Game 4 Recap: Ohio State 49 – Tulane 6
Urban Meyer returned to the sidelines this Saturday after finishing his three game suspension, and you could see this game, despite the opponent, was significant for him. During the post game press conference, Clay Hall pointed out that Urban seemed to have a bit more “public displays of affection” for his players, sharing the moment and excitement. His return game did not disappoint…for a half, but Ohio State did what it needed to do to put this game away, and rest up for next week’s showdown against top 10 opponent, Penn State.
Dwayne Haskins has been beyond impressive, and his legend continues to grow. He was able to lead the offense to 5 touchdowns in every drive he was in, passing for 5 touchdowns, and completed 21 of 24 passes for 304 yards. In one half! The numbers he has for the season have been insane. For the year, Haskins passing numbers are as follows:
75.65% Completion Percentage
16 Touchdowns, 1 INT
He has already passed for over 300 yards in 3 of his 4 starts. He has also put up those numbers in playing for just half a game in 3 out of 4 games. Haskins has another opportunity to promote his heisman campaign, but it is hard to not think he is one of the top 2 players in consideration. He already has more touchdowns that Braxton Miller threw in 2012, and his in on pace to surpass the passing touchdowns record set by JT Barrett last year.
The running game this game was ok, as a group, gaining 151 yards for the game on the ground. JK Dobbins lead all backs with 11 carries for 55 yards, and a rushing touchdown in the first half, which was a series led by Tate Martel, who finished the day 10/14 passing for 115 yards and 22 yards rushing. Mike Weber was limited in the game, as he was cycled for his 2 series’ on offense, but after a slight foot injury in the second quarter, he was taken out of the game. Initial reports are that he should be fine for the Penn State game. We will need the two-headed monster healthy when Ohio State faces the Nittany Lions.
The wide receivers impressed, including Austin Mack, who had a few catches that sort of made up for the ones he dropped in the TCU game. Parris Campbell, Jr. hauled in 2 touchdown passes from Haskins, and lead all receivers this game with 147 yards on 8 catches. KJ Hill continues to be reliable, with 57 yard receiving, and earlier in the week, Urban has compared KJ Hill’s style similar to Evan Spencer, who was honored as the captain for the 2014 team.
The first team defense seemed fine without Nick Bosa at the end, recording for 4 sacks in the game and holding Tulane to 256 yards for the game. The lone scoring drive for Tulane was from a lot of penalties on the defense, including an offside call that negated an interception. Tulane’s extra point was blocked. The concern for this game was that our depth is not where we need it to be, as the Tulane offense was able to gain most of their yards in the second half when the starters were pulled. That is something we need to improve and work on throughout the season when we get into October/November and especially against a potential playoff team.
Overall, we all knew what this game was, and we did what was necessary to notch the win and prepare for Penn State.
When Ohio State scored on its first drive for 91 yards. I say this to give some credit to Tulane, but everyone knew what type of game this was going to be. Tulane has some talent, and hopefully they are going to be competitive in the AAC, but this game was a paycheck.
Star of the Game
Dwayne Haskins. His stat line for this game just speaks volumes to his skill level, but he is certainly someone who could be playing his one and only year in Columbus, and will be playing on Sunday’s next year.
Ohio State improved to 4-0 for the season, which is what it needed to do to stay in the playoff hunt. With Penn State winning at Illinois, both teams going undefeated into a game that will not only help shape the Big Ten East race, but potentially the playoff race.
Ohio State (4-0) will play at Penn State (4-0) at 7:30pm on ABC. College GameDay has announced they will be at this game, making their second appearance for an Ohio State game this season.
Tulane (1-3) will return home to play Memphis (3-1) at 8pm for a divisional AAC game.
Photo credit to AP Photo/Jay LaPrete