Buckeyes rout Oregon State in season opener, 77-31


COLUMBUS – Ohio State had an unwanted break because of bad weather and its defense broke a few times when it gave up some unwanted big plays. But overall it did most of the things it wanted to do whenever it wanted to do them in a 77-31 win over Oregon State in its football opener on Saturday.

OSU scored the first five times it had the football. It rolled up 721 yards total offense and tied the school record for most points scored in a season opener.

Quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns in his first start. Running back Mike Weber rushed for 186 yards on 20 carries, scored three touchdowns rushing and caught a touchdown pass.

And Ohio State did all this with several starters spending most of the second half as spectators on the sideline and without head coach Urban Meyer, who was sitting out the first game of his three-game suspension.

“I’m really proud of the way the guys came out today. We talked about starting fast in this game. We talked about how we wanted to start fast and play fast. I thought we did that in the first half,” acting head coach Ryan Day said.

After scoring the first five times it had the ball on offense, OSU scored a defensive touchdown almost immediately after being stopped on its sixth possession and being forced to punt.

It jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes on a two-yard touchdown pass by Haskins to Terry McLaurin.

Oregon State took advantage of some confusion by Ohio State’s safeties to tie the game at 7-7 on a 49-yard scoring pass from Conor Blount to Trevon Bradford on its next possession.

From there, Ohio State ran off five unanswered touchdowns. Haskins was a key player in that surge, completing his first six passes and 10 of his first 11.

Ohio State went up 14-7 on a 16-yard touchdown run by Weber on its next possession. Haskins found tight end Rashad Berry with a six-yard scoring pass to make it 21-7.

Weber got loose for a 49-yard touchdown run, thanks to a huge hole provided by the offensive line, for a 28-7 lead and Haskins threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Weber for a 35-7 lead.

After a 65-yard punt by Dru Chrisman pinned Oregon State on its own three-yard line, two plays later Nick Bosa recovered a fumble in the end zone after Blount was sacked by Pete Werner to increase the lead to 42-7. It was Bosa’s second fumble recovery of the first half.

Oregon State scored late in the first half and got touchdown runs of 80 yards and 78 yards from Artavis Pierce in the second half.

But the closest the Beavers could get in the second half was 25 points before Ohio State scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Thunderstorms and lightning in the area forced a 1 hour, 12-minute delay at the beginning of the second half.

“We were in there (the locker room) for a while. That was a long wait for us,” Day said. “I thought everybody handled it really well.”

When it came to handling its job well, probably no unit for Ohio State did better than the defensive line, which had five sacks – two by Dre’Mont Jones, two by Bosa and one by Pete Werner.

“We definitely pass rushed well. We put a lot of pressure on the quarterback,” Bosa said. “But we (the defense overall) made a lot of small mistakes in the second half, even in the first half.”

By Jim Naveau

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