Ohio State blitzes Oregon State in first game without Urban Meyer

Ohio State easily dispatched Oregon State 77-31 on Saturday in interim coach Ryan Day’s first game.

Day, the team’s offensive coordinator, is coaching in place of the suspended Urban Meyer. Meyer can officially return from his suspension this week but can’t coach the team’s next two games even though he can be involved with practices.

Dwayne Haskins impressive in first start

Haskins, taking over for longtime starter J.T. Barrett, threw for five touchdowns. He threw for 313 yards and became the first Ohio State quarterback to throw for five touchdowns and over 300 yards in his first start with the Buckeyes.

Haskins connected with Terry McLaurin four times for 121 yards and two scores. Running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins continued their timeshare and it worked well. Dobbins had 15 carries for 74 yards while Weber exploded for 186 yards and three scores on 20 carries.

Haskins did throw an interception, but that’s a minor quibble. He completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and averaged over 10 yards an attempt. That’s an A+ debut when it comes against a Power Five team.

Dwayne Haskins threw for five TDs on Saturday. (Getty)
Dwayne Haskins threw for five TDs on Saturday. (Getty)

Defense alternated between great and not-so-great

Ohio State’s defensive line is one of the best in the country. And it showed at times, especially in the first half before the game was out of reach. Nick Bosa recovered a fumble in the end zone and Oregon State’s running game was largely held in check outside of an 80-yard run by Artavis Pierce.

But that 80-yard run was one of a few big plays that the defense gave up. Yeah, Oregon State should be better than the 1-11 team it was a year ago, but the Ohio State defense shouldn’t have had that many hiccups.

It’s minor cause for concern, however. The Buckeye defense should get better as the season goes on and it’s still breaking in new players in the secondary. There’s no reason to believe Ohio State should struggle against Rutgers in Week 2. The test will be in the final game before Meyer returns. That’s a Week 3 matchup against TCU, which easily took care of Southern on Saturday.

Only drama involved the weather

The game was halted at halftime for over an hour because of a heavy thunderstorm that hit the Columbus area. The halftime score was 42-14 when the storm hit, so the second half was simply a matter of Ohio State keeping its advantage. While Oregon State outscored Ohio State 17-14 in the third quarter, the Buckeyes salted the game away with 21 straight points in the fourth.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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