Ohio State (1-0) had little trouble with Jim Tressel's former (and future) school, but a foot injury suffered by preseason Heisman candidate Beanie Wells dampened the postgame mood among the Buckeyes. In the third quarter, Wells crumpled to the ground and fumbled. He was helped off the field and did not return to the game.
Wells spent the rest of the afternoon with a walking boot on his right foot. Tressel told reporters X-rays were negative on the foot. Wells was unable to comment after the game because he was having his foot looked at by doctors.
"I was in shock," said tailback Boom Herron, who replaced Wells as the top tailback. "I was just praying that he was OK. Me and Beanie, we're like best friends. I was just hoping that he's OK."
"It was like I went down again," said defensive end Lawrence Wilson, who missed the 2007 season because of a broken leg suffered against YSU and helped Wells off the field a year later. "I was scared. I wasn't in the game but I snuck out there and I saw he was all tore up. I was like, ‘Aww, man.' I felt terrible. I felt really bad. Hopefully he'll bounce back and everything."
At the time of the injury, the Buckeyes held a commanding 26-0 lead over the Penguins, and Tressel defended his choice to have Wells in the game despite the score.
"When was that?" Tressel asked. "That was early in the third quarter, wasn't it? We were out there playing all of our guys throughout the course of the game until a little bit later, but I don't know how many carries he ended up, but he's the kind of guy that we want him to be a 20- to 30-carry guy. I don't know what he got, but I don't know that he was overused or anything."
Wells finished with 13 carries for 111 yards and a 43-yard touchdown on Ohio State's first offensive possession.
Ryan Pretorius added four field goals on boots of 28, 31, 26 and 50, while Todd Boeckman threw touchdown passes to Brian Robiskie and DeVier Posey in the rout. Freshman Terrelle Pryor made his collegiate debut in the rout, completing 4 of 6 passes for 35 yards. He also ran for an 18-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Wells' status was undetermined with two weeks left before a showdown with No. 3 USC in Los Angeles.
2003: No. 2 Ohio State 28, No. 17 Washington 9: Craig Krenzel made his first game after winning a national championship a special one as Ohio Stadium celebrated the 2002 title in style.
The senior quarterback ran for two touchdowns and accounted for 230 yards of offense in a 28-9 win over the Huskies in a primetime game at an energetic Ohio Stadium. It was the Buckeyes first game since defeating Miami (Fla.) in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl for the national title.
"It's always special to come and play – especially the first game – under the lights against a great team," said Maurice Hall, who also added a touchdown run. "It's just electrifying. The fans are excited and that just makes us excited."
Ohio State (1-0) had little trouble moving the ball on the Huskies. The Buckeyes cruised to a 21-0 first half lead, thanks in part to Krenzel's two touchdown runs. Hall got the scoring started with a 2-yard run that capped off an eight-play, 72 yard drive on the Buckeyes' second possession. Krenzel added a second first-quarter touchdown on a 23-yard run, and he later added an 11-yard score that capped a six-play, 25-yard drive with 11 seconds left before halftime.
"We feel good about how hard our guys played tonight," Tressel said. "I thought they've done a good job preparing. Really ever since we got back in January they've really put their nose to the grindstone and had a passion to become better. They focused hard through the spring practice and the summer. I thought they worked hard this preseason.
"And, you know, we had a tough match-up for an opener. And I feel good about how hard we played and the leadership that these guys and their colleagues gave our team. And, you know, we've got a long way to go."
For Washington, it was the first game under new head coach Keith Gilbertson, who was UW's offensive coordinator under former coach Rick Neuheisel. Neuheisel was fired during the offseason for taking part in an NCAA men's basketball tournament pool.
The Huskies scored the second half's first points on a 46-yard field goal by Evan Knudson, but the Buckeyes answered later in the quarter with a 15-yard Lydell Ross touchdown run to make it 28-3.
Washington scored the game's final points on a two-yard run by Cody Pickett with 3:27 left. A two-point conversion run failed, leaving the Huskies just short of double digits.
Ohio State's defense held Washington to 262 yards of offense and only seven on the ground. The Buckeyes out-gained the Huskies 237-77 in the first half.
Simon Fraser had seven tackles to lead the OSU defense, including three for a loss and a sack. He was named the co-Big Ten defensive player of the week of his efforts.
Krenzel finished 15 of 27 for 203 yards and added 27 yards on the ground on eight carries. Hall had 58 yards on 15 carries, and Michael Jenkins led OSU's receivers with six catches for 80 yards.
Another subplot of the game was the suspension of running back Maurice Clarett, who was handed a "multiple-game suspension" by Ohio State athletics director Andy Geiger Aug. 22.