Ohio State closed out nonconference play emphatically Saturday with a 76-5 blowout of Miami University.
A crowd of 103,190 saw the underdog visitors get out to a surprising 5-0 lead on a safety and a short field goal only to yield 10 unanswered touchdowns before the game was called with 2:40 left because of lightning in the area.
Here are five things to know about the game:
1. Ohio State had a historic second quarter.
The Buckeyes scored 42 points in the second quarter, the most since at least 1960.
Quarterback Justin Fields accounted for all six touchdowns, throwing for four and running for two more, and the sixth-ranked Buckeyes outgained the RedHawks 252 to negative-7 in the stanza.
The offense capitalized on a short field three times after turnovers to blow the game open.
“I think it was a pretty good stretch,” Fields said. “I don’t know about the best stretch we’ve had, but it was a good stretch and I think we did a great job in the second quarter executing and doing our job.”
Ohio State coach Ryan Day credited the defense for forcing three turnovers that led to touchdowns off short fields for the Buckeyes.
“Anytime that happens you can turn the momentum, it can flip fast,” Day said. “I think that’s what happened.”
2. Fields continued to put up huge numbers.
Although he played only the first half, Fields completed 14 of 21 passes for 223 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 36 yards on nine carries (including two sacks) and scored twice on the ground.
Although the sophomore has only played four games, his touchdown totals were not career highs. He also totaled six touchdowns accounted for with four TD passes in the season-opener against Florida Atlantic, and he ran for two touchdowns in week two against Cincinnati.
On the season, Fields has thrown for 880 yards and 13 touchdowns without an interception and run for 150 yards with six more touchdowns.
3. Miami’s local players left their mark on the game.
Belmont grad Ja’don Rucker-Furlow made his season debut for the RedHawks and broke up a pass down the field in the first half. That is likely the play he’ll most want to remember as later he was victimized for a highlight-reel catch by Garrett Wilson.
Though Rucker-Furlow appeared to be in good position to break up a pass from Chris Chugunov into the end zone, Wilson reached around him and took it away while the two went to the ground. The ball bounced up into the air (apparently off Wilson’s arm), but Wilson secured it for a 38-yard score. As the play ended, Rucker-Furlow simply raised his hands in exasperation and rested them on his forehead, an understandable reaction since it appeared there was nothing else he could have done.
“Garrett, that was a good catch, but he’s definitely had better catches in practice,” Fields said. “That wasn’t surprising to see.”
Maurice Thomas, a senior who starred at Talawanda, led Miami with 44 yards rushing, and his 23-yard run in the first half is the longest Ohio State has allowed so far this season. He also caught a 4-yard pass and returned kicks.
Dean Lemon, a senior from Alter, had two tackles while Rucker-Furlow finished with three tackles and the pass breakup.
4. Numerous Ohio State players recorded noteworthy firsts.
Backup quarterbacks Chugunov and Gunnar Hoak both threw their first touchdown passes in an Ohio State uniform.
Hoak’s was a 61-yard catch-and-run by freshman Jameson Williams, his first, while freshman running backs Steele Chambers and Marcus Crowley also found the end zone for the first time in Scarlet and Gray
“Jameson, on that slant, when he kind of stopped and started running, I already knew like right away he was going to score because he’s definitely one of the fastest guys on the team,” Fields said “His explosiveness, he’s going to be a great receiver in the future.”
Crowley caught a 7-yard touchdown pass while Crowley scored the last touchdown of the game from two yards out.
Cornerback Jeffrey Okudah notched the first interception of his college career while linebacker Dallas Gant had the first 1.5 sacks of his.
“Today was a great opportunity to have a lot of guys play,” Day said. “I even thought Chugs came in and threw the ball pretty good. That it was good for him to go back on. Garrett Wilson made some plays. Guys on defense running around and making tackles. Those are things guys can come back upon later in the year hopefully as experience.”
5. Ohio State’s dominance against other Ohio programs continued.
The Buckeyes have won 43 consecutive games against in-state schools and last lost to one in 1921 (Oberlin, 7-6).
They are 6-0 against Miami and 34-1 against teams from the Mid-American Conference with the lone loss still a 12-6 decision against Akron in 1894.
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