In a nail-biting showdown, the Ohio State Buckeyes emerged victorious against Notre Dame, clinching a hard-fought 17-14 road win. The game reached its climax when Chip Trayanum powered through for a 1-yard touchdown plunge, virtually walking the Buckeyes off to triumph.
Achieving a top-10 victory on foreign soil is no small feat, yet for ardent Buckeyes fans, it’s always a quest for excellence. The Ohio State faithful, ever-hungry for success, celebrated the win but remained eager for even greater achievements.
Let’s dissect the standout performances and areas that could use improvement in Ohio State’s thrilling triumph at Notre Dame Stadium. Notably, the defense won high praise and faced no complaints from observers.
5. Running back TreVeyon Henderson
TreVeyon Henderson, the Buckeyes’ workhorse, shone brightly. Averaging over 7 yards per carry, he not only scored a long touchdown but also posed a threat in the receiving game. While he didn’t record a reception, his presence as a decoy and his ability to draw a crucial pass interference call in the fourth quarter demonstrated his value. Henderson has officially returned to form.
4. Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka
With Marvin Harrison Jr. struggling, in part due to injury and partly due to the tough opposition, Emeka Egbuka stepped up remarkably. Egbuka hauled in 7 receptions for 96 yards, although he didn’t find the end zone. However, his pivotal catches in critical moments were instrumental in moving the chains and securing the win.
3. Play calling
The play calling left something to be desired for a significant portion of the game. While some innovative plays surfaced, they failed to make a substantial impact. Motioning players to confuse the defense appeared more like window dressing than a game-changer. Credit must be given to the formidable Notre Dame defense, but ultimately, a win is a win.
2. Right tackle Josh Fryar
In a game of this magnitude, costly penalties are unacceptable, and right tackle Josh Fryar incurred two. His false start on the opening drive of the game, followed by a personal foul late in the third quarter that nullified a crucial third-down conversion, proved detrimental. When one component of the unit falters, it has a cascading effect on the entire offense.
1. Short yardage conversions
Perhaps the most glaring issue of the game was the inability to convert in short yardage situations. Midway through the second quarter, three obvious runs followed by a predictable play-action pass resulted in a turnover on downs. The fourth-down play call was equally transparent, failing to outfox the opposition. Late in the fourth quarter, a third-and-one situation saw Henderson stopped just short, followed by an unsuccessful jet sweep to Egbuka—a recurring issue that, fortunately, was eventually remedied with the game-winning touchdown.
Despite the challenges faced, the Ohio State Buckeyes prevailed in a thrilling encounter against Notre Dame, reminding fans why they continue to be a force to be reckoned with in college football.