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Ohio State beats Hawaii 38-0, Elliott over 100 yards for 7th straight game
Ohio State came out a bit sluggish against Hawaii, scoring just 14 points in the first half, but the top-ranked Buckeyes cruised to a 38-0 victory.
The Ohio State defense was dominant and held Hawaii to just 165 total yards on 61 plays. Joey Bosa returned to the starting lineup and was his normal disruptive self while Darron Lee had a pair of sacks.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who many felt was underused in the Ohio State opener at Virginia Tech on Monday, got 27 rushing attempts against the Warriors and put together his seventh consecutive 100-yard rushing performance. Elliott had 101 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon, leading the way for Ohio State.
OSU had Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett split time at quarterback against Hawaii. Jones started the game and went 12 of 18 for 111 yards, while Barrett was 8 of 15 for 70 yards. Neither had a touchdown pass or interception.
Braxton Miller wasn't as involved in this game as he was against Virginia Tech, but he still had six catches for 57 yards and two rushes for 16 yards.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL POWER RANKINGS
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
LAST WEEK: 1
I was ready to make Alabama by No. 1 team and had the Crimson Tide in my top spot entering Monday night. I felt good about it at halftime of the Buckeyes’ opener against Virginia Tech. But then Cardale Jones,Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett proved no one can matchOhio State’s offensive weapons. The Buckeyes’ letdowns in the secondary againstMichael Brewer raise some concern, but even if that takes some time to get fixed, they’ll be able to outscore anyone anyway. Look at what they did to a really good Hokies defense.
The Crimson Tide looked just about flawless in their 35–17 win over Wisconsin. The biggest question about Alabama entering the season regarded who would play quarterback, but Jake Coker managed the role well, completing 15 of 21 passes for 213 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Those aren’t Heisman-worthy numbers, but the Tide don’t need that from their quarterback. Alabama showed how it can thrive on Saturday: A dominant defense that held the Badgers to 1.9 yards per carry and a dynamic running game that produced 238 yards and four scores.
The 21 points the Bears allowed to SMU doesn’t concern me because A) Chad Morris knows a thing or two about offense, and B) once Baylor adjusted the defense was stifling. It’s understandable to be tripped up early in Week 1 when teams have no film from the current season to help them prepare. After using halftime to adapt, the Bears held the Mustangs to 3.3 yards per play. Meanwhile, Seth Russellproved Baylor’s offense wouldn’t slow down without Bryce Petty.
Even if Texas’s defense has regressed, the Fighting Irish’s dismantling was impressive. Malik Zaire looks like a Heisman threat after completing 19 of 22 passes for 313 yards with three scores. And Notre Dame’s defense was as good as advertised, manhandling Texas’s offensive line and limiting the Longhorns to 3.1 yards per play.Tarean Folston’s injury has reduced what was a deep crop of running backs to a thin unit, butZaire’s stellar play can make up for that.
He’ll need to keep it up for a few more weeks to completely erase the doubts, but true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen did just about everything he could in his debut to look like a star in the making. Rosen’s stats were incredible (28 of 35 for 351 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions), but more importantly his passes were crisp, accurate and with perfect touch. Surrounded by a veteran offense and an athletic defense that held Virginia to 2.9 yards per carry, Rosen can take the Bruins far if he continues to play at this level.
The Spartans deserve some credit for playing an underratedly difficult nonconference game against a rising power in the MAC on the road. They also deserve credit for finding some answers to off-season questions about who would replace Jeremy Langford in the backfield. LJ Scott and Madre London combined for 136 yards on 26 carries with two scores. However, in the defense’s first game without Trae Wayne and Kurtis Drummond in the secondary and Pat Narduzzi at coordinator, Michigan State gave up 365 yards toWestern Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell. That’s a big concern heading into Saturday’s showdown with Oregon.
Last game: Beat Western Michigan 37–24
Next game: Saturday vs. Oregon
TCU HORNED FROGS
LAST WEEK: 3
Who would have guessed it’d be the TCU defense that looked in better shape than the offense? The Horned Frogs returned only five starters on defense, two of whom missed the opener due to injuries, but still held Minnesota to 17 points and 4.6 yards per play.Trevone Boykin looked a little out of synch and missed some open throws he’d be expected to execute. But given his and the rest of the offense’s success last year, we’ll chalk up the missed throws as just shaking off the rust for now.
An optimist and a pessimist would both find plenty of fodder in the Tigers’ season-opening victory. New starting QB Jeremy Johnson looked in control at times, Peyton Barber emerged as Auburn’s new go-to back and Will Muschamp’s defense kept theLouisville run game in check through most of three quarters and intercepted Lamar Jackson on the first play from scrimmage. However, Johnson also tossed three picks, and Jackson found success on the ground late, rushing for 106 yards and rallying the Cardinals from a 24–0 deficit to within seven points. Most importantly though, the Tigers got a win in a challenging opener and have a tuneup againstJacksonville State before their next test at LSU.
Last game: Beat Louisville 31–24
Next game: Saturday vs. Jacksonville State
LAST WEEK: 11
The Bulldogs did exactly what they were supposed to do in a cupcake opener. Nick Chubb and Keith Marshall dominated on the ground, Georgia’s defense stuffed Louisiana-Monroe’s running game and new quarterback Greyson Lambertbuilt some confidence. We’ll have to wait for a team that forces the Dawgs to play a full 60 minutes—literally, as Saturday’s game was called early in the fourth quarter amid a lightning delay and a huge margin—before we can get a good assessment.
We know the offense is in mid-season form. The Ducks dropped 61 on Eastern Washington behind a huge day from Royce Freeman (180 yards and three touchdowns) and a successful debut for transfer quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (246 yards passing, two touchdowns, 94 yards rushing). But after losing several key pieces on defense, including end Arik Armstead and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon allowed its FCS opponent to rack up 42 points. Like their next opponent, Michigan State, the Ducks have some serious work to do on their pass defense.
There were no flaws to be found in the Trojans’ beatdown of Arkansas State. In addition to the expected successes—Cody Kessler was accurate and threw for four scores, Su’a Cravens had a interception—USC found plenty of positives in its running game, which had to replace lead back Buck Allen. That’s obviously what teams hope to get out of a tuneup game. We’ll wait to see if it carries over against more difficult foes.
Even within a slate full of routs of clearly overmatched opponents, Ole Miss’s shellacking of Tennessee-Martin stood out. Chad Kelly’s solid first start (9 of 15 for 211 yards with a score and an interception) was a promising sign for an offense that has plenty of star power in wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, tight end Evan Engram and left tackle Laremy Tunsil (who was held out of the opener amid an ongoing NCAA investigation) but more uncertainty about how to capitalize on that star power. Even defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche got in on the offensive onslaught, catching a 31-yard touchdown pass and showing off some blazing open-field speed in the process.
It was good to see Deshaun Watson back and moving well on the field after tearing his ACL last season. Wide receiver Mike Williams’s neck fracturethankfully wasn’t much worse, but he’ll still be a huge loss for the Tigers after racking up 1,030 receiving yards last year. Given the quality of the competition, Saturday’s opener didn’t tell us much about the biggest off-season concern for Clemson, an offensive line that returns just one starter.
An offense that seemed to have no sure thing a month ago certainly looked impressive Saturday. Dalvin Cook, back on the field after being found not guilty of battery, led a rushing attack that gained 266 total yards with 156 yards of his own on 19 carries. QuarterbackEverett Golson seemed in command of his new offense, matching his career high with four touchdown passes. Golson will have plenty more time to perfect his knowledge of the playbook as the Seminoles likely won’t face a true test until mid-October.
The Yellow Jackets’ running backs seem to be coming out of the woodwork. Despite losing its top four running backs from last season, Georgia Tech rolled out a new crop againstAlcorn State and calmly racked up 476 yards on the ground. The Yellow Jackets didn’t even needJustin Thomas, who didn’t play after the first quarter.
Lincoln Riley’s first game implementing the Air Raid offense and Baker Mayfield’s first game executing it in Norman was a resounding success for the Sooner. Mayfield threw for 388 yards with three touchdowns; more importantly, he showed better discipline than when he posted a 12-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio as a freshman at Texas Tech. The junior didn’t turn the ball over in his Oklahoma debut. But now things get more difficult as the Sooners prepare to take on Tennessee.
The Aggies picked up the biggest win of the week with their 38–17 victory over Arizona State. John Chavis’s defense showed tremendous improvementand a ferocious pass rush that got to Sun Devils quarterback Mike Bercovici nine times. Defensive end Daeshon Hall picked up four sacks alone. The Aggies may not have settled on a quarterback, but that’s only because both had success, Kyle Allenthrough the air and Kyler Murray on the ground. True freshman receiver Christian Kirk proved he’s going to be phenomenal with a ridiculous 66-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
The Razorbacks were expected to have a powerful running game. They did. They were expected to have a physical defense. They did. What wasn’t expected was for quarterback Brandon Allen to sling the ball for 308 yards on 14-of-18 passing. With a dearth of proven passers in the SEC, if Allen can continue to thrive in new coordinator Dan Enos’s offense, he could give Arkansas a huge edge.
Weather deprived us of the Tigers’ debut Saturday, as lightning forced a delay with 10:08 left in the first quarter and continued throughout the evening, making a restart impossible. For whatever it’s worth,Brandon Harris was 1 of 2 for minus-4 yards andLeonard Fournette rushed twice for 11 yards before the delay.
Despite being one of the more experience passers in the SEC, Maty Mauk faces an abundance of questions about whether he can lead the Tigers’ offense consistently. A games like Saturday’s won’t change that. Mauk threw for 181 yards on 12-of-22 passing with two touchdowns and an interception. That’d be an O.K. line against a stout SEC defense, but Missouri fans would like to see more againstSoutheast Missouri State. Tigers fans will be more than happy with Kentrell Brothers after the linebacker made 16 tackles and blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown.
It’s important to remember that despite the incredible exploits of linebacker Scooby Wright III, the Wildcats fielded a pretty average defense last year. UTSA’s 32 points in the opener against Arizona therefore look like more of the same. With Wright out after undergoing a procedure for a lateral meniscus tear, the Wildcats will have to figure out how they can avoid a huge letdown when their margin for error is already small. On the positive side, Anu Solomonand Nick Wilson look solid driving the offense.
With Washington’s top-to-bottom offensive uncertainty and its loss of four key contributors on defense, the Broncos’ three-point win felt like a disappointment. Sorry, Boise State, it’s the burden of big expectations. The Broncos’ veteran defense lived up to its preseason reputation, and running back Jeremy McNichols looks poised for a breakout year after rushing for two touchdowns Friday. But McNichols will need new quarterbackRyan Finley to give the offense better balance or else defenses will key in on the run like Washington did. After rushing for 69 yards by earlier in the second quarter, McNichols picked up just 20 the rest of the game.
Jim Harbaugh’s debut was set up for failure when he took a team whose weaknesses were on the offensive line and at quarterback to Salt Lake City to play against a ferocious front seven. Naturally, the Utes capitalized, picking off Rudock three times and holding Michigan to 2.6 yards per carry. If Utah can comfortably win game when running backDevontae Booker is held to 69 yards, that’s a good sign for the Utes.
It’s been nearly eight years since the Volunteers won a game as a ranked team, and they did so with plenty of offensive firepower. Josh Dobbs was efficient while passing for 205 yards with two touchdowns. Tennessee dominated the game on the ground, gaining 399 yards with six rushing touchdowns. Still, the Vols have to be concerned about a defensive backfield that allowed 433 passing yards withoutLaDarrell McNeil and Rashaan Gaulden, who went down with injuries in the preseason. The secondary’s job won’t get any easier this week against Oklahoma’s Air Raid attack.
The Cowboys had to scramble from a second-half deficit to avoid an ugly loss to start the season. Perhaps they can use that as a positive as they already know they can rally back, but it’s still hardly an encouraging beginning. A more positive takeaway is that Mason Rudolph adds a dual-threat dimension to Oklahoma State’s offense that it didn’t have last year with Daxx Garman. Rudolph threw for 266 yards with one touchdown and rushed 21 yards for another score.
Next five: BYU, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Arizona State, Cincinnati
No. 1 Ohio State starts slow, but tops Hawaii 38-0
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Not a pretty day for No. 1 Ohio State. Mistakes here and there, but it didn't matter much as the Buckeyes started slow, then put up a flurry of points late and beat Hawaii 38-0 on Saturday.
Ezekiel Elliott scored three touchdowns on short runs, two in the first half and one in the second, and it was more than enough against the Rainbow Warriors (1-1), who came into the game as six-touchdown underdogs.
"We did not execute well," Ohio State Urban Meyer said.
Cardale Jones started again at quarterback for the Buckeyes (2-0). He was 6 of 9 for 82 yards in the first half and finished with 100 yards passing. He also fumbled twice in the backfield, but recovered each one. The offensive line was called for three penalties and a 46-yard field goal attempt was botched when holder Cameron Johnston mishandled the snap.
"It wasn't a performance that I wanted," Jones said.
Elliott scored on runs of 1- and 3-yard runs in the first half, and added a 1-yard touchdown with about nine minutes left for a 24-0 lead. He finished with 101 yards on 27 carries.
The Buckeyes added two more touchdowns after that when safety Vonn Bellscooped up a fumble and ran 14 yards less than two minutes later and Bri'onte Dunn added another score.
J.T. Barrett replaced Jones for the final three series of the second quarter, but Jones returned to start the third.
Barrett completed 8 of 15 passes for 70 yards plus one carry for seven yards.
Meyer admitted he is struggling to figure out how to best use two talented quarterbacks.
"I'm evaluating how we're doing that and what's the best opportunity to go down the field and score," he said.
Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek threw for 67 and had two interceptions. Rainbow Warriors running back Paul Harris, a Columbus native, ran for 46 yards on 14 carries.
"They played their tails off," Meyer said of Hawaii.
The Hawaii defense was stingy and disruptive in the first half and sacked Jones twice in a row in the second quarter.
Still, coach Norm Chow was not pleased with the overall performance.
"We made enough mistakes to last a season," Chow said. "You can't do that against good football teams."
Ohio State led 14-0 at the half on Elliott touchdowns and the crowd of 107,145 was a bit uneasy about the way the Buckeyes were playing.
Marshall's first catch, a 12-yarder, came during the Buckeyes' second possession that led to a score. Elliot scored for a yard out with 3:25 left in the first quarter.
Ohio State had a quick turnaround following a 42-24 win Monday at Virginia Tech. Hawaii, sporting retro all-white uniforms with rainbow stripes on the shoulder pads and sides of the pants, defeated Colorado 28-20 on Sept. 3.
"With just a couple of days to prepare we weren't ready to play," Elliott said.
On the surface, Ohio State's 38-0 shutout win over Hawai'i yesterday afternoon in the Shoe left much to be desired.
Considering the wider perspective however, things aren't so bad as a host of big time programs (tbf, some are more like alleged big time programs) including Arizona State, Auburn and Missouri had major scares against lesser foes while Bert Bielema's SEC powerhouse lost to a MAC school a few days after taking shots at Ohio State's schedule. (Seems ironic Bert is from a place called Prophetstown, Illinois.)
Sitting at 2-0 and atop the college football landscape, the Buckeyes can now resume a more familiar every-Saturday game cadence starting with a visit from a very solid Northern Illinois squad set to invade Ohio Stadium six days from now.
Before you turn your full attention to the Huskies, here's a look back at Five Things from Ohio State's victory over the Rainbow Warriors.
LOCKED AND LOADED
On a day when the offense and special teams were decidedly meh, the Silver Bullets were firing early and often en route to their second shutout in the last five outings.
They were dominant in just about every way holding Hawai'i to 165 total yards – 29 of which came on their first play from scrimmage – on 61 plays, good for an impressive 2.7 yards per play.
The Bullets swarmed quarterback Max Wittek and the USC transfer mustered just seven completions in 24 attempts (29%) for a meager 67 yards with two interceptions.
Vonn Bell was the star of the show with three pass breakups, an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown a week after he seemed just a bit off in the win at Virginia Tech. Darron Lee was also a beast with a pair of sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.
Up front, the Bullets welcomed back Joey Bosa but Adolphus Washington again came up big with six stops. In fact, I'd say Washington – especially when you consider the state of the rest of the interior defensive line – is the most indispensable member of the front four.
GAREON MY WAYWARD SON
For the second week in a row, I'm calling myself out for having questions about whether or not Gareon Conley was worthy of a starting cornerback spot opposite Eli Apple. My thought in preseason was that Damon Webb would likely supplant Conley at some point and while Webb has played well at the nickel, Conley has been the best defensive back on the team through two games.
Against the Hokies, Conley showed his prowess in run support as a sure tackler posting eight stops including a half-sack. This week, he showcased his coverage skills on no less than four separate occasions.
On the first play of Hawai'i's second possession, Conley shadowed Vasquez Haynes down the left sideline forcing an incompletion. Three possessions later, on a 3rd down snap, he was again the shorts of his receiver (phrasing?!) on an intermediate dig route and made a hell of a play on the ball to record an interception which Ohio State promptly turned into a 14-0 lead.
During Hawai'i's next possession, Conley went back to work breaking up a 2nd and 8 toss thanks to tight coverage. Finally, two plays later, Conley used a text book left arm reach on a crossing route that would make Aaron Craft blush to tip a pass that Vonn Bell would then intercept.
So far this year, Conley is easily my breakout player though much of that could be because I so shamefully didn't buy what Kerry Coombs and Urban Meyer were selling throughout spring and fall camp. Hats off to Conley for the fast start.
Though both scenarios came with some heartburn and made little sense at the time, Ohio State's early season scheduling the last two years has proved to ultimately be a good thing for the team.
Last year, it seemed a bit ridiculous that Ohio State scheduled Navy (at a neutral/road site taboot) to open the season considering their crazy offense gave the Buckeyes little time during fall camp to prepare for the intricacies of Bud Foster's bear defense and the result was an unprepared team looking horrible in a 35-21 home loss to the Hokies. As it turned out, that dose of adversity brought the team together and served as a springboard to what ultimately became a national championship team.
This year, the Buckeyes opened on a Monday night with a physical and emotional road game in Blacksburg and backed it up with a routine-altering Saturday afternoon tilt against a team they knew would be a huge underdog.
The scenario set up perfectly for a letdown and while the defense didn't get that memo, the offense and special teams sure did. Now, those two units can devote their full attention to cleaning up mistakes and understanding the need to bring their best effort each week knowing opponents will be more geared up to play the Buckeyes than any other team on their slate.
This is not to say the early season scheduling the last two years was purposeful to this degree by any stretch. Instead, the message is for players and coaches to worry about what they can control and stay focused on the prize instead of crying about schedule adversity and, I dunno, end up losing to a team like Toledo – at home – because of self-inflicted distraction.
SLOBS LOOK SLOPPY
I love Ohio State's slobs. I consider them to be the best starting unit on the team when clicking and also view them as the most important factor in whether or not the Buckeyes can repeat. That said, through two games, they've committed far too many mistakes for a veteran group with most of the issues coming right in the middle from center Jacoby Boren and left guard Billy Price.
Yesterday, the group had three penalties with Taylor Decker and Price whistled for false starts and Boren flagged for a snap infraction. Speaking of snaps, Boren also had a handful of bad shotgun snaps versus Hawai'i – typically low and wide right – which was also a problem last week against the Hokies in addition to a personal foul call.
Price, who last week had a holding penalty negate a touchdown and missed some one-on-one blocks, struggled to pick up a few blitzes against Hawai'i, most specifically on a 2nd and 13 play on OSU's fourth possession in which the blitzer ran right by him leading to an 11-yard loss and eventual punt.
On the day, the line helped the rushing attack produce just 182 yards on a paltry 3.7 yards per carry while the pass pro gave up two sacks and three hurries. Hawai'i even recorded six tackles for loss.
I have to believe the short week hurt the offensive line the most after such a physical game against Virginia Tech and Hawai'i's 3-4 scheme likely didn't help with some missed assignments but I'm looking forward to seeing this group get back to their ceiling which is to be the best offensive line in college football.
KICKS JUST KEEP GETTING HARDER TO FIND
Through two games, Ohio State's placekicking and kickoff efforts have been less than stellar.
Jack Willoughby, a transfer from Duke, came in and wrestled the starting placekicker job away from sophomore Sean Nuernberger while laying claim to the kickoff gig. So far, Willoughby has registered three kickoffs out of bounds, made a 20-yard chip shot field goal and missed a 43-yard try in Blacksburg.
Urban will tell you the kickoffs out of bounds are a product of strategy and he's willing to live with a few but three in two games feels like more than a few. As for field goals, I was fine sticking with Nuernberger mostly because of his high school credentials and the fact he was just a true freshman during last year's 13/20 campaign meaning he would likely improve as opposed to turning the job over to a guy who won't be here beyond 2015. Of course, Meyer has forgot more about football than I will ever know so I'm content to hope Willoughby can clean things up.
While he's doing that, the field goal unit can also address yesterday's bad snap/hold that kept the Buckeyes from being able to attempt a 46-yard try on their opening possession.
Ohio State Player Mocks Brett B after he loses to Toledo!!!!
An Ohio State player mocked Arkansas for losing to Toledo. Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema caught a huge dose of Karma when his program lost to Toledo 16-12 on Saturday. That defeat was not lost on Ohio State.
Earlier in the week, Bielema called out Ohio State for having a soft schedule. He complained that his Hogs had several ranked opponents left on their schedule thanks to playing in the SEC, while the Buckeyes only had one. That led to this reaction by one Ohio State player after he was shown that Arkansas lost on Saturday:
Bielema learned the hard way that rather than worrying about other programs’ schedules, he should make sure his team takes care of its own business first. Meanwhile, Ohio State shut out Hawaii 38-0.
Maybe wait until your team can beat MAC squads at home before you start talking next time, Bret.