When Charles Brantley intercepted CJ Stroud’s first quarter pass and took it 32 yards (untouched) into the end zone, there was actually an audible gasp in the press box.
It’s like we collectively saw a ghost.
Stroud and Emeka Egbuka were clearly on a different wavelength on the play. Egbuka ran a go-route and Stroud through a 5-yard out, allowing the Spartans to briefly tie the game at 7-7.
This might sound like hyperbole, but it sure feels like you can count the number of offensive mistakes Ohio State has made through six games this season on one hand.
On a serious note: who’s going to stop them?
It’s like they’re playing a different sport than everyone else is.
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Jaxon Smith-Njigba might be the best player on Ohio State’s offense. He has four catches for 36 yards over two games this season, and the Buckeyes are far and away the best offensive attack in the country even without him.
I know they only beat Notre Dame 21-10 in a game that was fairly tight for three quarters. But there are so many reasons why that first game of the year was a little bit clunky. Even now, with a team that has been hampered by injuries to key players, I don’t see a defense anywhere across college football that can keep them under 30 points – and that includes Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Michigan.
I said it at the beginning of the season, I’ll say it now and I’ll say it until the cows come home. The only team stopping the Buckeyes in 2022 is the Buckeyes.
Before pulling the starters at the end of the third quarter today, Ohio State had 565 yards of total offense and had held MSU to -8 rushing yards and just 105 total yards. The Buckeyes scored a touchdown on each of the non-pick-6 possessions, including three drives that went 91, 96 and 98 yards.
It’s not like they had great field position to work with all day, and they expected that – Michigan State has the best punter in college football right now.
They averaged 17.6 yards per completion on CJ Stroud’s 21 completions, as he tied his own school-record with six touchdown passes. He’s now thrown 12 touchdowns against the Spartans the last two years.
Marvin Harrison Jr. became the third Ohio State receiver to have three touchdowns in a game three times in a season. Is this a good time to remind you that they’ve only played six of their (at least) 13 games this year? Harrison’s 2022 highlight reel through six games is better than most players have in a four-year career.
Emeka Egbuka had a pretty memorable afternoon. He caught five passes for 143 yards and a score. Julian Fleming had a touchdown in his 4-catch, 81 yard day too.
Meanwhile, without Miyan Williams available today TreVeyon Henderson had 118 rushing yards and one score on 19 carries (all but one of which came in the first half).
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Ryan Day’s play-calling was surgical. The play designs on Saturday were marvelous. Michigan State applied some reasonable pressure on Stroud at times, but most of the time he had a clean pocket and the Spartans got caught looking one direction when Stroud intended to throw another one.
The Buckeyes are heading into the bye needing to keep their focus and hoping to get healthy. They’ve certainly earned the break.
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