Ohio State is looking like its old self halfway through the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl, and there’s not much Notre Dame — or, to be fair, about 125 other teams — can do about it.
The Buckeyes found the end zone on four of their five first-half possessions and take a 28-14 lead into the break.
J.T. Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott have been their peak selves so far. Barrett hit 10-of-15 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown while rushing 12 times for a game-high 57 yards, while Elliott rushed nine times for 55 yards and three scores, plus a 30-yard reception.
The key play of the half came when Joey Bosa was ejected for targeting for a hit on DeShone Kizer. Bosa led with his head but struck Kizer in his chest. He was ejected nonetheless, and the penalty negated what would have been an Ohio State interception. Notre Dame would later score on the drive.
Kizer added a one-yard run with 29 seconds left in the half to cut a 28-7 deficit to 28-14. He hit 13-of-20 passes for 122 yards and rushed 10 times for a team-high 31 yards and a touchdown in the half.
Notre Dame has seen its run of awful injury luck extend from 2015 to 2016; Jaylon Smith and his backup Te’Von Coney left the game with injuries.
Ohio State will receive to open the second half.