Columbus, Ohio —The No.4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 63-10 on Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 100, 217. The Buckeyes scored 35 points in the second quarter and their defense scored two touchdowns in the second half.
Kyle McCord threw for three touchdowns and 318 yards. TreVeyon Henderson led the rushing attack with 88 of OSU’s 204 yards. McCord’s 75-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Harrison Jr. was the first play from scrimmage after Western Kentucky had pulled to within four points
The Buckeyes put together the team’s most complete performance so far in 2023, dominating the Hilltoppers in every facet of the game.
After two wins to begin the year, the Scarlet and Gray recognized room for improvement in the team’s play before the competition gets more difficult. Ohio State showed there was a different level against the Hilltoppers, putting up 562 yards of total offense while holding a talented Western Kentucky offense to just 284 yards.
Henderson, also had two rushing touchdowns on 13 carries, with most of that work coming in the first half. The running back also caught a pass for 27 yards.
Multiple players had their impact felt in the big win, but the Buckeyes named three players of the game on Sunday.
“Yeah, we needed to take the next step. We know we’re about to jump into the middle of the season. We know we have to go on the road next week. It was a good week of work. It started Sunday. Tuesday was a really physical day, Wednesday was a great day, Thursday we kept going at them. It was all week because we knew we had to turn this up and we needed to built some momentum going into next week. I think you saw our team play like that today and that’s what it’s going to be moving forward.” OSU coach Ryan Day said.
OSU (3-0) had a 21-10 lead when Chip Travanum sprinted for a 40-yard score on the first play of their next series to extend the lead to 28-10.
The last time OSU scored five TDs in a quarter was Sept. 21, 2013, vs. Florida A&M.
It was a much-needed performance for the Buckeyes heading into their showdown at No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday.
Western Kentucky was able to move the ball on its first three drives of the game but couldn’t get anything going for the rest of the contest after the Buckeyes made a few adjustments on defense.
“We came here to try to win, we played on the edge, we did all we could do to try to go out there and give ourselves a chance, and good football teams don’t allow you to do that,” Western Kentucky coach Tyson Helton said.
Harrison had four of his five catches and 118 of his 126 yards in the first half. The Hilltoppers had a difficult time covering him in the half.
WKU quarterback Austin Reed threw for 589 yards and six touchdowns in his first two contests, was 21 for 37 for 207 yards with the TD and an pick before being yanked in the fourth quarter.
“We wanted to build momentum into next week and everything was turned up in a big way so we need to get back to work,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “Notre Dame starts now. Usually, we start on Sunday. We’re starting to prepare tonight.”
Devin Brown replaced McCord with 1:00 left in the third quarter and threw a 28-yard touchdown to Carnell Tate to up the score to 56-10.
“We weren’t looking past Western Kentucky by any means, but we know this one (Notre Dame) is the big one,” Ohio State receive Emeka Egbuka said. “So, we’re gonna celebrate this one, but we’re all laser focused on the next one and we’ll be ready to play the game.
“We love matchup games. That’s why you come to Ohio State, to play Notre Dame in South Bend.”
Western Kentucky: Plays at Troy on Saturday afternoon.
Ohio State: Faces No. 9 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, in a Saturday night prime time game.