COLUMBUS — Justin Fields only played one half of the game, but that was all that needed.
The Ohio State sophomore quarterback led the Buckeyes to 49 first-half points on Saturday in propelling Ohio State in its 76-5 win over Miami (Ohio).
Fields and the Buckeye offense got off to a slow start. He was sacked in the end zone on Ohio State’s first possession, giving Miami a safety on just the second play of the game for OSU. The Buckeyes then had to give the ball right back to the RedHawks.
Fields knew that he would face adversity at some point in a game, but he probably wasn’t expecting it right out of the gate. He quickly turned things around for the Buckeyes in the first half, however, accounting for six touchdowns over his two quarters of play.
“Coach always tells us that we’re going to eventually get punched in the face so it’s about how we responded,” Fields said. “I think we responded in a great way.”
In the second quarter alone, Fields had a 53-yard touchdown pass, a 30-yard touchdown pass, a 13-yard touchdown pass, a 10-yard touchdown pass, a 7-yard touchdown run, and a 6-yard touchdown run.
It was a fast and furious stretch for an Ohio State offense that felt very little opposition from the Miami defense.
The 53-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout KJ Hill was the longest pass of Fields’ OSU career. It was also the longest reception of Hill’s career.
“I think it was a pretty good stretch,” Fields said of the second quarter play. “I don’t know about the best stretch we’ve had. But it was a good stretch and I think we did a great job in the second quarter executing and doing our job.”
The fact that Fields wasn’t sure if it was the best stretch for the Buckeyes this year gives you an idea of just how critical he is of his play and the play of his offense.
Fields finished the day having completed 14 passes on 21 attempts for 223 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed nine times for 36 yards and two more touchdowns. His two rushing touchdowns and four passing touchdowns set a career high in touchdowns produced.
Fields connected with a number of receivers in the first half including Hill, senior Binjimen Victor, senior Austin Mack, sophomore Chris Olave, and freshman Garrett Wilson.
Fields also demonstrated his ability to throw the deep ball on Saturday with touchdowns of 53 and 30 yards, but he credits the guys down the field for making those plays.
“We have a lot of deep threats on the team. Seeing that executed in the game, it was great to see,” he said.
Graduate quarterbacks Chris Chugunov and Gunnar Hoak saw all of the game action in the second half. Fields was happy to watch the other quarterbacks on the field, but he still had some work to do.
“I don’t really have to coach those guys up at all,” Fields said. “But it’s really getting the whole offense, the whole second-, third-string offense energized and just kind of ready to go, because it’s late in the game, the game’s pretty much over. But just kind of getting those guys in getting reps, working on their craft, that’s what I try to do.”