College football: Ohio State plays complete game against Western Kentucky

A grade card on Ohio State’s 63-10 win over Western Kentucky:


OSU’s 63 points were the most it had scored since a 77-21 win over Toledo in the third game of last season. It rolled up 562 yards of total offense in what was by far the best game so far this season by the Buckeyes’ offensive unit.

The much doubted offensive line opened holes in the running game (6.2 yards per carry), protected quarterback Kyle McCord (1 sack) and helped convert half of the third down situations OSU faced.

McCord was 19 of 23 passing for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Ohio State rushed for 207 yards, led by TreVeyon Henderson with 88 yards on 11 carries. Marvin Harrison Jr. caught seven passes for 125 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown catch. Emeka Egbuka had two touchdown catches and tight end Cade Stover had a 40-yard reception and another one that picked up 20 yards.

OSU scored 28 points in the final eight minutes of the first half to put the game out of reach. Two of its touchdowns during that stretch came on one-play drives — Harrison’s 75-yard catch and a 40-yard run by Chip Trayanum.

The Buckeyes’ offensive revival was impressive but Western Kentucky has struggled on defense all season, including allowing 374 yards rushing against South Florida in its opener.


Ohio State’s defense held Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed to totals that were near career lows in a good game-long performance.

Reed, who led the nation in passing yards last season, was 21 of 37 for 207 yards and one touchdown. His 207 yards passing was his second-lowest total in his 17 games at Western Kentucky and Saturday’s game was only the third time in his WKU career that he didn’t throw for at least two touchdown passes.

Linebackers Tommy Eichenberg (10 tackles) and Steele Chambers (8 tackles) led the Buckeyes in stops. Chambers also had an interception.

OSU had two defensive scores — a fumble recovery in the end zone by defensive tackle Tyleik Williams and an interception and a 58-yard return by freshman defensive back Jermaine Matthews.

The absence of sacks by Ohio State’s defensive ends has been a much discussed subject recently. While the only defensive end to get a sack Saturday was back-up Mitchell Melton, starters J.T. Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer did get some pressure on Reed.

Ohio State forced four turnovers — two interceptions and two fumbles which it recovered.


The success of the offense and defense didn’t leave much to do for OSU’s special teams. Jesse Mirco punted only twice. Jayden Fielding was 9 for 9 on extra points. Western Kentucky returned one kickoff and did not try to return either of Mirco’s punts.


Ohio State needed a game like this to build confidence and momentum going into this Saturday night’s game at Notre Dame in a match-up of top ten teams.

Coach Ryan Day said Ohio State needed to take the next step and did that in the win over Western Kentucky. McCord called the win “probably our most complete game as an offense.”