Cardale Jones made his first start in Ohio Stadium for the Buckeyes, where the 2014 national championship plaque was unveiled in the first quarter. The first half was not a pretty one for the Buckeyes. While Cardale Jones did not perform terribly, he was replaced with J.T. Barrett midway through the second quarter.
On his first drive, Barrett and the Buckeyes went down the field, where Ezekiel Elliott punched in his second touchdown of the game to open up a 14-0 lead that they would carry into the second half. Barrett went 5/12 for 41 yards in his time on the field, as Cardale Jones was given the nod to start the second half.
Late in the third quarter, it appeared as if Hawaii was finding a groove on offense, until Joshua Perry came up with a huge third down sack, stopping the Hawaii drive and forcing the Rainbow Warriors to punt. It was all Buckeyes from then on out, highlighted by a circus fumble return by Vonn Bell topped off with a Bri'onte Dunn rushing touchdown to seal the 38-0 victory.
1. The Slobs looked... sloppy. Were the Buckeyes out of gas following a tough, physical Monday night game? Perhaps. The offensive line was not nearly as sharp as it had been in the season opener against Virginia Tech, and we saw much more pressure put on Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett than we would like to against a team like Hawaii.
When Braxton Miller was lined up to take the snap, he was stuffed a couple of times as if he had nobody blocking for him. While it's totally expected that he would be running, one would think an Ohio State offensive line would be able to out man that of Hawaii's.
Is this a big cause for concern? It's hard to say that it is when you look at the talent on the line. As mentioned, it was a short week for the Buckeyes, and while Hawaii isn't an elite college football program, the first home game on top of the short week could have had something to do with it. With the likes of Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein and company, a line that helped anchor you to a national championship, they get a pass for this game.
2. The thought of a quarterback competition still lingers. Cardale Jones started this one, and was 6/9 passing with 82 yards before being pulled in the middle of the second quarter. While the offense wasn't terrible with Jones in the game, the Buckeyes had only produced seven points, below what many would have expected at that point in the game.
On J.T. Barrett's first drive, the Buckeyes drove down the field for the team's second score of the game, an Ezekiel Elliott rushing touchdown, his second of the game. While in the game, Barrett didn't do anything that Jones didn't do. Niether quarterback performed terribly, but with the lack of support from the offensive line, things were a tad bit tougher on the Buckeye quarterbacks.
Cardale Jones started the game in the second half. He, along with the rest of the Buckeye offense were unable to get the ball in the endzone after a turnover gave the Buckeyes the ball inside the Hawaii 10 yard line. Both quarterbacks were victims to dropped passes in this one as well. While Cardale Jones had the majority of snaps, it was clear in the first half that if the offense wasn't going the way he wanted to, Urban Meyer was not going to hesitate to make the switch.
3. The defense looks sharp. We discussed all offseason how talented the Buckeyes were, and rightfully so, a lot of that discussion was focused on the offensive side of the ball. But it is just as clear on the defensive side of the ball if not more obvious that the Buckeyes possess unparalleled talent on defense. The linebackers all looked good, with Joshua Perry recording a sack, as well as Darron Lee getting two of his own. If the defensive line wasn't able to get to the quarterback, the linebackers or safeties were there to bat the ball down. The Buckeyes made great tackles on the perimeter, and one-on-one throughout the game. It helped keep the calm over Buckeye fans that were watching, concerned that the Buckeyes weren't up by more than four scores.
The defensive backs showed great promise, and were highlighted by a Gareon Conley interception in the middle of the second quarter, the first of his career. Vonn Bell got in on the action late in the quarter as well with an interception of his own in Buckeye territory.
Early in the third, the Buckeyes got a spark after a huge hit put on Max Wittek by Darron Lee, allowing Sam Hubbard to recover the ball inside the Hawaii 10. But as the story of the game went, the Buckeyes were unable to capitalize. The defense continued to hold it down until the final whistle, as Vonn Bell added to his already impressive stats sheet with a fumble recovery midway through the fourth quarter. While there wasn't much to bask over in this one, the defense was the one thing we couldn't get enough of.