Five things we think we learned after Ohio State’s destruction of Michigan State in Columbus

·5 min read

Well, that was fun, if not a little unexpected for Ohio State against Michigan State. I think a lot of people felt pretty good about the matchup of OSU’s passing game vs. the struggling secondary of the Spartans. That certainly played out to be true, but there’s more than that that we can take away from this contest.

In fact, after every Buckeye game, we try to pull back the layers of the scarlet and gray onion as a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to what we saw on the field of play. We’re doing the same here because there is a lot to digest after this one, most of it very, very good.

Here are five things we think we learned after Ohio State’s 56-7 victory over the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday

C.J. Stroud might be the frontrunner for the Heisman now

C.J. Stroud showed out today in front of a national audience. It was pegged as the biggest college football game of the weekend because it was the only top ten matchup on the docket. If that was the case, you would think there were plenty of eyeballs on this one, at least early.

Stroud then came out and threw six touchdown passes with precision and confidence. To make it all even more of a statement, the redshirt freshman quarterback did it against a team that also had a Heisman frontrunner with Kenneth Walker III.

It should all play well in the minds of those filling out the ballots for the bronze statue.

This is the best wide receiving corps ever at Ohio State

These types of things are usually all opinion, and I guess that’s the case here too, but I don’t know how you can possibly come up with another wide receiving unit in the history of the Ohio State program that’s better than this one. The trio of Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the best in the country, but it’s way more than that.

All three are going to be over 1,000 yards for the season when it’s all said and done, and they all have a shot at also being first-round draft picks. Each is a little different, but all three are steady, explosive, and uber-talented. I mean, when you have guys like Julian Fleming, Marvin Harrison, Jr., and Emeka Ebuka looking for playing time, that’s all you need to know about how deep and talented this unit is.

Ohio State is a real threat to win the national title

OK. I’m going to say it. We’ve been kind of waiting to see and circling the runway about how good this Ohio State team can be, and it seems to be all coming together.

To be fair, there were reasons for concerns of course with the defense giving up yards and points, and some sputtering and smoking in the red zone a few times against teams with good defenses. But, there’s no denying the talent and ability of this squad when it’s playing like it can.

Yes, the Buckeyes are a real threat to win the national title this year, and if you’re picking a team to match up with that dominant defense of Georgia, it has to be the OSU offense against the Dawgs.

But, first things first, OSU has to prepare and get past Michigan next weekend.

You have to respect the improvement of the Ohio State defense

You hear the coach-speak, but it’s pretty amazing when it happens. It’s not too often that we see a unit taking on water early in the year and get to witness an extraordinary turnaround. I think what we’ve seen from the Ohio State defense from early in the year until now qualifies as a pretty remarkable remodeling project that turned out splendidly.

Yeah, there were still some inconsistencies in there when things got out of hand against Purdue and at times against other teams, but there is clear improvement and it’s come with playcalling, cementing personnel, and experience.

You have to give Ryan Day and his staff a ton of credit for turning that side of the ball around after watching the defense almost pitch a shutout against a Spartan offense that’s been a very good unit this season.

Michigan has its work cut out for it next week

I know Jim Harbaugh and Michigan won’t come out and say it, and who would blame the Wolverines really? But there’s no way the maize and blue don’t see this result and other Ohio State offensive explosions and not know that they have their work cut out for them next week.

You can’t just take one result and extrapolate it out, but Ohio State’s offense when clicking is nearly unstoppable. We’ve seen speed at the wide receiver position be a real problem for Michigan the last few years against the Buckeyes and that’s going to be a big issue again this season.

It’s a rivalry game, so maybe the Wolverines can find a way to find some magic, but there has to be some concern on the faces of Michigan fans, players, and coaches after seeing Ohio State start to peak at just the right time.

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