Dwayne Haskins Jr. threw for 304 yards and five touchdowns in the first half and No. 4 Ohio State routed Tulane 49-6 on Saturday to mark coach Urban Meyer’s return to the sideline following a three-game suspension.
Haskins was nearly flawless, completing his first nine passes on the way to a 21-for-24 effort before giving way to backup Tate Martell in the second half as the No. 4 Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) backed off the gas and cruised.
Haskins, a third-year sophomore, is among the nation’s leaders in touchdown passes with 16 through the first four games and is on track to eclipse J.T. Barrett’s school record of 35 set last season.
Meyer was back with his team after serving a suspension for his mismanagement of former assistant Zach Smith, who was accused of domestic violence and other questionable behavior while working under Meyer at Florida and Ohio State.
Meyer missed the blowouts of Oregon State and Rutgers, then sat in front of his TV nervously at home as the Buckeyes pulled away from then No. 15-TCU in the second half last week to win 40-28. Ryan Day, the co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, temporarily handled sideline coaching duties.
“They’re a great, well-coached football team,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said. “They’ve got great, great, great athletes. They were tuned up and ready to go, and I’m sure having their coach back, all those things might have motivated them a little bit, I don’t know. They were on fire early.”
Parris Campbell caught Haskins’ touchdown passes of 14 and 37 yards in the first quarter. Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin and Austin Mack also caught first-half scoring throws. The prettiest might have been the last touchdown, a perfectly placed back-shoulder 14-yarder on which Mack made a falling-down grab.
Campbell, a fifth-year senior, had a career day, catching eight passes for 147 yards and the pair of scores.
“Dwayne did very good, but then to throw the ball takes much more than him,” Meyer said. “The offensive line protected well, and the receivers are playing at a very high level.”
Tulane: The Green Wave couldn’t find an answer to Ohio State’s deadly passing attack and couldn’t get anything going offensively, either.
Ohio State: Buckeyes gift-wrapped a rout for Meyer, rolling another overmatched opponent on the way to the season’s biggest game so far next week at No. 10 Penn State.
Tulane: Hosts AAC foe Memphis on Saturday.
Ohio State: Plays at Penn State on Saturday.
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