With each passing week, the governance of the State of Ohio becomes even more impressive.
On Saturday, the Buckeyes claimed their ninth win of the season, defeating Maryland, 73-14. All nine victories have reached at least 24 points and there is no reason to think the series will not reach double digits – they can win by as much as 124 points against Rutgers in a week.
In order to sustain such a series of strokes, Ohio State is referring to its past performance, according to Jeremy Ruckert, who likened it to a postseason game of college basketball.
"I think this is something you can look back on in years past and how it is gone," Rucker says. "We don't want to be this team that just escapes for a week and has cost us our whole season and everything we've worked for. We really have that in our backs every week, only one game is needed. It's like March Madness. Here's what Coach Day says. It's like March Madness: you lose a game and you can't go and end up doing what we want. "
With that mindset, Ohio State fired a precise side-kick from its second press in the afternoon just 1
Blake Howbey kicks the ball about 20 yards down the right sideline, and Chris Olav runs under it to catch it and give Buceys extra possession.
"There was something we saw on film, we saw Matt Barnes, and we decided we were in the real world," Ryan Day said. "And the boys practiced it during the week. It wasn't one of those things that was home run every time we did it. But you are talking about competitive achievements that could not be better implemented. It was as clean as it could be. It was cool to feel the excitement of the stadium from this kick; it was, wow. "
"We were all huddled there," Tuf Borland said. "We all knew it was coming. I was nervous, I won't lie. Blake did great and Chris ran underneath her so it was a good game. "
"It was well-executed and you only had the feeling of the stadium. You can feel it executed," Day said. "And from then on, I just felt like the game was going like that. So at any time you can seal ownership in any game, it's a game changer. Whether it's a blocked point or something, you still own it, someone flips the dashboard. We saw it, fulfilled it and decided it was well done everywhere. "
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mainly on its air attack.
Although Justin Fields played in the first half only, he came up 36 yards his season with 236 passing yards. He kept throwing to Olav, who had five catches on 10 targets for 43 yards and a touchdown. The day left the game feeling pleased with the performance of its team on the air.
"I would dispute the passing game this week," Day said. "And I thought we were aggressive. What did we do, threw it 25 times in the first half? This is quite aggressive for us. That would be in the tempo for 50 in a game. That was good. We challenged the defense. We called the routes. We have challenged everyone who deals with it to make decisions. And I thought if you look at the first half, he was 16-for-25 for 200 and three touchdowns. Is it accurate? I think so. That's a pretty good half. So if you double that, it will be a game. "
On the other side of the ball, Ohio State had a couple of defensive players who gave up because of Chase Young's absence.
Dave Hamilton continued his ascent, picking up a pair of sacks. The fifth senior quarterback entered the previous game against Wisconsin with just one sack in his career, and he's already had three sacks in the last two weeks.
"I guess I'm just more experienced than I was a year ago or even in years past," Hamilton said. "I'm really trying to work on my craft and work on things I'm not good at."
"I think Dave has really made such an impact throughout the season, but also on the game because he's an inside presence," Day said. "And when he can push his pocket, it makes everything different in the world. And then when he does what he does today, which is just to beat a blocker and get a sack, that changes the quarterback's mentality … I think Larry has done a great job with Davon, his career development here. But he is one of the most sophisticated guys in our team and has been out of season. And now he plays like that. It's great to see a person who's evolved and has great success. "
As a 6-foot-4, 310-pound hippo, Hamilton avoids a possible comparison with Aaron Donald in favor of a fellow 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive projectile who represented the Philadelphia Eagles in four Pro Bowls.
"I'm kind of trying to model myself after Fletcher Cox," Hamilton said. "This is kind of my favorite indoor safety liner."
Hamilton reinforces the matter more than usual because there was no Young in the state of Ohio to rush to the quarterback. Earlier in the week, Young addressed the Bookies in the team room with a simple message.
"Basically, he said he wouldn't be here but just go out there and play ball," Hamilton said. "That was the whole message. It is what it is. We just have to deal with it right now. "
"support. We just support him in everything," said Zack Harrison. "This is our brother."
With Young, along with other starting defensive end Jonathan Cooper, the Buckeyes had to figure out how to recover and generate a pass attack without their star. On Saturday, they handled seven sacks, the most in a single game this season.
"Obviously Chase is a great player," Borland said. "Will be missed. But we have always preached the next person, the mentality of the next person. Be ready when your phone is called. These guys up front did a great job today. "
"I think it just proves that we can go through adversity, we are resilient and we can go through anything," Tyrek Smith said. "Nothing can bring us down. We were knocked down before. We just keep getting up and throwing punches. Coach J, he treats us all the same. He is a great coach. I think just about everyone has something, a set of skills to bring to the table. I just think everyone had to go to the elite level to play at their best today. "
Among the main contributors to the effort to replace Young was Zack Harrison, a freshman from Olentangy Orange. Harrison made his first career start Saturday, signaling another step in what is likely to be a special career in Ohio.
"He's a real athletic kid, really fast," Smith said. "I think his departure is everything. Take-off is all along the D-line and it's so crazy in it that it's so high, strong, fast and can get off the ball, get off the rock. This is key to getting to the defender. First is the descent, then this is your manual technique. I feel he has received this tapping and then uses his hands more and more. In practice, he is learning more and more, and his output is rising to different levels. "
Like Young, Harrison entered the state of Ohio as a five-star prospect with the expectations he had accumulated. And though they will only spend one season in Columbus together, he follows Young's leading position this year.
"Chase helped me in a bunch of ways," Harrison said. "Every time I get a representative, I look at Chase, 'What did you see? What could I do better? "
"That's what I really do," Harrison said. "I just follow in his footsteps, do what he does."
One mistake in an otherwise impressive first start came when Harrison bent after a sack. This resulted in a penalty shootout, taking away his game. He then says the referee told him he was a penalty shootout as flex flexed over the defender.
"I didn't even want to bend for a long time or anything," Harrison said. "I was just trying to get excited, celebrate with my teammates and everything. I guess when I looked back, it was like, "Ex." But at the moment I didn't think any of that. "
"(The judge) said he just had to be smart," Harrison said. "You can't bend over anyone. It's like a mockery. "
The tight end has seven catches for 73 yards and three touchdowns this season. In four games this season, he failed to miss. Therefore, most of his contributions came as a blocker.
"Our whole mantra of the Ohio State football team is racing," says Ruckert. "When your phone is called, you start playing, whether it's security against leaks, running routes, blocking traffic, all you have to do. This is what really buys our narrow gadget is that we are the most selfless unit. All we have to do is we will do it and I think this is an example. "
A decent portion of Ohio State's offensive success this season can be attributed to the third decline. Bookies converted 58.2 percent of third downs, and on Saturday they went 9 to 14 in third down conversions.
"It's definitely something that if you win third downs, if you convert third downs, you win the game," Rucker says. "If you convert third downs and stop them down third, this is one of our plans to win the game."