COLUMBUS — One of the famous graduates of Florida Atlantic University is comedian Carrot Top and for the first quarter of Ohio State’s 45-21 win in its football season opener on Saturday the Buckeyes turned the Owls into a comedy act, too.
No. 5 OSU scored touchdowns the first four times it had the ball and got those touchdowns without much resistance from Florida Atlantic’s defense to go up 28-0 eight minutes into the game.
In those eight minutes, everything Ohio State did was laudable and everything Florida Atlantic was laughably bad.
By the second half, Florida Atlantic put up a little more resistance. But by then it was too late, much too late.
It was a big day for Ohio State coach Ryan Day, who was following a legend, Urban Meyer, and got his first win as OSU’s full-time coach.
It was a big day for quarterback Justin Fields, who threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in his first time in a real game in an Ohio State uniform.
Fields completed 18 of 25 passes for 234 yards and threw his four TD passes to three different receivers.
Fields started the scoring with a 51-yard touchdown run in the first two minutes of the game without a Florida Atlantic defender putting a hand on him.
He followed that with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victory and a 29-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave, two plays on which fans in the first row were closer to the Ohio State receivers than anyone on Florida Atlantic’s defense was.
“We came out to a great start early on. We were kind of clicking on both sides of the ball. We hit a little lull there (when OSU went seven consecutive possessions without scoring), but overall it was a great start,” Day said.
Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin said, “If you play a top-five team like that, you have to do everything right just to have a chance.”
Day called his first game with full control of Ohio State’s football program “a very memorable experience.”
“The experience was unbelievable. It was awesome. Especially the start we came out to,” he said.
The Buckeyes were also dominant defensively early in the game. FAU had -14 yards total offense in the first half before outgaining OSU 242 yards to 189 in the last two quarters.
Day said he was happy with how the first-team defense played but was less pleased with how the second-team defense performed.
Defensive end Chase Young, who had 1 ½ of Ohio State’s four sacks, said, “I thought we played pretty good, we started off fast. We’ve got to get some of the young guys going but that’s going to take time.
“I felt real good today, the whole defense felt real good. I think we can be real good. I really excited about how we looked today,” he said.
Cornerback Damon Arnette is looking for improvement by the defense, too.
“We played all right. As a whole we should finish better,” he said. “We just need to go out there and dominate every play. I think maybe because of the first game and the lead we got at ease. We all need to understand it’s a battle every snap.”
The next test for Ohio State will be a match-up against Cincinnati on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.