Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins scores on a pass from quarterback Justin Fields during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Northwestern, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Ohio State blows out Northwestern to improve to 7-0

Ohio State improved to 7-0 with a 52-3 blowout win at Northwestern on Friday night. 

After a dominating first half, the Buckeyes picked up where they left off on both sides of the ball to start the third quarter. 

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The defense forced a punt, and Chris Fields led them down the field for his fourth touchdown pass, this one a 23-yarder to Austin Mack. 

Chris Chugunov replaced Fields in the fourth quarter and hooked up with Jeremy Ruckert for a 7-yard touchdown pass, and Master Teague sprinted 73 yards up the middle for another score with 7:46 to go. 

FIRST HALF RECAP 

Ohio State does not appear to have overlooked Northwestern. 

The fourth-ranked and heavily favored Buckeyes ran out to a 31-3 lead in the first half, looking strong through the air and on the ground as usual coming off their first open weekend of the season. 

Ohio State started the game with a methodical touchdown drive. 

Justin Fields was on target from start to finish, completing 3 of 5 passes for 47 yards, including a 20-yard strike to Chris Olave for a touchdown. Olave had snuck behind the secondary and Fields, who had plenty of time to let him clear the safety, found him. 

Two of Fields’ passes hit the ground on the first drive, but one was a drop and the other was a nice defensive play. 

Fields showed off his arm strength on a pair of throws to the far side of the field, and he scrambled 10 yards on a third-and-7 early in the drive. 

The Wildcats answered late in the third quarter with a 33-yard field goal by Charlie Kuhbander, a junior from Springboro. 

Ohio State extended the lead on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Fields to Dobbins early in the second quarter that capped a 75-yard drive to go with the 70-yard drive on Ohio State’s first score. 

Dobbins was just getting started. He ripped off a 68-yard run the next time the Buckeyes got the ball then ran it in from five yards out on the following play. 

After Northwestern botched a punt attempt, Ohio State cashed in for its fourth score of the first half when Fields faked a handoff to Master Teague and found Olave open in the end zone from eight yards out. 

Blake Haubeil finished out the scoring by banging through a 55-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. 

That was the second-longest field goal in school history, matching a feat pulled off twice by Centerville native Mike Nugent as well as Dan Stultz and Gary Cairns. 

Ohio State outgained Northwestern 265-90 in the first half, including 137-22 through the air. 

Fields completed 12 of 17 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns while Dobbins ran for 95 yards on 11 carries. 

Olave caught five passes for 60 yards, and Malik Harrison had five tackles. 

Isaiah Bowser, a sophomore from Sidney who missed Northwestern’s last game with a knee injury, led the Wildcats with 41 yards rushing on 10 carries. 

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