It seems Ohio State might have shaken out of its October doldrums.
The Buckeyes crushed Nebraska 62-3 in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night, setting the tone early by scoring on a pick-six -- the Ohio State defense's fifth this year -- within the first two minutes. Things never got any better for the Cornhuskers.
Ohio State built a 24-3 lead in the second quarter before Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong was forced from the game after a scary injury, and it seemed any chance Nebraska had of making this a contest was carted off the field along with Armstrong (the best news from all this is that Armstrong was OK, and even returned to the sideline in street clothes in the second half).
Then Ohio State's offense was just an unending avalanche of points.
The Buckeyes had 10 offensive possessions. One of those ended in a fumble. Another came to an end with the Buckeyes kneeling on the ball to end the game.
The other eight all resulted in points, whether a touchdown or field goal. Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston could have stayed at his apartment and studied or played video games, and it would have made no difference. He was never needed.
J.T. Barrett finished with 290 yards passing and four touchdowns. Mike Weber rushed for 72 yards and a score, and the Buckeyes got Curtis Samuel involved early and often, pleasing the fans who had been crying for more of him the past few weeks.
Samuel finished the game with 13 touches (five rushes, eight receptions), totaling 178 yards and two receiving touchdowns -- one a 75-yard burner.
The biggest takeaway from all of this is that Ohio State isn't going anywhere. It might not have looked great in October -- where it scored an overtime victory against Wisconsin, struggled to beat Northwestern at home last week, and lost to Penn State on the road a few weeks ago -- but those problems all seem to be put in the past.
This is an Ohio State team that definitely looked like it was back on track. It was the same Ohio State we saw in September when it was beating Oklahoma by 21 points on the road.
It once again looked like an Ohio State team that could provide a Michigan team with an actual test -- something we haven't really seen anyone else aside from Wisconsin this season.
This was a Buckeyes team that shouldn't have much trouble with either Maryland or Michigan State on the road the next two weeks, which will set up that game against Michigan for the division title, chance at a Big Ten title, and playoff berth.
Just make sure to ditch those uniforms, Buckeyes. Nobody wants to see those again.