COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — No. 10 Ohio State took it to Akron early and often as the Buckeyes rolled to a 59-7 win at home Saturday night. The Buckeyes got right on defense and saw what true freshman quarterback Kyle McCord is capable of with C.J. Stroud “resting” in the Buckeyes final non-conference game of the season.
Here are 3 takeaways from Ohio State’s win over the Zips.
Kyle McCord is more than capable at QB
Kyle McCord became just the fourth true freshman quarterback in Ohio State history to start a game as he filled in for C.J. Stroud who was resting to deal with a lingering shoulder injury.
McCord showed he is more than capable of playing at the college level after going 13-for-18 for 319 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Redshirt freshman Jack Miller III also made an appearance throwing eight passes for 66 yards.
McCord made one bad decision on his interception trying to throw off his front foot on the run but overthrew his target. Other than that play, McCord was efficient and benefitted from yet another dominating performance from the rushing attack. OSU played without center Harry Miller once again as well as starting left guard Thayer Munford but the Buckeyes size was way too much for the Zips to handle. The Buckeyes finished with 237 yards on the ground, including 93 yards and two touchdowns from TreVeyon Henderson in the first half alone.
Buckeyes pass rush figured it out
Part of Ohio State’s problem on the defense through the first three weeks has been an inability to pressure the quarterback. Ohio State had zero sacks against Oregon and no quarterback pressures against Tulsa in the first half with the second half not being much better.
But against Akron, Ohio State recorded eight sacks with several different players getting their first sack of the season, including injury-plagued Jerron Cage and Pickerington North grad Jack Sawyer.
The biggest question for the Buckeyes re-entering conference play is whether they can continue to build on the success they had against the Zips. Akron is a far smaller and less talented team than Rutgers, so keep an eye out for whether the Buckeyes can bother the QB when they travel to Piscataway next weekend.
Ohio State played without defensive ends Tyreke Smith and Javontae Jean-Baptiste and their availability next week is unknown.
K’Vaughan Pope storms off the field
In one of the more bizarre things that have happened at Ohio Stadium, Buckeyes senior linebacker K’Vaughan Pope was shown storming off the field on Big Ten Network in the second quarter.
Lettermen Row reporter Austin Ward reported Pope was told by coaches to leave the Ohio State sideline after becoming visibly upset for not getting to come on the field for a play.
The Big Ten Network showed Pope running up the Ohio State tunnel toward the locker room. Minutes later, Pope sent a vulgar tweet expressing his unhappiness with the team. He has since deleted the tweet but left a separate one up that reads “good lucc to my teammates.”
This is a developing story but it’s safe to say Pope will no longer be a member of the Ohio State football team moving forward.