Stroud Throws 5 TD Passes, No. 3 Ohio St Routs Toledo 77-21

By MITCH STACY, AP Sports Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — C.J. Stroud threw five touchdown passes and No. 3 Ohio State rolled up 762 yards on the way to a runaway 77-21 victory over Toledo on Saturday night.

The Buckeyes (3-0) scored on all six of their first-half possessions, with Stroud completing 18 of 20 passes for 297 yards and a pair of touchdown passes each to Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming on the way to a 42-14 lead.

Stroud, a Heisman Trophy favorite, completed 22 of 27 passes for 367 yards before yielding to backups late in the third quarter.

“I definitely had a blessed night,” Stroud said.

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The Buckeyes’ offensive output was the most since they gained 776 yards in a 77-10 win over another Mid-American Conference team, Bowling Green, in 2016.

Coach Ryan Day wanted a dominating game.

“There are a few things here we’ve got to clean up for sure going into conference play, but suddenly you look at the scoreboard, and we’re proud of what we did,” Day said.

TreVeyon Henderson, an AP Preseason All-American, scored on a 7-yard run to put Ohio State on the board in the first quarter, but the second-year back didn’t play again because of an unspecified injury that briefly sent him to the locker room.

Day didn’t provide details, but he said it was an injury Henderson has been dealing with, and the decision was made to rest him.

Toledo tied it at 7 early on Dequan Finn’s 50-yard TD heave on the run to Thomas Zsiros, but the Buckeyes assumed control and ran away with it.

That wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of Finn, who made the Rockets’ offense at least look respectable. He passed for 153 yards and two TDs, while rushing for 70 and another score.

“We obviously know we played a monster opponent,” Toledo coach Jason Candle said.

“It’s hard to respond,” he said. “Some guys have never been beat like that in their lives, including me.”

Harrison is on a roll for the Buckeyes. The second-year receiver had six catches for 102 yards — all in the first half — including two acrobatic touchdown passes. That followed seven catches for 184 yards and three TDs in last week’s win over Arkansas State.

Emeka Egbuka had seven catches for 116yards and a TD and added another score rushing.

Toledo: Finn is a talented, dual-threat QB with good instincts who’s bound to have more fun when the Rockets start their MAC schedule. But the Toledo defense just couldn’t slow down the Buckeyes with Stroud at the helm.

Ohio State: The placement of many of Stroud’s passes just couldn’t be defensed, and a few of the throws and catches were spectacular. The bit of rust the third-year quarterback might have brought into the season is gone. He showed why he was a Heisman finalist last season.

With No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama routing their Saturday opponents, Ohio State is unlikely to move up.

Ohio State starting safeties Tanner McAlister and Josh Proctor were not in uniform and announced as unavailable just before the game. Cameron Martinez and Lathan Ransom replaced them in the starting lineup. Defensive lineman Mike Hall Jr. also didn’t play. Day said those players also “were dealing some things” related to injuries and were kept out.

Toledo: At San Diego State next Saturday.

Ohio State: Hosts Wisconsin next Saturday in Big Ten opener.

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