San Jose State came into Columbus leading the nation in takeaways, but it was giveaways (along with a lack of defense against an effective OSU offense) that caused their demise today as the Buckeyes took it to the Spartans in front of a sold out Ohio Stadium crowd, 50-7. The Buckeye offense was looking good today as they rolled up 567 total yards, 130 of those coming on 18 carries by Maurice Clarett, who also had two rushing TDs and one receiving TD. Craig Krenzel had a good day passing as he went 11 of 14 for 239 yards and 3 TDS, 132 of those going to Michael Jenkins, who caught one of those TDs. San Jose State came out firing in the first half as quarterback Scott Rislov completed 31 passes and was able to move the ball well on the OSU D, but they could only score one TD in the first half and fell apart in the second.
There was plenty of offense in the first half. San Jose State received the opening kickoff and started at their own 21-yard line, and after a few plays, they moved the ball across midfield. However, they encountered a 4th down after crossing midfield, and when electing to go for it, OSU stopped them short on a pitch play. OSU took over at their own 48, and after a couple Clarett runs and Jenkins catches, Maurice Clarett would run the ball in for a 1-yard touchdown, and the PAT made it 7-0.
SJSU started out their next drive with good field position as Charles Pauley had a nice return to the 43, but they apparently went three-and-out and were prepared to punt, but OSU was victim of a roughing the kicker call after Will Smith was pushed into the SJSU punter, and the Spartans had a first down. SJSU could not capitalize though as they moved the ball downfield a bit more and got into field goal range, but the 36-yard attempt by Nick Gilliam was no good and it remained 7-0.
OSU took over at the 20 yard line, but they went three-and-out and were forced to punt. Andy Groom booted a 58-yard punt that started SJSU on their own 28, and they executed a few passing plays and moved the ball downfield into OSU territory again, but they tried for another 4th down conversion and failed as Scott Rislov threw one of his few incomplete passes in the first half after being pressured.
OSU took over at their own 32, and with the strength of Lydell Ross and Maurice Clarett's running and a couple more Jenkins catches, they moved the ball deep into SJSU territory, but they could not punch it in and had to settle for a 36-yard Mike Nugent field goal, which made it 10-0.
SJSU sliced through the OSU defense on the next drive as they would go down the field in less than two minutes on a five play, 80-yard drive which featured a 35-yard catch by Lamar Ferguson. The drive was capped off by a 9-yard pass to a wide-open Charles Pauley, and the PAT made it 10-7.
OSU answered just as quickly though. They started the next drive at their own 32, and after a Chris Vance catch and a Jenkins catch, Krenzel hit Vance on a nicely-thrown deep ball for a 37-yard touchdown. The PAT made it 17-7. On the following drive, the Spartans took over on their own 20, but they once again moved the ball downfield easily with the short passes, and they looked poised to score (on the drive, OSU DE Will Smith's leg was rolled up on, and he was helped off the field and later carted off to the locker room). SJSU was deep in OSU territory, but in a huge play, Cie Grant came on a blitz and pounded Rislov, forcing a fumble which was picked up by Mike Kudla and advanced to the OSU 41.
The Buckeyes took the ball from there and moved downfield well once again as a 20-yard Clarett run and a 17-yard Jenkins catch helped pick up chunks of yardage, and then a few plays later, Clarett ran it in from 5 yards out for his second TD of the day, and the PAT made it 24-7. San Jose State started the next drive at their own 29 after a short kick, and with the same short passes, they moved down the field again in a hurry, but when they got deep into OSU territory, they fumbled the ball back to OSU with less than a minute to go. Scott Rislov threw for 257 yards on 31 of 37 passing in the first half, and the Spartans out-gained the Buckeyes, but the Buckeyes led 24-7 at the half.
The second half was another story as San Jose State fell apart in a hurry. OSU got the ball at their own 20 to start the half, and after a couple of Clarett runs, the Bucks hit a deep pass as Craig Krenzel nailed a 47-yarder to Chris Gamble. The Buckeyes couldn't punch it in though and had to settle for a 29-yard Nugent field goal to make it 27-7.
San Jose State started their next drive on their own 27, but shortly after, Matt Wilhelm hit Charles Pauley a split-second after catching a pass, which caused a fumble that was recovered on the SJSU 12 by the Buckeyes. Shortly after, Maurice Clarett took a short pass and dove over the goal line for the touchdown, and the PAT made it 34-7. On the next SJSU drive, lightning struck again as a pass was completed to Jamall Broussard, but Robert Reynolds caused a fumble, which was recovered by Donnie Nickey on the San Jose State 40. On the next play, Krenzel hit Michael Jenkins for a 40-yard touchdown, and the PAT made it 41-7 OSU.
San Jose State had a few plays on their next drive and then punted, and when OSU took over, Scott McMullen entered the game. Maurice Clarett ran for five yards and then 35 yards to put him over 100 for the day, and OSU was driving again, but a Drew Carter fumble gave the ball back to SJSU at the OSU 30. SJSU went three-and-out though, and after a short punt that gave OSU the ball at the SJSU 46, the Buckeyes would drive down the field and punch it in on a Lydell Ross 2-yard TD run. The PAT failed though -- Mike Nugent's first missed kick of any kind this year (the hold wasn't very good though) -- so it was 47-7 OSU. Nugent would add a 28-yard field goal later though to make it 50-7 and tie the all-time OSU record with 15 of 15 FG kicking on the year, and that would end up being the final score.
Offensively, the Buckeyes looked good today. Craig Krenzel had a good day throwing the ball and was able to hit on some of those deep passes. Michael Jenkins proved that he will be a weapon if the ball gets in his hands. Clarett... well, what else is new? 130 yards on 18 carries and two TDs is beginning to look like typical Clarett numbers, and today, he had a fine touchdown reception as well. The defense gave up chunks of yards in the first half, and even though the bend-but-don't-break D only broke once today, they were definitely bent a few times in that first half as those short routes were there again and SJSU took advantage of it. Despite all that, there were only seven points given up today, and OSU's D was able to cause some big turnovers that helped set the tone for the blowout.
- Will Smith, as mentioned earlier, was carted to the locker room after being helped off in the second quarter. Television coverage said it was a knee injury. It didn't look good, but we don't have any official word as to what happened.
- Next up is Wisconsin, of course. The surprise is Wisconsin's record, which now stands at 0-2 in the Big Ten after being shocked today in Bloomington by the Indiana Hoosiers, 32-29. Wisconsin is still to be taken very seriously though, needless to say.
- OSU cleared the bench today. Drew Carter, John Hollins, Redgie Arden, and Bam Childress got some receptions, and JaJa Riley and even walk-on Roshawn Parker got a carry each. Walk-on QB Jim Otis even took a couple snaps to end the game.
- San Jose State's chances went up in smoke in the second half about as fast as they could have. The Spartans seemingly played OSU closer than the score in the first half, but they managed 15 yards of total offense in the second half.