So … you were worried about whether or not Justin Fields was ready for primetime? Beating Florida Atlantic isn’t exactly like beating Florida, but 18-of-25, 234 yards, four touchdowns, 61 rushing yards and one score – BOOM. The Buckeyes delivered the knockout punch in the first quarter after Fields did absolutely everything the team could’ve hoped for.
It would’ve been nice if the Buckeyes kept their foot on the gas. It’s not like they were in any danger, but the offense didn’t set a Ryan Day-era tone by putting a massive number on the board in the first half … whatever. The first quarter was all that mattered about this. They made their point.
The pass rush was a problem for the Owls, and the run defense didn’t allow a thing. FAU had to start bombing away to try making it interesting, but they were still held to 22 yards on 33 carries and didn’t get loose for anything big.
Welcome back to college football, Josh Jackson. The Virginia Tech transfer completed 15-of-24 passes for 245 yards and four scores as he took target practice in a nearly perfect performance. This was why you book Howard as a guest – you get a game to get the new parts in place.
It was Howard, but the defense did its part, too. It allowed 68 yards, one rushing yard, and got the pass rush going right away. It was a scrimmage, but with Syracuse up next, this was about as good as the D could play.
The Mike Locksley era got the big splashy start it wanted. Not that blasting the Howard Bison by 79 matters to the rest of the world, but for a program that’s had a hard time breaking through for something positive – at least recently – this was how it needed to get going.
Well hello, Brandon Peters. The somewhat surprising call to take the Illinois quarterback job wasn’t perfect, but he was more than fine completing 14-of-23 passes for 163 yards and three scores with a rushing touchdown. He spread the ball around well, kept things moving early, and Illinois won in a laugher.
Lovie Smith’s best defensive coordinator really is Lovie Smith. It’s just Akron – just like it’s going to be just UConn next week, but the D was all over the place stuffing everything. There was no Akron ground game and almost nothing happening down the field.
207 rushing yards, 194 passing yards, no turnovers. This is how it’s supposed to look. This is what a Big Ten team is supposed to do against a mediocre MAC team. It was total dominance throughout as the team gets a slew of warm-up games. The predictions stands – the Illini will go bowling this year.