Ohio State football: Akron game likes and dislikes

Ohio State Buckeyes safety Ronnie Hickman (14) returns the ball for an interception touchdown during the game against the Akron Zips at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 25.Osu21akr Njg 010
Ohio State Buckeyes safety Ronnie Hickman (14) returns the ball for an interception touchdown during the game against the Akron Zips at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 25.Osu21akr Njg 010 /

When you blow out a team that is completely overmatched, it can be difficult to discern if there was actual improvement in some areas. The good usually far outweighs the bad in these games. Such is the case with the Ohio State football team’s win over Akron.


Taking care of business – The Buckeyes were supposed to blow out the Zips and that’s exactly what they did. After a bit of a slow start, they buried Akron by halftime. It allowed Ryan Day to play a lot of young players and get them valuable reps in a game.

Being aggressive – Yes, it was one of the worst teams in all of FBS, but the Ohio State defense looked far more aggressive than in any of their first three games. They became more aggressive against Tulsa but increased the intensity against Akron.

Kyle McCord recovery – After a slow start, the true freshman came back to turn in a strong performance. Mistakes were made here and there, but he played with confidence, made some good throws, and showed his potential. Day called it a huge learning experience for McCord and Jack Miller, who played a great deal of the second half.

Steele Chambers After making the switch to linebacker in the offseason, I’m sure the former running back is still learning. But, I like how he is flying around and being aggressive-he appears to be the most athletic of the linebackers. He is looking more comfortable each week and I’m hoping his role expands as the season moves along

Cam Martinez – He made his first start yesterday at cover safety and continues to impress with his play.

Ronnie Hickman – He had an interception return for a touchdown, but he makes this list because he seems to be everywhere on defense.

Matthew Jones – The super-sub offensive lineman continues to be impressive anytime he is called on. Last season he stepped in at left guard when Harry Miller was out with positive COVID tests and allowed the offense to not miss a beat. Against the Zips, Jones started for Thayer Munford and did his usual outstanding job. The Brooklyn, New York native could start for the vast majority of teams in the country.

Toby Wilson and Chris Booker – Thanks to a lack of depth at center with Harry Miller being unavailable, Wilson played much of the second half. He is a true freshman walk-on who just joined the program in June. Booker, another walk-on, is a special teams mainstay who got playing time at receiver and had his first career reception. I always love seeing walk-ons get opportunities in games like this.


K’Vaughan Pope situation – The senior linebacker became incensed when he went to enter the game in a substitution package and was waved off by a teammate. He stormed off the field, was coaxed back, and then left the field again. He is obviously unhappy with his playing time (I’ve advocated he is deserving of more), but there is a better way to go about addressing his unhappiness.

Sevyn Banks – After performing well last season, many had the senior cornerback pegged as a first-round draft pick. What’s happened? Banks doesn’t look like the same player. With starter Cam Brown sitting out, Banks started against the Zips and didn’t do much to impress me.

The Big Ten schedule begins next week on the road against Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are much improved and are no longer the pushover they were as recently as two years ago. The Ohio State football team needs to determine C.J. Stroud’s availability, sort out the quarterback situation, and continue to take steps forward on defense this week in practice.

dark. Next. Does the Ohio State Football team have a locker room problem?

I expect a full-scale battle next Saturday.