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Position Grades: Ohio State

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Believe it or not there were a couple of bright spots.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, looks like we’ll have to wait (hopefully not any longer than) another six days before that first win of 2020. Anyway, let’s rip the Band-Aid off, shall we?

Quarterback: C

It seemed once again like a tale of two halves for Sean Clifford. The first half was downright abysmal, with Cliff taking off and running the moment his primary receiving target was covered and struggling to complete passes (in the rare moment he threw a pass in the first half). The second half saw Cliff actually look to throw the damn ball, which resulted in greater success by firing three touchdown passes (albeit one interception), but it was too little, too late.

Running Back: D

Devyn Ford had ten fewer carries (eight) than the QB (Cliff carried the rock 18 times, for you non-math majors). Neither Keyvonne Lee nor Caziah Holmes was credited with a carry. This will not cut it against Maryland next week, let alone a juggernaut like Ohio State.

Wide Receiver/Tight End: A-

This was the lone bright spot on Saturday night, with Jahan Dotson absolutely balling out to the tune of eight catches for 144 yards and a hat trick of TD’s, including a pair of sick one-handed grabs that put Bobby Engram to shame. Parker Washington also had four catches for 73 yards, as the freshman continues to show promise as he gets more comfortable with the college game.

It was a quieter night for Pat Freiermuth, who was certainly priority number one for OSU’s defense, catching three passes for 49 yards. KeAndre Lambert-Smith also had a pair of catches, as like Washington, he continues to get more comfortable out there.

Offensive Line: D

I appreciate any and all comments below as to how this unit continues to disappoint year and in year out, particularly amongst those of you who have playing/coaching experience.

Defensive Line: C-

Antonio Shelton got himself a sack, which was one of the few highlights for a group that got handled without too much trouble by Ohio State’s offensive line.

Linebacker: D

Not having Jesse Luketa in the first half certainly didn’t help. OSU was able to run wild at times, whether it was Garrett Wilson’s jet sweep on the first play from scrimmage, or Master Teague bowling over defenders on his way to a 100-plus yard rushing performance. Just a rough night overall for this unit.

Secondary: D

Perhaps I may need to start splitting this up between cornerbacks and safeties. The former has been rather decent thus far, but the latter has been downright putrid. Perhaps my colleague Marty said it best with this tweet last night:

Special Teams: A-

The other bright spot of the night came from special teams, a unit that had a god-awful debut last week at Indiana redeemed itself with Jake Pinegar and Jordan Stout nailing their first field goal attempts of the season from 31 and 50 yards out, respectively. Stout continues to remain perfect on kickoffs, putting all four of his into the end zone for touchbacks, while he boomed four punts for an average of 49 yards, with a long of 56.

The return games were non-existent for both PSU and OSU, as Parker Washington recorded the only kickoff/punt return for 16 yards.