Game 1 Recap: Ohio State 45 – FAU 21
It was a perfect day for football, with the temperature in the high 70s and a stadium of 103,000 fans excited to watch Ohio State football again after 9 months since the Rose Bowl. Ryan Day was able to enjoy his first real win and entrance as the head coach, and showed Buckeye Nation what we can expect the offense to look like this year.
Ohio State started off looking like one of the best teams in the country, and tallied off 4 straight touchdown scores, leading 28-0 halfway through the first quarter. It started with Justin Fields taking the option run and sprinting 51 yards to the endzone. After holding FAU to a punt and a big return from Demario McCall, it only took 2 plays for Fields to find TE Jeremy Ruckert for a 25 yard touchdown pass.
The vaunted Buckeye defense forced another 3 and out, and -11 yards of offense. After a big run from JK Dobbins, Fields connected with Binjimin Victor on a flag route for a 32 yard touchdown. On their next series, Fields connected for his third touchdown pass to Chris Olave for 29 yards after getting seperation in the endzone.
The rest of the first half was not as pretty for the Ohio State offense, as they went scoreless the rest of the half, Meanwhile the defense was much improved and held FAU to a field goal, which was only from a Dobbins fumble. The offense had the momentum in theor favor, but after a offensive pass interference call against Olave, the Buckeyes could not find the endzone in the second quarter.
The second half with a similar ho-hum approach from the Buckeye offense, and then on their 2nd possession, they connected on another passing touchdown from Fields to Ruckert for 3 yards. FAU responded with a touchdown on their own, making the game at that point 35-14. Ohio State then ran in Dobbins for one more touchdown anf the second stringers came in. It was against the 2nd team defense that the OWLs were able to make it a little closer, but the Buckeyes stood their ground and finished the game 45-21.
There is no real turning point, as this game was well taken care of in the first half of the first quarter when Ohio State led 28-0. Fans started to get a little restless when Ohio State did not score again until the 3rd quarter, and were outscored by the Owls 21-17 for the last 3 quarters, but the talent alone carried the team. Plus, Ohio State was showing a few different looks to not reveal their playbook to Cincinnati next week who will have a much tougher defense.
Star of the Game
Justin Fields. In his first four possessions, he led to 4 touchdown drives, starting with his 51 yard run to the endzone. Fields have an overall good day, with his first real start in college football. There will be a lot to work on, but all in all a good outing. An honorable mention to the defense, who held FAU to negative yards in the first half. The Owls did not get positive yards until the midpoint of the third quarter, and by that point, Ohio State was already playing second and third string.
With the season being this early and only one team in the top 25 losing, Ohio State just needs to win, and did just that. There shouldn’t be much movement within the top 10, so the Buckeyes should be ranked 5th at the moment in the next AP and Coaches poll. Still a lot of games and a lot of season left to be worried at the moment. Buckeyes just need to keep winning, and its next challenge will be Cincinnati.
Ohio State (1-0) hosts Cincinnati (1-0) at noon.
FAU (0-1) returns home to host UCF (1-0) at 7pm.
Photo credit to USA Today