COLUMBUS, Ohio — It included a few anxious moments, but Ohio State pulled away from Army for a 38-7 victory at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
Here are five things we learned as the Buckeyes raced past the Black Knights in the second half.
J.K. Dobbins is pretty good
Ohio State’s freshman running back sure can play. J.K. Dobbins turned in another phenomenal performance, jump-starting the offense in the second half with a couple huge runs. He finished with 13 carries for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns.
His presence has helped the Buckeyes handle Mike Weber’s absence with little to no dropoff. At this point it could be his job even if Weber soon returns to health. Dobbins is too good to keep off the field, and his vision and cuts give a dynamic aspect to the Ohio State offense.
J.T. Barrett has had quite a career
Quarterback J.T. Barrett is now the Big Ten record-holder for total touchdowns, passing former Purdue QB Drew Brees in the fourth quarter with a TD pass to Austin Mack. Barrett tied the mark on a touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin.
Barrett has his critics, but there’s no denying the impact he’s made during his Ohio State career. He has the spot in the record book to prove it.
That’s more like it
The Ohio State offense looked more like some imagined it would when coordinator Kevin Wilson took over. The first two drives featured noticeable improvement in tempo and run-pass options, and the Buckeyes quickly cut through the Army defense to make it 14-0.
The deep ball still needs work
That being said, there are still some things the Buckeyes need to work on. Ohio State attempted 2 deep passes and both fell incomplete. On the first, Barrett overthrew Parris Campbell by about 5 yards. The second, though, probably should have been caught by Terry McLaurin. The sideline throw was defended well by Army, however.
It still says something that the Buckeyes only attempted a pair of deep throws, but Army’s ball-control offense didn’t give them too many opportunities for much of the first three quarters.
This is a win Ohio State will take
Service academy games are not fun to play, as Michigan could attest after some struggles against Air Force. It was 17-7 at halftime with Army getting the ball and driving to start the second half, but the defense buckled down and the offense got to work. The end result was a mostly satisfying 31-point win for Ohio State.