straight 100-yard game. The lack of big runs might’ve been a product of a subpar performance from the Buckeye line. Meyer likely won’t be happy with the job his team did up front. Blowout or not, Meyer won’t be doing much patting on the back after that one.
What it means: The Buckeyes are human…kind of
We kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the Buckeye offense to go off. And looking back, there wasn’t a point in the game where you felt like they were rolling until it was garbage time. We didn’t see the same highlight reel plays we saw in Week 1. Braxton Miller showed he can demolish two guys at once, but the Buckeye offense took a back seat to the defense on Saturday. If anything, it showed that they can win in a more grind-it-out style.
What’s next: vs. Northern Illinois
The Buckeyes will get a full week to prepare for Northern Illinois. That might’ve hurt them in preparing for Hawaii, especially coming off the high of that statement win at Virginia Tech. Urban Meyer hasn’t been nice to mid-majors with a full week to prepare. The Huskies might’ve had a nice cup of coffee in the Jordan Lynch days, but don’t expect them to get in Ohio State’s way.