Ohio State showed us several things on Saturday afternoon against Tulane. There’s a reason they came in ranked No. 4 in the nation. Their offense is scary, scary good. And they may just have themselves a Heisman candidate in quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
OSU’s signal caller torched the Green Wave D through the first half and 30 minutes was all the game time he needed. Haskins completed 21 of 24 passes (87.5%) for a total of 304 yards and five touchdowns before his backup Tate Martell took the reins in the third. Those five scores were distributed between four different receivers. Parris Campbell, Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor and Terry McLaurin all got in on the action for the Buckeyes and helped put Tulane away before things really even began.
Let’s take things back to the Green Wave though. The 49-6 final was brutal but expected. Jonathan Banks did his best under center but Tulane’s senior quarterback only finished with 141 yards on eight completions. The ground game yielded a dismal 100 total yards and the special teams unit missed the only PAT attempt that came their way.
This may be one of those throw-away-the-film games. The best thing the Wave can do now is not put too much stock into this loss and look ahead to conference play that begins next week. That’s not to say there weren’t lessons, good and bad, to be learned though.
The Good: The Green Wave didn’t turn the ball over once which is pretty impressive for playing in the hostile environment they found themselves in on Saturday. Coming in the Buckeyes defense had notched four interceptions and three fumble recoveries on the season and yet the Wave offense did a beautiful job taking care of the ball. This will be something that will need to continue if Tulane wants a prayer of keeping pace with high-powered Memphis next week.
The Bad: The passing attack for the Wave was stagnant all afternoon. Darnell Mooney was the team’s leading receiver (yet again) with 77 yards. The offense only attempted 16 throws in this game and while 10 of them were completed, the team failed to find the end zone via the pass. Tulane’s lone score came from running back Darius Bradwell on a two-yard run. Head coach Willie Fritz will want to see improvement in this department moving forward or, again, the Wave won’t be able to keep up with the Tigers next week.
The Ugly: The Green Wave’s record took another hit. After the loss on Saturday, Tulane now sits at a less-than-impressive 1-3 mark when they could have easily been 3-1 by this point. That OT loss to Wake Forest in the first game and the ugly defeat at the hands of UAB a week ago have put the team in a tough position four games into the season. The American is chalked full of solid competition and a bowl bid seems to be slipping away.
The Silver Lining: We got to see a little of backup QB Justin McMillan who transferred over from LSU earlier this season. The senior only tried two passes against the Buckeyes but connected on both of them for 15 yards. Not a huge sample size but it has to make the Green Wave faithful happy to know that Banks has a seemingly-solid replacement if need be.
Tulane now turns its attention to Memphis and the AAC. The games will all start to really matter now. Saturday was very forgettable and that’s how it needs to be. The most important thing to remember is that the team is 0-0 in conference play and has huge turnaround opportunity at home on Friday night. The season isn’t dead yet Wave fans. Hang in there.