Ohio State scored six touchdowns on six first-half possessions Saturday against Tulane, facing only four third downs along the way — but the pace of the game calmed down considerably after the break, keeping the Green Wave from setting any negative records.
The fourth-ranked Buckeyes added the only score of the second half on a touchdown with 1:01 left, covering the 37-point spread in a 49-6 victory at Ohio Stadium.
The losing margin was Tulane’s largest in coach Willie Fritz’s three-year tenure but nowhere near any all-time marks. The Wave lost at Georgia Tech 65-10 in 2015 and 62-10 at home to Louisiana-Monroe in 2012 during former coach Curtis Johnson’s tenure.
Tulane (1-3) has lost by more than 43 points 11 times since 2000. The job Fritz took had no easy fix.
Enjoying the atmosphere
Tulane senior safety Roderic Teamer talked earlier this week about how tough it was to sit out last year's game at Oklahoma because of injury, saying he lived for atmospheres like OU and Ohio State.
He made his presence felt against the Buckeyes with a tackle for 2 yards on Ohio State’s first snap, sticking running back J.K. Dobbins. Teamer was around the ball constantly in the first half, drawing praise from Big Ten Network analyst Matt Millen.
Teamer finished with nine tackles, tying end Cameron Sample for team-high honors.
Justin McMillan threw a dart to wide receiver Darnell Mooney to convert a third-and-8 and stayed in the game for another set of downs that did not go as well. He was sacked and tackled for a loss to force a punt, and Banks returned for the next series.
McMillan, who practiced with the Wave for the first time in late August, returned for the final two drives. He completed both of his passes for 15 yards and rushed three times for minus-19 yards.
“It was good to get him out there and get some reps,” Fritz said. “He’s played very little in his career. I’m not sure when the last time he was in a Division I game, but he’s a talented guy. That will help him out big-time the rest of the season.”
McMilllan played in two games at LSU, losing a yard on a wildcat run against Auburn last year and getting time as a reserve against Jacksonville State in 2016.
With Tulane backed up at its 2 in the third quarter, receiver Terren Encalade made a wild catch when four other players touched the ball, getting the Wave out of more trouble.
Banks’ slant pass bounced off Mooney’s hands. Cornerback Alex Williams then tipped it to himself, but as he tried to reel it in, safety Jahsen Wint got his hands in Williams' way, knocking it to Encalade, who outfought cornerback Shaun Wade for the ball.
Instead of an Ohio State interception deep in Tulane territory, the 19-yard gain jump-started a long drive that reached the Buckeyes 26 before a holding call backed up the Wave, forcing a punt.
Freshman Ryan Wright punted for the first time, averaging 39.2 yards on five attempts. Senior Zach Block handled the other two punts, averaging 45.5 yards. ... Neither team committed a turnover. … Tulane’s captains were cornerback Donnie Lewis, Teamer, Mooney and center Corey Dublin.