COLUMBUS (WCMH) —J.T. Barrett threw touchdown passes to five different receivers in the first half, and No. 10 Ohio State cruised to a 54-21 win over Nevada-Las Vegas on Saturday.
Barrett, who has taken the brunt of the criticism for Ohio State’s inconsistent passing game this season, was barely slowed by an outgunned UNLV defense, completing 12 of 17 passes for 209 yards before handing the game over to backup Dwayne Haskins near the end of the first half.
The big half for Barrett moved him into second place behind Art Schlichter for all-time passing yards at Ohio State.
PHOTOS: OSU vs. UNLV
PHOTOS: OSU vs. UNLV x
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The Buckeyes (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) rolled, but the opponent was no real test in the last tune-up game before Ohio State begins its conference schedule.
Barrett threw scoring passes to Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin and K.J. Hill. True freshman running back J.K. Dobbins added to his growing resume by rushing for 95 yards on 14 carries before taking a seat just before halftime.
A sixth and seventh receiver — C.J. Saunders and Rashod Berry — caught TD passes from Haskins, marking the first time in history Ohio State had more than five different receivers catch scoring passes in a game. Haskins threw for another 228 yards in mop-up duty.
Running back Lexington Thomas provided one of the few highlights for UNLV (1-2), racing through the Ohio State defense for a 55-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Javin White jumped in front of a Haskins pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 65 yards for a score, but the game was already out of reach.
UNLV: The Rebels will be happy to take their big check and move on to Mountain West conference play.
OHIO STATE: UNLV didn’t put up much of a fight, so it’s hard to tell if the Buckeyes are really getting better. They just have to keep rolling until the next test, on Oct. 28 against No. 4 Penn State. One thing becomes clearer each week: Dobbins is Ohio State’s next big star.
POLL IMPLICATIONS: The Buckeyes won last week and dropped two spots, so it’s difficult to predict. The level of competition won’t do them any favors with voters.
UNLV: Hosts San Jose State next Saturday.
Ohio State: Begins a string of eight Big 10 games next Saturday at Rutgers.