No. 5 Ohio State (1-0) scored 28 first-quarter points on its way to a 45-21 win over Florida Atlantic (0-1) in the season opener for both schools Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
Justin Fields, a sophomore transfer quarterback from Georgia, threw for four touchdowns and ran for another score in his Ohio State debut. He completed 18-of-25 passes for 234 yards. Eight Buckeyes caught at least one pass with Chris Olave (5 rec.) and Jeremy Ruckert (4) leading the way. Two of Ruckert’s catches were for scores.
Ohio State built a 28-0 first-quarter lead behind three touchdown passes and a rushing score by sophomore quarterback Justin Fields. The Buckeyes had 220 yards of total offense over the first 15 minutes while Florida Atlantic was held to -4 yards.
Fields completed 7-of-9 passes for 115 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 54 yards and one score.
That didn’t take long…
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 31, 2019
After a first quarter dominated by the Ohio State offense, the second quarter featured defense by both teams. Neither the Buckeyes nor the Owls found the endzone in the second quarter.
Ohio State’s six drives resulted in three punts and two fumbles. The second half ended while Ohio State had the ball in its own territory. FAU punted four times in the quarter.
The Buckeyes’ second fumble of the half gave the Owls starting field position at the Ohio State 25 late in the quarter. FAU drove to the OSU 10 before settling for a 28-yard field goal.
Ohio State’s defense did not allow a positive yard in the half. FAU had -14 yards of offense. The Buckeyes had 11 tackles for loss over the first 30 minutes, resulting in losses of 61 yards. Ohio State had four first-half sacks for losses of 43 yards.
Florida Atlantic started the second half with the ball. The Owls came out throwing, driving to the Ohio State 10 before kicking a 28-yard field goal to make it 28-6 Buckeyes.
Ohio State scored for the fifth time in the game on a 3-yard TD pass to Jeremy Ruckert with 2:37 left in the quarter. The score put the Buckeyes up 35-6. The scoring drive covered 52 yards on 10 plays (3:27). It was the fourth touchdown pass for Fields and it was Ruckert’s second scoring catch of the game.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) August 31, 2019
The Buckeyes recorded 12 tackles-for-loss (-64) and four sacks resulting in losses of 43 yards. The Owls managed 228 total yards of offense while the Buckeyes gained 469. Seven Buckeyes recorded at least four tackles, led by free safety Jordan Fuller with seven. Linebacker Malik Harrison and defensive end Jashon Cornell each had a pair of tackles-for-loss.
J.K. Dobbins ran for 91 yards on 21 carries with one score to lead the Buckeyes on the ground.
The win was the fourth for Ryan Day, head coach of the Buckeyes, who posted a 3-0 record a year ago as interim head coach.
Since 1922, Ohio State is 444-112-20 all time in Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes are back home next week for an intrastate battle with Cincinnati (1-0). That game kicks at noon on ABC.