COLUMBUS, OH, Sporting Alert – Justin Fields threw four touchdown passes on his Ohio State debut and the No. 5 Buckeyes beat Florida Atlantic 45-21 in their college football season opener in Columbus on Saturday. Videos | Box Scores
Fields, who became eligible to play for Ohio State, following his transfer from Georgia, was directly involved in all four of the Buckeyes’ touchdowns in the first quarter.
After running for a 51-yard score to give the home side a 7-0 lead, Fields threw touchdown passes to Jeremy Ruckert, Binjimen Victor and Chris Olave, as Ohio State raced out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
“I thought we came out to a great start early on, kind of clicking on both sides of the ball,” said Ohio State’s Ryan Day, who is in his first season as head coach.
“We hit a little bit of a lull there, but overall a great start. We wanted to play clean.”
Fields also found Ruckert from 3-yards in the third quarter to give the Buckeyes a 35-6 advantage.
Fields finished 18-of-25 for 234 yards without an interception, while rushing for 61 extra yards and his score.
J.K. Dobbins rushed 21 times for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Ruckert took two catches for touchdowns, while Olave and Victor had one each for Ohio State, which tallied 469 total yards and completed 24 first downs.
Chris Robison was 22-of-34 for 178 yards one touchdown for Florida Atlantic.
Harrison Bryant had six catches for 79 yards for the Owls, while John Raine caught a TD pass and Larry McCammon III ran for a score in the defeat.
“If you play a top-five team like that, you have to do everything right just to have a chance,” FAU coach Lane Kiffin said after the defeat.
Up next, Ohio State will stay at home to welcome in-state rival Cincinnati, which won their opener on Thursday night. The Florida Atlantic Owls will next host No. 17 Central Florida, which hammered Florida A&M 62-0 on Thursday in their season opener.