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Position Grades: Ohio State

Awww, do I really have to?

Happier times
Happier times
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that was fine. In fairness though, did you REALLY expect Penn State to win tonight?  Nonetheless, time to hand out some grades:

Quarterback: C-

This is being curved based on the lack of pass calls (12 total passes called - good job, good effort, John Donovan). Would've been a D most likely if not for a few great throws to Chris Godwin and the TD pass to DaeSean Hamilton that gave Penn State a brief glimmer of hope early in the second half. His taking the sack on 4th and 2 with PSU trailing 24-10 and inside the OSU red zone early in the 4th quarter was dumbfounding, especially when Saquon Barkley was wide open for a dump-off which probably would've led to a TD that would've kept this one close to the very end. Also, why he was still playing in this game while having a noticeable limp and the game being out of reach is beyond me.

Running Back: A

Thank goodness for Saquon Barkley's return. I shudder to think of how shit-tastic the offense would've looked otherwise. Believe it or not, he actually outrushed Ezekiel Elliott 194 to 155. Too bad PSU didn't have the points to show for it.

Wide Receiver/Tight End: C

Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton's catches keep this from dropping into D territory. Mike Gesicki's drop of what seemed like a sure-fire catch inside the OSU red zone and PSU already up 3-0 left the entire fan base wondering "What if?" In fairness to the receivers, when your offensive coordinator only calls 12 pass plays in a game, you're not going to have too many opportunities to do anything.

Offensive Line: C-

Good in run blocking but pass blocking was OH GOD, NOT IN THE FACE quality.

Defensive Line: B

They struggled with swallowing up Ezekiel Elliott/JT Barrett/Braxton Miller but then again, who hasn't? Carl Nassib is a pleasure to watch and Anthony Zettel was also a terror up front.

Linebackers: B

[See my comments about the defensive line, except praise goes to Brandon Bell and Troy Reeder]

Secondary: B+

Granted, they weren't thrown on much during the night because OSU was effectively running the ball, but when you only give up 114 yards through the air, it's hard to complain.

Special Teams: D

Joey Julius nailed a field goal but the punting game was downright atrocious. Neither Chris Gulla nor Daniel Pasquariello could kick the ball far enough. Meanwhile Ohio State's Bill Burr doppelganger punter routinely pinned PSU inside its own 10 yard line. Blake Gillikin cannot get to Happy Valley soon enough. The return game didn't have much of a chance to do anything, so they get an incomplete.