Ohio State stock report after Week 4: Buckeyes prove tough enough in victory over No. 9 Irish
Ohio State missed 2 scoring chances when it couldn’t pick up a yard and turned the ball over on downs both times. Then with 3 seconds left, Chip Trayanum scored from the 1 and the No. 6 Buckeyes celebrated a 17-14 victory over No. 9 Notre Dame.
And head coach Ryan Day reminded everyone that former Irish coach Lou Holtz was dead wrong this week when he said the Buckeyes lacked toughness and physicality.
“I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now,” Day said. “What he said about our team, I cannot believe. This is a tough team right here. We’re proud to be from Ohio. It’s always been Ohio against the world, and it will continue to be Ohio against the world. I’ll tell you what, I love those kids, and we’ve got a tough team.”
ESPN BET is now live in Ohio
Bet $1 on Ohio State-Minnesota, Get $250 in Bonuses. Must use promo code SATURDAY to get your $250 bonus.
Player of the Week: Emeka Egbuka
Marvin Harrison Jr. was double-teamed all night and hobbled by a sprained ankle. That meant someone else had to make the big catches. Egbuka had 7 of them for 96 yards.
Most importantly, he made 2 huge plays on the game-winning 65-yard drive. Early in the drive he gained 23 yards on 3rd-and-10. And on 3rd-and-19 from the 22, he caught a pass at the 1 with 15 seconds left to set up the winning touchdown.
Biggest surprise: No turnovers
A defensive battle with no turnovers seems unlikely, but that’s what happened. The Buckeyes gained 366 yards and the Irish gained 351. Those are small numbers in a game featuring offenses that have the ability to score a lot of points.
Biggest concern: 3rd-and-short
Yes, the Buckeyes gained the most precious yard of the night on their last play. But twice in the game they didn’t get it done to continue their shortcomings in those situations.
The first time came at the 1 in the second quarter on fourth down. The next time came on third and fourth downs at the Notre Dame 11 in the fourth quarter.
Developing trend: Finding identity
The offense is finding rhythm with McCord pushing the ball downfield more. That tends to set up other things in the offense. And the defense is keeping running games under control for the most part and preventing big pass plays down field.
Key stat: Notre Dame 4.5 yards per carry
The Irish entered the game averaging 5.9 yards per carry. They did break off 3 runs between 16 and 22 yards, but consistency, other than during their 2 touchdown drives, eluded the Irish and allowed the Ohio State defense to get off the field just enough.
First impressions about Week 6
Bye. The Buckeyes get a week off before a home game against a Maryland team that can score. The Terps will likely come to Ohio Stadium 5-0. The Terps will be favored to beat Indiana next week.