While Ohio State defeated Tulsa by a three-touchdown margin, the Buckeyes played down to the winless Golden Hurricane.
Tulsa struck first with a field goal and only trailed 13-6 at the half.
Ohio State has been a second-half team this season, and that pattern continued on Saturday. TreVeyon Henderson scored a 48-yard touchdown to open the second half, and Ohio State was able to keep Tulsa at arm’s length.
The Golden Hurricane didn’t lay down, though, as two late touchdowns kept the game close. But C.J. Stroud delivered his only touchdown of the game to Garrett Wilson, and a pick-six drove the final nail in the coffin.
The final score was 41-20, though the game was still competitive with mere minutes remaining in the game.
Ohio State Plays Down to Tulsa in 41-20 Win
TreVeyon Henderson Makes Ohio State History
Henderson broke the Ohio State freshman record for rushing yards in a single game. The previous record was held by Eddie George, so whenever Henderson appears in the same sentence as the two-time Heisman Trophy winner, that’s an encouraging omen.
Henderson was Ohio State’s most powerful weapon against Tulsa, with runs of 54, 52, and 48 yards on the day. By the end of the game, he had 270 yards, which was third all-time in school history in a single game. He scored three of the Buckeyes’ four offensive touchdowns.
Ohio State’s “Improved” Defense
Ryan Day said that there would be changes on defense, but the defense looks more or less the same.
The good news is that they were not gouged on the ground. Tulsa had no C.J. Verdell-like performances against the Buckeyes rushing defense.
The bad news is that the passing game took the hit this week.
The boundary corners played well for Ohio State against Tulsa, just like they had all season. Freshman Denzel Burke almost had his first career interception, but the play was controversially overturned by the replay official. Cameron Martinez put the game on ice with a late interception too.
The middle of Ohio State’s defense was soft, and Davis Brin did a great job of finding the soft spots in the zones. He had 367 passing yards, largely taking chunks out of the middle.
As good as the defensive line should be, they gave Brin as much time as he needed. Despite all of the big names on the line, the only sack of the day went to Tyleik Williams.
For the third straight game, Ohio State gave up more than 400 yards of offense.
Passing Offense Stepped Back
Stroud and the passing offense took a step back this week.
Stroud, who had a Herculean game against Oregon, only had 185 passing yards, completing only 15 of his 25 passes.
Chris Olave didn’t have a catch for the first time since 2018. He had one drop in the second quarter on a ball that hit both of his hands. When it finally looked like he would have a reception, a holding call negated it.