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Five things learned from Ohio’s 37-21 win over Kansas

Ohio can run the ball really, really well.

Clay Benjamin

After a shocking loss to Texas State week one, Ohio bounced back against Kansas with a 37-21 win to get back to its winning ways heading in to week three on the road at Tennessee. What did we learn this week? Quite a bit actually.


Windham is no longer “easing into” the starting role.

Windham had a great performance against the Jayhawks in his second start, both in the air and on the ground. What was most impressive about his performance was that he was equally effective on the ground as he was in the air. He picked up 146 yard rushing on 16 carries, an astounding 9.1 yards per carry. In the air, he was far less effective than last week but still completed over 50 percent of his passes and added a touchdown with 167 yards.

Clay Benjamin

Ohio can run the ball. Well.

How well you ask? I’m talking “57 carries for 329 yards and two touchdowns” well. As a team, Ohio averaged 5.8 yards per carry. Dorian Brown emerged as more of a feature back as opposed to last week where the split between him and Maleek Irons was more even. Brown carried the ball 20 times for 122 yards whereas Irons picked up 39 yards on eight rushes. AJ Ouellette, the original starter injured in week one, threw a compliment to the big men up front via Twitter.

Ohio has big play potential across the board.

Five different players on the team had gains of over 20 yards. Ohio has not struggled much to sustain drives, but the over-the-top and make-you-miss potential out of the skill positions makes this team dangerous on offense. Windham, Brown and Irons all had rushes over 20 yards, and Jordan Reid and Kyle Belack joined in with long receptions down the field.

Clay Benjamin

Ohio can control ball games in the trenches.

“The best defense is a good offense,” –Frank Solich probably.

Ohio controlled the ball for 43:38 of game clock. Nearly 44 minutes of possession, in a 60-minute game. That means in order to win; Kansas would have needed to score nearly three points per minute of possession. Ohio struggled defensively last week but the offense picked them up this week and made sure they were well rested.

Ohio needs to eliminate negative plays to beat Tennessee in Neyland Stadium.

Although Ohio moved the ball with ease all game, they will struggle mightily against the SEC opponent if they continue to get dropped for losses. Kansas stopped Ohio before the line-of-scrimmage 14 times on Saturday.

One play in particular that stood out was a second-and-four in the third quarter. Ohio ran a sweep to White into the boundary and lost three yards. Ohio was having no problems pounding the ball up the middle and with two downs to grab four yards and move the sticks, why not let Brown or Irons do what they had been all game? The difference between second-and-four, and third-and-seven may not have been huge against Kansas, but Tennessee will be a different beast next week.