We made it! It’s finally game week! This year has the possibility of being a special year for the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the first game of the season will allow us to see where the Buckeyes stand. While Ohio State has had some interesting season-openers over the years, this has the possibility of being one of the most memorable openers in school history.
What is always interesting is to see which player scores the first touchdown of the year. Does the first touchdown predict how the season is going to go? Not at all. It’s just fun to see who gets the honors of scoring the first touchdown of the year, especially if Ohio State goes on to win a national title.
It doesn’t take very much skill to predict who is going to be the first Buckeye to score a touchdown this year. Ohio State could break their drought and return the opening kickoff of the year for a touchdown. Maybe Denzel Burke picks off a pass and takes it for six. Maybe Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson find a way to work out a play for an offensive lineman to score. Anything is possible!
In 2014, Ohio State’s first touchdown was scored by Darron Lee when he returned a fumble against Navy in the third quarter. Lydell Ross scored a two-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter of the 2002 opener against Texas Tech. Lately, the trend has been towards running touchdowns, as the last three seasons have seen rushing scores as the first touchdowns of the year. Miyan Williams broke a huge run last year in the first game of the season against Minnesota to open up the campaign.
Today’s question: Who will score Ohio State’s first touchdown of the 2022 season?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Marvin Harrison Jr.
If we had asked which Buckeye would score the first Ohio State touchdown of the Rose Bowl, I would have been the winner had I picked Marvin Harrison Jr., as the wide receiver hauled in a 25-yard touchdown in the second quarter of “The Granddaddy of Them All”. Harrison went on to score three touchdowns in one of the wildest Ohio State games that I have ever seen.
TreVeyon Henderson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, and a number of others are all solid choices. Who knows, we could even get C.J. Stroud scrambling into the end zone just to get back at everyone that last year questioned his ability and desire to run the football when needed.
So why did I go with Harrison? One reason is because I’m doing college football fantasy football this year, and I drafted Stroud and Harrison, so I’m hoping the duo hooks up for scores early and often throughout the season. Also, Smith-Njigba is going to get so much attention and coverage, it could open things up for Harrison and some of the other receivers. Plus, Harrison’s big frame is quite an inviting target for Stroud in the end zone.
Meredith’s answer: TreVeyon Henderson
Ohio State has so many options for the first touchdown of the year (and that’s not even considering dark horse options, like a defensive or special teams touchdown or, perhaps even more farfetched, a run from C.J. Stroud for a score).
I’m going to continue with the theme of recent years and go with a rushing touchdown, this time from running back TreVeyon Henderson. The true sophomore wasn’t solidly on our radar this time last year, but he broke his way into the starting role, and our hearts, just a few games into the 2021 season.
Now, even with the strength in the passing game, it feels like Ohio State will still work to establish the run early. The receivers on the edge, though enormously talented (seriously, so talented) have seen more limited action than Henderson. Handing the ball off to Henderson and getting the running game rolling also serves to take pressure off Stroud.
The matchup is also there for Henderson. In particular, the Buckeyes will be working to catch Notre Dame’s elite edge rushers off guard. While the Fighting Irish will be looking for ways to catch Stroud, it should open up the run in the middle for Henderson behind a bolstered offensive line.