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Today is Tuesday, Oct. 11, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
Enjoy the win, make corrections and move on
An occasionally tense 21-point win over an unranked team is not normal for the No. 2-ranked team in the country, but Indiana wasn’t your average unranked team. While Ohio State definitely had some struggles in their 38-17 win against Indiana on Saturday, the win against the Hoosiers isn’t one that the Buckeyes are going to be feeling bad about for very long.
There was a different atmosphere in Ohio Stadium on Saturday, with Buckeyes fans sensing that Ohio State was playing a better team than they had at home all season. Because of that, they cranked up the volume on the banks of the Olentangy. As Ohio State coach Urban Meyer talked about in his Monday news conference, it was not a matter of players taking the game off.
“Elite people and elite performers want to play very well,” Meyer said. “They enjoy the win, make corrections and move on.”
But certainly, there are corrections to be made, namely in a passing game that only generated 93 yards passing. Although Meyer said the passing game was “alarming” on Saturday, it seems to be fixable. He said a couple receivers were running poor routes, making it hard for quarterback J.T. Barrett to make some of the throws he is used to making.
Meyer used the word "alarming" to describe the passing inefficiencies on Saturday. Said that was a little bit of an overreaction.
— Jacob Myers (@Jacob_Myers_25) October 10, 2016
Meyer then shifted to talking about Wisconsin, whom he considers to be one of the best teams in the country. He was especially impressed with their defense.
“They play hard and they are very well-coached. Their hair’s on fire. It’s been that way for quite awhile. We use the word culture around here and I’m sure that Coach (Paul) Chryst and (Athletic Director Barry) Alvarez are very proud of the culture at Wisconsin, as they should be.”
As Meyer realizes, this Top-10 matchup is their biggest road game since Oklahoma. We will see how Ohio State looks to improve this week before their Saturday night primetime game.
Nothing new on the AP front
After the close win over Indiana on Saturday — or at least close by Ohio State standards — the Buckeyes held on to their No. 2 spot in the latest AP Poll, though they did lose a few votes.
As Landof10.com’s Ryan Ginn wrote about in his latest Poll Talk, the three teams behind the Buckeyes had high- scoring and convincing wins this week. No. 3 Clemson beat Boston College 56-10, No. 4 Michigan beat Rutgers 78-0 and No. 5 Washington beat Oregon 70-21. With a lackluster performance in the passing game and only winning by three scores, Ohio State lost four first place votes this week.
However, the newest AP Poll continues to make the rest of the Ohio State schedule even more interesting. Three of the next seven games for the Buckeyes will be against Top 10 teams, including a tough road matchup this week against No. 8 Wisconsin, which beat then-No. 5 LSU and then No. 8-Michigan State already this season and was narrowly beaten 14-7 by Michigan two weeks ago.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) October 10, 2016
In the eyes of the College Football Playoff voters, a road win against this Badgers team could help define the rest of the season for Ohio State. This is an important game for the Buckeyes and one more marquee matchup for the country’s best football conference.
Keep it short, stupid
You can’t throw deep on Ohio State, at least not yet.
The talk of the defense all season has been about the Ohio State secondary. Averaging only 7.8 yards given up per pass, allowing only four passing touchdown against in five games and generating 10 interceptions, they must be doing something right.
According to this tweet from Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo, the secondary has been absolutely dominant when covering the deep ball.
Deep passing numbers against Ohio State's defense…dominant pic.twitter.com/vS94fr4UCa
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) October 10, 2016
For passes for over 20 yards, the Buckeyes have allowed only three completions for 109 yards on 24 attempts. They have given up no touchdowns and have picked off five passes.
This just shows the jobs that safety Malik Hooker and cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore have done is not just great, but bordering on ridiculous.
There has been no learning curve for Dallas Cowboys rookie and former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott leads the NFL in rushing with 546 yards. According to ESPN, that is more rushing yards than 23 NFL teams. As the only player with three 100-yard games or more, that number seems reasonable.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 10, 2016
It doesn’t hurt that Elliott is running behind football’s best offensive line.