That doesn’t mean that their fitful offense hasn’t been frustrating. With so much talent, and the memories of the team’s dominance at the end of last year still fresh in the minds of Buckeye Nation, three-and-outs to the likes of Indiana and Maryland are like fingernails on a chalkboard.
Today, against a game but not particularly talented Maryland team, Ohio State may have started to figure things out. The adjustment was to start Cardale Jones, but let J.T. Barrett man the helm when the offense entered the red zone. It worked like a charm. With Barrett giving the Buckeyes a viable running threat at the QB position, the formerly sputtering Buckeyes went 6-for-6 scoring touchdowns in the red zone — which is more what we all expected when the season began. Barrett just seems like one of those players who has a nose for the end zone, and having him run the team down close seemed to help Cardale Jones, too. Jones tossed some beautiful passes today and had one of his best days ever throwing the football, and the Buckeyes spread the ball around to the indomitable Ezekiel Elliott, Braxton Miller, and Michael Thomas and really got into a rhythm in the second half.
I’m not bragging about a 49-28 win over the Terrapins in a game that was tied after Maryland’s first drive in the third quarter, but I am happy that Ohio State put together some good drives and mixed up the run and pass. The defense got gashed by a running quarterback — again — but the offense is the key to this team. If Ohio State can get close to the juggernaut that couldn’t be stopped by the likes of Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon, the scoring onslaught puts so much pressure on the opponents that it makes the defense that much better. Ohio State isn’t going to win many 6-3 games this year, but they aren’t going to lose many games where they score more than 40 points, either.