Ohio State Football: Why Tulane game may have been a good tune-up

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts on the sideline while playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts on the sideline while playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Ohio State football team took care of Tulane easily on Saturday but was it a good tune-up for this week’s game against Penn State?

It’s difficult to pick apart the Ohio State football team’s 49-6 win last Saturday. However, there were negatives and question marks as well as positives in the victory over Tulane which may make one wonder if it was a good tune-up for this week’s game vs. Penn State.

I think it may have been and here’s why.

First, let’s look at a few of the positives.

The biggest one was that starters and key backups got plenty of rest with the Buckeyes having a big lead at halftime. Going into what will be a very physical game in Happy Valley that is definitely a plus.

Also, Dwayne Haskins and his receiving corps stayed on their roll with 300+ yards and 5 touchdowns in two quarters.

The linebacker corps was the most active they have been all season. It was nice to see senior Dante Booker have such a nice game.

Dre’Mont Jones continued to be a beast at the three technique tackle position. Backups Tate Martell and Demario McCall performed well in the second half and freshman Chris Olave had a nice catch and once again looked like he could become a star wide receiver down the road.

Now for the question marks.

The slobs didn’t knock the Tulane front seven around like I thought they would. Haskins and Martell were also pressured in the pocket more often than I expected.

This could have been the result of the defensive scheme the Green Wave employed. Possibly the Tulane defensive coaches saw flaws on the Ohio State O-line they wanted to take advantage of. This could either be a positive or a negative.

If there are issues that need addressed, and coach Studrawa doesn’t get things fixed, Penn State may use the same approach and will have the athletes to make it work.

However, it could be a situation like the one during the 2014 season when Virginia Tech unexpectedly employed the ‘Bear’ defense and the O-line wasn’t prepared for it. After that game, the Slobs corrected their flaws and never had a problem with that scheme again even though several teams used it later on.

If there were flaws in the offensive line’s blocking that needed corrected, it was better to find them out during a convincing win than during an important game like the Buckeyes are about to play.

Another question mark was with the line on the other side of the ball. While the D-line had 10 of the 11 sacks during the first three games of the season they only had 1 of the 4 against Tulane without defensive end Nick Bosa and nose tackle Robert Landers in the lineup.

I put this as a question mark because defensive coordinator Greg Schiano may have just been giving the Penn State coaching staff something to think about this week with the blitz packages he employed. If that was the case, it may have been a positive. Anytime you give the team you are about to play other things to be concerned about it’s a good thing.

Now for the negatives.

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The Buckeyes gave up big plays once again which has been a big problem so far this season. That’s not a comforting thought with Penn State having a ton of talent on offense.

The penalty situation was terrible last Saturday. By my count there were five penalties on special teams and one was a personal foul around 25 yards from the ball.

If I counted wrong and there were only four that’s still too many. Making dumb penalties on the road in a hostile environment against a good team isn’t a recipe for success.

The Buckeyes have to get that cleaned up before Saturday.

With the good things that transpired in the win over Tulane, as well as negative ones and question marks, I think it was a good tune-up game before facing Penn State.

dark. Next. Can the Buckeyes win in Happy Valley?

Coaches always want to point out things their team can improve on after a dominating win so they don’t get too full of themselves. I’m sure the Ohio State coaching staff has been doing just that this week. If their messages are getting through to the players, the Tulane game will have been a good tune-up for the big game coming up Saturday.