Ohio State and dominate go together vs. Cincinnati


By Jim Naveau - jnaveau@limanews.com



A grade card on Ohio State’s 42-0 domination of Cincinnati:

OFFENSE: A

Justin Fields deservedly is getting a lot of attention after a second straight game of doing exactly what you would expect a 5-star quarterback to do. The redshirt freshman completed 20 of 25 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for two touchdowns. In two games, Fields has completed 76 percent of his passes without an interception and has six passing touchdowns and three touchdowns rushing. It makes you wonder how Ryan Day could say there was a competition for the starting quarterback job without laughing.

J.K. Dobbins got outside more than he had in the opener against Florida Atlantic and found running room. His 60-yard touchdown run was his longest since a 77-yarder against Wisconsin in 2017. He also had a 24-yard run. He finished with 141 yards on 17 carries. Master Teague looked like he could be a nice change of pace back-up to Dobbins with 60 yards on 11 carries.

Ohio State’s offensive linemen all were named “champions” after the Florida Atlantic game and probably deserve similar honors again this week. Cincinnati sacked Fields only once on a coverage sack and the Buckeyes averaged 5.9 yards per running play. OSU did fail to convert on fourth down and less than a yard to go in the first quarter, though, when UC defensive end Michael Pitts went unblocked and dropped Fields for a loss.

DEFENSE: A

Chase Young’s block of Sam Crosa’s field goal attempt early in the second quarter was a game changer. OSU had scored on only one of its first three series and if Crosa, a Dublin Scioto graduate, had made the kick it would have been 7-3 and Cincinnati might have felt some momentum was moving its way. But in the four minutes after Young’s block Ohio State scored two touchdowns for a 21-0 lead and any chance of Cincinnati making it a competitive game disappeared.

Ohio State’s defense silenced Cincinnati’s two biggest offensive threats, running back Michael Warren and quarterback Desmond Ridder. Warren, who gained 1,329 yards last season and had 92 against UCLA in the Bearcats’ opener, was held to 15 yards on 10 carries. Ridder was 13 of 20 for 166 yards, 46 of which came on one pass in the fourth quarter long after the game was decided.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

Drue Chrisman’s punt being downed by Chris Olave at Cincinnati’s 1-yard line when the game was scoreless early set up OSU’s first touchdown. After two runs for a total of two yards and an incompletion, UC had to punt and Ohio State got the ball at the Bearcats’ 41-yard line. Four plays later Fields ran for Ohio State’s first touchdown for the second game in a row.

OVERALL: A

It was a balanced win for Ohio State — good offense, good defense, 270 yards rushing and 238 yards

passing. The Buckeyes even got a little luck when Cincinnati fumbled into the end zone to preserve the shutout.

By Jim Naveau

jnaveau@limanews.com