No. 3 Ohio State crushes Toledo


By Dillon Davis - [email protected]



Ohio State senior linebacker Steele Chambers (22) trips up Toledo sophomore running back Micah Kelly during Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State senior linebacker Steele Chambers (22) trips up Toledo sophomore running back Micah Kelly during Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium.


Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

Ohio State senior tight end Cade Stover hauls in a reception near the sideline while taking a hit from Toledo junior cornerback Chris McDonald during the first quarter of Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium.


Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

COLUMBUS — Prior to Saturday’s game, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day’s message to his team and the Buckeye faithful inside St. John Arena was simple —it’s time to start dominating.

Hours later, No. 3 Ohio State certainly did just that in one final tuneup before the start of conference play, laying a 77-21 beatdown on the Toledo Rockets inside Ohio Stadium.

Quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 367 yards and five touchdowns in just under three quarters of action, and the Ohio State offense wracked up 763 yards altogether to overwhelm an outgunned Toldeo defense. The offensive output was 13 yards shy of breaking the program’s single-game total yardage record 0f 776 yards, which was set in a win over Bowling Green in 2016.

Three different Buckeye receivers — Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, and Julian Fleming — each recorded two touchdowns, and Jayden Ballard also got in on the fun with a touchdown catch of his own.

In the absence of running back TreVeyon Henderson, who left the game early in the first half with an injury, Miyan Williams took over the primary ball-carrying duties and ran for 77 yards on 10 carries before being pulled as the game got out of hand.

True freshman running back Dallan Hayden was the biggest beneficiary of Henderson’s absence, and he made the most of his first significant opportunity. Hayden finished with 108 rushing yards on 17 carries to lead all rushers, and he also recorded the first touchdown of his young career.

Not much went right for Toldeo defensively, but quarterback Dequan Finn was a rare bright spot for the Rockets offensively on an otherwise forgetful night. Finn’s dual-threat ability burned Ohio State on more than a few occassions, and he accounted for all three of the Toldeo touchdowns while finishing with 223 total yards.

Ohio State got the scoring started early on their first drive, which covered 82 yards in eight plays. Stroud’s 38-yard completion to tight end Cade Stover moved the ball to the Toldeo 7-yard line, and Henderson capped off the drive a play later with a rushing touchdown for the 7-0 lead.

Toledo answered right back in a hurry, needing just four plays to level the score. Toledo’s Thomas Zsiros got behind the Ohio State secondary, and Finn connected with him for a 50-yard scoring strike less than five minutes into the game.

Despite Finn’s best efforts, however, Toledo simply wasn’t able to keep pace with the red-hot Ohio State offense, which scored touchdowns on its next three possessions to open up a 28-7 lead with 3:08 still to play in the opening quarter.

Stroud tossed a pair of touchdowns to Harrison and Fleming as part of the scoring blitz, and Egbuka added a rushing touchdown as the Buckeyes began to pull away from the Rockets.

Finn continued to do his best to keep Toledo in the game, evading Ohio State’s persistent pressure and making plays with his legs. His 23-yard scramble on third down kept Toledo’s drive alive to begin the second quarter, and eight plays later, he was racing into the end zone from 23 yards out to cut the Ohio State lead to 28-14.

The scoring barrage led by the Ohio State offense wouldn’t soon slow down, however, as the Toledo defense continued to get torched on nearly every snap. Stroud answered back with two more touchdown passes to Harrison and Fleming, who was playing in his first game of the season, to blow the game wide open as halftime approached.

Ohio State ran a total of 42 plays in the first half and tallied 25 first downs en route to a 42-14 advantage on the scoreboard at the break.

Safety Ronnie Hickman picked off Finn near midfield to end the opening drive of the second half, the first forced turnover of the season for the defense, and the Ohio State offense made quick work of the great field position.

Mitch Rossi’s 1-yard touchdown run finished off a four-play drive and increased Ohio State’s lead 49-14 early in the third quarter.

Finn had one last bit of play-making magic left in him midway through the third quarter. Facing a third down near midfield and needing to pick up 10 yards, Finn’s desperation heave was hauled in by Jerjuan Newton at the Ohio State 5. Newton evaded a defender as he fell into the end zone for a Toledo touchdown.

The game was far from in question, however, and Stroud added his fifth and final touchdown pass of the game on the ensuing drive for good measure before being pulled from the game.

Kyle McCord came on in relief and picked up right where Stroud left off, tossing his first touchdown pass of the season to cap off Ohio State’s scoring avalanche.

Following the game, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said of his team’s performance, “It didn’t come without its faults or flaws and issues. There are things we have to keep building on, but I thought offensively, we got into a good rhythm. I thought we finished things off in the red zone well. We were physical up front … There were a few things there we have to clean up going into conference play, but certainly, when you look at the scoreboard, we’re proud of what we did.”

Ohio State will begin Big Ten play next Saturday when they host Wisconsin (2-1) in Ohio Stadium. Kickoff for the game has been set for a prime time 7:30 kick that will be aired on ABC.

Ohio State senior linebacker Steele Chambers (22) trips up Toledo sophomore running back Micah Kelly during Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/09/web1_DSC_0020-2-1-2.jpgOhio State senior linebacker Steele Chambers (22) trips up Toledo sophomore running back Micah Kelly during Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium. Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

Ohio State senior tight end Cade Stover hauls in a reception near the sideline while taking a hit from Toledo junior cornerback Chris McDonald during the first quarter of Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/09/web1_DSC_0148-2.jpgOhio State senior tight end Cade Stover hauls in a reception near the sideline while taking a hit from Toledo junior cornerback Chris McDonald during the first quarter of Saturday’s game in Ohio Stadium. Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

By Dillon Davis

[email protected]

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.