Ohio State offense runs wild in season-opening win

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    Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin is lifted in celebration by teammate Jaylen Harris after scoring a touchdown against Oregon State on Saturday.


  • COLUMBUS — Using a dominant offensive performance, Ohio State started the season 1-0 for the 19th consecutive year with a 77-31 victory Saturday against Oregon State at Ohio Stadium.

    A weather delay at halftime kept the teams in the locker rooms for an additional hour, but by that point the fifth-ranked Buckeyes had run away with the game. The Buckeyes scored touchdowns on their first five possessions, and despite the Beavers’ big plays were well ahead for most of the afternoon.

    What happened: In the first game in charge for Ryan Day, the acting head coach while Urban Meyer serves a three-game suspension, the Ohio State offense started at full capacity. Dwayne Haskins began his first start by completing 14 of 18 passing attempts for 164 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone, while running back Mike Weber ran for two first-half scores and caught another as OSU’s offensive line controlled Oregon State.

    RELATED: Haskins, Day shine in respective debuts ■ The Buckeyes’ 2018 regular season schedule

    The Buckeyes ran up 314 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes, which included five plays of 15 or more yards.

    Haskins threw touchdown passes to Terry McLaurin, Rashod Berry, and Weber, who scored on runs of 16 and 49 yards in the first half. The Buckeyes took a 42-14 lead into the half and saw their reserves play most of the second half.

    It was over when: The Buckeyes’ defense earned a few first-half stops. Ohio State’s secondary badly misplayed Oregon State’s 49-yard touchdown that tied the game at 7, but once the defense forced Oregon State into a few empty possessions, the score got out of hand quickly. The Beavers had no answer for an Ohio State offense that did whatever it wanted.

    Then the defense created for itself, as Pete Werner strip-sacked Beavers quarterback Conor Blount and Nick Bosa recovered in the end zone for a 42-7 lead in the second quarter.

    He said it: “That’s hard when you’re getting to the rhythm of the game and all of the sudden you have to stop. You don’t do that in football where you just take a deep breath — you’re always on edge. Then we had to ramp it back up again. I thought that was the best part of the day.” — Day on the Buckeyes’ handling of the weather delay.

    Buckeye standouts: On defense, Bosa was a terror. The defensive end was a nuisance for the Beavers on every snap he played, and in one half of work, Bosa collected two sacks, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown. He now has a sack in four consecutive games dating to last season.

    Weber was as dominant on the other side. His 186 yards and four total touchdowns were career bests.

    Play of the game: Four Beavers had a chance at Weber on his bruising 16-yard run, and he ended up in the end zone anyway to give the Buckeyes a 14-7 lead. The Buckeyes led the rest of the game.

    Statistically speaking: By the numbers, Haskins had the best first start for a quarterback in school history. His five touchdown passes were the most for a first start, and he become the only quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in his inaugural game.

    Next week: The Buckeyes jump into Big Ten play for a week by welcoming Rutgers to Columbus. Ohio State has outscored Rutgers 114-0 the past two meetings.

    Contact Nicholas Piotrowicz at npiotrowicz@theblade.com, 419-724-6110, or on Twitter @NickPiotrowicz