COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Justin Fields passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more scores, and No. 5 Ohio State cruised to a 42-0 rout of Cincinnati on Saturday.
J.K. Dobbins rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns — all in the first half — as the Buckeyes (2-0) dismantled Cincinnati in Luke Fickell’s return to Ohio Stadium. The third-year Bearcats coach played at Ohio State then spent years on the other sideline as an assistant, and interim coach in 2011.
The Bearcats (1-1) came in with confidence after an opening week win over UCLA but their chances of beating Ohio State for the first time in 122 years began to dissipate when Justin Fields scurried up for the middle for a 7-yard touchdown run on the Buckeyes’ second drive of the game. By halftime it was 28-0.
The Ohio State defense held down Cincinnati and shut the door with a blocked field goal, an interception and fumble for a touchback on the three occasions the Bearcats threatened. The Buckeyes sacked quarterback Desmond Ritter five times.
Cincinnati: With the drama surrounding the return of Fickell, the Bearcats were expected by many to give Ohio State more of a game. But the Buckeyes’ defensive line made it tough to establish any ground game. Ritter hit a few passes for big gains but otherwise the offensive highlights were few.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes exploited the talent deficit, and their skill players and defense improved from last week. The team made fewer mistakes and is clicking as it heads into Big Ten play next week.
Beating a 16-point underdog in blowout fashion probably won’t get the Buckeyes up into to the top four.
Cincinnati: Hosts Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.
Ohio State: Opens Big Ten play Saturday at Indiana.