3 takeaways from Ohio State's 63-10 thrashing of Western Kentucky
There were undoubtedly some murmurs at Ohio Stadium midway through the second quarter as Ohio State looked stuck in the mud for the 3rd week straight.
Western Kentucky had just scored to cut its deficit to 4 points, and it looked like we had a game on our hands.
Then Ohio State remembered it had players the Hilltoppers could only dream of.
Just 2 plays after Western Kentucky made it 14-10, Marvin Harrison split through a pair of Hilltopper defensive backs haplessly attempting to stop him for a 75-yard touchdown reception. From there, the rout was on.
Ohio State racked up 35 points and 294 yards in the second quarter en route to a 63-10 win over the Hilltoppers.
Kyle McCord looked like an Ohio State QB
McCord didn’t officially seal the deal as Ohio State’s starting quarterback until this week. And now that the pressure’s off, he looked a lot more like what we’ve come to expect from a Buckeye quarterback.
McCord made the most of his many weapons, hitting 19 of 23 passes for 318 yards and 3 touchdowns. He completed throws to 6 different targets.
After McCord looked rather ordinary against Indiana and Youngstown State, it was a welcome sight even if the opponent was only Western Kentucky.
Explosive plays are back
The Buckeyes were limited to a total of 11 plays of 20 yards or more against Indiana and Youngstown State. Perhaps not a reason to panic elsewhere, but it is in Columbus.
Ohio State got back to its regular formula against the Hilltoppers. The Buckeyes nearly matched their combined total from the first 2 games, breaking 9 gains of 20 yards or better.
Of those explosive plays, 4 resulted in touchdowns: Harrison’s 75-yard reception, Devin Brown’s 28-yard connection with Carnell Tate, plus a 21-yard TreVeyon Henderson run and a 40-yard Chip Trayanum run.
The defense remains untested
Western Kentucky’s 10 points are the most an opponent has scored against Ohio State this season. And sure, maybe that’s a given with this schedule so far.
But allowing an opponent to 60 total yards in the second half is still a feat, particularly against an offense with Western Kentucky’s explosive potential. The ‘Toppers came in averaging 46.5 yards per game.
On top of the stifling second half, the Buckeye defense added a pair of touchdowns on its own. Tyleik Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone, and Jermaine Matthews Jr. returned an interception 58 yards for a score. It was the first time Ohio State scored 2 defensive touchdowns in a game since beating TCU in 2018.