It's a good day when your quarterback throws for 304 yards and give touchdowns in the first half, and your defense plays consistent ball all afternoon.
To be frank, Ohio State made big plays all day, and when you only allow six points, you're generally going to come out on top, and that's what the Buckeyes did.
It was a blowout, and it was an Ohio State win, the Buckeyes are 4-0, and we'll take it.
The Short Story
Ohio State quickly jumped out to a 21-0 lead thanks to three Dwayne Haskins touchdown passes. After a Tulane score (after which the extra point attempt was blocked) the Buckeyes scored another 28 unanswered points to get to the game's final score of 49-6. Haskins sat out the second half as Tate Martell ran the show for the Buckeyes.
It seems as though two things happen every week: Dwayne Haskins dominates the competition, and one of his receivers has a big day. Well, both occurred again on Saturday as Haskins went 21-24 for 304 yards and five touchdowns in the first half and then promptly took a seat on the bench and became a spectator for the game's final two frames.
Parris Campbell was the receiver who enjoyed a lot of success in this one as he had eight receptions for a career high 147 yards and two touchdowns, including this deep ball beauty.
Campbell looked excellent all game running routes and especially with his hands (which we've seen has been a liability for him before) so this was definitely a positive game for Campbell all around.
Elsewhere, K.J. Hill caught four passes for 57 yards, and Austin Mack, Terry McLaurin, and Binjimen Victor caught touchdown passes. For Victor, it was his first touchdown grab of the season.
Mike Weber did leave the game with an injury and did not dress for the second half, but is expected to play next week.
Playing without both Nick Bosa and Robert Landers, Ohio State's defensive line was still effective as the Buckeyes ran up a whopping 14 tackles for loss to go with four sacks.
While the Buckeye defense did not force any turnovers, they were solid all game long, and the defensive backs showed some improvement. It will be interesting to see how the back-seven handles Penn State this week, assuming that Bosa will not make an improbable recovery before Saturday night.
Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?
Offense: Parris Campbell
As mentioned earlier, this was Campbell's best game ever. He is always immediately one of the fastest players on the field (if not the fastest) when he's in the game, but at times has been unusable due to his inability to simply catch the football.
That was not the case yesterday, as he absolutely scorched the Tulane defense left and right whether it was bubble screens or long touchdown grabs.
We showed you the deep bomb earlier, so let's throw in his other touchdown right here.
Honorable Mention: Dwayne Haskins
Defense: Baron Browning
Browning looked really good for a unit that needed a strong leader up the middle today. While Pete Werner, Malik Harrison, and Tuf Borland had a combined zero (0) tackles, Browning stepped it up with two tackles for loss in addition to his first career sack. It was a really impressive game by a player with oodles of potential.
Also, Dante Booker was quite good. Playing a large amount of minutes for the first time in a while, Booker recorded three tackles for loss and a sack. It's good to see him back out there contributing.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Fuller, Dante Booker
Ohio State's ground game really never got it going in this one. I'm not really sure why, as nobody looked particularly "bad" but the numbers and effectiveness just weren't there.
Of course, it's not as if Ohio State needed it when Dwayne Haskins was just picking apart the Tulane secondary, but Mike Weber rushed for just 18 yards on six carries (3.0 avg) before leaving with an injury, while J.K. Dobbins fared a bit better, with 11 carries for 55 yards (5.0 avg), in addition to a touchdown.
It will be interesting to see how Ohio State's backfield functions against Penn State, especially if Weber is not 100% healthy, although Urban Meyer mentioned that he should be able to go.
Urban Meyer says Mike Weber has a little strain on his foot and should be fine for next week.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) September 22, 2018
Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment
With a 3:30 kickoff, Jim and Ellen Tressel had just enough time to grab a bite to eat and run their errands to JoAnn Fabrics and Michael's (Ellen is working on some projects- she says the current stitched blankets are quite outdated) before settling in to watch the Buckeyes.
At first things seemed to be going well. Even though Ohio State wasn't punting, Jim saw enough from Tulane's Ryan Wright to keep him engaged.
After Ohio State's third touchdown, however, Buckeyes tight end Rashod Berry was called for holding on the extra point.
Jim was a bit miffed, but didn't say anything and just assumed that the problem would rectify itself and not happen again.
Ohio State then blocked an extra point on Tulane's lone touchdown, which Jim was pleased with (although he secretly felt sorry for the kicker, who was just trying to do his job) and thought that things were only going to go up.
However, after the Buckeyes marched down the field on their next drive and scored, Berry was called for holding again on the extra point. Tressel, now visibly seething, had to take a break, so he and Ellen grabbed the croquet mallets and played a quick match before watching the second half. Thankfully, there were no more penalties on extra points for the remainder of the contest.
The secondary was quite solid in this one. Yes, Jeffrey Okudah gave up a long pass to set up a touchdown, but frankly, it was just a perfectly placed ball and nice catch. Other than that, there were no big pass plays. Jordan Fuller was excellent, Okudah was good, and the unit had a solid game. A big test comes this week against Trace McSorley.
Wide Receiver's Blocking
Throughout the day, you could see that Ohio State wide receivers were relentless in their efforts to spring teammates free, and that was most clearly evident when Terry McLaurin absolutely destroyed a cornerback on a screen pass to Parris Campbell that went for 19-yards. We often hear how great Ohio State's wide receivers are at blocking, and it's always nice to see that show during the game.
It Was Over When
Ohio State jumped out to a seemingly commanding 21-0 lead, but Tulane scored their only points of the game on a touchdown. The Buckeyes scored on their next drive, and the game was over. Really, though, it was over before Tulane left the airport in New Orleans.
Biggest Question Going Forward
With a huge test in Happy Valley coming up this weekend, there are a few questions that still need to be answered by this team.
First of all, there were still way too many penalties committed by Ohio State. In this game, the Buckeyes were found guilty of 10 offenses that resulted in 89 yards. While it may not matter in a game like this, you cannot give 89 yards to Penn State. You just can't do it, especially on the road in a hostile environment.
Secondly, Ohio State's offensive line has really been excellent to this point so far. Will they continue to keep it up? If they can, expect Dwayne Haskins to keep rolling.