COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State overcame a sluggish offensive start, a lightning delay and a driving rainstorm in the second half to beat Tulsa 48-3 on Saturday night.
After piling up a school-record 776 yards of offense last week against Bowling Green, Ohio State (2-0) didn’t score an offensive touchdown against Tulsa until quarterback J.T. Barrett ran in from 11 yards with 9:42 left in the third quarter.
Ohio State’s defense stepped up in the first half as its offense floundered. The Buckeyes intercepted four of quarterback Dane Evans’ passes, including pick-sixes by safety Malik Hooker and cornerback Marshon Lattimore late in the first half.
”Our defense is playing so well right now,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. ”Obviously the challenge will come next week against a very good team (Oklahoma), and we’re going to jump on that one early and get ready to go.”
Tulsa managed only Redford Jones’ 37-yard field goal in the first quarter and was limited to 188 total yards on offense.
”We got some things going but just didn’t finish when we got in the red zone,” Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said. ”We just made too many crucial mistakes at bad times.”
Barrett was a pedestrian 14 for 22 for 149 yards and no touchdowns after throwing for six last week.
Weber gained 92 yards on 17 carries and scored his first touchdown as a Buckeye.
”I thought the best thing he did was he hit the hole hard, and he ran hard but he also hung onto that ball,” Meyer said. ”It was night and day compared to where he was a year ago.”
Lightning in the area extended halftime to about 70 minutes and driving rain fell throughout the second half, chasing away many of the 104,410 fans.
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane played tough against Barrett and the Ohio State offense in the first half, but Tulsa’s offense made too many mistakes to stay in the game.
OHIO STATE: Ohio State again flexed its defensive muscle and showed its secondary could be among the best in the country. The Buckeyes managed just 158 yards of offense in the first half against a four-touchdown underdog, but the harder the rain fell in the second half, the more they scored. They finished with 417 yards.
TULSA: A home game against FCS team North Carolina A&T next week.
OHIO STATE: The real season starts as the Buckeyes travel to Oklahoma to take on the No. 14 Sooners. Oklahoma slipped in the polls after an opening loss to Houston.