Game 7 Recap: Ohio State 52 – Northwestern 3
A road game against a Big Ten West opponent wearing an all black alternative jersey for the third straight year in a row.
If there is any indication to put the past behind us, and realize that Ohio State is a different team for this 2019 edition, the game against Northwestern nullified those lingering doubts. Now, Northwestern isn’t a juggernaut on offense by any means have still have a quarterback battle 6 games into their season, but the fact that Ohio State held them to 199 total yards, and won 52-3 should prove that the Buckeyes are one of the best teams in the country.
Both teams had a bye week before this odd Friday night game, so both teams had time to have an extra week to prepare for each other. It was Ohio State who was the most prepared. Credit the Wildcats though for keeping the game close in the first quarter. Ohio State was able to score on a pass from Justin Fields to Chris Olave, but Northwestern was able to rush down the field, and scored on a field goal in the red zone. The 7-3 score would be the final score for the first quarter, but the second quarter is when Ohio State makes their adjustments and took off in this one too. For the season, they are outscoring their opponents 231 points to 31 points for the first half. The Buckeyes scored with a passing touchdown from Fields to Dobbins for 19 yards, and extended their lead 14-3.
Ohio State would then score twice more, and finished the half with a 55 yard field goal from Blake Haubeil, which ties for the second longest field goal in Ohio State history, and the Buckeyes went into half time leading 31-3.
The starters stayed in for one more quarter, and then the back-up finished the game. Justin Fields did not get a rushing touchdown though, and ends his streak of 6 games where he had at least 1 passing and 1 rushing touchdown in every game. The defense forced two turnovers in the second half, which helped Ohio State add on to their lead and win 52-3.
Justin Fields finished for the first time this season with under 200 yards passing. He had 194 yards passing on 18/23 attempts, and had 4 touchdowns. In the 4th quarter, Chris Chugunov also added to those numbers, passing 1/2 for 7 yards with a touchdown pass. The Buckeyes finished with 201 yrds passing for the day.
JK Dobbins paced the running backs once more, rushing for 121 yards on 18 carried and a touchdowns. Master Teague was close to breaking the century mark as well, hitting 96 yards on 7 carried with a touchdown, 73 yards of that total on a long run. Not to be left out, Marcus Crowley added to the onslaught as well, with 2 carries for 53 yards. His last run of 53 yards was the last real play before the Buckeyes went into victory formation.
After a quiet night against the Spartans last game, Chris Olave had 5 catches for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns. Austin Mack was the favorite target on the Buckeyes first drive in the second half, catching 4 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Garrett Wilson also continuing to get more involved with the offense, and had 28 yards on 3 catches.
Northwestern rushed the most than any team against Ohio State so far, and could have seen something to attack the defense. Ohio State will need to clean that up next week against Wisconsin who uses the same scheme to limit possessions for their opponent, and chew up the clock.
In another game that was a blowout, there are a lot of plays that favored the Buckeyes. The one moment that really could be called the “put the dogs in the truck” moment would have been when Ohio State started to roll in the second quarter and Dobbins hit the 68 yard run, and then ran in for a touchdown, taking the lead up for the Buckeyes 21-3, and they never looked back.
Star of the Game
JK Dobbins. It took him a few carries to figure out the attack of the Wildcats, but eventually he was able to hit those gaps and busted out a 68 yard run, and then capping off the drive with a touchdown on the next play. He also caught a pass in the middle of the field for a touchdown.
At this point, we should realize that Ohio State is not the same team last year, or the team from 2017 who lost to an overmatched opponent on the road wearing all black. This was the last tune-up game before arguably the biggest game on the schedule next week against Wisconsin, in what could also be the first of two matchups. The margin of the win, and the efficiency of the offense and defense should keep Ohio State as one of the top teams in the country.
Ohio State (7-0) welcomes Wisconsin (6-0)* at noon at home
Northwestern (1-5) hosts Iowa (4-2)* at noon.
Photo credit: Buckeye Wire and USA Today fi