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Scarlet Monday: Recap of Ohio State's 63-10 Victory vs. Western Kentucky

Ohio State finally looked as if they put it together on the field Saturday vs. Western Kentucky. After a rocky first two-game stretch with rotating QBs and offensive line inconsistencies, the Buckeyes rallied around Kyle McCord and put together a nice victory heading into South Bend this week.

The Buckeyes put together a 35-point second-quarter performance featuring 294 yards of offense with almost 16 yards per play. That stretch events led to McCord finding Marvin Harrison for a huge touchdown on the first play after a McCord strip sack then finding Emeka Egbukah twice for scores as well. Marvelous Marv was marvelous once again with five catches for 126 yards including a career-long 75-yard touchdown. This puts Harrison Jr. with 12 catches for 286 yards and three TDs over the last two games.

The Silver Bullets as well were flying to the football. Might I say, that BIA (Best In America) is back and Denzel Burke is leading the way? The Silver Bullets defense forced four turnovers including a fumble recovery in the endzone by the big man Tyliek Williams and then a pick-6 by true freshman cornerback Jermaine Matthews.

This momentum was needed as the Buckeyes take on their biggest battle yet as they travel to South Bend, Indiana with a matchup with the Fighting Irish. The Irish are looking at the Buckeyes with some revenge on their minds after last year's loss to the Buckeyes and second-year head coach Marcus Freeman needs that big win as a head coach. Can it come against his former team?

Let's recap Ohio State's dominant victory against Western Kentucky and what to look for next week against Notre Dame.


McCord Time

Finally, we got what we wanted in Kyle McCord being named the starting quarterback for the season and no more rotating quarterbacks during games. As a fan, you could tell during the first two games that this was causing conflict in the games with playcalling, routine throws, and rhythm for both guys. Saturday, McCord looked as comfortable as he has while out there. McCord threw for 318 yards on 19-of-23 passing and tossed three touchdowns while doing so. This is by far the game McCord needed for his confidence as a leader for this team.

With McCord being named the full-time starter the team in itself just looked more comfortable out there as well. Marvin Harrison and Emeka Egbukah were able to get their rhythm with McCord as well and when you have a dominant passing game as you did Saturday, the running game opened up as well which makes it more comfortable for McCord. On the season, McCord is now 53-of-76, 815 yards, and 6 TDs.


Silver Bullets are Indeed Back

The Buckeyes defense faced a challenge this week against a Western Kentucky passing attack that returned the leading FBS quarterback in passing yards with Austin Reed and the leading FBS receiver in yards in Malachi Coley. One thing Ohio State fans have been wanting to see more of is QB pressure and turnovers from Jim Knowle's defense and the Buckeyes did both on Saturday. The Silver Bullets held Western Kentucky to just 10 points and also created four turnovers with two of those turnovers creating scores with one being a pick-6 by true freshman Jermaine Matthews. The Buckeyes also had eight tackles for a loss, two sacks, and held Western Kentucky to 3-of-16 on third downs. Getting the opposing team off the field and allowing the offense to get the ball back and score was an emphasis this week that Ryan Day spoke of. The Buckeyes were presented a challenge and they stepped up and defeated their challenge.

Denzel Burke was given the silver bullet of the day that is presented each week by Jim Knowles on Sunday meeting with the players. Denzel Burke has quickly flourished this year as the leader of the defense and the secondary for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes have held their opponents to just 20 points through the first three games of the season thus far. This has not been done since 1975 when Ohio State held their first three opponents to just 16 points.


Rushing Attack

Want to make your QB comfortable in the pocket? Have an efficient running attack on a defense to set up big passing plays down the field. This is exactly what the Buckeyes did on Saturday. Trevyon Henderson looked like freshman year Trevyon Henderson with 13 carries for 88 yards with two touchdowns. The offensive line was playing "violent" as offensive line coach Justin Frye was quoted saying all week and it paid off on Saturday.

Chip Trayanum seemed to have emerged as the RB2 in this deep rotation on Saturday as he carried the ball five times for 56 yards including a 40-yard breakoff score in the second quarter.

This rushing attack is key for the Buckeye's success this year especially going into two hostile environments this year in Notre Dame and of course, Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes need the reassurance of relying on a guy like Trevyon Henderson on third down and shorts to get the extra yards needed and to catch the dump-offs in the backfield as well. Henderson provides you with all that and more.

I think all Buckeye fans loved what they saw from the run game on Saturday!


Irish Week

The biggest test of the year thus far and on the road in South Bend. I love what is at stake here for the Buckeyes and the hype this game has. Ryan Day always gets the Buckeyes up and ready when they are underdogs and have to go on the road into a hostile environment. The Buckeyes may not be Vegas underdogs but with a new QB and on the road, a lot of people do not see Ohio State pulling this victory off, look for Ryan Day to use this all week.

As noted earlier, Marcus Freeman wants this one bad and he thinks he can get this one. He has Sam Hartman, an experienced QB, and a new offensive coordinator in Gerad Parker. College Gameday will be in South Bend for the hype so it will be interesting to see the guest picker and the selection of the headgear as well.

The Buckeyes will be up for the test and the experience of returning on the Ohio State defense is key here, especially against a veteran QB in Sam Hartman. The Irish have looked good in their four games and as said Marcus Freeman will have the boys ready to play for this one. This is their national championship, to say the least. and a win here most likely jumps the Irish into serious playoff contention.

An early prediction for Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, I like the Buckeyes winning 31-17 right now. I will deep dive into this one later this week!


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