Ohio State Bounces Back in Second Half for 40-28 Win over TCU

By Dan Hope on September 15, 2018 at 11:48 am
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ARLINGTON, Texas – For the first 38 minutes of Saturday night’s game at AT&T Stadium, it looked as though things might not go Ohio State’s way.

The Buckeyes hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown at that point, and were trailing TCU, 21-13, with only 22 minutes left to play in the game.

It took only four minutes and one second after that, however, for Ohio State to quickly turn the game in its favor.

After Parris Campbell took a short pass 63 yards to the end zone to break the Buckeyes’ offensive touchdown drought with 6:58 to play in the third quarter, Dre’Mont Jones intercepted a pass from TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson and returned it 28 yards to the end zone to give the Buckeyes a 26-21 lead just one minute and four seconds of game time later.

The Buckeyes would never trail again in the game.

  1 2 3 4 F
#4 OHIO STATE 10 3 20 7 40
#15 TCU 7 7 14 0 28

Following a botched punt on TCU’s next possession that gave Ohio State the ball back at the 25-yard line, Dwayne Haskins completed a 24-yard pass to K.J. Hill to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 33-21 with 2:57 to play in the third quarter.

TCU wouldn’t go away quietly. A 51-yard deep-ball touchdown strike from Robinson to TreVontae Hights, over double coverage from Kendall Sheffield and Jahsen Wint, cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 33-28 with 1:06 to play in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes responded back on their next possession, though, as Haskins capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a 5-yard run for the first rushing touchdown of his career to extend the lead back to 40-28 with 12:30 to play.

Ohio State   TCU
526 NET TOTAL YARDS 511
182 RUSHING YARDS 203
42 RUSHING ATTEMPTS 36
4.3 AVERAGE PER RUSH 5.6
1 RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS 3
344 PASSING YARDS 308
24-38 COMPLETIONS–ATTEMPTS 24-40
14.3 AVERAGE PER COMPLETION 12.8
2 PASSING TOUCHDOWNS 1
29 1st DOWNS 22
13 RUSHING 1st DOWNS 8
14 PASSING 1st DOWNS 13
2 PENALTY 1st DOWNS 1
80 TOTAL PLAYS 76
6.6 YARDS PER PLAY 6.7
3-4 RED ZONE 2-3
4-12 3rd DOWNS 7-15
0-0 4th DOWNS 0-0
5-39 PENALTIES 5-40
31:08 POSSESSION 28:52

TCU continued to pressure Ohio State on its next possession, getting back into Buckeyes territory after Robinson completed a 34-yard deep ball to Dylan Thomas against coverage from Shaun Wade. The Buckeyes ultimately forced the Horned Frogs into a punt, though, after Dre’Mont Jones chased Robinson down for a 12-yard sack and Damon Arnette broke up a pass from behind TCU receiver Jarrison Stewart on 3rd-and-24.

Malik Harrison sealed the victory for Ohio State on TCU's next offensive possession, intercepting a Robinson pass to give the ball back to the Buckeyes – still up by 12 points – with 2:37 to play.

Despite taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after Davon Hamilton recovered a Robinson fumble forced by Nick Bosa in the end zone for a defensive touchdown, the Buckeyes trailed for most of the second quarter after a pair of rushing touchdowns by TCU. Following a 6-yard scoring run by Sewo Onilula, Darius Anderson reached the end zone two plays later on a 93-yard touchdown run that was both the longest run in TCU history and the longest player ever allowed from scrimmage by Ohio State.

Ohio State cut the deficit to 14-13 on its subsequent possession with a 30-yard field goal by Sean Nuernberger, but Nuernberger missed a 38-yard field goal before halftime, allowing the Horned Frogs to take a one-point advantage into the break.

The Horned Frogs extended their lead to 21-13 on their second possession in the third quarter, when Darius Anderson ran 16 yards to the end zone for his second touchdown of the night.

Facing 4th-and-1 at the 46-yard line – a situation where Urban Meyer has often shown the willingness to gamble – on their subsequent possession, Ryan Day and the Buckeyes decided to punt the ball. But the Buckeyes got the ball back at the 37-yard line after their defense forced a 3-and-out, and that’s when Campbell took advantage with the big offensive play that Ohio State desperately needed – beginning to turn the game in the Buckeyes’ favor.

Ohio State, and Day's now-concluded tenure as acting head coach, improved to 3-0 on the season with Saturday night’s win. Meyer will be back on the sidelines for the Buckeyes next Saturday, when they will host Tulane at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m.

Game Notes

  • Johnnie Dixon, Isaiah Prince, Jordan Fuller and Tuf Borland were Ohio State's game captains for the coin toss.
  • Borland, who played only in a limited capacity in Ohio State's first two games while continuing to recover from an Achilles injury, got his first start of the season for the Buckeyes at middle linebacker.
  • Bosa has now recorded a sack in six straight games dating back to 2017. He left the game with an injury on Ohio State's opening defensive series of the third quarter, however, and did not return.
  • 64,362 was the official attendance for Saturday night's game.
  • Saturday night marked the 42nd college football game between FBS schools at AT&T Stadium.
  • This was the fifth game that TCU has played at AT&T Stadium. The Horned Frogs are now 2-3, with a 30-21 win over Oregon State in the AdvoCare Classic on Sept. 4, 2010, a 38-28 victory over BYU on Oct. 28, 2011, a 37-27 loss to LSU in the Advocare Classic on Aug. 31, 2013 and a 41-17 defeat in last year’s Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 2, 2017 before tonight’s 40-28 loss.
  • This was Ohio State’s third game at AT&T Stadium. The Buckeyes are now 3-0, with a 42-20 win over Oregon in the inaugural CFP Championship Game on Jan. 12, 2015 and a 24-7 victory over USC in last year’s Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 29, 2017 before tonight’s 40-28 triumph.
  • Ohio State now leads the all-time series with TCU 5-1-1, including four wins in a row.
  • Saturday night’s win was the eighth consecutive for Ohio State. That is the second-longest active winning streak in the FBS behind only UCF (15 straight wins).
  • The game featured 1,037 yards of total offense, with both teams topping 500 yards. Ohio State had 526 total yards (344 pass, 182 rush), while TCU had 511 (308 pass, 203 rush).
  • Ohio State had eight passes of 15 yards or longer (long of 48) and 10 rushes of 10 yards or more (long of 17). TCU produced seven passes of 15 yards or longer (long of 51) and four rushes of 10 yards or more (long of 93).
  • Saturday night’s honorary captains were Archie Griffin, Doug Donley and Keith Fine for Ohio State and Jack Spikes and LaDainian Tomlinson for TCU.
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