The College Football Playoff picture looks a little bit more clear after a huge night in Norman. No. 3 Ohio State entered as just 2.5-point favorites against the No. 16 ranked Oklahoma Sooners, but they looked like they should have been favored by at least 10.
The Buckeyes came out swinging and scored two unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter alone. OSU went up 21-7 in the second quarter on an unbelievable, ridiculous touchdown catch by Buckeye wideout Noah Brown. I mean look at this thing — he hauls it in with one hand on the defender’s back. (!)
Ohio State would dominate the game throughout, and the Buckeyes would go on to beat Oklahoma convincingly 45-24, sending a message to the whole country and the College Football Playoff selection committee.
It’s amazing how different things look now for Urban Meyer, who is now 19-0 on the road, and the Buckeyes than it did to start this year. Heading into the 2016 season, OSU returned just six total starters from a year ago — three on offense and three on defense. Returning six total starters would mark for the lowest in the entire FBS.
So, with the odds being heavily stacked against them with the experience department severely lacking, most wrote the Buckeyes off before the year even began, citing that this would be a rebuilding year for the Bucks, and the crown for the Big Ten would likely go to Michigan.
But it’s obvious this is far from a rebuilding year in Columbus. Meyer, a well-known phenomenal recruiter at every place he’s been, put together back-to-back top-five recruiting classes in 2013 and 2014, and that hard work paid off sufficiently. Those classes had several members produce this brand new, very inexperienced team that went into Norman and silenced the Sooners in primetime.
OU quarterback Baker Mayfield was trounced by OSU’s defense early — the junior completed just 53% of his passes and tossed two interceptions. This performance comes just a few days after OU backup quarterback Austin Kendall called the Buckeye defense “basic” and predicted that the Sooners would light the unit up.
Ohio State enjoyed that one, I think. pic.twitter.com/kgdGtSDY6u— David Ubben (@davidubben) September 18, 2016
Following a Week 3 that included No. 4 Michigan pulling away 45-28 from a dogfight with Colorado at home, defending Big Ten West Champion Iowa being upset by FCS powerhouse North Dakota State and No. 12 Michigan State downing No. 16 Notre Dame on the road, the Big Ten East looks like it could very well come down to Ohio State and Michigan State. But don’t get me wrong — that Nov. 26 matchup vs Michigan is circled on every Buckeye’s calendar.
Ohio State finished the night with 445 total yards of offense, zero turnovers and an impressive 2-for-2 mark on fourth down, the Buckeyes walked out of Norman victorious. Mark it down folks, this Buckeye team ain’t full of a bunch of is full of scrubs. Rebuilding year be damned — this Ohio State Buckeye team is absolutely for real.