Ohio State blasts Western Kentucky

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

COLUMBUS — Ohio State scored on five straight possessions to end the first half and never looked back Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

When the rubber pellets had settled, the sixth-ranked Buckeyes had secured a 63-10 win over Western Kentucky to improve to 3-0 and set up a trip to Notre Dame next week.

The Buckeyes took the opening kickoff and went on an eight-play, 75-yard march for a touchdown, taking a lead they would never relinquish.

TreVeyon Henderson capped the drive with a 21-yard run around end, sprinting up the sideline after getting a couple of blocks on the edge.

That came after the Buckeyes converted a fourth-and-5 with a 7-yard pass from Kyle McCord to Emeka Egbuka. McCord was 4 for 5 passing on the drive for 43 yards, and Henderson had 32 yards on three carries.

After a Western Kentucky field goal, Ohio State put together a 12-play, 82-yard touchdown drive again capped by Henderson, who followed a few nice blocks to paydirt from seven yards out.

The Hilltoppers countered with a long drive of their own, going 75 yards in seven plays. Austin Reed hit Malachi Corley for a 2-yard receiver screen for the touchdown with 8:10 left in the second quarter.

That brought the visitors within four, but not for long.

On the first play of the ensuing drive, Ohio State called a play-action pass for Marvin Harrison Jr., who sprinted through the secondary for a 75-yard touchdown catch dropped perfectly into his hands by McCord.

After turning the Hilltoppers over on downs, the Buckeyes struck with another one-play drive, this time getting Chip Trayanum loose up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown run to make it 28-10 with 4:13 to go in the first half.

On the next WKU possession, Wayne grad Blue Smith caught a pass over the middle for what would have been a third down conversion but fumbled it away. Davison Igbinosun recovered for the Buckeyes, who found the end zone again four plays later when McCord hooked up with Egbuka from 15 yards out.

Ohio State got the ball back with 28 seconds left, but head coach Ryan Day was not content to sit on the lead.

McCord scrambled for four yards, then hit Cade Stover for a 40-yard catch-and-run. Then Egbuka slipped behind the cornerback into the end zone and caught a pass from McCord while twisting around for a 14-yard score with 8 seconds left.

The defense got in on the scoring act late in the third quarter and again in the fourth.

First, Denzel Burke knocked loose a fumble inside the 5. Steele Chambers nearly picked it up on his way to the end zone, but the ball skipped free and was covered by a mass of bodies. Tyleik Williams pulled it out of the scrum for the defensive tackle’s first touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, Jermaine Mathews Jr. intercepted a pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown.

The second-team offense also joined the scoring party, as Devin Brown connected with Carnell Tate for a 28-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.

McCord, who was named the full-time first-team quarterback Tuesday after sharing snaps with Brown in the first two weeks, completed 19 of 23 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

He missed his career-high in passing yards by one but increased his game passing yardage for the third straight week after going for 239 at Indiana in Week 1 and 258 last week against Youngstown State.

Henderson ran 13 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns while Trayanum picked up 56 yards on five carries.

The Ohio State defense bottled up a high-powered passing attack, limiting Reed to 207 yards, and reserve lineman Mitchell Melton recorded the first sack of the season for an Ohio State defensive end.


Ohio State at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m., NBC, 1410

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