Craig Krenzel made his first game after winning a national championship a special one the last time the Buckeyes faced the University of Washington.
Krenzel ran for two touchdowns and accounted for 230 yards of offense in a 28-9 win over the Huskies in a primetime televised game on ABC Aug. 30, 2003, 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, ranked No. 2 to start the season, had little trouble moving the ball on the No. 17 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," OSU head coach Jim 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, who 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 fails, 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 athletic director Andy Geiger Aug. 22.