Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State Beat TCU 40-28 Despite Nick Bosa Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2018

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 15:  Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks for an open receiver against the TCU Horned Frogs in the third quarter during The AdvoCare Showdown at AT&T Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

No Urban Meyer, no problem for Ohio State. 

The Buckeyes went 3-0 during Meyer's suspension, capping off their excellent start to the 2018 season with a 40-28 victory over TCU at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. 

Ohio State's defense did its share of heavy lifting with two touchdowns before the offense finally got into a groove in the second half. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins overcame a slow start to finish with 344 passing yards and two touchdowns. 

Making the win even more impressive is the Buckeyes had to play most of the second half without star pass-rusher Nick Bosa, who left in the third quarter with a lower abdomen strain

OSU's Depth Makes it Playoff Favorite Out of Big Ten

Through 2.5 games this season, Ohio State junior Nick Bosa was making a strong case to end the 21-year drought for defensive players winning the Heisman Trophy. 

Bosa was instrumental in getting the Buckeyes' first touchdown with a strip-sack of TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson:

It's not a secret that Bosa is the most talented player in college football, regardless of position:

Rather than fold up when their best player got hurt, the Buckeyes came to life when Dre'Mont Jones picked off Robinson:

That was a critical turning point in the game with Ohio State trailing 21-19 prior to Jones' play. The Buckeyes would score touchdowns on three straight possessions to blow the game open. 

This win was a statement for how deep Ohio State's talent roster goes, and proved its the Big Ten's best shot to have a playoff representative. 

                 

Dwayne Haskins' Arm Gives Ohio State Devastating Big-Play Offense

Speaking of Buckeyes talent, Haskins continues to be a big-play machine. The sophomore's 344 passing yards marked a career-high for a single game. It was also the second time this season he's surpassed the 300-yard barrier. 

For comparison, J.T. Barrett had three 300-yard passing games during the entire 2017 season. 

Haskins' talent and performance have caught the eye of many people who follow the program:

Ohio State has scored at least 40 points in each of its first three games. This was the most impressive showing because of the level of competition and how slow things started. The Buckeyes had just 13 points in the first half and didn't score their first offensive touchdown until midway through the third quarter. 

                     

TCU's Playoff Hopes Rest on Shawn Robinson's Arm

Head coach Gary Patterson has had great teams during his 18-year tenure at TCU, but this current group has the makings of being something special. 

Recent teams have been inconsistent on one side of the ball. The Horned Frogs scored a total of 42 points in their three losses last season and gave up more than 30 points at least five times. They finished outside the top 50 in scoring offense and defense en route to a 6-7 record in 2016. 

Through three games so far in 2018, TCU has been impressive. It showed off big-play potential on offense with four scoring drives of at least 50 yards and seven plays or fewer. 

Darius Anderson had the biggest of those big plays on this 93-yard score in the second quarter:

The difference against Ohio State, though, was three turnovers by Robinson. His first two turnovers resulted in touchdowns by the Buckeyes defense. 

When Robinson was on point, the Horned Frogs were moving the ball all over the field against Ohio State. He finished 24-of-40 with 308 yards after having 336 passing yards in the first two games combined. 

Robinson is still in the developing stages of his career. The sophomore had just 27 attempts in 2017, and Saturday was the biggest game he's started. 

Even with Robinson's struggles contributing to a loss, TCU has every reason to think it can get back into playoff contention by the end of the season. He's going to get more comfortable running the offense with each passing week.

The Horned Frogs' schedule includes marquee Big 12 matchups with Oklahoma, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. If they are able to run the table against those heavy hitters, they will belong in the Top Four conversation.  

           

What's Next?

With Meyer set to return, Ohio State will look to end its nonconference schedule on a high note at home against Tulane on Sept. 22. TCU will attempt to get back on track in its Big 12 opener on the road against Texas. 

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