- David Jablonski Staff Writer
Urban Meyer leads the Ohio State Buckeyes down the ramp and into Ohio Stadium two hours before every home game. He walks with the same pace each time. On Saturday, though, hours before No. 10 Ohio State routed UNLV 54-21, he broke into a jog.
Meyer didn’t set any 100-yard dash records in his journey across the turf. He did get a few of his players, who trailed behind him, to chuckle. Then it became clear why Meyer hurried.
In the end zone, he met his daughter Nicki Meyer Dennis, her husband Corey and his grandson Troy. They posed for a photo together. Meyer also got one photo of him kissing Troy on the head. Meyer then headed to the locker room for final preparations for the noon game.
“I already said I think I know my Christmas present,” Meyer said in the postgame press conference. “It’s going to be a nice canvas picture of me and my grandson in the Horseshoe. That was awesome.”
The Buckeyes (3-1) delivered another gift with the type of performance they expected and needed in their second straight home game against an overmatched opponent. Since losing 31-16 to Oklahoma, Ohio State has defeated Army and UNLV by a combined margin of 92-28.
Ohio State broke a Big Ten record with touchdown receptions by seven players: Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin, K.J. Hill, C.J. Saunders and Rashod Berry.
J.T. Barrett threw the first five touchdown passes and then left the game with Ohio State leading 37-0. Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins accounted for the last two touchdown passes, the first of his career.
Meyer said his initial reaction to the lopsided victory mirrored everyone else’s.
“Let’s go do it against a team that’s equally matched,” he said. “That’s my challenge every day for myself, for our coaches, more importantly, and obviously our players.”
Barrett (12 of 17 for 209 yards), Haskins (15 of 23, 228) and Joe Burrow (4 of 4, 37) combined to set an Ohio State record for passing yards in a game (474). The old mark of 459 against Penn State had stood since 1997.
Barrett also moved into second place in Ohio State history in career passing yards (7,347), passing Bobby Hoying (7,232).
“The main thing was tempo,” Barrett said. “I think that was one thing we talked about last week. We had good tempo at some times, but we’re still addressing it and pushing it because that’s a weapon for us.”
Haskins looked like a star at times and like a freshman at others. He threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Saunders on Ohio State’s final drive of the first half to give the Buckeyes a 44-7 halftime lead. He threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Berry in the third, but then threw an interception that Javin White returned 65 yards for a touchdown in the fourth.
“I think Dwayne played pretty good,” Meyer said. “(The interception was) inexcusable. Threw it right to the guy. Obviously it’s a young player, a freshman. And they’ve gotta go through that.”
Notes: Wayne High School graduate Robert Landers, a defensive tackle, was not in uniform. He watched from the bench with a boot on his left foot. “He tweaked his foot a little bit,” defensive end Nick Bosa said. “He just didn’t want to aggravate it this game. I think he’ll be fine.”