Sept. 18, 2017
#10 Ohio State vs. UNLV
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, Noon ET
Ohio Stadium (104,955), Columbus, Ohio
Kevin Kugler (Play-By-Play)
Matt Millen (Analyst)
Lisa Byington (Sideline)
COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the second time in as many weeks, Ohio State welcomes an opponent to Ohio Stadium for the first time in series history, as UNLV makes the 2,000-mile trip to Columbus for a noon kickoff that can be seen live on BTN. The broadcast team will be Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), Matt Millen (analysis) and Lisa Byington (sideline play-by-play).
The Buckeyes put together one of their more complete performances last week, defeating Army 38-7 in front of a crowd of 108,414. Ohio State’s offense was balanced — to the tune of 270 yards on the ground and 316 through the air — while the Buckeyes’ defense held Army’s rushing attack to 158 yards under its season average.
On offense, two notable performances stood out against the Black Knights: senior QB J.T. Barrett accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and broke Drew Brees’ Big Ten record for total TDs accounted for. The senior, who is 28-5 as a starter, now has 107 in his 39- game career. In the backfield, freshman J.K. Dobbins had his second game of 150 or more yards as he racked up 172 yards on just 13 carries, including a 52-yard TD burst in the third quarter.
UNLV had its bye last weekend and comes in with a 1-1 record following its 44-16 win at Idaho on Sept. 9. The Rebels were upset by Howard, 43-40, in the season opener and is currently ranked No. 8 nationally in total offense (564 yards/game).
UNLV is one of 42 current FBS programs that Ohio State hasnever faced on the football field. The Rebels rank fourthnationally in rushing offense (350.5 yards/ game) and the Buckeyedefense is coming off a performance in which it held Army to nearly150 yards under its rushing average for the year. The crowd of108,414 was the seventh largest in Ohio Stadium history. It wasalso the third consecutive game that Ohio State’s attendance markwas one of the top-10 best in stadium history. With 270 yardsthrough the air and another 32 on the ground, J.T. Barrettsurpassed the 300-yard mark for total offense for the 16th time inhis 39-game career. The last time the Buckeyes faced a MountainWest opponent was in 2015 when they defeated Hawaii, 38-0. OhioState’s run defense has allowed just two rushing scores through thefirst 12 quarters of the season. Ohio State has been ranked in thetop 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll for 42 consecutiveweeks. The 19 passing yards allowed against Army is the lowestoutput by an opponent since Air Force threw for 11 yards in the1990 Holiday Bowl. A season prior, in 1989, the Buckeyes heldWisconsin to zero yards passing. Army possessed the ball nine timeslast Saturday and made just one trip to the red zone.
The Rebels started the season by getting upset by Howard, 43-40, but rebounded two weeks ago to knock off Idaho, 44-16, behind a 190-yard rushing effort from Lexington Thomas. Thomas scored three touchdowns and UNLV scored 24 points in the third quarter to build a 34-10 lead.
Thomas, who has gained 341 yards in just two games, leads a UNLV rushing attack that is ranked No. 4 nationally at 350.5 yards/game. All four players with at least 10 carries average better than 4.5 yards per attempt. At quarterback, Armani Rogers is 21-of-35 for 413 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 10 of his 16 passes at Idaho and has thrown just one interception thus far.
Defensively, the Rebels rank No. 90 in total defense, allowing an average of 415.0 yards per game. Four different players have double digit tackles, led by Bailey Laolagi (26 tackles, 0.5 TFL), Gabe McCoy (17 tackles, one sack), Brian Keyes (12 tackles, one TFL, one PBU) and Dalton Baker (10 tackles).