The Football Fever: Offense rolls, record falls in 54-21 win over visiting UNLV
COLUMBUS -- (AP) For all the criticism he has endured, J.T. Barrett keeps making his mark on the Ohio State record books.
The Ohio State quarterback threw touchdown passes to five different receivers in the first half before giving way to the mop-crew on the way to a 54-21 rout of Nevada-Las Vegas on Saturday. His 209 yards moved him into second place behind Art Schlichter for all-time passing yards at Ohio State with 7,348. He needs another 200 to pass Schlichter, the Buckeyes QB from 1978 to 1981.
But the level of competition -- Army last week and UNLV this week -- makes it hard to tell if Ohio State (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) has improved significantly since losing to Oklahoma two weeks ago. It felt good, but how much good did it do? The Buckeyes won't be greatly tested again until they play No. 4 Penn State at home on Oct. 28.
"Let's go do that against a team that's equally matched," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "That's my challenge every day."
Barrett was barely slowed by an outgunned UNLV defense, completing 12 of 17 passes for 209 yards before handing the game over to backup Dwayne Haskins near the end of the first half. Together they threw for a school record 474 yards.
Barrett threw scoring passes to Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin and K.J. Hill. True freshman running back J.K. Dobbins added to his growing resume by rushing for 95 yards on 14 carries before taking a seat just before halftime.
"J.T is on another level of confidence with us right now," Campbell said. "He tells us (that) every day."
A sixth and seventh receiver -- C.J. Saunders and Rashod Berry -- caught TD passes from Haskins, marking the first time in history Ohio State had more than five different receivers catch scoring passes in a game.
"This is the type of team you come here to play at Ohio State -- you make a mistake, they're going to make you pay for it," UNLV coach Tony Sanchez said. "And they made us pay for a bunch of them early on in the game."
UNLV: The Rebels (1-2) will be happy to take their big check and move on to Mountain West conference play.
OHIO STATE: The Buckeyes put up huge numbers, but UNLV didn't put up much of a fight. One thing becomes clearer each week: Dobbins is Ohio State's next big star.
"What we did today we have to be able to do against a like opponent," Campbell said. "You want to do it against the best."
POLL IMPLICATIONS: The Buckeyes won last week and dropped two spots, so it's difficult to predict. The level of competition won't do them any favors with voters.