COLUMBUS, Ohio- No. 8 Ohio State got back to its winning ways Saturday afternoon, as the Buckeyes defeated Army West Point 38-7.
Facing a team that is known for its unique running attack, it was Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins that stole the show in the rushing game. Averaging 13.2 yards per carry, the freshman back recorded his first multi-touchdown game, rushing for 172 yards on 13 carries.
With a 11-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to Austin Mack, quarterback J.T. Barrett broke former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees for the most touchdowns responsible for in Big Ten history (107). Completing 75.8 percent of his passes, Barrett finished the day with 270 yards passing and three total touchdowns.
"I was so excited for him," Dobbins said. "It is just great to see guys do that. That is outstanding because you have guys like Drew Brees and all those legends and he broke the record."
It did not take long for the Buckeyes to get their first score of the game. Starting the game on offense, Ohio State went on an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a five-yard touchdown run by Barrett. He finished the game as the second leading rusher with 32 yards on seven carries.
Dobbins continued his success in the second drive. The freshman back scored a two-yard touchdown run to give Ohio State the 14-0 lead over the Black Knights.
At the end of the first quarter, the Black Knights did what they do best. Army West Point went on a 99-yard drive that ended in a three-yard touchdown run by Darnell Woolfork. Running 18 plays, the Black Knights’ offense kept the ball for over nine minutes after starting the drive with 1:03 left in the first quarter
Army West Point had 259 yards rushing on 58 carries. Woolfork led the Black Knights with 74 yards on the ground on 15 carries.
However, limiting the Black Knights offense to 4.5 yards per carry, the Ohio State defense did not allow for a single player to rush for over 100 yards in the 31-point win.
Leading the team with 12 tackles, including a tackle for loss, linebacker Tuf Borland felt as though the Ohio State defense had to be close to perfect in defending the triple option.
"They are very disciplined," Borland said. "You have to be in the right spots all the time. You have to have everything covered in every situation and I think we did a pretty good job."
Not known for a passing offense, Army West Point quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw threw for a season-high 19 yards, completing two passes on seven attempts.
After scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter, the Ohio State offense had only one drive in the entire second quarter. Ohio State kicker Sean Nuernberger nailed a 33-yard field goal with 3:06 left in the half to increase the Buckeyes lead to 17-7.
To start the second half, Army West Point went on an 11-play, 39-yard drive that lasted for over six minutes. However, after a combined tackle for loss from safeties Jordan Fuller and Damon Webb, Black Knights kicker Jake Ellington missed a 43-yard field goal.
Starting at the their own 26-yard line, the Buckeyes immediately answered the missed field goal with a two-play, 74 yard touchdown drive. Dobbins recorded his second touchdown of the day to increase Ohio State’s lead to 24-7.
With a 17-point deficit in the middle of the third quarter, Bradshaw fumbled the ball, which was recovered by cornerback Kendall Sheffield at the 42-yard line. Starting at his own 36-yard line, Barrett tied Brees' record with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin that gave Ohio State the 31-7 lead.
He was not done though. Barrett sealed the 38-7 victory with the 11-yard touchdown pass to Mack with 7:01 left in the game.
Army West Point head coach Jeff Monken felt as though his team played very well against what he considered as a really good football team.
"That was a talented, tough, physical football team," Monken said. "I'm incredibly proud of our team and the fact that we fought and put in tremendous effort all the way through."
Linebacker Jerome Baker said that coach Urban Meyer created an atmosphere that made the game against Army West Point feel like the season opener.
"That was his thing this week is the season just started this week," Baker said. "Win this weekend. Go 1-0."
Ohio State will complete its non-conference schedule on Sept. 23rd with a home game against UNLV.