PASADENA, Calif. — It’s not officially a New Year in college football until the Rose Bowl kicks off between the Big Ten and Pac-12.
Hoping to send off head coach Urban Meyer into the sunset with a win, the Buckeyes were holding up their end of the bargain through the first two quarters as they took a 21-3 lead at halftime over the Huskies on a perfectly crisp Southern California afternoon for the Granddaddy of them all.
Playing in his last game with the program as well, tailback Mike Weber was the early star of the show for OSU and hit the break with 86 yards rushing. He wasn’t the focal point for long despite ripping off a few big gains though, as QB Dwayne Haskins showed plenty to goggly-eyed NFL general managers in throwing for 163 yards and a trio of touchdowns to Parris Campbell, Rashod Berry and Johnnie Dixon on 17/24 passing.
Playing without star safety Taylor Rapp (hip) and losing linebacker D.J. Beavers to a leg injury, the normally stout Washington defense had their moments but didn’t get much relief from their offense. QB Jake Browning was a decent threat scrambling and threw for 109 yards while tailback Myles Gaskin recorded 24 yards on the ground in the senior’s final game as well.
The Huskies are going to need more however even if they were able to move the chains at times. Their lone field goal drive came early on and we’ve yet to see one of Chris Petersen’s trick plays to get the team going.
Either way, who can complain for either side whether you’re in scarlet and gray or purple and gold because the second half of the Rose Bowl is all set for center stage in front of the Arroyo Seco on New Year’s Day.
Ryan Day may have to wait for one more game to really be Ohio State’s head coach, but the successor to soon-to-be-retired Urban Meyer is already working to put together his coaching staff in Columbus. On Saturday, Day’s first official staff decision was made with the removing of an interim tag for wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. Hartline was officially elevated to being the permanent wide receivers coach for Ohio State moving forward.
“Brian is a terrific young coach and mentor to our players and I am thrilled he is on our staff permanently now,” Day said in a released statement. “Brian was displaying outstanding leadership qualities when he was a quality control coach, and his efforts coaching the wide receivers this season are a huge reason we are Big Ten champions and headed to the Rose Bowl.”
Hartline joined the Ohio State coaching staff in 2017 as a quality control coach with the wide receivers. He was named interim wide receivers coach following the dismissal of former receivers coach Zach Smith this summer.
Ohio State wide receivers played a huge role for the Buckeyes this season en route to a Big Ten championship run that will take the team out west to play in the Rose Bowl next month. Ohio State receivers caught 291 passes for 4,211 yards and 43 touchdowns, fueling a run to being a Heisman Trophy finalist for quarterback Dwayne Haskins. All are new school records for receivers, which were led by Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin and K.J. Hill. Freshman Chris Olave proved ready to step up in a big spot too with a breakout performance in the regular season finale against Michigan to clinch the Big Ten East Division.
Time will tell if Day feels a need to make any further staff changes once the season is complete and the Buckeyes officially move into the post-Meyer era under Day’s leadership.
Ohio State had a 21-6 lead in the final minute of the first half. Then, just a couple of plays later, it was a two-point game. But before the end of the half was over, Ohio State padded their lead in a wild final minute of the first half and the Buckeyes have a 24-19 lead on the Wolverines at the break.
Dwayne Haskins has thrown three touchdowns in the half, including two to freshman Chris Olave and things were looking quite rosy for the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium Saturday afternoon. But a late touchdown drive by Michigan on a pass from Shea Patterson to Nico Collins was quickly followed by a special teams disaster on a fair catch that gave Michigan another quick possession. A quick touchdown and a failed two-point attempt cut the Ohio State lead to 21-19, but Haskins and company quickly moved down the field to get into position for a field goal after being held out of the end zone.
After the Ohio State defense forced a three-and-out to open the game, the Buckeyes offense got the first points of the game on their first offensive series. Dwayne Haskins got the drive started with a nine-yard run, picked up a first down two plays later with a 16-yard pass to Parris Campbell and ended the drive a few plays later with a 24-yard pass to Chris Olave, who had a clear path to the end zone on the left side of the field. Ohio State became the third team this season to score any points on their first offensive series against the Wolverines, joining Notre Dame and Northwestern.
Michigan managed to cut into the lead but failed to get into the end zone. A dropped pass for what would have been a touchdown by Zach Gentry left Michigan to settle for a field goal from the Ohio State 13-yard line, and a chance to convert a short fourth down at the Ohio State 42-yard line was thwarted by having to burn a timeout for too many men on the field and followed up by a false start penalty to force Michigan to punt. Ohio State capitalized on that opportunity by going 80 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-6. Once again, Olave was the receiver catching the football for the score.
Haskins has thrown three touchdowns in the game so far, with his third going to a wide open Johnnie Dixon on a 31-yard pass later in the second quarter. Late in the firts half, Michigan needed to get something to be optimistic about and they certainly did with a fantastic effort by Collins for a much-needed touchdown, which was followe dby a special teams mistake by Ohio State on the ensuing kickoff.
Patterson quickly completed a touchdown pass to Chris Evans but Patterson was taken down for a loss on the two-point conversion attempt.
Ohio State gets the ball to start the second half. The winner of this game wins the Big Ten East Division and advances to the Big Ten championship game to face Northwestern next week in Indianapolis. A spot in the College Football Playoff also is potentially on the line as well, perhaps more so for Michigan than Ohio State.
Rutgers (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten) made some halftime adjustments and put together their best offensive possession of the game on their first possession of the second half before kicking a field goal from 41 yards out. The field goal ended a 10-quarter scoreless drought for Rutgers against No. 4 Ohio State (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten), but that was the highlight of the day for the Scarlet Knights. Once again overpowered in every facet of the game against the Buckeyes, Rutgers was simply no match for the Big Ten favorites. Ohio State continued their dominance over Rutgers since the two became Big Ten division foes with a 52-3 victory.
Ohio State has won all five meetings between the two schools since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014. The Buckeyes have now outscored Rutgers 271-27.
Dwayne Haskins passed for 233 yards in his second start for Ohio State, with four touchdowns. His backup, freshman Tate Martell, was 10-of-10 for 121 yards and rushed for 63 yards, highlighted by a 47-yard touchdown run and picking up his first career touchdown pass. J.K. Dobbins got an early rest after rushing 12 times for 73 yards and a score. Johnnie Dixon caught two touchdown passes and Parris Campbell caught five passes for 64 yards and a score for the Buckeyes.
The win was the second blowout win for Ohio State in the absence of head coach Urban Meyer, who is serving a three-game suspension. Next week, Ohio State leaves the comforts of home in Ohio Stadium for a matchup with TCU in Arlington, Texas. It will be the final game without Meyer as head coach and should be the most challenging game in this three-game stretch to open the season.
Meyer is scheduled to return to the Ohio State sidelines in Week 4 when Ohio State hosts Tulane, a week before traveling to Penn State for another Big Ten contest.
Rutgers will be back on the road next week and will also play a Big 12 opponent. Rutgers travels to Kansas, with the Jayhawks fresh off a long-awaited road win against Central Michigan.
Dwayne Haskins has thrown for three touchdowns and freshman Tate Martell has thrown his first career touchdown as Ohio State is on cruise control against Rutgers in Columbus this afternoon. Ohio State is leading the Scarlet Knights in the Big Ten opener for each school, 35-0 at halftime.
Rutgers has traditionally struggled mightily when taking to the road against the top teams around the Big Ten, and today is proving to be no exception to that rule. Rutgers started the game by fumbling on the third play of the opening drive, which led to an Ohio State touchdown (Haskins to Johnnie Dixon). Rutgers then punted on their next five possessions, with four three-and-outs in that stretch. Meanwhile, Ohio State’s offense has only had to punt twice. Ohio State has out-gained Rutgers 310-49 and has 19 first downs to just three for Rutgers.
J.K. Dobbins has the only rushing touchdown for the Buckeyes so far. Dobbins has rushed for a game-high 73 yards too. Mike Weber has added 33 yards in the running game. Both should have an early rest in the second half, if they are used at all.
Martell’s first career touchdown pass was to Terry McLaurin, a 51-yard play.
Go ahead and Sharpie Ohio State in for a 2-0 start, including 1-0 in Big Ten play.