It wasn't a trick and it certainly wasn't a treat to watch. But it was a victory, and going into the toughest stretch of its season, Ohio State needs any win it can possibly get.
Yes, the scoreboard might have read 45-0 in favor of the Buckeyes. But considering what they were up against - a New Mexico State team that came into the day allowing 369.5 yards in total offense a game - that was expected.
This game should have been a preparation for the hardest three games of the Buckeyes' season - traveling to Happy Valley Saturday, hosting Iowa the week after then ending the season at Michigan. Ohio State should have been ironing out plays, letting players get healed and giving banged up players a chance to get in some rehab reps. Some of those goals were accomplished but some new problems mounted.
The biggest goal to check off the list was the return of running back Dan "Boom" Herron. The Warren G. Harding graduate sat out three of the last four games with an ankle injury and returned Saturday to stats of six carries, 66 yards and a touchdown.
However, with one player returning, some were hurt in the effort.
Ohio State kicker Aaron Pettrey was hit hard on a kickoff to New Mexico State with 4:38 left in the second quarter. Coach Jim Tressel didn't know the extent of Pettrey's injury after the game and was unsure of his status against Penn State.
Also, Tressel said backup kicker Devin Barclay got dinged up during the game, but was in better shape than Pettrey.
"I guess you learned today you can never have enough kickers," Tressel said. "If the game were still going on they wouldn't be out there."
That is no good for the kicking game, which can be the make or break of a tight contest. Before Pettrey's injury, he missed two field goals, though both were for 52-yards. Barclay also missed two, one from 47-yards and the second for 36.
Yes, four field goals were missed, but in no way, shape or form should Ohio State have left their kickers to attempt field goals from that far out against New Mexico State, not once but four times.
Penn State, yes. USC, understandable. The Aggies? No. Not acceptable.
Here's the question: If Pettrey was missing long-range field goals, at home, in relatively good weather, what's going to happen next week if Ohio State is in the same position, but in the very unfriendly confines of Happy Valley with a possible Big Ten title on the line? And if he doesn't play, can Barclay make those kicks?
And if the kicking game is going to be hurting, then the Ohio State offense needs to show up. Yes, 510 yards of total offense is great. Terrelle Pryor passing for 135 yards is a good number. But there were mistakes that the offense made that any of the three teams left on the schedule would have turned into points.
Pryor had two passes nearly intercepted, but were bobbled and eventually dropped by Aggie defenders. Also, running back Brandon Saine had a fumble after Ohio State had intercepted a Jeff Fleming pass in the second quarter. Those are kinds of mistakes that can't happen in the next three weeks.
Hopefully, Herron, Brandon Saine and Jordan Hall, who both played in Herron's absence, all will give the Buckeyes the offensive spark they desperately need. And maybe if the running game becomes more productive, the pressure will be off Pryor and he can make the throws he is capable of making.
Because if the same mistakes that were made against the Aggies are made against the Nittany Lions, I guarantee the outcome is not going to be the same as it was Saturday.