Ohio State at Iowa score: Hawkeyes dominate No. 6 Buckeyes in epic beatdown
Iowa embarrassed Ohio State in a game that will resonate throughout the Big Ten
Last November, Iowa stunned Michigan at Kinnick Stadium to hand the Wolverines their first loss of the year. One year later in the same setting, they pulled off another shocker by throttling No. 6 Ohio State 55-24 in a game that stunned the college football world and shifts the landscape in the Big Ten and College Football Playoff races.
Akrum Wadley rushed for 118 yards and caught three passes for 40 yards in the win, quarterback Nathan Stanley threw for 226 yards and tossed five touchdowns, and the Hawkeyes racked up 487 yards against a Buckeyes defense that entered play giving up just 302.5 yards per game and 4.45 yards per play.
Here are three takeaways from Iowa City.
1. Ohio State's offensive inconsistencies are back and very concerning: Remember when Barrett completed 16 consecutive passes last week in the comeback victory against Penn State and it became "clear" that his progress as a passer solidified the Buckeyes offense as one of the most dangerous units in the country? Now, it's as clear as mud.
Iowa ranked third in the Big Ten and was tied for 12th nationally in scoring defense (17.4 points per game) entering play, while Ohio State led the Big Ten and ranked second nationally in scoring offense (46.3 PPG). Defense won the day, as Barrett completed only 18-of-34 passes, tossed four interceptions, couldn't break the big one in the running game when it mattered and couldn't fit passes in tight windows against Hawkeyes' defensive backs that blanketed the Buckeyes all afternoon.
It started on the first play of the game, when Amani Hooker took the first of Barrett's picks back 30 yards for a score.
This is the same problem Ohio State had late last year and earlier this season, leading us to wonder if it would linger. It did, and surfaced at the worst possible time. While the play below will make every highlight reel, it's a throw Barrett forced due to unwavering pressure that he felt all afternoon.
2. Iowa out-worked Ohio State in the trenches: This wasn't a fluke, an anomaly or an outlier. This was Iowa punching Ohio State in the mouth in the trenches repeatedly, and when the Buckeyes got up, the Hawkeyes knocked them back down again. The Hawkeyes offensive line dominated the Buckeyes up front, Wadley ran through holes the size of the Iowa farmland and once a Buckeye got near, he routinely juked them out of their shoes.
On the flip side, the Hawkeyes defensive front found its way into the backfield consistently, made quarterback J.T. Barrett uncomfortable in the pocket and rendered running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins afterthoughts. This is what Iowa does. Its last three wins over ranked opponents have come in November -- a 40-10 over No. 15 Nebraska late last year, the 14-13 over the No. 2 Wolverines earlier that months and a 24-16 win over No. 13 Michigan on Nov. 5, 2011.
But the bigger story on Saturday was Iowa's toughness exposed a sense of entitlement in Buckeye-land. They looked like they thought they could win simply by getting off the bus and putting on that uniform. Instead, Iowa bloodied that uniform up and stole their pride in the process.
3. This has an impact on the College Football Playoff race, but maybe not the Big Ten: The natural reaction to Ohio State's loss is "well, they're out of the College Football Playoff race now."
It's impossible to speak in absolutes without knowing the specific landscape of the sport heading into selection Sunday, but yes, a two-loss Ohio State that either wins the Big Ten or doesn't make the Big Ten Championship Game would be a hard sell to the committee based on when this blowout loss to Iowa occurred and the fact that its other loss came to Oklahoma -- a contender itself in the playoff hunt.
Simply put, Ohio State fans now need to root for mass chaos -- like, 2007-level chaos -- in order to even consider the College Football Playoff as a legitimate possibility. But the Big Ten Championship does offer a glimmer of hope. Despite the loss, Ohio State still controls its destiny in the Big Ten East race with a big matchup with Michigan State coming up next week at home. Does that matter? It should. But with a team as talented as Ohio State, a third consecutive season of what can only be described as massive underachievement could send the Buckeyes into "give-up mode."
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Morris held numerous Power Five offers, but opted to play for his father Chad in Fayettevi...
USC's Helton enters 2019 under much pressure after going 5-7 a season ago
College football has not had a first-time national champion since Florida ... in 1996!
This is the first offseason without a coaching change in the SEC since 2006
Kyle Field is about to get rowdy ... or rowdier ... with alcohol being made available to the...
Ranking all 14 Big Ten coaches entering the 2019 season