The main takeaway from Tuesday night interviews at Ohio State was the Buckeyes really believe they've turned the corner offensively.
The reasons are fairly simple: They've learned what works for them against whatever looks they might see, why it works and how to play together.
The defense hopes it is ready but there's no way to really know until they take the field against the multi-faceted, high-powered attack of Penn State. That side of it figures to hinge more on matchups than scheme.
This will be one of those throwback Big Ten game days where the game starts in daylight and finishes under the lights.
Those used to be unique when there were hardly any night games and most of them still started in early afternoon.
The weather may be bad, too.
I think that would benefit Ohio State. The Buckeyes are more built to grind even though they've spent the better part of the last month or more learning to fly again.
Acknowledging rain and especially wind has seemed to bother OSU under J.T. Barrett in the past, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said they've been practicing with wet balls and were happy with the execution in the wind at Nebraska.
All in all, that unit seems to be full of confidence from knowing what needs to be done and having repeated it successfully over and over again.
Remember all those reasons for optimism before the season began? They are back.
The trouble against Oklahoma seems to have been born of a reticence to try too much too soon, though that was a surprise given Wilson's experience.
What's done is done.
The old negative narratives will return again if the Buckeyes lay another egg Saturday. I don't think they will, but there’s nothing to do now but go out and prove it…
It was nice to get out of Bengals mode for a little while yesterday after 48 hours of Steelers reaction.
Even better to remember they play someone with even more problems this weekend.
I’m headed down to Cincinnati today to check out the mood at Paul Brown Stadium.
I read the thing from Pittsburgh about how they were in too good of a mood after a loss, but I don’t put much stock in that.
Every team is different, and that was an outsider’s perspective based on a small slice of time.
He might have been on to something, but I think skill development is a bigger issue.
Fans and media often have a different mindset than athletes, and athletes are great at shutting us out from what they are really thinking.
That said, they are a younger team, so maybe someone needs to crack the whip…
Lastly, in case you missed it we began a series of profiles of the freshmen on the Dayton basketball team yesterday.
One thing this team will definitely not lack is size — that includes Jordan Pierce, the 6-11 center from New Jersey.
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