The Ohio State Buckeyes showed the entire country that talent outweighs experience. Prior to the Oklahoma game, it was difficult to envision how Ohio State would perform in their first challenge of the season, with so many young players. For the majority of the starters, it was their first true road game. The Palace on the Prairie in Norman, Oklahoma is not the ideal setting to get your feet wet in a road environment. It is regarded as one of the top-five toughest places to play in college football.
The Buckeyes turned it into their own backyard for one reason. They simply have more talent than Oklahoma, specifically on a defense that isn’t so “basic” after all. Of course, I should also mention that Ohio State has wide receiver Noah Brown, who hauled in four touchdown passes from quarterback J.T. Barrett, and Oklahoma does not.
Talk about making a national statement in primetime. The Buckeyes are arguably the best team in the country, following a win of this magnitude, in such impressive fashion. Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 2 in the latest AP Top 25 rankings and shouldn’t take a backseat to teams like Alabama or Louisville.
With the victory over the Sooners, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer improved to 19-0 in true road games with the Buckeyes. There are two things that are just not supposed to happen in college football. You don’t win every away game you play and you don’t travel to Oklahoma and punk them in their own yard. Well, Ohio State and coach Meyer have managed to complete both tasks.
Getting back to Brown, was his third touchdown reception in the back corner of the endzone just before halftime not one of the best catches you’ve ever seen at any level of football? The man blindly pinned the football with one hand on the defenders back while managing to get not one, but two feet in-bounds. Brown earned a well-deserved Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award with his four touchdown receptions and should receive ESPY consideration for possibly making the catch of the year.
Through three games, the Silver Bullets tied a school record with their fourth interception returned for a touchdown in a season, courtesy of linebacker Jerome Baker’s first quarter pick-six. Not bad for a basic defense.
What does the Oklahoma victory mean going forward? It means Meyer and the Buckeyes are steamrolling like a downhill train into the Big Ten schedule and will be huge favorites for the remainder of the regular season, and potentially beyond. Ohio State enters the bye week feeling great about its playoff chances, but we all know they have accomplished nothing should they slip up when conference play begins.
Prior to their annual showdown with Michigan, the Buckeyes aren’t in the clear just yet. There are still some potential roadblocks with road games at Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State. However, with Meyer 19-0 on the road and the Buckeyes’ pummeling of the Sooners in Norman, should we be scared? While these games will still require a pinpoint focus to come out victorious, the Buckeyes now possess the confidence and dare I say, the experience, to play with a “been there and done that” mentality.
Not only was the Oklahoma game a coming-out party for Brown and all of the young Buckeye players, it was a reminder that a rebuild or an adjustment period is just not the Ohio State way, especially under Meyer.
Without question, the fact that Ohio State is playing with 16 new starters has provided significant motivation for the Buckeyes through the first three games of the season. Just like in 2014, when Ohio State captured a national championship a year ahead of schedule, this group proved on Saturday night that it has a legitimate chance to accomplish the same feat.
The current state of Ohio State football is a machine that you don’t want to cross paths with. It’s a pretty basic observation for anyone who watched the Buckeyes’ domination of the Sooners. Just ask Oklahoma’s backup quarterback.