Solid win pro­vides re­lief for Buck­eyes

The Columbus Dispatch - - Ohio State/ Army - By Bill Rabi­nowitz bra­bi­nowitz@dis­patch.com @brdis­patch

Ohio State en­dured a dif­fi­cult week wait­ing to rid it­self of the pain in­flicted by Ok­la­homa last week.

The Buck­eyes’ 38-7 vic­tory over Army at Ohio Sta­dium won’t wipe away all of the dis­ap­point­ment or stain from that loss.

Army is hardly a pow­er­house, af­ter all. The Black Knights’ triple-op­tion of­fense is un­like any­thing the Buck­eyes will face the rest of the sea­son. They sel­dom pass, prob­a­bly good news for an Ohio State de­fense that ranked last na­tion­ally in pass de­fense.

But for the Buck­eyes, jump­ing on Army early, with­stand­ing a 99-yard touch­down drive and then dom­i­nat­ing the sec­ond half was a needed salve for their psy­ches any­way.

“Be­ing hit in the mouth last week hum­bled a lot of us,” hy­brid re­ceiver Par­ris Camp­bell said of the 31-16 loss to vis­it­ing Ok­la­homa. “It’s not some­thing Ohio State ex­pects. We came back an an­gry of­fense and an an­gry team.”

And a mostly ef­fi­cient one. The Buck­eyes’ of­fense, the sub­ject of much crit­i­cism af­ter Ok­la­homa, gained 586 yards, 8.5 per play.

Fresh­man run­ning back J.K. Dob­bins ran for 172 yards in only 13 car­ries, in­clud­ing a 52-yard touch­down run that pro­vided some breath­ing room in the third quar­ter.

A solid run game is con­sid­ered a given for the Buck­eyes. Their pass­ing game has been the is­sue. On Satur­day, there were few com­plaints.

Quar­ter­back J.T. Bar­rett com­pleted 25 of 33 passes for 270 yards and two touch­downs and ran for another. He broke Pur­due’s Drew Brees’ Big Ten record for ca­reer touch­downs re­spon­si­ble for with 107.

Bar­rett said the aim this week was “play­ing fast, hav­ing the O-line con­trol the line of scrim­mage and me get­ting the ball into the hands of the play­mak­ers on the perime­ter.

“Last week, we were try­ing to be per­fect ev­ery sin­gle play. If you try to play foot­ball like that, a lot of times you’re not go­ing to get the re­sults.”

The game couldn’t have started much bet­ter for Ohio State. The Buck­eyes (2-1) took a 14-0 lead on touch­down drives of 75 and 94 yards to open the game. Bar­rett com­pleted 9 of 10 passes in those pos­ses­sions.

But Army’s of­fense got un­tracked on an 18-play, 99-yard touch­down drive start­ing late in the first quar­ter. The pos­ses­sion in­cluded a fourth-and-1 con­ver­sion from the Black Knights’ 39-yard line and a rare pass com­ple­tion. Army had com­pleted only 2 of 10 passes in its vic­to­ries over Ford­ham and Buf­falo.

“They just wear you out,” Ohio State coach Ur­ban Meyer said. “It was 14-7, and then our de­fense — coach Greg Schi­ano and the de­fen­sive staff — did a great job.”

Af­ter a 59-yard run by Camp­bell was called back be­cause of a hold­ing call, the Buck­eyes set­tled for a field goal for a 17-7 half­time lead.

Army (2-1) drove to the Ohio State 24 to open the third quar­ter, but the Black Knights missed a 43-yard field goal try. That was as close as Army would come to scor­ing the rest of the way.

“It’s the ul­ti­mate as­sign­ment foot­ball, do-your-job foot­ball,” said Ohio State safety Da­mon Webb, who had a key fourth-down tackle later in the game. “Ev­ery­body played un­selfish.”

Ohio State took con­trol from there. Dob­bins snapped off a 22-yard run and then ran through a big hole and cut in­side past de­fen­sive back Mike Reynolds for his 52-yard score to make it 24-7.

“J.K. is a one-of-a-kind player,” Camp­bell said.

Af­ter a fum­ble by Army was re­cov­ered by the Buck­eyes’ Ken­dall Sh­effield at the OSU 36, Ohio State used Bar­rett’s arm to end any sus­pense about the out­come. Bar­rett com­pleted passes of 11 and 31 yards be­fore throw­ing a 20-yard touch­down dart to Terry McLau­rin.

“The heart of a lion,” Meyer said of his quar­ter­back. “It's a heart this big. And tough­ness, one of the tough­est play­ers I've ever been around. That's pretty good char­ac­ter­is­tics to have with a guy touch­ing the ball ev­ery snap.”

Meyer was loose in his postgame com­ments. The week had worn on him and his team. This was re­lief.

“Los­ing is aw­ful,” he said. “But some­times those things hap­pen. You work re­ally hard not to al­low it to hap­pen, and you go through the dis­com­fort of be­ing crushed, to ex­tremely an­gry and self-re­flec­tion — what could you have done bet­ter? And then you have to some­how pull your­self off the can­vas and get go­ing.”

On Satur­day, they did.

[BROOKE LAVALLEY/DIS­PATCH]

Ohio State’s Par­ris Camp­bell is run out of bounds by Army’s Javhari Bour­deau. Camp­bell said the Buck­eyes were “an an­gry team” af­ter los­ing to Ok­la­homa last week.

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