Since losing to Virginia Tech Sept. 6, the Ohio State Buckeyes are 5-0 and average 51 points per game.
Urban Meyer‘s squad is well ahead of that pace with a 31-0 lead over the Illinois Fighting Illini at halftime as the Buckeyes put together another dominant effort.
The most impressive part of the Buckeyes’ early season turnaround has been its offensive efficiency and overall explosiveness. This developed due to the improved play of redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett and a plethora of offensive weapons.
Saturday night’s effort hasn’t been any different.
Barrett is 15-of-24 passing for 167 yards and two touchdown tosses. The quarterback is also the team’s second-leading rusher with 38 yards on the ground.
What’s most impressive is how the Buckeyes roll through their offensive options.
Three different running backs have carried the ball for 79 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman Curtis Samuel led the way with 45 yards and both scores. Meanwhile, seven different receivers caught passes.
Senior Devin Smith continues to be the Buckeyes’ most dangerous weapon on the outside. The wide receiver caught three passes for 72 yards and both of Barrett’s touchdown tosses. The first-half performance placed Smith in elite territory among Buckeyes history:
Ohio State’s defense played well, too.
Illinois only managed 117 yards. The Illini’s quarterbacks finished the first half 6-of-14 passing with two interceptions.
Despite a nearly insurmountable lead, the Buckeyes can’t let up during the season half. If Ohio State plans to make a legitimate run to become one of the four teams in the inaugural College Football Playoff, the program has to dominate since the Buckeyes suffer from a weak overall schedule. Expect Ohio State to put up even more points during the second half.