In the midst of Ohio State's new form of chaos, a surprising truth emerged: somehow, in the wake of losing one of the most dominant performers in program history via ridiculous circumstances enforced by the NCAA, they still have football games to play.
Step one of that process ensued on Saturday afternoon, as the Buckeyes welcomed in the Maryland Terrapins to commence the latter stages of their Big Ten slate. A lesser team might folded under pressure, fallen into the dangerous trenches of a trap game.
Instead, Ohio State's undisputed new face simply strapped up his helmet and declared deemed that everything would be perfectly fine.
Fields ensured there would be little to no issue when it comes to surviving without Chase Young, with Saturday serving as an effective "calm down" to Buckeye Nation. He guided the Buckeyes to touchdowns on each of their first six possessions. When Fields was finally lifted in a show of mercy, he was responsible for 228 total yards of offense and four touchdowns. Assistance came in the form of 355 additional rushing yards from a hydra headed by J.K. Dobbins, who is looking like the next Buckeye rusher that will represent the school in the NFL.
It all started with their touted quarterback.
Obviously, a quantum of caliber is removed from the Ohio State cause with the loss of Young. His named should be etched in Sharpie at the top of NFL draft boards for a reason, after all. But by taking care of business against Maryland, Fields and company ensured that everything would be fine and that the postseason trip can commence with little to no setback.
Ohio State (9-0) gets one more tune-up game against equally far gone Rutgers next Saturday. Big matchups with Penn State and Michigan, each of whom are probably removed from the College Football Playoff conversation, await. Had the Buckeyes had trouble on Saturday, the countdown to those games could've easily turned into a death march.
Instead, college football is forced to look at Fields at the helm of the College Football Playoff's top-ranked squad, and he's the captain now.