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Buckeye Watch: Ohio State 62 - Nebraska 3
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — You've probably already watched the game at least a second time by now. I'll eventually do the same. Given everything that went on in Ohio State's 62-3 win over Nebraska, I know I missed a ton. I wrote down what I could, but you have to understand, I got really full during the game and I was tired even before I ate. It's just a good thing they didn't serve spaghetti, because that stuff knocks me out.

Anyway, on to the Watch.

5:48 I just had my brain secretly tell me that Joe Burrow is going to get serious time tonight. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

7:10 A Buckeye receiver needs to make a play after the catch tonight. I think they have about six yards after the catch this season total. Where’s the slant for 60 yards? Where’s the broken tackle on the sideline and then 30 yards added on?

7:22 The football program has made a conscious effort all week long to implore the fans to be loud for this game. Fans have replied that they need to have something to be loud about.

7:38 Ohio State has a laser show going on in their tunnel. I don’t think it’s safe. It’s all fun and games until somebody takes a laser to the eye. Also, I don’t like the way they’re throwing those jarts in pregame warmups.

7:41 A Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl rep just handed me a promotional card for free food, but I think it’s only good for one breakfast sandwich, which I’m appreciative of, but as a member of the media, if the free stuff you give me isn’t more than just one item, I get pretty annoyed at your cheapness. This is going to anger me tonight, I can tell.

7:43 I think I’m getting a cold. Brisket and mac & cheese is usually good for that, right?

8:11 Ohio State has won the toss and will defer. Perfect weather. No wind. Time to throw the ball around some.

8:15 Nebraska’s first third down. The crowd is loud. Tommy Armstrong drops back, his pass is tipped and intercepted by Damon Webb, he takes off, follows a Malik Hooker block and scores a touchdown. Well, this escalated quickly. Buckeyes lead it 7-0 and the smoke hasn’t even cleared yet.

8:16 That’s how you start it out and I got my safety interception prediction out of the way right away.

8:21 Third and nine. The Rushmen are in. The pass is tipped again, but this time Stanley Morgan Jr. pulls it down and picks up 27 yards on a fluke play down into Ohio State territory.

8:26 First and goal at the Ohio State 2-yard line. Tommy Armstrong is throwing with confidence. The give goes to Terrell Newby, who gets thrown down for a loss of one. On second down they go with jet motion and a roll out to the right for an incompletion. Third down is an incompletion on a slant. Eventually, a defense can survive by simply relying on Armstrong's inaccuracy throwing the ball.

8:28 Nebraska’s 20-yard field goal attempt is good. The Buckeyes lead it 7-3. The Ohio State offensive woes continue as the Buckeyes are now being outgained 64-0 in yards so far. How much longer can Urban Meyer put up with this?

8:32 Parris Campbell receives the kickoff at the 4-yard line and busts through to the 42-yard line. Well, that ankle is fine, folks.

8:36 Whoa, J.T. Barrett is now under center. It’s an end around to Curtis Samuel for 16 yards. That might be the first snap from under center this year that didn’t result in taking a knee.

8:40 Third and 20. The Nebraska fans are chanting “Go Big Red” Barrett drops back, has time and finds Dontre Wilson for 22 yards and a first down. That’s the kind of downfield passing that can overcome the lack of a deep threat.

8;43 Second and goal from the 7-yard line. They run the terrible inside shovel pass that never works. The speed option is better than the inside shovel. That leaves third and goal. Trips to the left. Barrett scrambles, stays alive and finds Terry McLaurin in the end zone for the touchdown. That has to feel good for Terry McLaurin. Barrett has done a great job of keeping the plays alive tonight and keeping his eyes downfield. He’s in control.

8:45 Buckeyes lead it 14-3 with 3:16 to play. This is the Ohio State offense people have been wanting to see.

8:47 J.T. Barrett is 5-6 for 49 yards and a touchdown. His lone incompletion was dropped.

8:48 Why did it take this stadium so long to do the O-H-I-O with cellphone flashlights? It seems like this is something they would have figured out like five years ago. Like what took so long for there to be chocolate shredded wheat?

8:52 Third and six. Trips right. Armstrong drops back and is throwing deep on Marshon Lattimore. It’s incomplete. You can try that if you want, but you’re never going to make a living on it. Nebraska punts.

8:54 Curtis Samuel is at Wildcat. Are we calling this the WildCurt yet? He takes it, reverses field, and picks up 11 yards. That would have been a much bigger gain had the outside receiver picked up his block. Oh, never mind, that outside receiver was J.T. Barrett. That brings us to the end of the first quarter. Ohio State leads it 14-3.

8:55 Once Samuel reversed field the entire coaching staff had to be like, “NOOOOO!” They all had visions of Barrett dislocating his right thumb trying to block.

8:56 Defense has given up 103 yards of offense, but some of that is flukish. Buckeyes running the ball well, which is the real story. Nebraska has 29 yards rushing on 11 carries. Ohio State is at 41 yards rushing on just six attempts.

9:02 Play action. Barrett is looking for Samuel deep on the post, but it’s behind him. There’s pass interference, so they’ll get 15 yards out of it. If he leads him on that throw it’s a touchdown. You have to forgive Barrett, however, because he he just hasn’t had enough practice throwing downfield. It’s open tonight though. We’ll see more of it.

9:04 Inverted veer and the give goes to Mike Weber. He picks up a nice block from Pat Elflein and takes it 23 yards for the touchdown. Actually, Elflein didn’t even have to block anybody, the defender took himself out of the play. That’s not very good defense. Easy pickings for the Buckeyes as they lead it 21-3 with 12:21 to play in the first half. Are you not entertained?

9:05 The Buckeyes should do good offense more often.

9:10 Nebraska goes three and out and the punt dies at the Husker 31-yard line. Austin Mack is now in the game for the Buckeyes. Let’s see what he’s got. Ugh, another carry for Curtis Samuel. Don’t you guys think he’s getting the ball too much? Why don’t people ever talk about why he gets the ball so much?

9:13 Barrett’s going deep on the post to Parris Campbell but it’s over his head. Tough throw, he would have had to drop it in over three defenders softly.

9:14 Rolling out, Weber is wide open and it’s overthrown again. Another open miss. That’s tough, but at least they're getting open. He didn’t need to loft that one so much.

9:8 Third and 10 from the 11-yard line. Binjimen Victor comes in. Gonna throw him a fade? Barrett is changing the play. Yep, it’s a fade, but they’re calling it incomplete. He was bobbling it. Here’s the replay. Ooh. that’s close. Second angle looks good. I think he’s got it, but there’s a little movement at the end. The play stands. Incomplete. Tyler Durbin is good from 29 yards out. Buckeyes lead it 24-3. Nebraska finally dodged a bullet.

9:28 Another three and out and another punt for Nebraska. And another muff for Dontre Wilson. Huskers recover. Wilson’s days as a punt returner are officially over. Time to find somebody new.

9:30 Third and seven. Tommy Armstrong drops back, it’s a QB draw and Jerome Baker can’t bring him down and Armstrong picks up the first down. Uh oh, Armstrong is down and he isn’t moving. I think he’s out cold. They moved him. He’s on a stretcher now. They turned him over I think. There’s 12 guys hunched over him. Can’t see in there. J.T. is in there checking on him. I think he just got knocked out. He’s on his back now. It looks like a state trooper has brought his dad and possibly a girlfriend down there now I think. They’ve got him a neck brace. He’s talking but I don’t see arms and legs moving. Strapping him in. Being put on the cart. Crowd cheers. He gave a thumbs up with his left hand. Crowd chanting “Tommy! Tommy!” Good sign in a bad situation, I hope. You hate it when football turns to real life. He’s now being put into the ambulance.

9:42 And now you become cold blooded and have to see who the backup quarterback is. It’s senior Ryker Fyfe.

9:43 The ambulance is still in the stadium and we’re already running the clock.

9:49 Fourth and one. Fyfe rolls out and it’s incomplete, pressure by Tyquan Lewis. There are reports coming out now that the hospital visit is precautionary for Armstrong, which would be great news.

9:51 Third and nine. Trips left. It’s a timely QB draw and there is nobody home. Barrett breaks a tackle and picks up 20 yards. The Ohio State playcalling is three steps ahead of the Nebraska defense tonight.

9:57. Buckeyes are hurrying up. Under 10 seconds. Weber gets the hand off and picks up the first down at the 1-yard line with seven seconds remaining. Timeout Buckeyes. That’s their final timeout.

9:59 You’ve got time for two plays here. Buckeyes go with four wide to left. Empty set. Barrett fakes the run and it’s a jump pass! Touchdown to Curtis Samuel. We shoulda known. The Ohio State playcalling is three steps ahead of us too. Buckeyes lead it 31-3 with three seconds to play. Barrett has been in control. Missed some passes tonight but he’s 14-for-24 passing for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Pretty good. A pooch kick takes us to halftime.

10:07 I just got an email telling me that J.T. Barrett needs to be benched, and with all due respect, how can somebody think he needs benched after this half? There were 24 points from the offense. He basically left four points on the board because of two overthrows and a dropped touchdown, but are you really going to damn him for that?

10:08 Curtis Samuel has seven receptions and five carries and none of those touches have felt forced. The Buckeyes "only" have 237 yards of total offense, but they’ve missed two possessions due to turnovers, so it’s not entirely their fault.

10:23 Game on. There is absolutely no wind right now. Play action, Barrett drops back and he goes deep to Curtis Samuel, who breaks the tackle for 75 yards and the touchdown. Buckeyes lead it 38-3 and they aren’t playing around anymore. They took the dagger to the mall and had Nebraska’s name inscribed on it before plunging it into the Cornhuskers’ hearts.

10:26 At halftime I tweeted video of TBDBITL forming Thor who was smashing something Michigan related with his hammer. Now I’ve got all kinds of Michigan fans replying that Ohio State is way too obsessed with Michigan. Hey guys, check the records, obsession is spelled with way more Ws than Ls.

10:28 Third and four. Perfect throw by Fyfe right into the hands of Morgan, but it’s popped out by Denzel Ward. Nebraska will punt. Curtis Samuel has replaced Wilson. It’s a bouncer and Samuel picks it up and loses five yards. Just terrible. PUT WILSON IN. I’m tired of Samuel screwing up back there. Fire the punt return coach. I’m sick of that guy!

10:36 Tommy Armstrong is back in the building! That’s awesome. The rest of this game is now gravy.

10:37 There goes Mike Weber. Tough run up the middle leads to 24 yards. He’s down. I think he got the wind knocked out of him. Nope, right shoulder. Doesn’t look too bad, doesn’t look great.

10:38 First and goal. Barrett finds Noah Brown on the comeback for the touchdown. Buckeyes lead it 45-3. Wow.

10:40 Tommy Armstrong is back on the sidelines. This is great. He looks fine. The only thing better -- and this may be the rasslin’ fan in me -- is if Armstrong had returned on his own in the ambulance and had driven it down to the sideline and taken the field in his scrubs and a helmet. Refs would have run down to keep him from playing, but he would have shoved them all away until there was nothing else to do but ring the bell and let him play quarterback again.

10:41 J.T. Barrett is 20-31 for 255 yards and four touchdowns and 35 minutes ago I got an email telling me that OSU needed to bench him.

10:43 Third down. The crowd is kind of mellow right now. I can hear the fans saying, “Well, if they’d have closer games, we’d be more excited.” Incompletion to Westerkamp with Damon Arnette on the coverage. A flag comes from the other side of the field. That was good coverage. The flag is waved off. Nebraska will -- you guessed it -- punt.

10:44 Samuel returns the punt 15 yards but then gets horsecollared. Maybe it’s time to let somebody else possibly get their knees destroyed.

10:49 Demario McCall is in. Weber is still hurt?

11:00 Nebraska holds the Buckeyes to a field goal, making it 48-3. If you can have a win in a game you’re losing by 45 points, that’s one of them.

11:03 Third and nine. Fyfe drops back, the ball gets tipped and snagged by Malik Hooker. He stops to survey his route and takes off on the return, which is ridiculous. Touchdown. Two flags on the field. Are they going to take another pick six away from him? Nope, the play counts. Buckeyes lead it 55-3. Hooker was about six moves ahead of everybody else on that return. He was like the world's greatest Frogger player. We move to the fourth quarter.

11:21 Joe Burrow is now in after the Huskers fall two yards short on fourth down. Ohio State is only 98 yards away from the Nebraska end zone and almost all of their backups are in. What could possibly go wrong? McCall goes for nine yards up the middle. I was calling for a 98-yarder, but McCall is lazy and selfish.

11:26 There’s a little push sweep to K.J. Hill and if he stays outside he might score, but he cuts it back in and still manages to pick up 26 yards. Give that guy more involvement moving forward. Somehow.

11:28 Second and four. Joe Burrow drops back, it’s a QB draw and he scampers on into the end zone for the touchdown. He celebrates with Ben Victor. That makes it 62-3 and it is time for me to go down to the field and try to process this newly-great Buckeye team that I have just witnessed. I think it’s going to take a while.

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