Ohio State finally got a comfortable win in 2021, trouncing the Akron Zips 59-7. As the Grumpy Old Buckeye, I should point out that it’s annoying that more people don’t use the word “trouncing” these days. But it’s the perfect word to describe what the Buckeyes did to the Zips Saturday night under the lights at Ohio Stadium.
One might think that it’s tough to find things to gripe about when your team wins by more than 50 points, but buddy, let me tell you how wrong that is. Grumpiness has no point spread. Let’s get to what I found irritating in this game.
Cut the McCord?
Obviously that headline isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but that first offensive drive was all kinds of horrible for backup quarterback Kyle McCord. Entering the game, I was curious to see how CJ Stroud’s backups would perform, even if it was against…let’s be nice and say not the most dangerous opponent on the schedule. After a nice run by TreVeyon Henderson on the first play, McCord got his first opportunity, and it didn’t go well. He threw a poor pass to Garrett Wilson on first down, an even worse backward pass intended for Chris Olave on second, and then came nowhere near Jaxon Smith-Njigba on third. You have to like the young quarterback spreading those terrible passes around to three different receivers. That’s a veteran move. But it was an inauspicious beginning for McCord.
Trailing? Against Akron?
Ohio State trailed the Akron Zips. By a touchdown. At home. The same problems defensively that we’ve seen in the first three games led to the Zips getting the game’s first score. The Buckeyes allowed multiple third-down conversions on the second Akron drive and one of those was poor coverage by Sevyn Banks — due in large part to yet another slip on the terrible artificial surface that seemingly only bothers the home team — combined with a missed tackle by the team’s presumed best returning cornerback. On the next play, a high snap wasn’t enough to throw off quarterback DJ Irons, because his receiver, Konata Mumpfield, was open by about 10 yards. The lead didn’t last long, but you can bet haters all across the country were laughing when seeing that scroll across their TV screens.
Whatever This Is
Ohio State scored a touchdown and lined up to kick the extra point to draw level with Akron. I cannot believe I had to type the previous sentence. But then, whatever this is came on my television and aggravated me to the point that it took all the joy out of seeing Olave score on McCord’s first career touchdown pass.
Seriously, what is this? What is this person doing? Get that out of here.
Sevyn Costs Nine a Sack
Zach Harrison made a great play late in the first quarter to run down Irons from behind with a diving tackle. It should have set Akron up with a third-and-long situation after back-to-back OSU sacks. Instead, Banks held his receiver on the play, wiping out Harrison’s sack and giving the Zips a first down.
Poor Reads by BTN
Those watching at home had to put up with the Big Ten Network’s camera issues in the second quarter. On the first of back-to-back drives, the camera stayed on the running back when Irons ran for a first down for Akron. On the first play after Cody Simon’s interception, the camera stayed on McCord, who had given the ball to Henderson for a short gain. Look, if you want us to go to the game, just say so. No need to fail to show the game you’re covering. That’s just a passive-aggressive approach to making us pay for a ticket.
To Make Matters Worse…
Ohio State had all three timeouts late in the first half. The Buckeyes used them on defense on three consecutive Akron running plays to get an extra possession at the end of the first half. BTN never misses an opportunity to make some money and went to commercial on all three timeouts. Friends, that’s some unbearable television.
Pope Peaces Out
If you follow Ohio State players on social media, you might have noticed a rude tweet from K’Vaughan Pope about his school. You don’t normally see players tweet during a game unless it’s an injured player who stayed home while the team is on the road. Reports on social media indicated that Pope had thrown his gloves into the stands and was escorted to the locker room after a heated exchange on the sideline. I’m not sure what was more disappointing, seeing a player quit on his team mid-game, or seeing the way he spells the eff word. But it was downright annoying to hear BTN finally reporting on it in the third quarter, just as Emeka Egbuka was making an 85-yard catch and run on the field. That play deserved BTN’s full attention.
Be More Sportsmanlike, Please
Michael Hall Jr. threw a throat slash gesture after a good play, ruining that good play by giving Akron a free first down in the fourth quarter. The Zips went on to…do nothing. Cory Smigel missed a field goal at the end of the drive. Never trust Smigel. They hates those nasty, fat hobbitses! I will accept all of the accolades for being the first person ever to make a Smigel/Smeagol joke and stop calling me a Lord of the Rings nerd. I’m a much bigger nerd than that.
On Akron’s next series, Jakailin Johnson made a big hit in the open field but then got a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct by standing over his victim. It was 59-7. Johnson needs to read the room. Be excited, sure, but come on. There’s never a time for taunting, or for giving the opponent free first downs.
That’s what made me hopping mad on Saturday night. Let me tell ya, you’ve got to be pretty mad to just start hopping for no apparent reason. But there were obviously plenty of positives. The Buckeyes played a lot of kids and virtually everyone did something good in the game. The defense stumbled early but got its act together after that. There were special moments from Egbuka, McCord, Ronnie Hickman, and plenty of others. Sure, it’s easy to point to the fact that the opponent was Akron, but this was an important game for the growth of a lot of young players.
Next up: the Buckeyes go to Piscataway to face Rutgers. I’ve been in that area many times, so there should be plenty to complain about next Saturday.