Shaken, Rattled and Rolled
By Rob Ogden
Getting the start at quarterback for the second-consecutive week in Braxton Miller's absence, Kenny Guiton threw a school-record six touchdowns passes, though one would have been enough.
With Big Ten play a week away, Ohio State beat FCS foe Florida A&M 76-0 to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 16 games.
For the fourth time in four games this season, the Buckeyes (4-0) came out fast, this time leading 34-0 by the end of the first quarter.
With almost all of his work coming in the first half, Guiton completed 24-of-36 passing attempts for 215 yards and the six scores. The previous record of five was most recently set by Bobby Hoying in a 1995 win against Pittsburgh, nearly 18 years ago to the day.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Guiton said he figured he would get the start again after taking the first-team reps in practice all week.
"It's a lot of fun," Guiton said. "It's a blessing. I Thank the o-lineman, I had all day to throw. I thank the coaches for the trust they put in me and I trust the receivers and they made plays."
In the days leading up to the game, Meyer called Miller a game-time decision. He said he was hoping to get the junior some snaps before next week's game against Wisconsin.
"I wanted him to play," Meyer said. "Braxton felt like he couldn't go. He tried really hard. Those injuries are tough."
Miller hasn't played a snap since spraining his left knee in the Buckeyes' Sept. 7 win over San Diego State. But center Corey Linsley said he's not worried about Miller showing any rust next week against the Badgers.
"Nah, he's good. He's ready to go," he said.
Meyer made it clear there's no quarterback controversy.
"(Miller) is our starting quarterback," he said. "Our backup has earned some time… I'm going to see how we practice this week, but Braxton is our starting quarterback."
Guiton threw an interception in the end zone of the first drive of the game, but immediately got the ball back when Jordan Hall recovered a fumble on the return. A play later, Hall scored from three yards out for his first touchdown of the day.
After carrying the ball 31 times last week against California, Hall had only four carries in limited action on Saturday. He did manage to find the end zone twice, extending his nation-leading touchdown total to eight.
Carlos Hyde (34) and Jordan Hall
Photo by Jim Davidson
Some of those carries were likely lost to Carlos Hyde, who played for the first time this season after serving a three-game suspension to start the year. Hyde's debut was anticipated seemingly more than the game itself. He didn't disappoint in limited action. The senior ran for 41 yards on five carries, and showcased his power against a few ill-fated Florida A&M defenders.
Linsley said Hyde was thrilled to get back on the field.
"We saw the look on his eyes before the game, he was real excited to get back in with us," Linsley said.
Freshman Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers as he racked up 162 yards and two scores on 14 carries in mop-up time.
Elliott wasn't the only reserve to get substantial playing time. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cardale Jones played almost the entire second half, though he didn't attempt a single pass. He finished with 56 rushing yards on eight attempts.
Evan Spencer and Jeff Heuerman combined to catch three of Gution's six touchdown passes. Meyer said leading up to the game that he wanted to get both Spencer and Heuerman more involved in the offense. The pair led all receivers with four receptions a piece, a career-best for both.
Ohio State out gained the Rattlers 603-80, and picked up 34 first downs compared to only two for Florida A&M.
The Rattlers (1-3) ran only 39 plays on offense. It was a stark contrast for the Buckeye defense after facing 90 plays last weekend at Cal.
It was the first shutout for the Ohio State defense since beating Akron 42-0 in the opening week of the 2011 season.
"As a defense, we shut them out and that was our goal," junior cornerback Bradley Roby said. "It's always a good feeling leaving the game with a goose egg."
The 76 points scored by Ohio State tied for the sixth most in program history, and are the most since an 83-21 victory against Iowa in 1950.
The 76-0 final marks the worst loss in more than 100 years of Florida A&M football.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.