Ohio State opened its 129th season of football with a resounding win, a 77-31 decision over Oregon State that was nearly as odd as the Buckeyes’ preseason.
Ohio State led 42-14 at halftime then had to wait out a weather delay of 72 minutes.
When the teams returned to the field, they promptly traded long touchdowns.
First Terry McLaurin took an intermediate pass from Dwayne Haskins and raced through the Beaver defense for a 75-yard scoring play.
Artavis Pierce answered on the first play of the ensuing possession, bursting through a hole on the right side, beating the Buckeye pursuit to the sideline and sprinting for an 80-yard score.
Pierce later added a 78-yard touchdown run, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Ohio State’s offense kept the pedal to the metal, tacking on an 8-yard touchdown on a shovel pass from Haskins to Parris Campbell and short touchdown runs by Mike Weber and Brian Snead to win convincingly.
It was a victorious debut for Ryan Day, who is serving as interim head coach for the Buckeyes while Urban Meyer remains suspended for mismanaging assistant coach Zach Smith. Meyer, who has been away since Aug. 1, can return to the team Monday but won’t be able to coach the game against Rutgers next week or a neutral site contest against TCU in two weeks.
Haskins, a strong-armed sophomore, made history by becoming the first Ohio State player to throw for more than 300 yards in his starting debut.
He finished the day with 313 yards on 22-for-30 passing with five touchdowns and an interception.
Weber ran for 186 yards on 20 carries. He scored three touchdowns on the ground and another on a short pass.
Nick Bosa had two of Ohio State’s five sacks, though it was not a good day for the defense.
The retooled Silver Bullets gave up seven plays of 25 yards or more, including three that went for scores.
<<<FIRST HALF RECAP>>>
Through the first two quarters, Ohio State-Oregon State was no contest.
The Buckeyes took a 42-14 lead into the locker room after a performance that was nearly 100 percent dominant.
The Beavers matched Ohio State’s first touchdown of the game with a 49-yard lightning bolt from Conor Blount to Trevon Bradford that tied the game at 7 with 10:35 to go in the first quarter.
Then the floodgates opened.
Ohio State put together scoring drives of 65, 75, 75 and 59 yards to open a 35-7 lead.
Then the defense got in on the act as Nick Bosa jumped on a fumble in the end zone.
Sean Nuernberger’s point-after kick made it 42-7 with 4:30 left in the half.
The Beavers were able to save some face after that, driving 75 yards for a touchdown (Conor Blount to Trevon Bradford) with :19 seconds left.
Otherwise, it was all Ohio State.
Dwayne Haskins completed 14 of 18 passes for 164 yards in the first half. He threw three touchdown passes.
Mike Weber ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns before adding another score on a 3-yard shovel pass from Haskins.
Haskins’ favorite target was K.J. Hill, who had four grabs for 61 yards.
Terry McLaurin and Rashod Berry both caught TD passes for the Buckeyes.
Defensively, Bosa had two of Ohio State’s five sacks.
Although the stadium was splashed with sun throughout the first half, rain hit at halftime and lightning in the area caused the start of the second half to be delayed.
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