Ohio State cruised to a 42-7 against San Diego State yesterday. Here is what I think are the key takeaway points from what I saw up in the camera deck at The Shoe.
- Lets start where we always do: Braxton Miller. Miller’s sample from this game is very limited as he was injured on the first drive. The few plays that Miller was out there on the field, the offense clicked. The tempo was once again very fast-paced, most notably right before the play where Braxton got hurt. He picked up the first down on a fourth and short on a read option and did not get up. It was told Miller could have returned but the game was well at hand.
- The Buckeyes do have a problem on offense: the fact that the rules allow only 5 skill-position players on the field at a time. The Buckeyes have playmakers in Jordan Hall, Dontre Wilson, Rod Smith, Ezekiel Elliot, Warren Ball, Bri’onte Dunn (who we haven’t seen) in the backfield and Devin Smith, Philly Brown, Chris Fields, Evan Spencer, Jeff Heuerman, and Nick Vannett in the passing game. We haven’t seen this much offensive depth of talent on the Buckeyes in a long time. Braxton (throwing), Guiton (throwing, running), Brown, Smith, Fields, Hall, Wilson and Smith have all scored touchdowns this season.
- Kenny Guiton’s fan base is continuing to grow. Last week Guiton made plays on the 2-pt conversion attempts and even threw a TD filling in for Braxton. Guiton played the whole game against San Diego State, throwing for 152 yards and 2 TD and rushing for 83 and a TD. Guiton was spot on with the exception of a few bad passes down the field. He was incredibly efficient in the short yardage game and did a fantastic job running standard and read options.
- Big play Devin Smith showed off his sure hands and good underneath route running skills. Smith hauled in 7 receptions for 46 yards. Both Smith and Brown have the ability to be possession or big play guys, and their versatility has really opened up the Buckeye offense.
- The Buckeyes secondary played exceptionally well in comparison to last week. They were boosted not only by the return of Bradley Roby, one of the team’s best open field tacklers, but the Buckeyes were also aided by the return of senior C.J. Barnett. Barnett’s leadership made the Buckeyes look much more like a finished product.
- Armani Reeves really stepped up as well, playing much better coverage in the playing time he received. Reeves jumped a slant route and recorded an interception. His performance showed a lot of promise, as mentioned in this week’s podcast.
- Marcus Hall was penalized 3 times on the offensive line for Ohio State.
- Corey “Pitt” Brown led the special teams unit that played well in kick coverage. That was an area of weakness last season.