Buckeyes bounce back from OU loss with win over Army
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Ohio State desperately needed some positive vibes after a deflating, demoralizing loss to Oklahoma at home a week ago. Overmatched Army was able to help out on Saturday.
True freshman J.K. Dobbins ran for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns as No. 8 Ohio State rebounded to rout the visitors from West Point 38-7.
J.T. Barrett, the target this week of critics who suggested he should be benched after the 31-16 loss to Oklahoma, was 25 for 33 for 270 yards and two touchdowns, albeit against a much less-talented defense.
Dobbins, who rushed for 181 yards in the season opener at Indiana, broke away for an electrifying 52-yard touchdown run to open the second half after romping for 22 yards on the previous play, extending Ohio State’s 17-7 halftime lead. The Buckeyes (2-1) then got touchdowns on two of their next three drives to pull away.
“He’s a perfect tailback,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “He’s the space player we need.”
Barrett looked sharper and the play calling was more diverse, as offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson had promised. The quarterback was especially slick on a drive in the third quarter when he hit tight end Marcus Baugh for 31 yards then, two plays later, threw a perfect 20-yard scoring strike on a post route to Terry McLaurin in the end zone.
That gave him 106 touchdowns responsible for in his career, tying him for the all-time Big Ten lead with Purdue’s Drew Brees. He broke the record on the next possession when he tossed a 9-yard scoring pass to Austin Mack.
“The heart of a lion,” Meyer said of Barrett. “He’s one of the toughest players I’ve ever been around, so that’s pretty good characteristics to have for the guy touching the ball every snap.”
Army’s triple-option threw off the Buckeyes at times and extended some drives, but OSU’s athletic defensive line kept it contained.
The outgunned Black Knights (2-1) compiled 278 offensive yards but didn’t score after a 3-yard Darnell Woolfolk touchdown run in the second quarter.