Ohio State Football Stroud Stock Market Report, Harrison Jr. outperforms the USO over the state of Arkansas

After each State of Ohio match during the 2022 football season, LGHL will offer its market analysis of the Buckeyes’ performance. Using a standard stock rating system, we will rate offense, defense and special teams, according to this formula:

AA: Very strong
A strong
BBB: Adequate
BB: Faced with great uncertainty

Next, we’ll take a look at all the individual players whose performance has stood out (one way or another!) And assign them a stock rating: Blue Chip, Solid Performance, Penny Stock (similar to a junk bond, dangerously high risk).


Quick overview

The first thing we noticed against the state of Arkansas is that Buckeye’s Big-Play bout, missed against Notre Dame last week, is back. Long passing touchdowns, long playing, almost a long punt return. Marvin Harrison, Jr. and Emeka Egbuka had no problem getting behind the defense and quarterback CJ Stroud was as accurate as usual.

But the game was closer, and more contested, than we would have thought. The Buckeyes managed to enter some of the players from the second or third slot of the depth chart, but not until the middle of the last quarter.

In addition, there were many mistakes, such as tackles and missed penalties, which caused problems. Did the Bucks perform better this week than Notre Dame? I do not believe. The play of deep passes was certainly better; the running attack, the defense of the pass and the play of the special teams were more scarce. Perhaps Arkansas State, a team that I felt to be the weakest in Buckeye’s program, is better than expected. Clearly the Sun Belt Conference – Marshall, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern – shone for the day. Either way, Ohio State still has some work to do if it hopes to reach the playoffs this season.


Offense

Overall rating: A Strong

The offensive numbers were right at the Ohio State average last year. 45 points was one less than average and 538 total yards wasn’t that far off last year’s 561. The team that overcame the bout against the state of Arkansas was 370 yards (380 on average last year) and the running attack was 168 (180 in 2021). Since the USO attack was the best in the country last year and the Bucks were still missing the initial wideouts Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming, we shouldn’t have much to complain about. Right? Well, the opponent was the state of Arkansas. I expected more.

The Buckeyes started strong both halves, recording touchdowns on their first two possessions in the first and third quarters. But then from time to time they got bogged down, went three and ended up being forced to bet. TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams both played well, but the Buckeyes didn’t seem as dominant on the pitch as they did in the fourth quarter against the Irish.

The passing attack seemed almost back to normal. Harrison, Jr., and Egbuka had monstrous plays, with long payouts and big catches. Stroud completed 67% of his passes (16/24) for 351 yards and four TDs. No interception. With quick shots, the Buckeyes didn’t make many plays and lost the battle time for possession convincingly: 37:44 to 22:16.

Overall, the attack was good but not mind-boggling. A small disappointment, in fact.


Defence

Overall rating: A Strong

I almost gave the Buckeye D just an “adequate”. The missed tackles, the penalties and the inability to cover wide receiver Champ Flemings certainly made me think. The opponent was, I repeat, the state of Arkansas. But the USO defense allowed no touchdowns, forced eight punt (and one out on downs), and produced just 53 clear yards on 34 carries for an average of 1.6 yards per carry. That average was lowered from the 12 tackles per defeat of the Buckeyes in the game. Pretty good.

There were a number of defenders who played really well (see below) and some who didn’t. I am a little concerned that the USO defense has not yet gotten a takeaway this season. After two games, I’m not sure what to think of this defense. Better than last year? Certainly. Really good? Maybe, but it’s too early to make that call.


Photo by Frank Jansky / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Special teams

Overall rating: BBB Adequate

I would almost change this rating to “just adequate”. The special teams didn’t make any mistakes that put the game at risk, but there were plenty of them. When it appeared that the Red Wolves’ second series of games would end just like the first – with a three and one out – the Buckeye Special Teams gave them a new possession.

It was actually worse than that because Egbuka had a long punt returned for a touchdown, a really nice run, nullified by two penalties. One would have canceled the return and moved the Bucks back, but was refused. The Wolves accepted the second penalty, a jump over the offensive line against Teradja Mitchell before football, and the State of Arkansas retained possession, a possession which, with the help of multiple penalties, ended in the basket.

There were other problems. Like last week, a returning player from the OSU punt let the ball bounce instead of crawling under it for a fair catch. In the fourth quarter, Buckeye’s punt return Cam Martinez got out of the way of a bouncing ball but did not communicate with his blocker, JK Johnson, who was slammed into the ball for an ASU recovery. Sloppy play on punt’s return team throughout the game.


Individual shows

Blue chip

Marvin Harrison, Jr. The Red Wolves simply couldn’t cover it. He’s too big, too fast in parting, too fast in the back of the field. He got seven passes for 184 yards (26.3 yds / average catch!) And three TDs. He became only the second Buckeye in team history to record three touchdown receptions twice in a single game. Joey Galloway was the other in 1993 and 1994.

Emeka Egbuka. Egbuka also had over 100 yards in reception against the Red Wolves, receiving four passes for 118 yards (29.5 on average). Even though he had the return of the called bet, Egbuka also ran an end for a precipitous 27-yard gain. Bring him the ball!

Mike Hall, Jr. For the second consecutive week, Hall was great. He wasn’t always in the game, but all three of his tackles were behind the scrimmage line and one was one of two Buckeye sacks for the game.

Steele Chambers / Cody Simon. The two linebackers both played well. (And so did Tommy Eichenberg, actually.) Combined, Chambers and Simon had 12 tackles, three TFLs and a lot. They have been really hard on ASU’s racing game.


Solid performance

CJ Stroud. He was strong throughout the game, especially on the long passes. He had fewer underthrow balls than last week and he seemed more comfortable throwing at receivers than he had in the game.

Three Veyon Henderson. A solid game: 10 carries for 87 yards and a couple of TDs. He got nearly half his yardage on a 41 yarder on Buckeye’s first possession.

Josh Proctor. Last week, Proctor missed a tackle early in the match and missed most of the rest. Against the state of Arkansas, he redeemed himself. Credited with only three tackles, he was apparently all over the pitch and was in charge of defense.


Penny Stock

Denzel Burke. Burke is supposed to be one of the best corners in the country. But he couldn’t handle Champ Flemings. Maybe Flemings will be an All-American. I do not know. But I do know that Burke has been burned multiple times by Fleming and has also committed two penalties for interference. I thought Cam Brown played better on the other side.


As we approach week 3, I still have questions about both the Buckeye attack and the Buckeye defense. It’s still early and enough time for the talented Bucks to calm down, but Notre Dame’s victory lost some of its glory yesterday. On the other hand, Wisconsin looks a lot less threatening than it did a couple of days ago. We hope that JSN and Fleming return to Toledo.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: