CJ Stroud throws for 432 yards, 6 touchdowns as Ohio State makes a statement with Michigan State rout 56-7
Whether the intended message is that quarterback CJ Stroud is firmly entrenched in the Heisman race, that the defense is playing at a championship level, or that this team is in the college football playoffs, the State of Ohio has made a statement Saturday.
The No.4 Buckeyes showed no weakness in a resounding 56-7 victory over Michigan State – a victory that sent a message to the rest of college football and, perhaps more importantly, to the next opponent in the Ohio State, Michigan this team is without a doubt one of the best in the country.
âWe knew it was a huge game for us and I think our great players have to show up in important games,â Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave said after the game. âI feel like we’ve done it and I feel like we keep improving every week. We just have to keep improving and try to win, and we’ll see what happens from of the.”
It was a resounding victory over the No.7-ranked team, seen ahead of the game as a potential challenger for the Big Ten Championship and a playoff spot. Both teams boasted of potential Heisman candidates in Stroud and Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III, but it was Stroud and the offense that made the show.
Stroud threw for 432 yards and six touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback to throw five touchdowns in the first half of a game against Michigan State since Drew Brees in 1999, and the first to throw six touchdown passes in a game against the Spartans.
If Stroud wasn’t considered a favorite for the Heisman Trophy before this game, he is now.
It’s easy to forget that Stroud is just a freshman starter as he’s posted video game-like numbers all season. He had some help though, with a talented group of receivers who often made defenses seem lost.
Olave broke his own records in this game and has been a constant target for Stroud all season. Olave caught two first-half touchdown passes that pushed him past David Boston for the most career touchdowns at Ohio State at 35.
Olave was one of four receivers to catch a touchdown from Stroud in the first half, Garrett Wilson brought in two and Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming each had a touchdown.
The offense scored a touchdown in its first five offensive practices of the game for the fourth time this season. No other program has achieved this feat more than once this season.
There was no question about the Ohio State’s offensive talent in this game, as most of the concerns were with defense. All questions have been virtually erased in this game.
âWe’ve got a lot of new faces, we’ve got a lot of new faces, and now these guys have experience and they have experience with older guys and the chemistry has been built on the pitch,â he said. said defensive lineman Haskell Garrett. “We know how to communicate with each other and every week we get better. Just the experience. These guys who are new faces aren’t new faces anymore.”
The Buckeyes’ defense limited Walker to just 24 rushing yards on five first-half attempts and 25 total yards for the game. Ohio State also limited quarterback Payton Thorne to 158 yards in the air, as he completed just 14 of 36 passes.
With a substantial game against rival Michigan on the bridge, the Ohio State will now travel to Ann Arbor with both teams in the top seven of the college football playoff standings for the first time since 2016, when the No.1 Buckeyes 2 beat No.3 Wolverines 30-27 in double overtime.
“We have a huge game, we have everything going on around us,” said Ohio State coach Ryan Day. “I have to tell you that the game was not over yet and I was already thinking about it. There was so much going on, we knew this race was going to be real, very proud of the way our team played today , but the whole focus is on the Wolverines. “