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What We Learned from Ohio State’s 77-10 Thrashing of Bowling Green

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Six returning starters is all Ohio State brought back from the super-talented 2015 Buckeye squad, but the missing players were not missed in Week 1. The new-look Buckeyes started with a pick-six to fall behind 7-0, but then everything else went right for OSU.

Eleven touchdowns later, the Falcons left the Horseshoe battered and bruised, while the young Buckeyes have a good first performance to build on. The play was not perfect, but the results are good enough as this young team moves onto Tulsa next week and bigger challenges beyond that.

Let’s take a look at three things we learned from this opening-week beatdown by the Buckeyes.

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1. The Offensive Coaches Finally Have It Figured Out

There were many mistakes in the 2015 season which caused what was arguably the best team in the country to fall short of winning the Big Ten championship and making the playoff, but perhaps the biggest errors were not deciding on a single quarterback and having trouble figuring out how to run an offense with the different styles of Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett. However, now that Tim Beck and Ed Warriner have had a full offseason to work out the best way to run an offense with just J.T. Barrett, the results speak for themselves.

Granted, BGSU is not bringing a top-flight defense to the field, but the numbers still speak for themselves. 776 yards of total offense sets a school record and breaks the former record by over 50 yards, while the 77 points is well above the maximum number of points (49) the 2015 put up in any game last season. Urban Meyer likes to hit an ideal of about 250 yards passing and 250 yards rushing, and the first-team offense had almost eclipsed both of those numbers in the first half.

J.T. Barrett threw for 349 yards and 6 touchdowns, leading what was clearly designed to be a pass-heavy offense. The deep threats and quick passes opened up rushing lanes for Mike Weber, who took full advantage with 136 yards on 19 carries. Weber was tripped up on about 5 to 6 runs which could have broken for the big plays Ezekiel Elliott was famous for a year ago.

In short, what the Buckeyes put on the field was a competent offensive game plan that clearly had purpose as well as effectiveness. It was built to exploit the strengths of this team, including a deep wide receiver corps as well as an experienced quarterback.

The 2016 offense may live up to the potential the 2015 offense never did. That it very scary for other Big Ten teams.

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2. Ohio State is absolutely loaded with weapons

Everybody knew J.T. Barrett would likely be a star, but what was unknown was the star talent he has around him in the 2016 offense. Starting with Mike Weber, there’s no doubt why this freshman running back has locked up the starting spot. He looks like a powerful running back just like Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott, but he also has serious explosive capabilities as well.

Weber may be outshined by another offensive weapon, this being Curtis Samuel. In his debut as a full-time hybrid back, Samuel put up 84 rushing yards and 177 receiving yards, accounting for 3 touchdowns overall. On one play in particular, Samuel showed everything he brings to the table as he moved out of the backfield into a slot position, finding a mismatch in coverage with a Falcons linebacker. J.T. Barrett saw this mismatch too and hit Samuel in stride in the middle of the field, at which point Samuel streaked past all of the Falcon defenders for an easy touchdown.

The fun does not stop there. Barrett throw touchdowns to three other receivers: Noah Brown, K.J. Hill, and Dontre Wilson. Demario McCall joined the reception touchdown parade when backups took over led by Joe Burrow at QB. Meyer says this is the deepest group of receivers he’s had at Ohio State, and that was on full display Saturday.

Anybody still missing all those talented skill players from the 2015 team? Didn’t think so.

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3. Ohio State’s defense is clutch, so far

Bowling Green drove down the field on a few drives in this game, but you would not know it from the 3 total points that unit put on the scoreboard. The primary reason for this ineffectiveness in scoring was the Buckeye defense coming up with big plays in clutch situations and on their own end of the field.

This includes 3 total interceptions, including a 75-yard touchdown return by Rodjay Burns for the final score of the day. Linebacker Malik Hooker also picked off two passes on the day, one of which was the most athletic play of the day. Hooker jumped high in the air to tip the ball straight up and then stuck with it to grab the interception as he fell on his back to the ground.

The Buckeyes also stopped BGSU on a fourth-down attempt deep in their own territory in the first quarter as well. By limiting the Falcons to 69 total yards rushing, the defense was able to play strong coverage and make big plays in the backfield. Those big plays will be critical when the opponents get tougher.

In short, just like the offense, the new players on defense will be just fine. Bigger tests await in the future, but this group is starting to develop from a good place.

Beware Oklahoma and Big Ten: the Buckeyes look solid, and they are on a mission to recapture what was lost in 2015.

Dave is a FWAA member and a Columnist focusing on Big Ten football for talking10. Before joining talking in 2014, he was a Featured Columnist for three years at Bleacher Report and previously wrote for seven years on SouthernCollegeSports.com. He was born in Hawkeye Country and went to college in Columbus, so there's plenty of B1G running through his blood. Dave is a patent and trademark attorney in his day job. If you have any questions in those areas or about his latest articles, please contact him on Twitter @BuckeyeFitzy.

Buckeyes Football

Greg Schiano out at Ohio State, Michigan’s Mattison reportedly in

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In terms of rivalries, there is no more intense in the Big Ten than Michigan an Ohio State. It’s one that lives on in the fans, players and coaches for 365 days a year.

On Jan. 7, 2019 things got a whole lot more interesting for the next 365 days that’s for sure.

First, news broke that defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will not be back with the Buckeyes under new head coach Ryan Day. Many believed this past season wasn’t up to par for the Buckeyes and Schiano seemed likely to take the fall for that.

OSU finished this season ranked 72nd in total defense after back-to-back seasons in the top 10 of that category nationwide. The Buckeyes gave up over 400 yards of total offense this year as well.

So, who will replace Schiano? In a really interesting twist, multiple reports have come out stating that Day has his replacement ready — in the form of Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison.

According to Mike Sullivan of 97.1 The Ticket, Mattison’s contact with Michigan was about to be up and that Harbaugh chose not to renew his deal.

Thus, he is a free agent and Day has chosen to scoop him up.

Mattison is very familiar with this rivalry, having served as Michigan’s defensive coordinator under Brady Hoke (2011-2014) and then accepting just the defensive line coaching position on Jim Harbaugh’s staff.

His defenses were very consistent in his four seasons as defensive coordinator. Michigan was never worse than 31st in the country in total defense and peaked at No. 6 in his final season at the helm of the Wolverines defense.

Coaches plying their trade on both sides of the rivalry is nothing new, but it is a rarity overall.

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Buckeyes Football

BREAKING: Urban Meyer announces retirement

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Last week, FootballScoop.com reported that Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer would be stepping down by the end of the 2019 season and likely by the end of this season.

They also reported that Ryan Day would take over as the new head coach once that happened. 

After a weekend in which the rest of the media attempted to discredit the report, it is now exactly what is happening. 

Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com broke the news early this morning.  In the report, Lesmerises notes that Meyer is being forced to step down due to complications from a cyst on his brain. 

The Rose Bowl game against Pac-12 champion Washington will be the final game he will coach at Ohio State. 

Additionally, Ryan Day, who replaced Meyer as interim head coach while he was serving a three-game suspension to start the year will take over as the full-time head coach starting next season. 

More information will be made available at a news conference scheduled for 2pm ET. 

Meyer has had one of the most successful tenures as a head coach in Buckeyes history. He’ll retire having never lost to Michigan (7-0), won three Big Ten championships and with an 82-9 overall record at the helm of the Scarlet and Gray. 

OSU athletic director Gene Smith is the one who decided Day would get the job on a permanent basis, seeing what the Buckeyes did under his leadership in that three-game stint earlier this year and hoping to ride the wave of young coaches making big splashes. 

His rise up the coaching ranks comes just as the Buckeyes are putting up some of the most dynamic numbers in the pass game that college football has ever seen. 

Star quarterback Dwayne Haskins could potentially top the 5,000-yard and 50 touchdown marks in the upcoming Rose Bowl game. 

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Talking10 Podcast Episode 100: Something, something Urban Meyer

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Ohio State made its decision on Urban Meyer. Andy and Phil are here to break it all down for you and give you the truth in a hazy situation. What better way to celebrate episode 100 of the podcast than to spend 50 minutes breaking down a mess of a situation in Columbus, right?

We’ll talk our reactions to the press conference, break down the actual findings of OSU’s investigative report and we’ll even talk how the media-at-large and the OSU media handled the fallout from Wednesday night’s press conference.

Don’t forget you can listen to the podcast each week via Radio Public and other podcasting apps. 

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @talkingB1G

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Urban Meyer and OSU AD put on suspension following investigation

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The media stakeout of the Ohio State Board of Trustee’s meeting can now end. It only took 12 hours or so, but answers finally came. 

According to multiple reports, including from the AP, OSU head coach Urban Meyer is suspended for the first three games of the season. In addition, athletic director Gene Smith will serve the same suspension from Aug. 31 to Sept. 16 — both will not receive pay during that time frame as well. 

Both came under fire as this story unfolded. It began just prior to the Big Ten media days in late July, the story that Zach Smith had been arrested for criminal trespassing in April of this year broke and Meyer fired Smith on Monday morning of the start of Big Ten media days.

Brett McMurphy then detailed in an exclusive report that Smith had previously been “arrested” back in 2015 for a second allegation of domestic abuse against his then-wife Courtney Smith. 

Meyer was questioned about that arrest and allegation from 2015 at media days and struck out against reporters repeated questioning. He would deny knowing of the arrest report back in 2015. 

However, further reporting by McMurphy put that denial in to further question and Ohio State decided to get to the bottom of it. 

Once Meyer was put on paid administrative leave, he would put a statement out admitting to knowing about the 2015 incident and alerting athletic administrators of the domestic abuse allegations. 

Meyer has stayed silent since that statement and awaited the outcome of the 14-day inquiry in to whom knew what and when and what action was taken. 

That investigation ended this past Sunday, with the committee verbally advising the Board of Trustees on Monday morning of its findings. Two days later, the Board of Trustees would come to meet publicly and then behind closed doors to discuss what would happen to Meyer and others involved in this situation. 

Meyer’s suspension is for the first three games, and on the field that is a big hit with three FBS games coming at the start of the season. OSU kicks off the year against Oregon State, plays a Big Ten contest against Rutgers and a massive game against TCU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

We will have more on this situation and the reaction to what Meyer and Smith had to say on the talking10 Podcast tomorrow. 

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