In Urban Meyer’s first game back as head coach of the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes, the program cruised to its fourth win of the season after dismantling the Tulane Green Wave, 49-6.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins had another video game-esque performance. In the first half, the Potomac, Md., signal-caller threw for 304 yards and five touchdowns on 21-of-24 passing. That would be his statline for the game, as Tate Martell took over as QB in the second half.
With Haskins having a big day in the air, the receiving corps also had a great afternoon in Columbus, too. In the first half, Parris Campbell had eight receptions for 147 yards and two TDs. He would be rested in the second half. K.J. Hill and Austin Mack also had a good day receiving the football. Hill ended the game with four catches for 57 yards; Mack made an exceptional first half touchdown reception en route to a three catch, 32-yard and one TD day.
On the ground, Meyer and Buckeyes held the cards close to their chest. J.K. Dobbins had 11 carries for 55 yards and a score. Mike Weber had six rushes for 18 yards before leaving the game with an injury in the second quarter.
The Buckeye ended the game with 570 yards of total offense, while holding the Green Wave to 256. Defensively, Ohio State tallied 14 tackles-for-loss and four sacks. Baron Browning, Tyler Friday, Keandre Jones and Dante Booker each had one sack apiece.
The first drive of the game from OSU was what we’ve come to expect: methodical, timely, and pass-heavy. Haskins hit Parris Campbell for a 35-yard screen early in the drive, and drove the team 91 yards in just nine plays. Seventy-four of the yards came in the air, with the exclamation point being a 14-yard completion to Campbell on a corner route in the end zone.
OSU’s defense with star defensive end Nick Bosa picked up right where they left off, too. On Tulane’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback Jonathan Banks kept the ball on an option keeper, only to be brought down by Chase Young for a 5-yard loss. The Green Wave couldn’t get out of the 15-yard deficit on second and third down—and punted the ball away. K.J. Hill took over the return responsibilities, and circled around the punt coverage unit before charging up the field to the OSU44 for a 17-yard return.
Again, Haskins and the Buckeye offense did work, scoring another touchdown. This time, it took eight plays to march 56 yards. While Haskins did find Campbell for another chunk pass, he ended up with a chunk TD throw to Terry McLaurin. The 17-yard connection on the score kept up Haskins’ hot start on the game—one that carried over from last week’s contest versus TCU. He would hit his first nine passes of the game, before throwing an incompletion, which was called for intentional grounding.
Tulane got into Ohio State territory on their second drive, but it was short lived. Their drive would stall out after Baron Browning tallied a sack on Banks.
The scoring prowess of the Buckeyes came back out for the third and final time in the first quarter. Haskins kept throwing the ball on the money, and ended the drive with a highlight worthy deep-ball connection to Campbell for a TD.
D I M E pic.twitter.com/pvEAoK9KEs— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) September 22, 2018
At the end of one, Ohio State held a 21-0 lead.
But in the second quarter, Tulane would have something for the score column. The Green Wave ticked nearly five minutes off of the clock en route to their first touchdown of the afternoon. It nearly didn’t happen though, as on the second play of the drive, Jeffery Okudah picked off a Banks pass. The interception was a picture-perfect snag, but was erased because of an offsides call on Jashon Cornell.
On a third down, Banks misconnected with a receiver, but once again, a penalty flag bailed the Green Wave out; Damon Arnette was called for pass interference, giving Banks another fresh set of downs to operate with. A few plays later, Banks made good on the breaks and found Terren Encalade for a 38-yard reception down to the OSU goal line.
After Browning stuffed Banks on the first attempt inside the five-yard line, Tulane punched the ball into the end zone with Darius Bradwell. However, the dramatics weren’t done yet on this drive, as the extra point got blocked by Jonathon Cooper.
Ohio State went back on offense and continued the theme of efficient drives. Weber and Dobbins combined for three carries on this series, but the four Haskins passes was how the ball moved down the field.
Three of Haskins’ lobs went for first downs; the fourth one to Binjimen Victor was worth way more than that. Thanks to the defense biting on a Campbell screen, Victor sprinted down the field wide-open, and Haskins flicked the ball right into his hands in stride for a 38-yard TD connection. When all was done, OSU needed seven plays to go 81 yards and took 2:29 off of the clock.
YOU get a TD! And YOU get a TD!@dh_simba7 has tossed 4 TDs today, pushing his season total to 15: pic.twitter.com/hP6njJR49f— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) September 22, 2018
The Buckeyes weren’t done on either side of the ball for the half. Another Tulane three-and-out gave OSU favorable field position and their own 41. Martell checked into the game at QB, and quickly took off for a 19-yard rush down the near sideline on first down. Martell kept up his completion streak to 11 after finding Hill over the middle for 19. Dobbins would finish things off over the next two plays with rushes, and got the Buckeyes back into the end zone for the fifth time on Saturday afternoon.
Haskins would get one more crack at the end zone for the half—and he delivered. With 2:39 left, the Buckeye offense went back onto the field startinf at their own 35. Dobbins, Mack, Victor and Campbell all tallied receptions on the Bucks’ final drive of the half. The series ended with, arguably, the catch of the game as Haskins went to Mack in the corner of the near end zone. Mack twisted his body mid-air and snagged the ball with a defender all over him. Haskins went 21-of-25 for 304 yards and five (!) TDs in the first half.
Below are some of the first half stats.
Martell took over the reigns on offense to start the third quarter, and Demario McCall made an appearance at running back in the second half as well, after having been slotted with the WRs so far this season. McCall got a 10-yard rush on OSU’s first play of the second half, but not much after that.
As starters were rested by Ohio State, we saw glimpses of what the second team defense can do. Spoiler: they will scare you too. Justin Hilliard tackled Banks for a loss of seven; not long after that, Tyler Friday recorded a sack of Banks. Midway through the third quarter, OSU had registered 12 tackles-for-loss and four sacks.
There wasn’t any scoring in the third quarter, as the teams kept the ball on the ground for most of the time.
In the fourth frame, though, Tulane got within scoring range. A 39-yard pass from Banks to Darnell Mooney in the waning moments of the third quarter got the Green Wave to the Buckeyes’ 32. But, an offensive holding call threw a wrench into the scoring plans—leading to a punt.
With just over a minute left in the game, McCall made two big plays—a 35-yard catch and 15-yard run—to set-up a one-yard scamper for Martell. That would be the final score of the game, as OSU cruised to a 49-6 win.
Next week, the Buckeyes are back in primetime to battle the Penn State Nittany Lions. The game will be broadcast on ABC at 7:30 p.m. ET.