Postgame updates: Ohio State Buckeyes top Akron 59-7

Joey Kaufman Adam Jardy Lori Schmidt
The Columbus Dispatch

The Ohio State football team has dominated in-state competition for a century. Not since Oberlin’s 7-6 upset in 1921 have the Buckeyes lost to an Ohio college football program. 

Akron will get its shot at 7:40 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium. 

The Zips (1-2) have won just two games since 2019 and the point spread in the game with Ohio State is nearly 50 points, so the odds are in the Buckeyes’ favor to extend their dominance over in-state programs. 

But to say the No. 10-ranked Buckeyes, the second-highest ranked team in the state, aren’t fighting adversity this week may be wrong. 

OSU depth chart:Meet the Buckeyes: Ohio State football depth chart against Akron

Jeremy Ruckert:From making soccer saves to catching passes: How Jeremy Ruckert became Ohio State's tight end

Ohio State coaches:Rob Oller | Life of assistant college football coach often a grenade with pin half pulled

Redshirt freshman starting quarterback C.J. Stroud isn’t likely to play, which means it’s up to either Jack Miller or Kyle McCord to guide the Buckeyes. The two freshmen quarterbacks could get some help from yet another freshman in TreVeyon Henderson. He had a historically great day against Tulsa. 

Defensively, the Buckeyes have been gashed in 2021 so far and look to improve their pass rush this week. 

Who will win? You can follow the action live with insights from Columbus Dispatch's team of reporters Bill Rabinowitz, Joey Kaufman, Adam Jardy and Lori Schmidt.

Follow Ohio State vs. Akron live

Final score

There was little doubt about the final outcome. Ohio State ended up beating Akron, 59-7.

Evan Pryor's first rushing TD 

Making his college debut on a series late in the fourth quarter, Pryor ran five times for a gain of 35 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown. 

He was the second blue-chip running back recruit to sign with the Buckeyes in the 2021 recruiting class, along with TreVeyon Henderson.

Ohio State's Jack Sawyer records his first collegiate sack

Ohio State continues to get to Akron quarterback D.J. Irons. Jack Sawyer recorded the first sack of his college career, and overall the Buckeyes have seven on the evening. They had four entering the night. 

Final tally for Kyle McCord

In his first career start at quarterback before exiting in the third quarter, McCord finished 13-of-18 passing for 319 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

The passing yards are the most by a Buckeyes passer in his starting debut, surpassing the 313 yards thrown by Dwayne Haskins in the 2018 season opener against Oregon State.

Marvin Harrison Jr., Toby Wilson see playing time for Ohio State

Buckeye receiver Marvin Harrison made his first collegiate catch for Ohio State, a nine-yard reception. Toby Wilson, the son of OSU tight ends coach and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, has played at center. 

Master Teague runs up the middle for another touchdown, Buckeyes 52-Akron 7

Ohio State's offensive line opened a hole that allowed running back Master Teague to run 14 yards straight ahead into the end zone untouched. Teague is averaging 8.9 yards on eight carries. 

Jack Miller has entered the game for Ohio State

Quarterback Jack Miller completed a 25-yard pass to Cade Stover on his first ever pass attempt as an Ohio State Buckeye.

Ohio State's defense continues to pile up TFLs

The Buckeyes have almost matched their combined total from their previous three games when it comes to tackles for loss. OSU had 11 this season entering tonight. They have seven this evening against Akron. Haskell Garrett is leading the way. The defensive lineman has three sacks. 

Ohio State goes 87 yards in two plays, Buckeyes 45-Zips 7

Emeka Egbuka couldn't quite outrun the Akron defense, but his 85-yard reception set up Master Teague's two-yard touchdown, giving OSU a 45-7 edge on the Zips. 

Kyle McCord is now 13-of-18 passing for 319 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.  

OSU's Kyle McCord picked off

On his 17th pass attempt of the game, Kyle McCord's throw to Emeka Egbuka sails high. Charles Amankwaa of Akron picks off the ball and returns it 11 yards to give the Zips the Ball at Ohio State's 46. 

Ohio State halftime score: Buckeyes 38-Zips 7

A Noah Ruggles' 32-yard field goal extended the Buckeyes advantage right before the break.

Bigger crowd

The announced attendance for tonight's game is 95,178, a big jump from last week's crowd against Tulsa when Ohio State drew 76,540, the smallest at Ohio Stadium since 1971.

But it's also only the third time since the expansion of the Horseshoe in 2001 that the Buckeyes have not had a crowd of at least 100,000.

Ohio State linebacker K'Vaughn Pope heads to the locker room

It does not appear to be a case of an injury, because he ran up the tunnel, but Ohio State linebacker K'Vaughn Pope, being accompanied by an OSU staffer, has left the field of play. 

Ohio State football:Linebacker K'Vaughan Pope leaves field, sends angry tweet during game

Another Ohio State interception, this one for a Ronnie Hickman touchdown, Buckeyes 35-Zips 7

More Ohio State pressure (the Buckeyes have four tackles for loss) leads to D.J. Irons throwing a pass that is just a little off target. And the end result of that is Tristian Brank juggles the ball, allowing OSU's Ronnie Hickman to grab it and rush it back 46 yards for a score. 

It is the Buckeyes' third defensive touchdown of the year. 

TreVeyon Henderson has his second touchdown of the night, Buckeyes 28-Zips 7

Ohio State has scored on four consecutive drives. In three of those, it took less than two minutes for the Buckeyes to score. TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 14-yards for OSU's most recent touchdown. It was his second of the night. He has eight carries for 93 yards.

Cody Simon gives the Buckeyes the ball

Ohio State again is able to get pressure on Akron quarterback D.J. Irons. Combine that with Cody Simon jumping the route, and the end result is an interception and Buckeye ball at the Akron 40.

Kyle McCord has his second touchdown pass, Buckeyes 21-Zips 7

Although there have been moments when Kyle McCord has looked like the true freshman he is, he has posted some really impressive numbers in leading Ohio State to a 21-7 lead in Columbus. The quarterback is 7-for-11 passing for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He just completed a 34-yard touchdown throw to Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who after catching the ball, backed into the end zone for the score. 

TreVeyon Henderson has 76 yards in the first quarter, Buckeyes 14-Zips 7

TreVeyon Henderson is averaging 12.7 yards per carry early for Ohio State, and his most recent three-yard rush was far shorter than that, only because Henderson wound up in the end zone. 

Ohio State's defense gets disruptive

The Buckeyes' defense, which came into today's game with 11 tackles for loss, has three through Akron's first three drives.

First-quarter scoring

The touchdown by Chris Olave, who caught a shovel pass from quarterback Kyle McCord before running 5 yards into the end zone, was the first by the Buckeyes in the first quarter since Miyan Williams’ 71-yard run on the opening series at Minnesota.

Ohio State was shut out in the first quarter against Oregon and held to a field goal by Tulsa in the following games.

Chris Olave gets OSU on the board, Buckeyes 7-Zips 7

Ohio State utilized a fly sweep-like play a couple of times during a scoring drive that has evened up tonight's game with Akron, 7-7. After not catching a pass against Tulane, Chris Olave broke into the end zone on one of those plays, officially recorded as a five-yard touchdown reception from Kyle McCord. 

Ohio State's pass defense struggles, Akron scores, Zips 7-Buckeyes 0

The Buckeyes allowed Akron quarterback D.J. Irons to complete five straight passes as part of a drive that went 55 yards in nine plays. The Zips eventually scored when Irons connected with Konata Mumpfield on a four-yard play. 

C.J. Stroud supports Kyle McCord

When Ohio State players took the field for tonight's game, injured Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (shoulder) took a moment to pray over the signal caller who is receiving the start in his place, true freshman Kyle McCord. 

C.J. Stroud prays over Kyle McCord

Warmup observations 

With multiple veteran starters out on defense, here’s how the Buckeyes’ first-team lined up during warmups.

True freshman J.T. Tuimoloau was at defensive end opposite Zach Harrison, filling in for Tyreke Smith, who is unavailable. Antwuan Jackson took over Taron Vincent’s spot at defensive tackle.

Without cornerback Cameron Brown available, Sevyn Banks was at his spot. Banks missed the first two games, but appeared as a reserve in last Saturday’s win over Tulsa.

Ohio State makes it official: Kyle McCord to start

OSU spokesperson Jerry Emig just announced to the press box that Kyle McCord will indeed start for the Buckeyes tonight. That makes him only the fourth true freshman quarterback to start for Ohio State. He joins Art Schlichter, Terrelle Pryor and Braxton Miller in that category. Miller's start against Colorado came almost exactly ten years ago, on Sept. 24, 2011.

If TreVeyon Henderson also starts, it will be the first time ever that Ohio State has started a quarterback/running back tandem of true freshman. 

Kyle McCord to start for OSU

With C.J. Stroud only available on an emergency basis, BTN reports that true freshman Kyle McCord will start at quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Akron Zips. 

Kyle McCord warms up for Ohio State.

Officials for the Ohio State, Akron game

  • Referee: Larry Smith
  • Umpire: Tim Gover
  • Linesman: Kole Knueppel
  • Line Judge: Robin DeLorenzo
  • Back Judge: Kevin Schwarzel
  • Field Judge: Timothy Maguire
  • Side Judge: Gaylon Williams
  • Center Judge: Mike Stumberg

Scouts at the Ohio State, Akron game

The Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears (2) have scouts credentialed to be in attendance for tonight's game between the Buckeyes and Zips. 

How will the Ohio State linebackers look?

The Buckeyes lost some depth at linebacker this week when Dallas Gant entered the transfer portal. Gant was in his fourth season at Ohio State but his playing time had diminished so far this season. 

Here's how the new linebacking corps looks for Ohio State: 

  • OLB: 3, Teradja Mitchell, 6-2, 239, Sr.; 36, K'Vaughan Pope, 6-1, 225, Sr.
  • MLB: 35, Tommy Eichenberg, 6-2, 235, So.; 30, Cody Simon, 6-2, 233, So.
  • OLB: 14, Ronnie Hickman, 6-1, 205, So.; 15, Craig Young, 6-3, 223, So.

Kyle McCord likely to start for Ohio State football vs. Akron

Freshman quarterback Kyle McCord, a five-star recruit who enrolled early last spring, will get the nod at quarterback to start the game.

McCord, the second player to commit to Ohio State in the Class of 2020, threw for 6,887 yards and 88 touchdowns as lead St. Joseph's Prep to two Pennsylvania state championships in high school. 

C.J. Stroud (left) and Quinn Ewers watch Ohio State warm up.

C.J. Stroud available for Ohio State

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is not ruled out against Akron, but Ohio State is not expected to start the red-shirt freshman. 

Who's out for the Buckeyes vs. Akron?

Ohio State will be without multiple starters, including a pair on the defensive line, for Saturday night’s game against Akron.

Cornerback Cameron Brown, left guard Thayer Munford, defensive end Tyreke Smith and defensive tackle Taron Vincent were among 16 players listed as unavailable on the Buckeyes’ pregame status report.

The hit to their depth on the defensive line also includes Javontae Jean-Baptiste, a key part of the defensive end rotation who started for an injured Zach Harrison last week.

Get more Ohio State football news by listening to our podcasts