Parris Campbell wore an American flag mouthguard Saturday at Ohio Stadium. He wore it once last season and couldn’t have picked a better time to flash the red, white and blue this season. It stood out in a big way when he
While the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes routed Army 38-7, their respect for the Black Knights increased with every possession, culminating in a touching moment after the game. Ohio State watched as Army sang its alma mater at midfield, and then Army stood behind the Buckeyes as they sang “Carmen Ohio.”
“It kind of gave me chills,” Campbell said. “After we stood behind them, they stood behind us. It’s a respect thing. You go to sleep at night knowing guys like that are protecting our country. It’s incredible what they do.”
Here are five takeaways from the first matchup between Ohio State (2-1) and Army (2-1):
1. Record breaker: Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett bounced back from one of his worst performances with a record-breaking day against Army.
A week after completing 19 of 35 passes for 183 yards with no touchdowns in a 31-16 loss to Oklahoma, Barrett completed 25 of 33 passes for 270 yards with two touchdown passes and a touchdown run.
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Barrett has been responsible for 107 touchdowns (rushing and passing) in his career. He broke the Big Ten record of 106 set by Purdue’s Drew Brees in 2000.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Barrett said. “I didn’t picture it when I committed to Ohio State back in the day. It’s a credit to all the people involved. I think about the times with coach (Tim) Beck and coach (Tom) Herman back in the day, all the guys, who helped me get it, Devin Smith, Jeff Heuerman, Nick Vannett, Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson, everybody that was a part of my time here.”
2. Defensive challenge: Army rushed for 259 yards on 58 carries. Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw completed 2 of 7 passes for 19 yards.
Ohio State knew Army’s wishbone offense would present a unique challenge. Except for one 99-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by Darnell Woolfolk in the second quarter, the Buckeyes met the challenge.
Army missed a 43-yard field goal on its first drive of the second half, costing it a chance to cut Ohio State’s lead to 17-10. Then it lost a fumble, punted, turned the ball over on downs and punted again on its final four drives.
“It was a real test for us,” defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “They’re not as easy to beat as everybody thinks. They’re really disciplined, tough guys who are good at what they do. For us to put selfishness aside and just do our jobs and work together as a unit, it really brought us together after a tough loss.”
3. Unexpected star: Redshirt freshman linebacker Tuf Borland, making his first career appearance, led the Buckeyes with 10½ tackles. He stepped into the rotation when Chris Worley sprained his ankle.
“I’m just thankful to be a part of this team,” Borland said. “Everyone else around me did a great job. I imagined myself in that situation, being ready for the moment. I’ve got no words for it right now. It’s a great experience. I just tried to prepare myself as best as possible.”
4. Standout freshman: J.K. Dobbins continues to be the start of the 2017 recruiting class. He rushed 13 times for 172 yards and scored on runs of 2 and 52 yards.
Through a quarter of the regular season, Dobbins is averaging 141.7 yards per game and 7.7 yards per carry.
“To be honest, I knew I would get a good start,” Dobbins said, “but I didn’t think it would be anything like this. I just feel like I can only continue to get better. My offensive line, my receivers, my tight ends, outstanding job blocking, it’s a team effort.”
5. Big picture: Ohio State did what it had to do against Army but won’t get another chance to beat a ranked team until Oct. 28 when it hosts N0. 5 Penn State. The loss to Oklahoma will continue to sting. All the Buckeyes can do is keep winning and trying to build momentum for the tougher games to come.
“Losing is awful,” Meyer said. “It’s not the first time. I hope it’s the last time. But sometimes those things happen. You work really hard not to allow it to happen, and you go through the discomfort of being crushed, to extremely angry and self-reflection — what could you have done better? And then you have to somehow pull yourself off the canvas and get going. How do you do that? You do that with your faith, your family and your friends and your teammates.”