Ohio State Football: Buckeyes Roll, 48-3

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

With storms closing in on The Horseshoe in the first half, the Buckeyes offense did little to brighten up the gloom that began to roll in with the threatening skies.

Fortunately, the Silver Bullets were more than up to the task.

Behind two interceptions returned for touchdowns, the Buckeyes were able to take a 20-3 lead into the half, just as the skies opened up for a full-on downpour. With lightning delaying the start of the second half for over an hour, the offense was able to make some badly-needed adjustments.

Behind a much better performance from J.T. Barrett and the offense in the second half, the Buckeyes cruised to a 41-3 win over the Golden Hurricanes.

The game couldn’t have started any better for Urban Meyer and his Ohio State team. Marshon Lattimore intercepted Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans on the first play from scrimmage, the pass deflecting off of the intended receiver.

With the Ohio State offense set up on the 16 yard line, and expected to score early and often against a suspect Tulsa defense, it appeared that the scoring was about get started in an instant.

Instead, the Buckeyes went three-and-out, settling for a Tyler Durbin field goal, and setting the tone

for what would turn out to be an abysmal first half performance from the unit.

After a fumble and a three-and-out on the next two drives, Tulsa tied the game up with a field goal.

The Ohio State put together its best drive of the first half, looking like they were finally ready to roll. An 11-play, 59-yard drive got the Buckeyes inside Tulsa’s 10 yard line. The drive stalled from there, though, and the offense settled for another Durbin field goal and a 6-3 lead with ten minutes to play.

The score stayed that way for the next seven minutes before the defensive took the scoring issue into their own hands.

Malik Hooker continued to display his nose for the football, cutting in front of an Evans pass and taking it 24 yards to the endzone. The pick-six gave the Buckeyes a 13-3 lead three minutes left in the half.

After turning in another hapless drive following a forced fumble, it appeared that 13-3 would be the halftime score. With a minute left, and the downpour making throwing conditions nearly impossible, the Golden Hurricanes figured to gladly take a 10-point deficit into the break.

Not so fast.

Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery inexplicably elected to keep the ball in the air, despite the conditions. After a run and an incomplete pass, Evans dropped back on third down. His pass came out wobbly, and his receiver slipped out of his break. Lattimore picked off his second pass of the half, and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.

The score pushed the Buckeyes’ lead to 20-3 and delivered a crushing blow to Tulsa’s attempt to stay in the game.

Still, the shocking lack of offensive production in the first half had all of Buckeye Nation uneasy. They would have an extended halftime to think about things as the storms delayed the second half kickoff.

While the storms finally subsided, the rain continued. The wait seemed to do the offense plenty of good, though.

Taking the opening drive 72 yards on nine plays, Barrett found the endzone on an 11-yard run to increase the Buckeyes’ lead to 27-3.

Two drives later, it was Mike Weber who found the endzone on a one-yard run. It was the redshirt freshman’s career.

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After a strong third quarter showing on both sides of the ball, Buckeyes fans could breathe a little sigh of relief.

Touchdown runs by Barrett and Dontre Wilson in the fourth quarter continued the badly-needed good vibes for the Ohio State offense. The result was a 48-3 final score, and a “tale of two halves” scenario for the Buckeyes offense.

Despite the miserable first half performance, and the miserable weather conditions for the entire second half, the offense finished with over 400 yards of total offense. Much of that was on the ground; they finished with 268 rushing yards.

On the flip side, the Silver Bullets limited the Tulsa offense to just 189 of total offense, while also forcing six turnovers.

While Urban Meyer, himself, might be hard pressed to explain the offense’s slow start, they will gladly take a 45-point win as they get ready for the tall task at hand this upcoming week.

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With the defense continuing to display a knack for making big plays, and the offense getting back on track in the second half, the Buckeyes can feel good, while also understanding that they need to get better, as they prepare for the trip to Norman to take on Oklahoma.