Analysis of Scarlet & Gray Matter

Analysis of Scarlet & Gray Matter

Joey Kaufman’s thoughts on Saturday’s Ohio State-Toledo game:

The game in hand

Summary of short attention span: Ohio State gave CJ Stroud more targets. That included his favorite. He threw more touchdowns. Another clinic died. The offense will be suspended the night before Big Ten play. Buckeyes endured some Dequan Finn highs, or lows for their defense. But four touchdowns over three non-conference games is a big improvement for that side of the ball.

Pre-game buzz: A good question about the bar might be the last time Ohio State lost to an in-state opponent. The answer is, well, Oberlin College in 1921. A century later, Toledo became the latest Ohio team to try to make history by overwhelming the Buckeyes — or at least the fear of 2011 -esque.

Ohio State Football:Five things we learned from Ohio State’s 77-21 win over Toledo

Rob Oller:Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was sensational in a blowout win against Toledo

Ohio State Football:Dallan Hayden exceeded expectations while filling in against Toledo

Spread the wealth? Like betting on the Buckeyes? It paid off in the end. Those who set the 31 points that broke in. Ohio State has been unable to cover the score sheet in its first two games this season. It didn’t make anyone sweat it out, either. When tight end Mitch Rossi got into the end zone to cap off his first drive of the second half, OSU took a 35-point lead and continued to put it on.

Strategically speaking: To play or not to play? That’s the question many of the Buckeyes’ defensive starters had heading into the non-conference finale. The Buckeyes were ultimately cautious. Safety Tanner McCalister and Josh Proctor were held out. So was defensive tackle Mike Hall. The only sign Ohio State was looking forward to next week was its injury management.

The Scene

  • How the team sees it: Four quarters to feel good about.

  • How will the pollsters see it: It’s time to measure up against Big Ten competition.

  • How Buckeye Nation will see it: Grateful not to face Dequan Finn again.

Hey, what did Ryan Day say?

  • What he said: “You look at the scoreboard, we are proud of what we did.”

  • What does it mean: Seventy-seven points speak for themselves.

They said it

  • Pregame chat: “We are growing. We are not perfect. But tonight the message is going to have a big impact. It is time to start in front.” Ryan Day, to fans at the Skull Session pregame.

  • Talking heads: “The only Knowles I know who was a bigger rock star last year than Beyonce.” FOX’s Spencer Tillman on Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.

September 17, 2022;  Columbus, Ohio, United States of America;  Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Knowles walks into Ohio Stadium before the NCAA Division I football game against the Toledo Rockets.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

September 17, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, United States of America; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Knowles walks into Ohio Stadium before the NCAA Division I football game against the Toledo Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State Football:Julian Fleming hits the season finale for OSU football against Toledo

Numbers for dummies

77: Points scored by the Buckeyes, the most since Ryan Day took over the program full-time in 2019.

763: Ohio State’s total yards, second-most in a game in school history.

7: On consecutive possessions the Buckeyes’ offense scored a touchdown to start the game.

256.8: Stroud’s quarterback rating, the second-highest of his 15 starts at Ohio State.

108: Rushing yards by freshman Dallan Hayden, the first running back this season to surpass 100 yards.

5: Touchdown catches by Marvin Harrison Jr. this season, including two more catches against Toledo.

223: Yards of total offense by Toledo quarterback Dequan Finn, which accounted for nearly three-quarters of the Rockets’ production.

31%: Converting on third downs by the Toledo offense.

2: The Buckeyes’ defense forced a turnover.

1: Penalties committed by Ohio State after being flagged a combined 16 times in the first two games.

56: Ohio State’s margin of victory, its largest since a 73-14 win over Maryland in 2019.

On tap

Wisconsin is back on Ohio State’s schedule after being out for two seasons. Next week’s final at Ohio Stadium will be the first meeting between a pair of teams in 2019 that included the Big Ten championship game. Need a refresher on the Badgers? It’s still a run-heavy, ball-control offense with Braelon Allen serving as the latest feature back. Allen has rushed for 332 yards and five touchdowns in three games and looms as the biggest test so far for the Buckeyes’ rebuilt defense.

Tweethearts

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State football analysis: How OSU beat the Toledo Rockets

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