COLUMBUS -- TreVeyon Henderson ran wild and Ohio State held off Tulsa 41-20 at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
Making his first career start, Henderson ran for 277 yards and three touchdowns. He broke Archie Griffin’s single-game rushing record for a Buckeye freshman (239 against North Carolina in 1972) and helped Ohio State bounce back from an upset loss to Oregon.
The ninth-ranked Buckeyes (2-1) needed to lean on their running game as the defense struggled again despite having some new faces in the lineup and moving defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs from the sideline to the press box.
Tulsa scored first on a 22-yard field goal by Zach Long that gave the Golden Hurricane a 3-0 lead.
Ohio State answered with a methodic drive that also yielded a field goal as Noah Ruggles connected from 43 yards after Ohio State used 11 plays to cover 47 yards. The first 20 came on a pass from C.J. Stroud to Chris Olave, but the rest came on the ground.
Seeming to be a step ahead of the Buckeyes most of the way, Tulsa quarterback Brin Davis completed six of eight passes for 56 yards on the next drive, but the drive stalled again when Lathan Ransom brought down JuanCarlos Santana for no gain on third-and-4.
That led to a 31-yard field goal by Long.
Tulsa’s lead did not last long as Ohio State needed only 1:56 to go 64 yards for a touchdown.
Freshman Emeka Egbuka gave the Buckeyes a boost to start with a 36-yard kickoff return, and classmate Henderson finished it with a 5-yard touchdown run.
A 44-yard Ruggles field goal extended Ohio State’s lead to 13-7 with under a minute left in the first half.
The Buckeyes added to their lead early in the third quarter when Henderson burst through a huge hole on the right side, juked a safety downfield then fought off another attempt at a strip before rumbling into the end zone. The 48-yard run gave Ohio State a 20-6 advantage.
The Buckeyes looked to be on their way to adding to the lead, but Stroud was sacked and fumbled near midfield. The Hurricane recovered and turned it into a five-play touchdown drive capped by Davis’ touchdown pass to Cannon Montgomery covering 21 yards.
Henderson quickly answered by breaking through the left side of the line and outrunning everyone to the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown run, passing Griffin in the process.
The Golden Hurricane came back with another score as Davis hit Josh Johnson from 22 yards out, but Ohio State answered with a 12-yard play-action touchdown pass from Stroud to Garrett Wilson.
Then the Buckeye defense shut the door when Cam Martinez intercepted a Davis pass and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown in front of a few remaining members an announced crowd of 76,540 fans.
It was the smallest crowd for an Ohio State game at Ohio Stadium since 1971 (excluding last year when attendance was limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic).
Akron at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m., BTN, 1410
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