Luke’s Triple Option: Buckeyes helplessly tied to the tracks

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Ohio State wide receiver Binjimen Victor (9) drops a catch in front of Purdue cornerback Tim Cason (24) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

I spent all of Saturday watching an unhealthy amount of college football to give you, dear reader, an update on the world of that magical sport. Here are the three most notable results from this weekend:

Ohio State 20, Purdue 49

Yes, you read that correctly. 49 to 20.

Purdue could not be stopped on Saturday. They looked invincible. Everything they tried against Greg Schiano and the Ohio State defense worked. Screen passes, short passes, long passes, they all made David Blough look like another certain Purdue alumnus quarterback wearing black and gold.

Running back DJ Knox cut up the Buckeye front seven for eight yards per carry and three scores, while receiver Rondale Moore never met an Ohio State defender he couldn’t son, gaining 170 yards and a pair of scores.

On the other side, this now marks two years in a row where Ohio State has been annihilated by a less talented Big Ten West opponent, and will once again have to run the table in order to make the Playoff, this time with a shaky-at-best defense to rely on.

Oregon 20, Washington State 34

We all should have known that, after the 15 years of pent-up hype as a result of their quest for Gameday, as well as the performance art they put on over 12 hours before gametime, there was no way that Washington State would do anything other than win this week.

The great part was, they did it in the most Washington State way possible. Wazzu raced out to a 27-point lead by halftime, immediately proceeded to give up 17 unanswered in the third quarter, then hang on bare-knuckled in the fourth. A fitting result for a fanbase most well-known in recent years for their affinity for Fireball.

My only complaint is that they ran the ball 24 times, a number unbecoming a Mike Leach-coached team. Get it together, Cougs.

Michigan 21, Michigan State 7

Michigan fan hubris is running at dangerously-high levels this week, after they finally escaped from the deadly cycle of losing rock fights with Michigan State in bad weather on Saturday.

This was an ugly game no doubt about it, but this time the Wolverines were able to come out on top. Quarterback Shea Patterson had a workmanlike 212-yard, two-touchdown effort, while running back Karan Higdon got it done with 144 yards on the ground.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines took Michigan State’s strength as a team, rushing the ball, and turned it inside out and on its head, holding them to 0.7 yards per carry on the day.

Now Michigan just needs to beat two more top ten teams in their own division in order to make it out of the Big Ten East. Easy, right?

Now, for the games worth watching next week:

Appalachian State vs. Georgia Southern, Thursday, 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU

Alright, hear me out. I have a couple reasons why you should watch this Sun Belt conference matchup ahead of anything else sports-related this Thursday night.

Appalachian State is 6-1 and playing like a top-15 team in the country this year, and proved that they could run the ball at will even without star running back Jalin Moore against Louisiana-Lafayette, something that’s long been critical to their success in Boone.

Georgia Southern hired a coach in Chad Lunsford who was committed to running the triple option in Statesboro, and immediately shot up to bowl eligibility halfway through the season after two years of sub-.500 football led by a coach who tried to move them away from it. They’re a good football team.

It’s got some serious competition, with West Virginia vs. Baylor and Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech also falling on Thursday night, so it’s not like you don’t have options if this game fails to live up to lofty expectations.

Florida vs. Georgia, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. on CBS

For the uninitiated, this game is known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. This is because, every year, students from both schools head down to Jacksonville Beach and Amelia Island, get sloshed in the morning, then head to the cavernous TIAA bank field to tailgate some more, then finally head inside to witness Georgia and Florida play horrible rockball for four hours.

Only this time, the game might actually be good! Both teams are top 15 in S&P+, both have the little numbers popping up next to their name on the box score, and once again, this game will be for control of the SEC East and a ticket punched to the conference title game.

Texas vs. Oklahoma State, Saturday, 8 p.m. on ABC

Slim pickings again this week in the primetime slot, but this gets the nod for two reasons: First, Texas is favored on the road, so they’ll probably underachieve and make this a close game, since Oklahoma State is not a great football team this year.

Second, Oklahoma State is wearing their beautiful Barry Sanders throwback uniforms, which will match up nicely with Texas’ stormtrooper roads.


Luke Swanson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at luke.swanson@uconn.edu.

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