For the second week in a row, Ohio State scored the first 28 points of the game.
This time, the Buckeyes were able to keep that lead growing.
In a game that was expected to be more competitive for the scarlet and gray than last week's 45-21 win over Florida Atlantic, Ohio State dominated from beginning to end, earning a 42-0 win over Cincinnati to spoil Luke Fickell’s return to Columbus as the Bearcats’ head coach.
|#5 OHIO STATE||7||21||7||7||42|
Justin Fields completed 20 of 25 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns and added 42 yards and another two touchdowns on the ground, while J.K. Dobbins ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Stars on the defensive side of the ball for the Buckeyes include Chase Young, who had 1.5 sacks and blocked a field goal attempt, and Shaun Wade, who forced a fumble and also had two pass breakups, one of which led to an interception.
Ohio State’s first drive of the game was stalled by a holding penalty against Jonah Jackson, which forced the Buckeyes to punt from the 39-yard line. Drue Chrisman’s punt was downed by Chris Olave at the 1-yard line, though, and Ohio State got the ball back at Cincinnati’s 41-yard line after forcing a 3-and-out. The Buckeyes took advantage of the short field with a five-play touchdown drive, capped by a 7-yard Fields run into the end zone.
After another punt by the Bearcats on their second possession, Ohio State drove back down to the Bearcats’ 20-yard line. The Buckeyes ended up turning the ball over on downs, however, when Fields was stopped short of the line-to-make on a 4th-and-1 run attempt.
|508||NET TOTAL YARDS||273|
|5.9||AVERAGE PER RUSH||3.1|
|10.8||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||12.8|
|13||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||7|
|13||PASSING 1st DOWNS||5|
|5||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||1|
|7.0||YARDS PER PLAY||4.8|
|0 (0)||TURNOVERS (DEF PTS OFF)||2 (0)|
Cincinnati made it inside Ohio State’s red zone on its next possession after a 4th-and-1 conversion on a Desmond Ridder run and a third-down roughing the passer penalty against Ohio State defensive tackle Tommy Togiai on the next set of downs. But after a 7-yard sack by Tyreke Smith and a third-down run stop by Smith two plays later, Young blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt by Sam Crosa to keep the Bearcats off the board.
Ohio State drove 87 yards in six plays on its next possession, highlighted by a 24-yard run by Dobbins and capped by a 4-yard Dobbins run into the end zone untouched.
Dobbins followed that up with a 60-yard touchdown run – the second-longest run for his Ohio State career to date – on the Buckeyes’ next possession to put Ohio State ahead 21-0 with 7:26 to play in the second quarter.
The Buckeyes nearly came up with a defensive takeaway on their next possession, when Wade hit Michael Warren on a screen pass to pop the ball up into the air. Young dropped what should have been an interception, but Ohio State nonetheless forced a punt.
Ohio State followed by driving 88 yards in eight plays for another touchdown, highlighted by a 39-yard pass from Fields to Chris Olave and capped by a 9-yard connection from Fields to Garrett Wilson for the first touchdown reception of Wilson’s young Buckeyes career. That gave the Buckeyes their second 28-0 lead in two weeks with 1:53 left to play in the first half.
The Buckeyes finished the first half with 356 yards of offense, more than Cincinnati allowed in all but three entire games last season.
Ohio State extended its lead to 35-0 with 3:32 to play in the third quarter, when a pair of 12- and 13-yard runs by Master Teague set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Fields. Cincinnati drove inside Ohio State’s 10-yard line on its next possession after a 46-yard pass from Ridder to Alec Pierce against Damon Arnette in coverage, but the Buckeyes ended that drive when Wade knocked another pass into the air and Tuf Borland, unlike Young earlier in the game, was able to catch the live ball for an interception.
Fields completed his final series of the game by connecting with K.J. Hill on a 5-yard throw to extend Ohio State’s advantage to 42-0 with 11:30 to play.
A fumble into the end zone by Cincinnati running back Tavion Thomas with less than three minutes to play, forced by Ohio State linebacker Dallas Gant and recovered by cornerback Marcus Williamson, preserved the Buckeyes' shutout.
With Saturday’s win, Ohio State is now 2-0 on the season and will look to improve to 3-0 next week in its first road game and first Big Ten game of the year, as Indiana will host the Buckeyes in Bloomington. Next Saturday’s game is scheduled for noon and will be televised on Fox.
- Saturday's game was Luke Fickell's first game back in Ohio Stadium since he became Cincinnati's head coach following the 2016 season. Marcus Freeman was also back in the Shoe on Saturday as Cincinnati's defensive coordinator.
- Ohio State defensive end Jonathon Cooper, defensive tackle Taron Vincent and wide receiver C.J. Saunders were among the players who did not play in Saturday's game due to injuries. Vincent was seen before the game with his right arm in a cast and sling, while Saunders – who was using a crutch to walk before last week's game – was seen with a compression sleeve on his injured leg but was walking on his own power.
- Borland, Young, Dobbins and Hill were Ohio State's game captains for the coin toss.
- Ohio State deployed two punt returners in Saturday's game, with Hill and Demario McCall both back deep simultaneously to field punts.
- Tyreke Smith recorded the first sack of his Ohio State career.
- Cincinnati safety Kyriq McDonald was down on the field for several minutes in the second quarter after suffering an apparent medical episode. McDonald could be seen convulsing from the press box, and his mother told ABC's Allison Williams that he has a history of seizures. The head coaches from both teams and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith were all out on the field to check on McDonald, who was eventually able to stand up with assistance. He was transported to the Ohio State University Hospital for further evaluation but was alert in Cincinnati's locker room, per ESPN.
- Attendance for Saturday's game at Ohio Stadium: 104,089.
- The 2019 class of Ohio State Athletics Hall of Famers, including former basketball coach Thad Matta and former Buckeye football stars A.J. Hawk and Mike Nugent, were honored on the field at halftime.
- Former Ohio State and current NBA players D'Angelo Russell and Evan Turner were also in attendance for Saturday's game.
- True freshman linebacker Cade Stover, who did not play in the season opener, saw his first playing time as a Buckeye in the fourth quarter. Fellow true freshman Steele Chambers made his debut at running back, carrying the ball twice for 16 yards. True freshman offensive lineman Dawand Jones made his debut on the Buckeyes' field goal block team. Gunnar Hoak made his Ohio State debut, as the third quarterback into the game after Fields and Chris Chugunov, late in the fourth quarter.
- Saturday's win was Ohio State's 42nd straight win against an in-state opponent, and the Buckeyes are now 184-48-15 all-time against in-state opponents.
- Saturday's shutout was Ohio State's first since its 56-0 win over Rutgers in 2017.
- Borland's interception was the first of his career.