COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The No. 3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes are 2-0 after defeating the Arkansas State Red Wolves in Columbus on Saturday.
Head Coach Ryan Day spoke, and eventually some players themselves, about the team’s 45-12 performance at a press conference following the game, touting the team’s accomplishments while acknowledging its downfalls, like the Buckeyes’ nine penalties that he called “unacceptable.”
“What you don’t wanna do is take winning for granted and take a lot of really hard work and some good performances for granted either, but I know there’s gonna be a lot of things we gotta look at tomorrow that we’ll keep building on, keep growing on, make improvements,” Day said.
You can watch Day’s full comments in the video player above.
Below are live updates from the game:
Ohio State kicked off and forced a three and out on Arkansas State’s initial drive. The Buckeyes nearly got home on third down, forcing a hurried throw from quarterback James Blackman. The Red Wolves unleashed a 67-yard punt, pinning the Buckeyes at their own three-yard line.
A 41-yard run by TreVeyon Henderson to midfield set the Buckeyes up, and four plays later C.J. Stroud found Marvin Harrison Jr on a skinny post, connecting on a 42-yard scoring play. Ohio State went 96 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead with 4:56 gone.
OSU forced a three-and-out on Arkansas State’s second possession but gave the ball back after a leaping over the punt pile penalty by Tejada Mitchell, which negated a punt return touchdown by Emeka Egbuka. A questionable pass interference call against Denzel Burke on third down kept the drive alive, and Arkansas State converted another third down on a great sideline catch. The drive fizzled at the OSU 12, forcing the Red Wolves to settle for a 30 yard field goal Dominic Zvada with 5:56 left in the quarter. Arkansas State went 56 yards in 11 plays.
OSU got the next drive going when Stroud threw a perfect pass to Harrison Jr to give the Buckeyes a first down at the ASU 23-yard line, a 45-yard gain. The drive was capped by a nifty eight-yard TD burst by Henderson that put Ohio State up 14-3. The Buckeyes covered 75 yards in four plays.
The Buckeyes aggressive defense is making it difficult for Arkansas State to do anything intermediate or deep, and that aggression forced yet another three and out.
OSU tacked on a 24-yard Noah Ruggles field goal after a third-down toss to Harrison Jr was ruled incomplete, taking a 17-3 advantage one play into the stanza. OSU covered 71 yards in seven plays, helped by a nice 35-yard pitch and catch from Stroud to tight end Cade Stover and a late hit penalty on Arkansas State on first down.
Arkansas State hit a big play when Blackman found Champ Flemings on a 58-yard strike, Flemings getting free from Denzel Burke on a sneaky double move. That set up the Red Wolves first and 10 at the Ohio State 12, but a false start penalty pushed them back five yards. The Red Wolves kept going backward and had to settle for a 38-yard Zvada field goal, completing a 50 yard drive in five plays. OSU leads 17-6 with 13:33 left in the half.
Following an OSU punt, Arkansas State marched xx yards in xx plays, including converting on a fourth-and-1 from the OSU 30 when Flemings used a read option to pick up 15 yards. The drive bogged down after that and Arkansas State had to settle for another Zvada field goal, this one from 35 yards with 5:22 remaining before halftime.
Ohio State showed urgency before halftime, opening the next drive with a 25-yard run by Miyan Williams and finishing with a picture perfect strike from Stroud to Harrison Jr that covered 42 yards. The Buckeyes covered 75 yards in three plays and lead 24-9 with 4:24 left in the half.
Arkansas State went for it on fourth down late in the half and was denied when Michael Hall Jr corralled Blackman and got the ball back for the Buckeyes with under a minute left, but the Buckeyes were forced into a three and out. Jesse Mirco’s punt checked up at the one-yard-line, where Arkansas State was content to run out the half with a handoff.
OSU PASSING: Stroud 10-15, 204 yards, 2 TDs
ASU PASSING: Blackman 14-24, 155 yards
OSU RUSHING: Henderson 7-41, TD; Williams 5-41
ASU RUSHING: Flemings 2-20
OSU RECEIVING: Harrison 4-137, 2 TDs
ASU RECEIVING: Flemings 7-91
TOTAL YARDS: OSU 302, ASU 155
Ohio State opened the second half with a big 45-yard pitch and catch from Stroud to Emeka Egbuka, and capped a three-play, 75-yard drive with a 23-yard off tackle run by Henderson, his second score of the afternoon. Ohio State has had four scoring drives of 75 yards or more against Arkansas State today.
Linebacker Steele Chambers sacks Blackman on third and 8, forcing an Arkansas State punt on its first series of the second half. Ohio State takes over at its own 40 yard line.
The Buckeyes wasted little time denting the scoreboard again, covering 59 yards in two plays, the capper coming on a 51 yard catch and run by Egbuka. Stroud did a masterful job negotiating chaos around him and lofted a pretty throw over the defender and into the hands of the streaking Egbuka. Ohio State now leads 38-9 with 10:30 remaining in the quarter.
Both Harrison Jr (145) and Egbuka (118) have over 100 yards receiving.
Zvada connected on his fourth field goal of the day, this one from 45 yards, to make it 38-12 Ohio State. The Red Wolves traversed 43 yards in 10 plays.
Stroud completed what looked to be an impossible throw into a tight window, finding Harrison for his third score of the day from 30 yards out. It was Stroud’s fourth touchdown throw on an afternoon when he has completed 15-of-22 for 346 yards. OSU completed another 75 yard drive, on seven plays, and leads 45-12 as the quarter closed.
The regulars are still in despite Ohio State leading by 33 points with 11 minutes remaining in the game.
True freshman Caden Curry makes his presence felt, slamming running back Marcel Murray for a six yard loss and stopping quarterback AJ Meyer for a one yard gain on consecutive plays. The Buckeyes force a three and out. Curry is the only true freshman to see action on defense so far this season.
The starters have finally be relieved on offense, Kyle McCord has taken over at quarterback and true freshman Dallan Hayden has assumed running back duties.
Stroud finishes the afternoon 16-of-24 for 351 yards and four touchdowns, with a 14.6 Yards Per Completion clip.
The Buckeyes amassed 538 yards on 54 plays, a clip of 9.96 yards per play against the thoroughly overmatched Arkansas State crew. The Red Wolves had trouble putting together much offense, especially on the ground. Arkansas State averaged just 1.6 yards per carry. OSU is now 55-0 vs Group of Five teams since 2000.
“We did some good things today, but if we want to keep moving forward we have some things to clean up,” OSU coach Ryan Day said afterward.
Ohio State moves to 2-0 while Arkansas State falls to 1-1. The Buckeyes are home again next weekend against Toledo.
OHIO STATE PASSING: Stroud 16-24, 351, 4 TDs
ARKANSAS STATE PASSING: Blackman 20-34, 188 yards
OHIO STATE RUSHING: Henderson 10-87, 2 TDs; Williams 8-46
ARKANSAS STATE RUSHING: Flemings 2-20; Lang 12-19
OHIO STATE RECEIVING: Harrison Jr 7-184, 2 TDs; Egbuka 4-118, TD
ARKANSAS STATE RECEIVING: Flemings 10-105
TOTAL OFFENSE: Ohio State 538 yards, 370 passing, 168 rushing; Arkansas State 276 yards, 223 passing, 53 rushing
Watch: Quarterback C.J. Stroud talks about Ohio State’s win
Third-ranked Ohio State (1-0), fresh off of a convincing win over No. 8 Notre Dame, is back in action today, taking on Sun Belt conference member Arkansas State (1-0) at noon at Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes beat the Irish with defense, limiting Notre Dame to zero points and six punts in six second half possessions a week ago, and hope to have similar success against a Red Wolves team that tallied 58 points in an opening victory over Grambling.
While Ohio State isn’t overlooking Arkansas State, coach Ryan Day knows that his team has a decided talent advantage. The biggest challenge will be focusing on getting better.
“Once we walk through those doors and practice is over and we head up to victory meal, the game is done from the week before, no matter what happens, good, bad or indifferent,” Day said. “Because we have to move on because nothing we did last week matters. And it goes back to that term competitive stamina. Can we bring it every single week?”
“It’ll be a good challenge. They’re well coached and have good players.”
Ohio State could be without star wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who was injured in the first quarter against Notre Dame and finished with just two catches for three yards. Day has said he will not play until he is 100 percent and he is listed as a game-time decision for Saturday.