R.I.P. Keith Jackson

Keith Jackson, the voice of college football for so many years, has passed. Here’s his call on the last play when the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Miami for the 2002 National Championship.

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Ohio State comeback stuns Penn State

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I’ll admit it. I was skeptical about JT Barrett after the Oklahoma game. I didn’t think he could fix the passing game and perform at a high level against a team like Penn State. JT proved me and plenty of other doubters wrong tonight.

JT was simply fabulous. He completed 33 of 39 passes for 328 yards, 4 TDs and no picks. The Buckeyes were down 21-3 at one point and then down 15 points two times in the second half, but JT put the team on his back and imposed his will on Penn State.

Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley started the game with a spectacular kickoff return for a touchdown, and followed that with a 36-yard touchdown run, but then was stuffed by the Ohio State defense for the rest of the game. He only gained a net 8 yards on his other 20 carries! He’s a hell of a talent, but the kid is human and tonight showed some of the hype had gotten to ridiculous levels.

The Buckeyes tried to give this game away with terrible special teams play and some questionable play calls in the red zone, but they moved the ball at will against Penn State and now have a clear shot at the College Football Playoff if they can win out. Penn State will likely need a lot of help.

Ohio State beats Michigan . . . again

We expected this incredible rivalry to heat up again after Jim Harbaugh arrived in Columbus, and today’s game lived up to the hype with #2 Ohio State defeating #3 Michigan in double overtime.

This has to be a crushing loss for Michigan, as their defense stuffed the Buckeyes for most of the day. But Ohio State made the big plays when needed and JT Barrett shook off a miserable first half to come up with clutch plays down the stretch. The Buckeyes have now won 12 of the last 13 games, and Harbaugh is now 0-2 versus Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. The rivalry is back in the spotlight with this instant classic, but the Buckeyes still have bragging rights.

Jim Harbaugh whined like a baby about the officiating after the game. Perhaps he realized this was his best shot with a senior-heavy lineup, while the young Buckeyes have been playing many freshmen and sophomores. Ohio State will be even tougher to beat next year!

Ohio State wins thriller over Wisconsin

Going on the road to Wisconsin for a night game is never easy. Given the Badgers two weeks to prepare due to a bye week, and you have a recipe for potential disaster for the #2 ranked Buckeyes.

While Ohio State has mostly dominated opponents so far, this is a very young team, and Wisconsin took advantage of that early in the game with jet sweeps and other plays to keep the Ohio State defense off balance.

Also, freshman Alex Hornibrook played very well, and this kid is poised to become a star in the Big Ten in years to come. He’s big and has real poise in the pocket, and he completed big passes against the Ohio State defense for most of the game.

Meanwhile, JT Barrett struggled in the first half. He’s inconsistent as a passer, and how he plays might determined whether the Buckeyes can win another National Championship this year. But Barrett is a competitor, and he came up big in the second half as the Buckeyes rallied to a win in overtime.

Urban Meyer – 1; Jim Harbaugh – 0

There was plenty of hype leading up to this game, and frankly it was justified. While Michigan has been a miserable mess against Ohio State since Jim Tressel arrived at the beginning of this millennium, things were poised to become more interesting with the arrival of Jim Harbaugh.

Ohio State is the reigning national champ, and Urban Meyer is now the king of the hill in Columbus, but Harbaugh gave Michigan fans hope.

Many thought it might take a couple of years for Harbaugh to compete with the Buckeyes, but as this season progressed, attitudes started to change. The Buckeyes were sleepwalking through their schedule, while Michigan rolled off three straight shutouts. Suddenly, many of the talking heads started calling Michigan the best team in the Big Ten.

Then Michigan State spoiled some of the hype. They miraculously beat Michigan on a wild final play, and then stunned Ohio State last weekend with some serious defense and an assist from Ohio State’s coaching staff.

Still, this was shaping up to be an epic battle that would kick off a new phase in the iconic rivalry. Would we have another ten-year war reminiscent of Woody and Bo?

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