COLUMBUS — Ohio State took care of business Saturday afternoon, handling Youngstown State 35-7 on Saturday.
The third-ranked Buckeyes scored 14 points in the first quarter and 14 more in the second to take a 28-7 halftime lead in their home opener at Ohio Stadium.
Ohio State took the opening kickoff and struck first when Kyle McCord found Marvin Harrison Jr. running free down the sideline for a 71-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the game.
“I think the biggest thing is just coming out of the gate and trusting my reads, trusting my arm and trusting the players around me,” McCord said. “I think we showed flashes of that last week for sure, but we were spotty. Especially in the first half today we came up strong and got things going and got the ball in the receivers hands so they could do some things after the catch, so I think it was a good mixture. As long as we can continue to build that we’ll be in a good spot offensively.”
The Penguins struck back with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that took more than five minutes off the clock. Quarterback Mitch Davison capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown, diving into the end zone after fooling the OSU defense on a zone read. The big play on the drive was a 36-yard pass to Max Tomczak on third-and-3.
Ohio State went back on top when McCord found Harrison again, this time behind two defenders for a 39-yard score.
“I think early in games like this how you play matters, and I liked how we came out of the gates playing well,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “(McCord) made some nice throws early on. That was good. He got himself into a rhythm and that was good. He showed he can make some of those throws.”
The Buckeyes added another seven on a 13-yard touchdown run by TreVeyon Henderson then went ahead 28-7 on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Emeka Egbuka.
McCord handled the offense for most of the first half, but Devin Brown engineered the drive that culminated with Henderson’s touchdown run.
After a sleepy start to the third quarter, Ohio State found the end zone again when TreVeyon Henderson took a handoff and scampered around right end. He cut up behind a block downfield and sprinted into the end zone from 30 yards out to make it 35-7 with 1:40 left in the third.
The Buckeyes appeared to add another touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Miyan Williams’ short touchdown run was wiped out by a holding call on fullback Chip Trayanum.
That prevented Brown from being able to claim a third touchdown drive of the afternoon.
He ended up completing 7 of 13 passes for 101 yards and ran six times for nine.
McCord finished the day having completed 14 of 20 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns, thoug Day still did not declare him the full-time starter yet.
“Yeah coming out I thought Kyle had more poise coming into his second game,” Day said. “You could just feel a little of that part of it. I thought Devin early on was a little anxious but then I think for him once he gets hit and gets tired he gets more confident. You can see the talent there. So we’ll look at the film and see, but I thought Kyle came out pretty efficiently overall and Devin made some plays as well.”
Henderson ran for 56 yards on five carries and scored twice while Harrison had seven catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Egbuka finished with 94 yards on five catches.
Tommy Eichenberg led the defense with six tackles, including a sack and forced fumble.
The Buckeyes will be home again next Saturday when Western Kentucky comes to down for a 4 p.m. kickoff.