Quick Recap: Navy ran for 370 yards and controlled the tempo with its triple-option offense but Ohio State pulled away with three late touchdowns to open the season with a win in J.T. Barrett’s debut. Navy led 7-6 at halftime but Darron Lee returned a fumble for a touchdown early in the second half to get OSU’s first TD of the year. After Navy retook the lead, Barrett hit Devin Smith for an 80-yard TD that put OSU ahead for good. Ezekiel Elliott ran in a TD and Mike Thomas ran a screen pass from Barrett home for the final margin.
Urban Said: “That’s a big win. I want to first of all thank Buckeye Nation for supporting us the way they did. That was a great crowd, and it felt like that was our home stadium. Second of all, I have a lot of respect for Navy. The best thing about this game is that we won and it’s in the rearview mirror. It seems like we had been working on this thing forever. What you saw a little bit throughout the course of game was what I saw during practice. Every once in a while they’ll get one over on you because they execute so well. Their quarterback is a heck of a player.
"J.T., I thought did ok. We’ll evaluate the film. Every new player will have a certain amount of mistakes. We wanted to open it up a little bit more in the first half but didn’t, and that wasn’t because of him. It was because of our offensive line. We had a couple mistakes in there with penalties and sacks, and we just can’t do that up front. Obviously with the team we’re playing next we have a lot of work to do before our next game, but I’m proud of our guys for fighting through the second half like they did.”
Play of the Game: Lee’s 61-yard scoop and score. Joey Bosa pressured Navy QB Keenan Reynolds into a bad pitch on an option play, and Lee bent over, picked up the ball and raced untouched to the house for Ohio State’s first touchdown of the season. The play changed momentum just when it looked like Navy had OSU on its heels.
Player of the Game: Barrett went completed all four of his passes in the second half for 130 yards and two touchdowns, including the one to Smith that put Ohio State ahead for good. It completed an efficient day for Barrett, who in all completed 12 of 15 passes and had 276 yards of total offense despite a first-half interception in the red zone.
What Was Accomplished: Ohio State started off a season of unknowns with a solid win. It was a veteran Navy team and the Buckeyes looked off balance on offense and defense throughout the game, but the team stuck with it and left the Charm City with a 1-0 record. Barrett also put together a solid day in his first start at quarterback, giving the team some confidence going forward.