College football: Week 9 proves the Buckeyes' strength in a muddy fight
Columbus, Ohio - Week 9 of the college football season saw the nation's top playoff contenders flex their muscles with gritty wins and domination of their rivals, just in time for the playoff committee to reveal the first official playoff rankings to come on Tuesday.
The Tennessee Volunteers easily swept passed Kentucky over the weekend in preparation of their next big matchup coming up against No. 1 Georgia on Saturday.
Quarterback Hendon Hooker once against shined with his best receiver Jalin Hyatt in perhaps their most polished performance of the season, while the Vols defense dominated the Wildcats and only allowed a single touchdown final score of 44-6.
Like Tennessee, the University of Michigan completely annihilated in-state rival Michigan State, holding the Spartans to a single touchdown score all game. A shocking brawl afterwards between the teams in the stadium tunnel caused the suspension of four Michigan State players and lots of confusion over what actually went down.
Georgia's 42-20 win over the Gators saw them looking more relaxed than impressive. The Bulldogs took control early in the game and continued to seamlessly pressure Florida until the final quarter.
Still, it was the Ohio State Buckeyes that may have shown up the most on Saturday because of their relentless fight to the end, winning their eighth consecutive win of the season by double-digits.
Needless to say, the Buckeyes' fight against Penn State was indeed a brutal battle.
Ohio State garners eighth consecutive double-digit win
In the tough win against Penn State on Saturday, the Buckeyes got dragged down into the muck.
Yet, when Ohio State kicked off their heels and got dirty, their comeback from scoring struggles somehow felt even more impressive than other teams' blowout wins.
In the final quarter alone, Ohio State scored a massive 28 points - 12 more points than all other quarters' touchdowns combined.
After the 44-31 victory, the Buckeyes are now 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten – with all eight wins coming with a double-digit score.
Ohio State's offense has surpassed 40 points six times this season, and their defense has held opponents to 21 or fewer points seven of eight games played this year.
If there were any remaining questions about this Ohio State team, Saturday's performance went a long way to answering them. While last year's team was full of glitz and glamour with very little depth, this is a different looking group of Buckeyes. As Saturday proved, they can roll around in the mud with anyone and still come out on top.
The Buckeyes will travel to Northwestern on Saturday for a Big Ten conference play against the Wildcats at noon EST.
Cover photo: SCOTT TAETSCH / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP