COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State has officially moved on from its painful loss to Virginia Tech.
J.T. Barrett matched a school record with six touchdown passes - five in the first half - to lead the 22nd-ranked Buckeyes to a 66-0 victory over Kent State on Saturday.
The win was the 39th in a row over an in-state opponent for the Buckeyes (2-1), who haven't lost since a 7-6 setback to Oberlin in 1921.
Nick Holley had six receptions for Kent State (0-3), which got $850,000 to get pounded before a crowd of 104,404 at Ohio Stadium.
Now the Buckeyes, who plummeted 14 spots in the polls and weathered a lot of criticism after last week's 35-21 loss at home to the Hokies, have a bye week before hosting Cincinnati on Sept. 27.
Curtis Samuel ran for two touchdowns and Smith ran for one and also caught a TD pass for the Buckeyes, who totaled 628 yards of offense while limiting Kent State to 126.
It was the third meeting between the teams, with Ohio State winning by an average score of 55-7.
A redshirt freshman who took over when three-year starting quarterback Braxton Miller was lost for the year with a shoulder injury, Barrett finished 23 of 30 for 312 yards with an interception. He became the first Ohio State quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards since Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith did against Michigan in 2006.
The Golden Flashes hadn't given up 60 points in a game since a 63-21 loss to Connecticut in 2002. The game represented Kent State's most lopsided loss since a 56-0 defeat at Miami (Ohio) in 1998.
The Buckeyes scored early and often against the overmatched Flashes, who came in as 32-point underdogs.
A week after permitting Barrett to be sacked seven times, Ohio State's line had no difficulty protecting him - not allowing a sack - and opening huge holes for rushers.
Kent State wore No. 54 stickers on the side of their helmets in memory of teammate Jason Bitsko. The fourth-year junior was set to be the team's starting center when he died unexpectedly in August. Paul Haynes, in his second season with the Golden Flashes, was an assistant at Ohio State for seven seasons before taking the top job at the Mid-American Conference school.
The first series of the second half provided one of the best highlights - the football version of a fire drill. Anthony Melchiori's punt was blocked by Ohio State's Jeff Greene, with teammate Ron Tanner picking up the loose ball and running. But he was caught from behind by Matthew Somers, who stripped the ball, which was recovered by Kent State's Steve Nagy. Six players touched the ball before the ball ended up at the Golden Flashes 2, a loss of 32 yards.
Moments later, the Buckeyes forced a punt and then scored on Barrett's shovel pass to Jalin Marshall for three yards for a 52-0 lead. His sixth TD pass tied Kenny Guiton's mark set a year ago against Florida A&M.
Colin Reardon completed 14 of 27 passes for 76 yards with three interceptions for Kent State, with Nathan Strock 1 of 7 for 3 yards.
The first half took almost two hours - with most of that time spent celebrating Buckeyes touchdowns.
Barrett, who came in with three passing TDs in the first two games, completed 21 of 28 passes for 297 yards. The scoring passes covered 14 and 63 yards to Michael Thomas, 8 yards to Rod Smith, 2 yards to Marcus Baugh and 50 yards to Devin Smith. Smith also ran for a 1-yard score.
The Golden Flashes, now 1-25 against ranked opponents, mustered just 109 yards in the opening half, with Reardon and Strock combining to complete 10 of 22 passes with a pair of interceptions. They ran just two plays in Ohio State territory - by that time they were down 31-0 in the second quarter - before a false-start penalty and a Darron Lee sack cost them 12 yards and led to yet another punt.
Kent State punted 11 times - and the Buckeyes did just once.
Kent State vs Ohio State (Sep 13, 2014) Source: OSU Official Site Scoring Summary, Team Statistics, Individual Statistics, Drive Chart, Defensive Statistics, Game Participation, Box Score, Play-by-Play, Play breakdown
Barrett Ties OSU Mark In Romp Over Kent State... September 13, 2014 Source: Bucknuts
Ten Things We Learned in a Total Destruction of Kent State September 14, 2104 Source: The Ozone - 2. We still don’t know if they are really fixed. This game was a far cry from what we saw last week, but we still don’t know how much of what we saw Saturday was real and how much was an illusion created by this week’s opponent. Did Ohio State’s offensive line suddenly gel and figure out how to protect quarterback J.T. Barrett, or did they simply line up across from an overmatched Kent State defensive front. If it’s somewhere in between, that’s still a good first step for the Buckeyes after what we saw last week. This was the type of game this team needed to work out some of the kinks to gain some much-needed experience and confidence, but it doesn’t do a whole lot to tell us anything significant about the rest of the 2014 season. We will find out a lot more next week when Ohio State’s young defense takes on Cincinnati and quarterback Gunner Kiel coming off his six-touchdown performance against Toledo.
7. Jalin Marshall should get a chance to be this team’s punt returner. It’s too early to write off Dontre Wilson as a return man, but he seems to be a little too hesitant to make the kind of big plays Meyer is looking for from his return unit. Wilson racked up 44 yards on four returns this week, but he has yet to break off the big one since Meyer put him in that role. It’s far too early to tell if Marshall would really be an upgrade to the return game, but he does appear to have some type of vision when it comes to exploiting a defense.
8. The Buckeyes have a lot of young talent on defense. Speaking of defense, the Buckeyes have some big names on that side of the ball when it comes to young talent. We don’t know how much that will help them in 2014, but we are getting our first real look at guys like Raekwon McMillan, Darron Lee, Vonn Bell, and Eli Apple. Other youngsters who saw the field on Saturday included freshmen Damon Webb, Erick Smith, Jalyn Holmes, Dante Booker, Chris Worley, Gareon Conley, Tyquan Lewis, Jamarco Jones, and Tracy Sprinkle. The Buckeyes are not very experienced on defense this fall, but they do have a tremendous amount of young talent waiting to be developed.
9. Raekwon McMillan is going to be impossible to keep off the field. I mentioned it last week in my 10 Things column, but I’m really starting to believe that McMillan is ready to be this team’s starting middle linebacker. He’s not going to be perfect. Rookies never are. What he is going to be, however, is a playmaking force this team hasn’t had in the middle of the defense in quite some time. I realize Curtis Grant is a senior captain, and I have nothing against Curtis. He seems like a good kid, a hard worker and a good teammate. He doesn’t, however, seem to be a better player than McMillan. Even now. We got to see our first real glimpse of the freshman 5-star last week, but the Kent State game gave Meyer and Luke Fickell the chance to get McMillan some real playing time. He responded with 11 tackles and two sacks. I’m not picking on Curtis Grant, but that is the kind of production this defense needs from its middle linebacker. We’ll see what happened next week against Cincinnati, but I think it’s only a matter of time until McMillan has to be out there...
It was over when... J.T. Barrett threw the first of his five first-half touchdowns passes in the blowout home win.
Gameball goes to... It goes to Barrett, who matched Kenny Guiton's school record with six total scores through the air.
Stat of the game... The Buckeye's 66 points is the most against an in-state opponent since 1934.
Star of the game: In his third start, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett tied Kenny Guiton’s year-old Ohio State record of six touchdown passes, completing them to five receivers, with Michael Thomas grabbing two. Barrett was 23 of 30 for 312 yards.
Turning point: The lone Barrett interception came after Ohio State led 14-0. The defense, on the way to its first shutout since a 76-0 win over Florida A&M last year, got the ball back soon enough, and Barrett drove the Buckeyes 54 yards in nine plays, capped by Rod Smith’s 1-yard TD plunge.
Repercussion: For the Buckeyes, the romp was a mood changer, coming a week after a loss to Virginia Tech that coach Urban Meyer admitted “you still have a sick feeling in your stomach about.” With the win over a heavy underdog, it likely won’t help the Buckeyes much in the polls.
• With his two touchdown receptions Saturday, Michael Thomas has reeled in at least one touchdown pass in each of the first three games of the season.
• J.T. Barrett's six touchdown passes and 312 passing yards each set a career high. Barrett's 23 completions and 30 attempts also were career highs.
• The six touchdown passes tied Kenny Guiton's Ohio State record set Sept. 21 of last season against Florida A&M. They were the most for an Ohio State quarterback against an FBS school since Bobby Hoying threw for five at Pittsburgh in 1995.
• The 312-yard passing game by Barrett was the first game of 300-plus yards passing for a Buckeye quarterback since Troy Smith threw for 316 against Michigan in 2006.
• Thomas' 63-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter marked a career long.
• Marcus Baugh's two-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was the first of his career.
• Raekwon McMillan paced the Buckeyes with seven tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks, all career highs.
• Joshua Perry's second-quarter interception was the first of his career.
• Erick Smith's fourth-quarter interception was the first of his career as well.
• The 45 points scored by the Buckeyes in the first half were the most in a half against an FBS opponent since Ohio State put up 45 in the first half of a 58-7 win over Northwestern in 2007.
• Jalin Marshall's three-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter marked the first of his career.
• Urban Meyer's teams moved to 22-0 since 2005 when blocking a punt.
• Nick Vannett's four receptions marked a career high.
• Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 65 yards on seven carries, averaging 9.3 yards per tote.
• Eleven different Buckeyes caught a pass Saturday against Kent State, including eight with multiple grabs.
• Curtis Samuel's three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the first of his career. His 100 yards on the ground marked a career best, while his 40 yards receiving also set a career high.
• The Buckeyes have not allowed a pass play longer than 20 yards through three games this season.
• Ohio State's 10 tackles for loss and four sacks are both the most since recording the same total versus Indiana on Nov. 23, 2013.
• Cardale Jones completed a pair of passes for 32 yards while adding in 37 yards on the ground on four carries
Sources: ESPN, Columbus Dispatch, OSU Official Site
J.T. Barrett, QB: On a day in which he threw six touchdown passes, good enough to tie the school record, the most praise Barrett got from commentator Matt Millen was that he had done "pretty good." Hint: that should tell you more about Matt Millen than about J.T. Barrett. The freshman QB's performance, while not electrifying, was completely sound from start to finish. He had more time in the pocket, with a noticeable uptick in good decision-making and correct reads. Kent State is nowhere near as talented as Virginia Tech, but it was great to see Barrett making good throw after good throw to set the tone for the offense.
Curtis Samuel, RB: The first-year back has been a breath of fresh air in an offense that has largely lacked the ability to punish teams with power running since Carlos Hyde's departure. On Saturday, he was good for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. Samuel has shown a good ability to put his head down and move the ball forward, and plays bigger than he is. He added 4 catches for 40 yards, just because.
Michael Thomas and Devin Smith, WRs: Both Thomas and Smith only finished with two catches on the day, but they made the most of them. Thomas's grabs were good for 77 yards and a touchdown, that coming on a 63-yard catch-and-run that showcased the same open-field ability that he showed off against Va. Tech last weekend. Smith did his best to match that effort, putting up 50 of his 59 yards on one grab that he took to the house. With Barrett and Cardale Jones spreading the ball around to every available target, these two still made plays worthy of the highlight reel.
The Offensive Line: The guys up front got the job done on Saturday. They kept J.T. Barrett's jersey clean, and gave him plenty of time to make throws downfield. They also opened up some good holes for the running game to exploit without being flagged for holding. While Kent State's pass rush isn't nearly as fearsome as Virginia Tech's, the O-line has to be feeling good about the way they held up throughout the game.
Ohio State's ability to get their defense off the field: In a complete reversal of last week's fortunes, the Buckeyes made big stop after big stop on third downs throughout this one. OSU forced Kent State to punt a whopping 11 times on Saturday, keeping the defense fresh and keeping the ball in the offense's hands. Last week, the Buckeyes couldn't stop a nose bleed on third down. This week, they stopped just about everything. Three interceptions, including a career first from freshman safety Erick Smith, were the icing on the cake...
Tribute to D-day and the United States Armed Forces followed by four corners Script Ohio September 13, 2014
1. No hope for Kent The Buckeyes have gotten off to a slow start in their past four games. They could overcome a shaky beginning against the Golden Flashes, but why allow Kent State to think they have any chance to pull the big upset? If the Buckeyes got on a roll early, they should dominate. It’s a noon start. Don’t sleep in.
2. Get runners rolling
The Buckeyes haven’t had a running back run for more than 45 yards in either of their first two games. Ohio State doesn’t need the second coming of Carlos Hyde, but it does need someone to emerge as a consistent threat. Quarterback J.T. Barrett has been the most-effective runner, and that’s not ideal. Ezekiel Elliott and Curtis Samuel have the ability, and Rod Smith has shown signs that he’s finally ready to emerge as a senior. Now is the time to show it.
3. Hit midrange passes
Against Virginia Tech, Ohio State’s passing game was all (rarely) or nothing (too often). The Hokies dared the Buckeyes to throw deep against their talented defensive backs, and Ohio State couldn’t make them pay. The short- and medium-range passing game was mostly forgotten. For the Buckeyes to flourish, they need to be able to complete all different kinds of passes. Kent State doesn’t have the talent Virginia Tech had. There’s little excuse for not getting it rolling.
4. Pressure D
Remember that in-your-face defense the Buckeyes were supposed to play in pass coverage? We’re still waiting. Navy attempted four passes, and the pass defense against Virginia Tech wasn’t particularly aggressive. The Hokies put on a clinic on how that style of defense is supposed to be played. The Buckeyes should have watched and learned.
5. Settle special teams
This was perhaps the most disappointing phase of the game against Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes had breakdowns in almost every part of their kicking game. Nowhere is the disparity in athletic ability more glaring than in the kicking game, and the Buckeyes should be able to take advantage. Perhaps this is the game that Dontre Wilson breaks a long return.
As always, we have our Ten Pressing Questions feature to prepare you for today’s game. We will provide the answers in our First Look column:
* 1. Can J.T. Barrett bounce back from a tough showing?
* 2. Can the Buckeyes establish the running game with Ezekiel Elliott and Curtis Samuel?
* 3. Can the offense do with less Barrett and more of his teammates?
* 4. Can Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall make some big plays in the H-back position?
* 5. Can the offensive line play a clean four quarters?
* 6. Who steps forward on the defensive line with Noah Spence out indefinitely?
* 7. Can the Buckeyes solve their third-down issues?
* 8. Will the linebackers step forward and, better yet, could this be Raekwon McMillan’s coming out party?
* 9. Can the young secondary keep forcing turnovers?
* 10. Will the Buckeyes take care of business against an 0-2 Kent State team?
We will let you know how they do. Enjoy the game and check out Bucknuts.com later today for all of the coverage.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Ohio State is trying to rebound after getting slammed 35-21 by Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes were outplayed and spent this week scrambling to diagnose and remedy the problems on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. Kent State, which has former Buckeyes assistant Paul Haynes in charge, gets an $850,000 guarantee while hoping no one gets hurt who might help it turn things around later in the season.
Ohio State's veteran defensive front against Kent State's offensive line. Noah Spence, suspended for two games for failing a drug test at the Big Ten title game, returns to a unit that has mustered just four sacks (half as many as the Buckeyes offense has surrendered). The Golden Flashes smallish line has given up four sacks, and the offenses has scored 27 points in two home losses.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kent State: QB Colin Reardon has four TD passes and interception. Flashes must find a running game or it'll be a long day: Nick Holley has 53 yards and team averages 1.9 yards per attempt. S Nate Holley (Nick's twin) is tied for MAC lead with 27 tackles.
Ohio State: QB J.T. Barrett hasn't been awful but hasn't made anyone forget the man he's replacing, injured two-time Big Ten player of the year Braxton Miller. Source: AP
September 10, 2014 Source: The Ozone RB Ezekiel Elliott, DT Michael Bennett and WR Michael Thomas answered questions from the press concerning the upcoming game against Kent State, and maybe a few questions about last Saturday's loss
+ Meyer said the team had a good practice on Tuesday, but whether or not they have bounced completely back from the Virginia Tech loss will be evaluated after Saturday.
+ He said the team is pretty close to having nine units strong, and had they made a few more plays on Saturday they'd be even closer.
+ By the end of the season "we'll be a great team."
+ Meyer said the defense was "not bad" on Saturday, but "we all want more." He said they had three quarters of very good defense, but didn't close the deal...
Urban Meyer Monday September 8, 2014 Source: Bucknuts Urban Meyer has had a day-and-a-half to digest Ohio State’s 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech Saturday night at Ohio Stadium. Meyer spent 15 minutes today reflecting on that loss...
Ohio State Buckeyes Kent State Golden Flashes game live stream HERE
• Ohio State and Kent State are meeting for the third time with the Buckeyes leading 2-0.
• Urban Meyer has faced Kent State twice in his head coaching career, both wins while at Bowling Green in 2001 (24-7) and 2002 (45-14).
• Ohio State has won 38 consecutive games vs. in-state opponents.
• Ohio State is 74-8 overall at Ohio Stadium since the start of the 2002 season.
• Forty-nine (49) of Ohio State's 55 points scored this season have been by freshmen (true & redshirt) and sophomores (89.0 percent).
• Ohio State has recorded seven pass plays of 20 or more yards through two games, four of those of at least 40 yards.
• Sophomore WR Michael Thomas recorded a team-high 98 yards receiving on six catches, both career highs, vs. Virginia Tech.
• Head coach Urban Meyer is 48-5 in his career in games played in August/September.
• Ohio State hosted a record crowd of 107,517 last Saturday vs. Virginia Tech.
• The loss to the Hokies snapped Ohio State's 25-game regular season win streak.
Buckeye "D" Averaging 10.0 TFLs
Big games by Joshua Perry (11 tackles including 3.0 TFLs), and Joey Bosa (3.0 TFLs for 19 yards in losses) in addition to Grant's two TFLs has the Buckeye defense now averaging 10.0 tackles-for-loss per game. After registering eight vs. Navy last week, the Buckeyes added 12 more vs. Virginia Tech with a total of seven Buckeyes getting into the TFL stat column vs. the Hokies.
Season Leaders in TFLs
DE Joey Bosa - 4.0 for -22
LB Curtis Grant - 3.0 for -18
LB Joshua Perry - 3.0 for -11
DT Adolphus Washington - 3.0 for -11
LB Darron Lee - 3.0 for -5
Urban Meyer said tight end Jeff Heuerman, who had offseason surgery on a sprained foot, will sit out the Kent State game, giving him a two-week break from game action, including next week’s bye. Heuerman played in the first two games, even though the foot was sore, but Meyer decided that rest was better than continuing to play through the discomfort. Junior Nick Vannett is expected to start in Heuerman’s place. Noah Spence suspended.
Kent State at Ohio State Source: CollegeFootballNews - Kent State is a significant downgrade from Virginia Tech. And although OSU is hurting and searching for an identity of consistency on offense, it’ll find big plays all over the field against the Golden Flashes. The offensive line and beleaguered young QB J.T. Barrett will look fantastic, but there’s still work to do as the tune up begins for stiffer competition.