It's fair to say the Ohio State offense earned an incomplete grade Saturday afternoon against…
OSU Efficient In Season-Opening Win
The Buckeyes rolled up 417 total yards of offense and allowed Jim Tressel's old team only 176 in scoring their 29th consecutive victory in a home opener.
"I thought we played against a tough football team," Tressel said after the game. "I felt we did some good things. Probably the thing that is most positive is that we will have the opportunity to study some real game footage. We'll find out a lot more about ourselves, and it's a huge opportunity to take another step next week."
Todd Boeckman made his debut as OSU starting quarterback and the 6-5, 243-pound junior was an efficient 17 for 23 in the passing department for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
"I thought Todd did a lot of good things," Tressel said. "I know there are a lot of things we need to get better with. But I thought he had command. I thought his performance was solid. I'm not ready to say it was a winning performance because those are hard to get around here, but I thought he did a good job."
Although the Buckeyes were expected to pound the Penguins with the running game, 270 of their 417 total yards came through the air. Junior wide receiver Brian Robiskie had nine receptions for 153 yards, both career-highs.
Behind Robiskie was junior tailback Maurice Wells, who had three catches for 23 yards, while sophomore Brian Hartline had two catches for 22 yards. First-year freshmen Dane Sanzenbacher and Taurian Washington each had touchdown catches as nine different Buckeyes caught at least one pass.
The running game was a three-headed attack with sophomore Chris Wells, Mo Wells and freshman Brandon Saine combining for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries.
The Buckeyes used a variety of offensive sets and got a lot of players into the game. Both backup quarterbacks – Robby Schoenhoft and Antonio Henton – saw action, and Henton connected with Washington for a 37-yard touchdown. It was the first scoring pass of Henton's career.
Additionally, eight true freshmen made their college debuts – defensive backs Eugene Clifford, Brian Rolle and James Scott, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, receivers Devon Torrence and Taurian Washington, Sanzenbacher and Saine.
The only blotch on an otherwise perfect afternoon was the loss of defensive end Lawrence Wilson. He suffered a broken right leg in the first half and is expected to be sidelined a minimum of six to eight weeks.
On defense, the Buckeyes rotated freely with 25 different players being credited with at least one tackle. Backup middle linebacker Austin Spitler, starting MLB James Laurinaitis and safety Anderson Russell each had seven tackles. Spitler also had a sack as did Wilson before he went out of the game.
The Buckeyes got things going just 9:36 into the game when Boeckman hit Sanzenbacher with a 3-yard touchdown pass. Ryan Pretorius added the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
Chris Wells added a 1-yard score at the 14:57 mark of the second quarter before Youngstown State got on the board with a 21-yard field goal. Saine bulled into the end zone from the 1 with 34 seconds left in the half, giving the Buckeyes a 21-3 edge heading into halftime.
Pretorius tacked on a 24-yard field goal with 9:41 remaining in the third period and then YSU kicker Stephen Blose kicked a 41-yarder at the 6:44 mark, making it 24-6. OSU then closed out the scoring in the fourth period with a 1-yard pass from Boeckman from senior fullback Trever Robinson and the hookup between Henton and Washington.
The Buckeyes (1-0) entertain instate rival Akron next Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon Eastern.
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