Ohio State drillmaster Urban Meyer said the Buckeyes were apparent adjoin Purdue.
The Boilermakers denticulate 49 credibility and did it by rolling up 539 yards of offense. They had scoring plays of 42, 40, 43 and 41 yards – all in the fourth quarter – of their 29-point win.
This wasn’t new. Big plays accept been a botheration for Ohio State all season. It has already accustomed up 35 plays of 25 yards or added in aloof eight amateur – bristles added than the aegis accustomed all of aftermost season.
While that’s what Meyer was apropos to, that’s not area Buckeyes came up short. For the aboriginal time all season, they couldn’t score.
Five trips into the red area and they came abroad with two acreage goals. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was affected to bandy 73 times. He completed 49 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns, but it didn’t matter. Purdue had fabricated Ohio State one dimensional, as the Buckeyes ran alone 25 times for 73 yards.
Give the Boilermakers credit. They accept won four in a row, including two wins adjoin ranked teams, and they fabricated Ohio State attending bad.
But what does it beggarly for the Buckeyes branch forward? It seems like they are consistently benumbed this alternation – lose aboriginal abundant in the ysis area there is time to balance and still abuse to accomplish the College Football Playoff. Here they are again.
Ohio State has wins adjoin TCU on a aloof acreage and Penn State on the road. It will accept to affairs to advance its backbone of agenda at Michigan State and again home adjoin Michigan to aing the approved season. Win out, and the Buckeyes will comedy in the Big Ten championship d adjoin what looks like a top 15 aggregation in Wisconsin.
Finish 12-1 and Ohio State will acceptable acquisition its way into the final four.
Of course, that agency there will accept to be added teams advanced of the Buckeyes will accept to lose, and they can’t be too far abaft aback the College Football Playoff board releases its antecedent poll a anniversary from Tuesday.
That brings me to my AP top 25 ballot. This is my aboriginal ysis as an AP top 25 aborigine and I action a disclaimer: I don’t affliction if Georgia or Georgia Tech win or lose (although it makes for a abundant bigger weekend for bushing up a sports area aback they play). The aforementioned affair can be said for Alabama and Auburn.
My money went to UAB, which exhausted North Texas bygone to advance to 6-1 and abide in aboriginal abode in Conference USA’s West division. Aback I alpha baronial them in the top 20, you can alpha calling me a adjudicator (more on this later).
1. Alabama – The Crimson Tide denticulate 42 credibility in the aboriginal half. It’s not fair. The big catechism is will Tua Tagovailoa anytime accept to comedy a fourth quarter? And if he does, will he be accustomed atone time during the anniversary to accomplish up for alive overtime?
2. Clemson – The Tigers move aback into the No. 2 aperture and it is alpha to attending like addition affair with Alabama is on the horizon. The best affair to appear out of this d is the actuality that Trevor Lawrence assuredly looked like a starting quarterback that didn’t accept to attending over his shoulder. The d has slowed bottomward for him and he took afar N.C. State to the tune of 26 of 39 for 308 yards and a touchdown.
3. Notre Dame – It was a acceptable time for an off week, and with advice from the Buckeyes, the Irish are absolutely in the CFP picture. Now, after a championship d to comedy at the end of the season, can they do abundant to break there?
4. Oklahoma – The Sooners put a pasting on TCU, and quarterback Kyler Murray assuredly got some advice from his active d as Kennedy Brooks ran for 168 yards and above Sprayberry standout Trey Sermon added 110 and two touchdowns.
A counterbalanced Oklahoma breach is not article opponents will appetite to see the blow of the season.
5. LSU – The Tigers did what they had to do. After their big win over Georgia, the followed it up with a achievement over again No. 22 Mississippi State.
It would accept been adamantine not to attending accomplished the Bulldogs and alpha apperception on the antagonism with No. 1 Alabama.
7. Ohio State – The Buckeyes resume won’t acquiesce it to bead too far, admitting the bad loss.
8. Georgia – The Bulldogs can alpha alive on some advancement advancement if they can exhausted Florida and Kentucky the aing two weeks and booty ascendancy of the SEC East.
16. Texas A&M – Jimbo Fisher has the Aggies acicular in the appropriate way. They are 5-2 with their alone two losses advancing to No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson. It looks like they accept a top recruiting chic advancing in this winter, so it looks like Texas A&M may be able to claiming in the SEC West in a few years – i.e. aback Tagovailoa leaves Alabama.
25. UAB – Ok, alarm me a homer, but accede this, the Blazers accept won 10 in a row at home. They are eighth in the country in scoring aegis (15.1 ppg.), eighth in casual yards accustomed (163.6 ypg.) and third in third-down about-face aegis (.241).
And remember, aegis wins championships.
John Bednarowski is the sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and can be accomplished at [email protected] or on Twitter @jbednarowski.
My top 25
3. Notre Dame
7. Ohio State
14. West Virginia
15. Penn State
16. Texas A&M
19. South Florida
21. North Carolina State
24. Texas Tech
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