From a game preview perspective, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer didn’t offer much in terms of preparation for Saturday’s game against Tulane when speaking about his return to the sidelines after a three-game suspension amid an internal investigation concerning the mismanagement of former while Zach Smith and the subsequent fall out.
Instead, Meyer spent his time with the media again regurgitating his viewpoint of what led to him being suspended in the first place, including his stance that he does not condone domestic violence.
While there’s been much debate over Meyer’s words about his suspension and the findings of Ohio State’s investigation, the coach’s influence on his fourth-ranked squad is clear. Luckily for his team, Meyer could have been a thousand miles away from Ohio Stadium and it would not have matter one bit on Saturday as the Buckeyes made quick and short work of Tulane, routing the Green Wave 49–6.
The truth is that Ohio State was in good hands regardless due to Meyer’s presence at practice for the last two weeks, which was an interesting part of his punishment.
In victories against Oregon State and Rutgers, the Buckeyes used those games as extended practices to break in new starters and establish a rhythm. Then against TCU, they used an explosive third quarter and numerous miscues by the Horned Frogs to pull away with a 40–28 win at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Meyer certainly made up for lost time in trolling the sidelines and directing his offense to let loose, employing five-wide sets and taking deep shots down the field at every opportunity.
The Buckeyes came into game scoring 56 points per game and ranking third in the nation in total offense. They went right to work on their first possession of the game, culminating in a Dwayne Haskins-to-Parris Campbell 14-yard touchdown strike, part of 171-yard throwing performance by Haskins in the first quarter.
Haskins finished with 304 yards passing and five touchdowns and didn’t play in the second half against Tulane, which still hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent since 1984.
What’s amazing about Ohio State is the contributions it’s receiving no matter who it puts out there to play. Sixteen different Buckeye players have scored touchdowns this season, the same amount that scored touchdowns during the entire 14-game 2017 campaign.
If the Buckeyes can get past Penn State next week in Happy Valley in the Big Ten game of the year so far, without All-American defensive end Nick Bosa, who is sidelined after surgery to repair a core muscle injury, the schedule sets up nicely for a possible undefeated run.
Ohio State starts October with a home date with Indiana, before finishing their Big Ten West portion of its schedule with games against Minnesota, Purdue and struggling Nebraska.