Game 3 Recap: Ohio State 63 – Western Kentucky 10


Going into this game, there could have been a cause for concern for Buckeye fans. The first two weeks of the season, the offense for Ohio State has been shaky at best, and only scoring 23 and 35 points respectively against their firsr two opponents. On top of that, Western Kentucky, who is known for a west coast passing attack offense, presented a decent threat which could have been a trap game if the Buckeyes were looking ahead to next weeks showdown against Notre Dame. Fortunately, this game provided the perfect final tune up as the Buckeyes blew out the Hilltoppers and made sure this game was never in question, despite a turnover on their second series which lead to 3 points for Western Kentucky. 

The defense truly stepped up this game, and going into the game knew that the game plan for Western Kentucky would be to stretch the field with their formations, played 4 to 5 wideouts at a time, and find ways to get the ball out quick to slow down the Ohio State pass rush. In turn, the Buckeyes stepped up in a big way, and forced 4 turnovers, which included 2 defensive touchdowns on a fumble recovery, and a pick-6 in the 4th quearter which ended up being the final score of the game. They held Western Kentucky to 284 yards, 204 through the air, and the reaming 80 rushing. Through 3 games now, they have only given up 20 points, which is a huge improvement from the nearly 100n points given up the last two games last season. 
Kyle McCord looked more confident this game, and I am sure that has a lot to do with being names the official starter for the season. He completed 19 of 23 passes for 318 yards, and 3 touchdowns. At half time, he had 13 of 15 completions with 2 touchdowns. Because of how well the team played, he only played two and a half quarters this game, as Devin Brown got a chance to get in the game, and he threw a greta over the shoulder pass to Carnell Tate for the freshman’s first collegiate touchdown.
TreVeyon Henderson lead all running backs again, and his role as the starter is a litte more defined, but the plane still seems to be about getting the running back rest vecause of its depth. Henderson ran for 88 yards on 13 carries, and 2 touchdowns. This game put him over 2000 yards for his career, the 28th running back to reach that mark. Chip Trayanum made the most of his 5 carries for 56, where 40 yards of that was his game breaking touchdown in the second quarter. Miyan Williams fo not get in until the 2nd half, but still had 5 carries for 23 yards. 
Marvin Harrison Jr broke 100 yards for the second straight game, and had 5 receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. Cade Stover got involved in the passing game once more, catching 5 passes for 90 yards. Emeka Egbuka didnt get the yardage, with only 57, but had 4 catches, and 2 of those went for touchdowns. 
With the road game against Notre Dame next week, this performance should hopefully put some confidence in the Buckeyes as they prepare to go against Sam Hartman. 

Turning Point

For the second straight week, this game was not ever in question, and the gap in talent was evident in the first few drives for each team. However, the Hilltoppers were bold on offense and went for it several times on fourth down in this game, and went 3-6. One of those failed conversions came in the second quarter in their own territory, and Ohio State was up 21-10 at that point after scoring on a 1 play drive where McCord found Marvin Harrison for a streak route on a 75 yard touchdown pass. Once the Buckeyes got the ball back, Chip Trayanum dashed for 40 yards to the house and broke the game to make it 28-10. The Hilltoppers could not get a groove back on offense, and the Buckeyes scored another 35 unanswered points, including 2 defensive scores in the second half. 

Star of the Game

Ohio State Defense. McCord shined in his first game where he didn’t have to worry about looking over his shoulder, and both TreVeyon Henderson and Marvin Harrison Jr made some great plays, but the defense showed their improvements from last year to this year in the secondary, and I think that is what every fan was hoping to see. They held Western Kentucky to their fewest yards and points since 2021.

Playoff Picture

This week, a lot of the top 10 teams struggled, and it looked like the Buckeyes were still finding a rhythm in their first three drives, but then put the game away with 35 points in the second quarter after Western Kentucky scored their only touchdown. Ohio State shouldnt drop this week, and more importantly, neither should their opponent this week Notre Dame, which should give the Buckeyes a top 10 match up, and a win this week will carry a lot of weight. The trend this year is that every team has question marks, and every team looks beatable, and with this being the last year of the the 4 team playoff, the next three-quarters of the season should make for some entertaining content, especially now that teams will begin conference play. 

Looking Ahead

Ohio State (3-0) will travel to Notre Dame (4-0) on Saturday September 23 at 7:30pm on NBC in what will be a top 10 showdown. GameDay will be on site.

Western Kentucky (2-1) will travel to Troy (1-2) on Saturday September 23 at 12pm on ESPNU.

Photo Credit: 10tv

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