Youth was served in the only prior meeting between Ohio State and Kent State.
Five touchdowns and three field goals were scored by first- or second-year Buckeyes in a 51-17 rout of the Golden Flashes on Sept. 7, 2002.
Leading the Ohio State offense was freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, who caught a touchdown pass and ran for another. Sophomore tailback Maurice Hall added a touchdown run, and redshirt freshman tight end Ryan Hamby caught a fourth-quarter touchdown pass. Even freshman linebacker A.J. Hawk got in on the action, intercepting a pass for another score.
Ohio State led 38-0 midway through the second quarter, and head coach Jim Tressel used the opportunity to put most of his roster in the game.
"There's no question as the game unfolded, one of our goals was to get as many guys experience as we possibly could," the second-year OSU head coach said.
Clarett ran for 64 yards on 12 carries and scored twice. He caught a 7-yard touchdown on a swing pass from quarterback Craig Krenzel. Clarett also had a 2-yard touchdown run. Nonetheless, the freshman did not have much to say about his performance or the running game in general following the win.
"(The running game) wasn't where it should have been, but we won so that's all that counts," Clarett said.
The only thing hotter than the 90-plus-degree afternoon at Ohio Stadium was the Buckeye offense. Ohio State scored on its first four offensive possessions and never punted in the rout. Donnie Nickey partially deflected a Kent State punt, and that led to Ohio State's first score. The Buckeyes needed only five plays to get on the scoreboard, capped by Clarett's 2-yard run with 12:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Sophomore kicker Mike Nugent remained perfect on the season with field goals of 40, 33 and 45 yards.
Krenzel had a solid performance, completing 12 of 14 passes for 190 yards.
The win moved Ohio State up in The Associated Press Top 25 poll to No. 6 from No. 8.