It wasn't exactly a close shave against Gillett and the not so mighty Eastern Michigan Eagles. Ohio State probably gave up more points than they wanted, but they also put up a video game score to show everyone they mean business this year.
Here are five things we learned after the blowout of Eastern Michigan:
5. This year's team does not prescribe to the sweater vest mentality:
Whatever happened to winning games with special teams, field position, and a solid defense? Don't get me wrong, these will always be staples of a Jim Tressel coached team, but this year's version apparently has the evil twin "leather vest" running the show.
Ohio State is now going for the jugular with regularity. One could argue that you can't tell the backups not to play anymore, but there were many play calls after the game was in doubt that were designed still to open things up against a team that was clearly outmatched.
Included in this was a pass on fourth down and a tricky throw back pass for a touchdown to Terrelle Pryor. Argue all you want with this philosophy, but it is one that people have been clamoring for Tressel to prescribe to.
4. Terrelle vaulted himself right at the forefront of the Heisman race:
Though Pryor has done nothing thus far in the season to take him out of the Heisman race, he has not done enough in the eyes of many to set himself apart.
I know the game was against a team that is going to struggle to win a game this year, but almost 350 yards of offense in multiple ways is the highlight type of stuff needed to campaign for the Heisman.
Terrelle did so by scoring rushing, passing, and receiving. Now if only the coaches could find a way to have Pryor handle the kicking duties and wrap ankles, he may all but sew up the award. Things will get interesting in the coming weeks if both Denard Robinson and Pryor continue to light it up.
3. There is new trouble in the secondary:
We are nitpicking here, but I am sure that the coaches and players would tell you that the defense gave up way too many plays in the air.
Giving up over 200 yards and a couple of scores against a rival in conference would have been one thing, but to do so against the not as skilled bottom feeder of the MAC is a little concerning.
The secondary is young and is beginning to feel the effects of injuries as well. Time will tell if this is just losing focus in a game that was out of hand, or whether there are real concerns as the level of play begins to pick up.
2. Special teams had a much improved day:
For the first time this season, the special teams unit excelled. The coverage on the kicking game was much improved, and Devin Barclay continues to shine putting the pigskin through the goal posts.
Not to be a pessimist again, but there is a little bit of everyone that wants to see this type of performance against better competition before the belief that the dam has been plugged is believed.
1. Ohio State is not just deep, but very deep:
Championships can often be derailed by an injury or two at a couple of key positions. It is almost unavoidable to go through a season without a couple of bumps and bruises somewhere along the way, and only those teams that can fill in the gaps can go on without feeling the loss.
After seeing Ohio State's reserves in three of the four games this year, it is becoming even more evident that the players behind the starters are more than capable. The depth is amazing across the board but especially on the defensive line and skill positions.
Things appear to be set up well not just for this year but into the future as well.
That's it for non-conference play. After one big game, and three tune ups, it is now time to get ready for the grueling Big Ten schedule, with even more lessons to learn.
Off to Illinois...