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Defense Delivers; Buckeyes Shut Out Hawaii 38-0

By Spencer Davies

On a day where Ohio State looked sloppy and completely out of sync, the Buckeye defense held up its end of the bargain and quarterback Max Wittek and the Rainbow Warriors’ offense to 165 total yards in Columbus, 38-0.

Four Warrior turnovers—two interceptions and two forced fumbles—gave the Ohio State its only “life” of the game.

Gareon Conley and Vonn Bell surely made Chris Ash proud, as the secondary duo combined for two takeaways and a fumble recovered for a touchdown.

Conley gave Wittek headaches the entire day, blanketing his receivers, accounting for an interception-turned-touchdown and tipping a ball that Bell snagged up in the air.

Bell also picked up a mishandled exchange between Wittek and running back Paul Harris and returned it for a late score.

Aside from a bonehead roughing the punter play, Darron Lee blew up the Hawaii offensive line and, evidently, Wittek.

He sacked the Southern California transfer twice, including a forced fumble in the third quarter that had the Buckeyes starting at their own 6-yard line.

But Ohio State couldn’t take advantage and ended up with just a field goal to take a 17-0 lead with 1:54 remaining in the third quarter. That was just how the night was going for the offense.

Besides Ezekiel Elliot’s performance, some elusive Braxton Miller runs and a few impressive catches by senior wideout Michael Thomas, the Buckeyes’ offense was stagnant and ugly.

The team racked up a handful of false starts and holding penalties in the first half. There were bad snaps, missed throws and what seemed like a lot of confusion.

Cardale Jones did not look comfortable, missing on some relatively easy throws and being unable to get a feel for the game.

He mishandled a lot of balls and couldn’t truly get it going.

J.T. Barrett entered the game after Conley’s interception and led a touchdown drive with a short field.

The sophomore quarterback looked calm, cool and collected for the remainder of the first half. He ended up going 8-for-15 for 70 yards.

Jones finished the game 12-for-18 with 111 yards and only five yards on the ground.

It was his worst game as a Buckeye, but don’t expect that trend to continue.

After only getting 11 carries in the team’s opener at Virginia Tech, Ezekiel Elliot touched the ball 27 times and garnered 101 yards with three touchdowns, certainly establishing more groundwork in his 2015 Heisman campaign.

Thomas’ hands were fantastic, as he reeled in a couple of passes that weren’t easy to bring in.

He finished the night with 52 yards on five catches.

Curtis Samuel also came to play, nabbing seven passes for 53 yards. He also had a nine yard rush in the game.

Miller was electric once again, gaining 57 yards on eight carries to go along with 16 yards receiving.

There was a lot of read option in the backfield with the former quarterback lined up in his old position, something that will most likely continue going forward.

Another cool moment happened in garbage time, when Bri’onte Dunn scored his first touchdown since November 3, 2012 on a goal-line rush to extend the Buckeye lead.

The final score may have been 38-0, but make no mistake: Urban Meyer isn’t happy with this one.

The Bucks have a lot of work to do heading into next week’s matchup with Northern Illinois at the Horseshoe.

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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