Skull Session: Ohio State still dominates Rutgers, a fake Punt Fiasco goes viral, and Miyan Williams joins two Buckeye Greats in record books

Happy Michigan State Week Eleven Warriors readers.

Ohio State are 5-0 and on the move after defeating Rutgers, and I’m sure you all know what the best part is about being 5-0 …

Happy Monday, right?

wait. Another quick thing. Check out this monstrous block from Cade Stover.

Ok, happy Monday. See you in the comments section.

CONSTANT DOMINANCE. When Rutgers became a Big Ten member institution in 2014, then Commissioner Jim Delany cited the Crimson Knights “athletic excellence” as one of his driving factors for adding the school.

Eight years later, the one thing I consider excellent about Rutgers is his ability to be a doormat for Ohio State every season. According to ESPN, the Buckeyes’ nine consecutive performances of at least 49 points against the Scarlet Knights represent the longest streak of any team against a single opponent since 1936.

Frankly, I don’t see a time in the near or distant future when Rutgers won’t be exactly what he is currently in the Big Ten. The school feels like he doesn’t belong in the conference, and that becomes clear when Ohio State teases them as a Group of Five team that the Buckeyes would face in the non-conference program.

Even on Saturday, when many would say the Ohio State bout – which was without TreVeyon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba – looked slow outside of Miyan Williams, the Buckeyes still won with 39 points. So, yeah, maybe Rutgers doesn’t belong, but the Crimson Knights are here anyway. Enjoy a free win against them for the rest of the time, Buckeye Nation.

FALSE POINT FIASCO. I can’t talk about Ohio State’s 49-10 win over Rutgers without mentioning the Buckeyes’ fake point that went viral on Saturday. Too many things happened during and after this play to not talk about it.

With just over 10 minutes remaining and Ohio State leading by 39 points, Jesse Mirco should have aimed the ball at Rutgers. Instead, the rugby-style punt saw a lane open in front of him and took off for a 22-yard gain. At the end of the run, Rutgers wide receiver Aaron Cruickshank landed a late shot. That was when all hell broke out.

To be clear, it wasn’t a designed fake. The Scarlet Knights had eight players on the scrimmage line and sent the house to block the punt. After Ohio State successfully defended the run, Mirco recognized that no one was standing between him and the first-down scorer, so he slipped the ball under his shoulder and ran. At least that’s how he sees his teammate, Noah Ruggles.

After Cruickshank’s strike and the ensuing scrums, Greg Schiano ran across the pitch to face Ryan Day and break the scuffle. Coaches shared a few chosen words as things heated up in Columbus.

In his post-match press conference, Day said he “didn’t hold a grudge” for Schiano and added that he had “incredible respect” for Buckeye’s former assistant. Whether you believe it or not is up to you, as is what you think of Mirco’s fake punt.

I won’t go so far as to say that Ohio State coaches approved Mirco’s decision to fake punt, but he must have done something right to earn the program’s Special Teams Player of the Week award.

POWER SUPPLY. MIIAN. How about Miyan Williams’ performance against Rutgers? The third year running back took his 21 carries for 189 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday. His five scores tied him to Pete Johnson (versus North Carolina, 1975) and Keith Byars (versus Illinois, 1984) for Ohio State’s single-game run touchdown record.

“It’s a blessing to be up there with those names,” Williams said after the game. “Those are legends here, so it’s definitely a blessing.”

Williams is right that Johnson and Byars are Buckeye legends. Their names are scattered throughout the program log on the football website. Even if they’re not Archie Griffin – who played with Johnson – or Eddie George, both running backs deserve a seat at the table of the greatest ball carriers in Ohio State history.

Let’s take a look at how those legends played in their five touchdown games, starting first with Johnson’s performance against the Tar Heels:

September 27, 1975: Ohio State 32 – North Carolina 7

Pete Johnson: 26 carries, 148 yards, 5 TD

  • 2Q, 3:20 – Johnson’s 2-yard TD race
  • 2Q, 0:31 – Johnson’s 5-yard TD race
  • 3Q, 8:32 Johnson’s 1 Yard TD Race
  • 4Q, 13:01 – Johnson’s 2-yard TD race
  • 4Q, 8:48 Johnson’s 3-yard TD race

Fun fact: Griffin had 22 carries for 157 yards in this game and won his second Heisman Trophy at the end of the year.

October 13, 1984: Ohio State 45 – Illinois 38

Keith Byars: 39 transports, 274 yards, 5 TD

  • 2Q, 4:13 – Byars 16 yard TD run
  • 2Q, 0:23 – Byar’s 4-yard run TD
  • 3Q, 13:40 – Byars 1 Yard Race TD
  • 3Q, 8:57 – Byars 67 yards TD executed
  • 4Q, 0:36 – Byar’s 3-yard run TD

Fun fact: Byars lost the shoe midway through his 67-yard landing path in the third quarter. Despite that, he still overcame the Illinois defense and ran to the end zone. As you can imagine, Ohio Stadium has gone mad.

Williams was right. Johnson and Byars are Ohio State legends and these two games of them are only a small part of their Buckeyes stories. May Williams’ five touchdown performance against Rutgers be only a small part of his (possibly legendary) story here too.

A WISH FULFILLED (CHILD O). If the Ohio State season ended after the Rutgers game, Ryan Day would have had his pre-season expectations of a top 10 defense with Jim Knowles and the Silver Bullets.

The Buckeyes have the No. 10 total defense (263.8 YPG) and n. 14 defense points (14.80 PPG) in the country across five games. Additionally, Ohio State has the No. 7 pass defense (153.4 YPG) in the NCAA this season.

When using conference-only statistics, the Knowles unit is at no. 2 in defense of the score, n. 1 defense of passage and n. 8 quick defense in the Big Ten after Ohio State wins over Wisconsin and Rutgers in their last two games.

The Buckeyes will face a growing squad from Michigan State this weekend, which should only improve their defensive position domestically and in the Big Ten, as the Spartans’ offense struggled to consistently produce in three straight losses.

That said, the Ohio State defense is well on its way to meeting Day’s expectations for a top 10 defense. However, it still has work to do if it is to meet Knowles’ expectations of a top five unit. As for Andy Vance, we expected the Buckeye defense to suck 30% less than last season, so in his book they are doing well.

It’s time for Knowles, Tommy Eichenberg, Steele Chambers, and the rest of the Buckeyes to keep this thing moving.

SONG OF THE DAY. Cigarette Daydreams by Cage the Elephant.

COME TO THE POINT. The Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse has been auctioned off, with wires attached … Moose is back on the loose after rescuers have freed him from the fence … Hurricane Ian’s ‘street shark’ video defies every belief … John Stamos looks back at the mindset during the struggles for sobriety.

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