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UNH’s Day leads Ohio State to season-opening rout

  • Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin is lifted in celebration by teammate Jaylen Harris after scoring a touchdown against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Ohio State defensive back Jeffrey Okudah, left, knocks the ball away from Oregon State wide receiver Timmy Hernandez during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Ohio State running back Mike Weber scores a touchdown against Oregon State during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Oregon State 77-31. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins throws a pass against Oregon State during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Oregon State 77-31. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day signals to his team against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith paces the sideline against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Ohio State running back Mike Weber, left, scores a touchdown against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day watches warm-ups before the start of their NCAA college football game against Oregon State Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Oregon State quarterback Conor Blount throws a pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins throws a pass against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) Jay LaPrete

  • Former University of New Hampshire quarterback Ryan Day, the acting head coach at Ohio State, walks the sideline on Saturday. Day and the Buckeyes beat Oregon State, 77-31. AP


Associated Press
Saturday, September 01, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With former University of New Hampshire player and coach Ryan Day filling in for suspended coach Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s new starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. threw for a record five touchdowns as the No. 5 Buckeyes Ohio State routed Oregon State 77-31 in the opener for both teams Saturday.

After a preseason fraught with drama, the Buckeyes scored on five of their first six possessions. The strong start didn’t come as a surprise to Day, a Manchester native who played quarterback at UNH and started his coaching career in Durham as the Wildcats tight ends coach.

“There was a quiet confidence about this team all along,” said Day, who is also Ohio State’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Haskins, who took the keys from four-year starter J.T. Barrett, was 22 for 30 for 313 yards. The five touchdowns and yards gained are records for a first-time Ohio State starter. Mike Weber rushed 20 times for 186 yards and three touchdowns for the Buckeyes.

Oregon State quarterback Conor Blount found some holes in the Ohio State defense, throwing for 169 yards and two touchdowns, but he also was sacked five times in the first half, twice by All-American defensive end Nick Bosa. Running back Artavis Pierce ran for two long touchdowns in the second half.

“There’s lots of things to learn from, and be encouraged by,” Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith said. “We were in position to make some plays, we didn’t tackle all that well.”

Meyer will be allowed to return to Ohio State practice on Monday, although his suspension by the university will last for two more games. He was sanctioned after an investigation showed he mismanaged former assistant Zach Smith, who was accused of domestic violence and other bad behavior. The scandal has dogged the program for the past month.

The takeaway

Oregon State: Showed some fight and big-play ability, particularly on the two Blount-to-Tevon Bradford touchdown throws and Pierce scoring runs. But the Beavers made too many mistakes and couldn’t slow down Ohio State’s more talented offensive players.

Ohio State: Shook off all the disruptive off-the-field events of the preseason, scored a lot early and did what it was expected to do, albeit with some holes in the defense. The Buckeyes have another tune-up game next weekend before getting a test against TCU in Dallas in two weeks. Haskins looks like the real deal.

Up next

Oregon State: Beavers host Southern Utah in home opener on Saturday.

Ohio State: Buckeyes will be big favorites again when they host Rutgers on Saturday.