ARLINGTON, Tex. – Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones said even when things looked bad, even when Saturday night’s game against Texas Christian University was trending the Horned Frogs’ way, OSU remained confident.
Even when the Buckeyes found themselves down 14-13 at halftime and then 21-13 early in the third quarter of what eventually become a 40-28 win over TCU, they believed the game wouldn’t end that way.
“We all told each other (at halftime) this game is not over, we’re only down by a point. That was the worst half of football we’ve played this season. We knew we could come out of there with a victory. We trusted each other, we trusted our acting coach (Ryan Day) to lead us to victory,” Jones said.
“We looked each other in the eye and said there’s a lot of ball to play,” he said.
Jones played a big role in Ohio State’s turnaround. He had six tackles, a sack, two tackles for losses and intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown during a game-changing four minutes in the third quarter in which Ohio State scored three touchdowns to go from eight points down at 21-13 to a 33-21 lead.
“It’s all about the game momentum. Once we found it, we hung on to it and didn’t let it go,” he said.
Ohio State’s three scores in its four-minute outburst came on a 63-yard touchdown pass to Parris Campbell from Dwayne Haskins, Jones’ interception, which he took back 28 yards for a score, and a 24-yard pass from Haskins to K.J. Hill two plays after a blocked punt.
They also came after defensive end Nick Bosa was forced out of the game with a leg injury early in the second half. He went to the locker room and returned in street clothes later in the second half.
“We lost Nick. It was a little bit of a wake-up call because we lost our best guy,” Jones said. “We had to go out there and play. We had to rely on ourselves and after a hard first half I think we did.”
Haskins struggled a bit early in the game and wasn’t helped by several drops by his receivers. But he finished the game 24 of 38 for 344 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another TD against a defense that was several steps up from what he saw against Oregon State and Rutgers the first two games of the season.
“They’re a really great defense,” the sophomore quarterback said about TCU. “But I go against the best defense in the country every day in practice. Being able to get used to those rush men coming every day you’re used to it. But that’s a great defense at TCU.
“We got punched in the mouth. It’s a fight and you’re going to get punched. But you’ve still got to be able to rebound and we did,” Haskins said.
Linebacker Malik Harrison said TCU’s speed was something different from what Ohio State had seen
in its first two games.
“The last two teams we played didn’t have a lot speed. We just had to adjust to it,” he said.