54-21. That’s the team Buckeye Nation has been expecting to see since they began the 2017 season as the number two-ranked team. 44 points, 361 total net yards and 6 touchdowns came in the first half alone. They finished the game with 664 total yards, 474 in the air on 10.8 yards per pass play. Very impressive for a unit that has struggled mightily in that department through the first three games of the season.
UNLV, like Army last week, are the type of teams the Buckeyes would normally play to open the season to tune up for a top five team or B1G opener. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Ohio State did what it did to the Rebels. OSU has more depth, talent and speed than UNLV, who’s at the bottom of a mid-major conference (Mountain West). The Bucks third-team would be starters at UNLV.
The flaws that were exposed in the defensive secondary by Indiana game one, and on the offensive line in game two by Oklahoma, would’ve have been cleaned up against Army and UNLV had the last two games been flipped with the first two. Who knows how different the vibe would be around “The ‘Shoe” right now if they were able to correct them against inferior opposition before being exposed in the national spotlight.
There’s nothing really to analyze from this game. So I’ll take a different approach to this matchup.
However there are other things worth mentioning…
J.T. Barrett is a very, very, good COLLEGE quarterback. J.T. completed twelve of his seventeen pass attempts for 209 yards passing, moving him to 2nd All-time in career passing yards in Ohio State history, before he exited late in the first half. He completed a pass to eight different receivers. All five of his touchdown passes were caught by different receivers.
The first-team defense held the Rebels scoreless in the first thirty minutes, while also registering a safety and two interceptions that led to touchdowns. Coming into the season all the experts said the Silver Bullets were the strength of this team and they did not disappoint. UNLV was only able to muster 264 total yards, while giving up four sacks.
The only thing we really learned on Saturday is that Dwayne Haskins can be as good as we all think he can be. But he’s not ready. To me he looks like a more athletic Cardale Jones, no disrespect to Jones who is athletic in his own right. But, Haskins has the speed to run the read option like J.T. and sling it with power like Cardale. He did throw an easy pick six and had several missed throws playing in garbage time versus inferior opposition. So for all the fans that want him to replace Barrett now, simmer down and allow him to wait his time. We still don’t know if he can beat out Joe Burrow.
All in all, a great win, but pretty much what was expected. It could’ve been worse had Parris Campbell and Rashod Berry had not fumbled inside the five-yard line while going in to score touchdowns. But it’s on to B1G play and Rutgers under the lights.