The Ohio State Buckeyes are currently beating the Georgia Bulldogs to the tune of 28-24 going into halftime and Ohio State is sitting in the ideal situation. Most experts expected the SEC champions to be blasting the Buckeyes at this point, but Ohio State is in a prime position to snag an upset victory and a bid to the CFP national championship game.
It it can hold on.
Georgia does receive the ball to start the third quarter and the Buckeye defense hasn’t exactly been in lockdown, but they have been solid and had a strong drive to end the half and all of the momentum heading into the locker room. Let’s dive into three things that were most notable about the first half in this College Football Playoff semifinal.
Xavier Johnson is the X-factor
“Weapon X” proves to be an X-factor once again. Xavier Johnson runs a route out of the backfield, catches the deep ball and spins past a defender for a 37-yard touchdown. Ohio State retakes the lead, 28-24 with 49 seconds left to play before halftime.
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 1, 2023
Xavier Johnson has taken on the Curtis Samuel role as injuries have resulted in him seeing snaps at running back and he is obviously a talented receiver. Johnson currently has one carry for seven yards and two receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. Johnson might be making more noise in the second half.
Paris Johnson Jr. and his ups and downs
It’s not everyday you see Paris Johnson Jr get beat like he did on 3rd down
— Jay Stephens™ 🎙 (@JayStephens07) January 1, 2023
Paris Johnson Jr. is a future first-round pick and has had snaps that make him look that way even against an elite defensive line like Georgia. But he has also had some rough snaps, and if he can avoid further mistakes this offense should be fine in the second half.
Ronnie Hickman has struggled
OSU was in Tampa 2. That’s on Hickman as the deep half safety. Has to keep depth.
— Ross Fulton (@RossRFulton) January 1, 2023
Since declaring for the NFL Draft before the Michigan game, Ronnie Hickman has been a complete liability on this Ohio State defense. He is missing tackles and is in the wrong spot in coverage constantly. I have no idea why he has stuggled, but this needs to change.
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