COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 10:  Jeremy Brady #22 of the Tulsa Hurricane stops quarterback J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first quarter at Ohio Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

No. 4 Ohio State weathers the storm, beats Tulsa 48-3

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No. 4 Ohio state (2-0) got off to a rough start at home against visiting Tulsa (1-1), but some key defensive plays at the end of the first half and an extended delay at halftime due to severe weather rolling through Columbus allowed plenty of time to regroup and make some adjustments. As if Ohio State really needed any extra help in the first place. Ohio State outscored the Golden Hurricane 17-0 in the second half to pick up a second straight win to begin the season, winning 48-3.

Ohio State was locked with Tulsa in a battle of field goals and missed opportunities in the first half until a pair of pick-sixes by the Buckeyes defense provided much-needed energy to Ohio State right before the half. Malik Hooker returned one interception 26 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and moments later Marshon Lattimore returned one from 40 yards to turn a 6-3 dogfight into a 20-3 halftime lead as Tulsa was imploding as the rain started to drop on Ohio Stadium.

J.T. Barrett rushed for 52 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 149 yards in the victory for Ohio State, and Mike Weber emerged as the Buckeyes’ top running back with 92 yards and a score. Ohio State’s defense caused six turnovers as well as held the Golden Hurricane to fewer than 200 yards of total offense (189 yards). There was room for improvement for Ohio State, but credit should be given for Tulsa coming out and playing as they did. Tulsa showed it could have what it takes to be competitive in the American Athletic Conference this season, until they started making mistakes that could not stop developing. It also showed Ohio State’s overall talent advantage is difficult for most schools to overcome.

It may not have gone quite according to script for Ohio State, but they will most certainly take it as the next challenge looms.

Ohio State’s next test is a big one. The Buckeyes travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners in Norman next week in a clash between preseason favorites in the Big Ten and Big 12. Oklahoma may have stumbled in Week 1 against Houston, coached by former Ohio State assistant Tom Herman, but they present Ohio State with their biggest test in non-conference play during the regular season since a home-and-home series with USC when Pete Carroll and Matt Barkley were falling shy of expectations on the west coast. Yes, Ohio State did lose two years ago to Virginia Tech, but this will be the biggest regular season non-conference game for Urban Meyer since his arrival in Columbus.

Tulsa gets a chance to bounce back next week when they host North Carolina A&T before making a trip to California to play Fresno State the following week. Reaching conference play with a winning record is within sight. Tulsa’s offense is not as bad as it looked today. The chances Dane Evans has a four-interception game again are probably not very good.

Texas Tech announces home-and-home with Oregon in 2023-24

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 12: The Texas Tech Red Raiders mascot Fearless Champion leads the team onto the field prior to the game against the UTEP Miners September 12, 2015 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech won the game 69-20. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
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Already on their future plate for Texas Tech are series with Arizona and Arizona State.  Now, the program has added yet another one with a Pac-12 school.

Tech announced via a press release Monday that it has reached an agreement with Oregon on a future home-and-home series.  The Ducks will travel to Lubbock Sept. 9, 2023, with the Red Raiders returning the favor in Eugene Sept. 7, 2024.

The two programs have only met two other times in football, during the 1991 and 1992 regular seasons.  The Ducks claimed wins in both contests.

Tech begins a home-and-home with Arizona State this season, and with Arizona in 2019.  They are also scheduled to play at Houston in 2017 and 2021, and host the Cougars in 2018.  The first game of a series with North Carolina State kicks off in 2022.

UO, meanwhile, has high-profile games scheduled against Power Five teams like Nebraska (2016-17), Auburn (2019) and Ohio State (2020-2021).

UCLA blocks Chris Clark from transferring to Michigan, Ohio State

Chris Clark
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We don’t yet to where Chris Clark will transfer.  We do, though, know where he won’t.  Reportedly.

The erstwhile UCLA tight end confirmed to mlive.com that his former school has blocked him from transferring to Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.  None of those teams are on UCLA’s schedule through the 2019 season, when Clark would be a redshirt senior, or even through the 2020 season, when Clark would be a sixth-year senior should medical circumstances arise.

Michigan, to whom Clark had been committed prior to Brady Hoke‘s firing, and UCLA are scheduled to play a home-and-home in 2022 and 2023, long after Clark would be gone from the college game.  Exactly why Jim Mora and his program placed these B1G head-scratching restrictions on the player is unknown.

Clark, though, hasn’t given up hope that one of those three schools could ultimately be a consideration.

“It’s kind of ridiculous, to be honest, they have no right to block Michigan or Michigan State or Ohio State because they don’t play each other,” the player told the website. “It’s something I’m looking into with my family.

“There’s a chance I could appeal it… just because that’s not really fair.”

It’s believed that UCLA, as is standard practice for most programs, also has restricted Clark from moving to any other Pac-12 school, as well as any school on its 2016-19 non-conference schedule: BYU, Cincinnati, Fresno State, Hawaii, Memphis, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Texas A&M and UNLV.

Rivals.com is reporting that Clark is scheduled to take visits to North Carolina State, Pittsburgh and Virginia in the upcoming weeks.  he would like to make a decision on a new home

Earlier this month, it was reported that Clark was no longer enrolled at UCLA.  Tuesday, Clark was granted what turned out to be a restricted release from his scholarship.

Clark played in the season opener against Virginia but didn’t catch a pass. He didn’t travel with the team to Week 2’s game against UNLV, which continued the speculation triggered by a since-deleted tweet in which he claimed he was back in his hometown on the East Coast.

A four-star member of the Bruins’ 2015 recruiting class, Clark was rated as the No. 1 tight end in the country; the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Connecticut; and the No. 79 player overall according to Rivals.com.

(Photo credit: UCLA athletics)

UNLV has $1.3 million reasons for Ohio State road trip

Money
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Thursday it was announced that Ohio State had scheduled a 2018 game against fellow Power Five member Oregon State. At the same time, it was also announced that OSU would play a 2017 game against UNLV.

Both of those games will be played in Ohio Stadium. While we don’t yet know the Beavers’ motive for the one-off game, we certainly know the Rebels’.

In a press release, UNLV confirmed that the football Rebels will travel to Columbus for a Sept. 23, 2017, game against the Buckeyes. The school also confirmed that the athletic department has been guaranteed $1.3 million from OSU for the game.

UNLV states that the $1.3 million guarantee is the program’s biggest payout ever. The sum that OSU trumps? The $1 million guarantee UNLV will receive for traveling to the Big House to face Michigan in 2015.

To UNLV’s credit, it didn’t sugarcoat that this is a paycheck game for what’s a non-Power Five football program searching for revenue streams anywhere and everywhere it can find it.

“We are looking at signing one guarantee game every couple of seasons and Ohio State is a great fit for 2017,” UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said in a statement. “It will be an exciting trip for our team and fans for the Rebels to play at the famed Horseshoe.”

The Rebels already had games scheduled against Arkansas State and at Idaho for 2017 prior to the agreement with the Buckeyes.

On Ohio State’s scheduling end, and while they lost the North Carolina series in 2017 and 2018, OSU still has Oklahoma in 2017 (the back-end of a home-and-home, in Columbus) and TCU in 2018 (front-end of a home-and-home, in Fort Worth).

Ohio State replaces UNC series with Oregon State, UNLV

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Yesterday, North Carolina announced its future home-and-home series with Ohio State was forced into cancellation because of the Big Ten’s move to a nine-game conference schedule.

OSU intimated a short time later that an announcement of replacements to fill those scheduling holes was imminent… and those intimations were proven correct.

In a press release, the Buckeyes announced a pair of one-off games to replace the UNC series: Sept. 23, 2017, vs. UNLV and Sept. 1, 2018, vs. Oregon State.  The latter game will serve as the season opener for both teams.

Also, both of those games will be at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

In 2017, Ohio State will play five of its Big Ten games on the road, just four at home.  In the UNC home-and-home agreement, OSU was scheduled to travel to Chapel Hill to play the Tar Heels, which would’ve meant just six home games that season for the Buckeyes.  By dropping UNC — Ohio State stated in its release that the two sides “agreed to cancel their two-game series” — and adding UNLV in 2017, OSU managed to push that total up to a Power Five athletic director’s (preferred) bare-minimum of seven home dates.

Notwithstanding high-paying neutral-site games, of course.

(Photo credit: Ohio State athletics)