The Ohio State vs. TCU live blog: Horned Frogs take lead into halftime



Three Dobbins carries move the chains, then Haskins finds Dixon on play-action to the TCU 15. Then it’s back to Dobbins for another 11 yards and more high-stepping. On first-and-goal, Haskins is sacked, but he makes up for it with a zone-read keeper. Touchdown. OSU’s back up double digits. OSU 40, TCU 28.


The third quarter ends with Dobbins high-stepping for 18 yards to midfield. This game is tipsy. Fifteen minutes to go. OSU 33, TCU 28.


Okay, yeah, the wheels are back on. Robinson completes short passes to TreVontae Hights (six yards) and Taye Barber (10), then goes for the play-action bomb … Hights reels it in for a 51-yard score. Hights was double-covered — Chris Fowler calls it “borderline reckless” — but he found the ball before the defenders. The PAT is good, and TCU’s back to within five points. This has been a wild quarter. OSU 33, TCU 28.


The wheels have completely come off. Haskins lobs to Hill for a 24-yard score, and in barely more than four minutes, Ohio State has gone from down eight to up 12. OSU 33, TCU 21.


Oh man, TCU just completely misplayed a great trick. Kavontae Turpin takes Ohio State’s kickoff out of the end zone, then laterals across the field to an open man, who goes for a touchdown. Only, Turpin’s lateral went about five yards forward because he was hit and couldn’t plant his feet. He’s shaken up, and it’s called back. And then TCU goes three-and-out. And then Nunez muffs a wayward punt snap, and it’s deflected and recovered by TCU at the 25. The wheels are coming off for TCU. OSU 26, TCU 21.


Ohhhhhhhh … that was dumb. On third-and-5, TCU attempts a shovel pass, and Shawn Robinson has to know when to hold back and not pitch. It’s eaten up, and he pitches the ball right to Dre’Mont Jones, who rumbles 28 yards for a score. Ninety seconds ago, TCU was up eight and on a roll. Now the Frogs are down five. OSU 26, TCU 21.


Oh man, a gorgeous bubble screen from Ohio State. With TCU’s pass rush starting to get to Haskins a bit more, Ryan Day makes a perfect call. Haskins hits Campbell on a short pass, and he races untouched for 63 yards and a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt is a massive failure, but Ohio State’s back to within two points. TCU 21, OSU 19.


A three-and-out for TCU: two run stuffs sandwiching a dropped pass by Turpin. Nunez booms a punt to the OSU 37. TCU 21, OSU 13.


OSU almost gets bailed out by a penalty but doesn’t. Haskins scrambles for just three yards on third-and-5 from the OSU 45, and Garret Wallow is initially called for targeting. But after a lengthy review, the call is overturned. I think that’s the right call. Chrisman’s punt is fair caught at the TCU 19. TCU 21, OSU 13.


Given rare good field position, TCU almost immediately takes advantage. Anderson rushes for eight yards, Jarrison Stewart gains 28 yards on a catch-and-run, then Anderson beats defenders to the edge for 16 yards, leaping to hit the pylon before landing out of bounds. Touchdown. Eight-point TCU lead. TCU 21, OSU 13.


A rare three-and-out. Two Dobbins touches gain four yards, and then Gladney breaks up a pass to Mack. Chrisman’s punt damn near hits the roof of Jerry World and is fair caught at the TCU 47. TCU 14, OSU 13.


TCU gets the ball to start the second half, and after a quick lateral to Reagor loses three, Anderson rushes for seven yards, then Robinson and Reagor connect for 14 yards to move the chain. But OSU responds well despite both Bosa and Kendall Sheffield leaving the game with injury. Three plays without Bosa gain zero yards, and Nunez’s punt is downed at the OSU 13. TCU 14, OSU 13.

Some stats:

  • Total yards: TCU 289, OSU 287
  • OSU’s Dwayne Haskins: 16-for-28 for 196 yards
  • TCU’s Shawn Robinson: 12-for-18 for 134 yards
  • TCU’s Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua: 13 carries for 137 yards (including Anderson’s 93-yarder) and two TDs, plus two catches for 12 yards
  • OSU’s JK Dobbins and Mike Weber: 18 carries for 97 yards, plus three catches for 24 yards


Ohio State doesn’t go conservative and run out the clock — instead, Haskins completes passes to Dixon (five and 10 yards) and Hill (nine yards). ANOTHER Mack drop, his third, creates a third-and-2, and Weber moves the chains on a second effort. After a completion to McLaurin moves the ball into TCU territory, OSU calls timeout with 49 seconds left.

After another mistake by Mack — he commits a holding penalty that pushes the Bucks back to their side of the 50 — Haskins makes a huge pass to K.J. Hill for 18 yards on third-and-16. That gets them within field goal range with 23 seconds left. After two incompletions, Haskins and McLaurin connect for 12 yards. But it’s all for naught. With seven seconds left, Nuernberger surprisingly misses a 38-yarder wide left. TCU will go into the half with the lead. TCU 14, OSU 13.


More field flipping! Robinson completes passes to Austin (seven yards) and Jarrison Stewart (10) and runs for 13 yards on a third-and-3 to move the ball toward midfield. But a sack by Johnathon Cooper and an overthrow on a deep ball to Reagor force a punt. Adam Nunez’s punt is fair caught at the OSU 10. TCU 14, OSU 13.


Ohio State starts at its 39 after a nice Johnnie Dixon return, and Dobbins gains 11 to midfield on the first play of the drive. then a 10-yard pass to KJ Hill moves the chains again. Dobbins squirts up the middle for another 10 yards, then finds an angle to the left for 12 more. OSU to the TCU 14.

Again, TCU stiffens before the end zone, though. Riddwan Issahaku nearly snares a deflected pass for a pick, then Innis Gaines breaks up a pass intended for Dixon. Nuernberger’s 30-yard field goal makes it a one-point game. TCU 14, OSU 13.


WELL DAMN. This is the best way to flip the field: on the second play of TCU’s drive, Darius Anderson runs off left guard … and there’s nobody there. He races 93 yards — the longest run in school history — and all of a sudden, TCU is up four. Hoo boy.

TCU 14, OSU 10. Total yards: TCU 262, OSU 160.


Ohio State converts its first third down of the night with a beautifully timed screen. On third-and-6, Mike Weber picks up 15 yards to dig the Buckeyes out of the shadow of their end zone. Weber then takes a handoff for another 17 yards, and TCU’s Joseph Broadnax is called for roughing the passer on the play after that. Just like that, the Buckeyes are back in TCU territory.

TCU stiffens from there, though. An end around to Parris Campbell loses six yards, and after another drop from Austin Mack, Noah Daniels breaks up a pass to McLaurin on third-and-long. Chrisman pins the Frogs at their 3, as he is wont to do. This has become a field-flipping contest. OSU 10, TCU 7.


Olonilua moves the chains with a seven yard run to the edge on the first play of the quarter, but TCU goes three-and-out from there. TCU’s first punt of the night is pinned nicely at the OSU 5. OSU 10, TCU 7.


TCU moves the chains with some trickeration — Kevontae Turpin takes a jet sweep for six yards, then Reagor gains four on a reverse. The quarter ends with TCU facing a third-and-3 from its 29. OSU 10, TCU 7.


A penalty kills a promising drive for the Buckeyes. Four Dobbins carries and a short pass to Terry McLaurin move the ball to the TCU 40, but a false start penalty turns a third-and-1 into third-and-6, and Hawkins is hit as he throws high to McLaurin. Once again, Chrisman’s punt is excellent: TCU will start from its 12. OSU 10, TCU 7.


A roller coaster series for Robinson. First, Jalen Reagor mades a gorgeous, one-handed, 42-yard grab along the right sideline to create a second scoring opportunity for TCU. Then, Robinson throws the ball right into the stomach of Ohio State’s Dre’mont Jones. Jones drops it, though, and then Ohio State’s Damon Arnette is called for a shaky pass interference penalty on third-and-7. First-and-goal at the 9.

After a short run by Anderson, Robinson fires too high for Reagor, but Sewo Olonilua squirts through the line on third-and-6 and leaps into the end zone. Bunce nearly misses the PAT but doesn’t. OSU 10, TCU 7. Total yards: TCU 137, OSU 94.


Dang, Nick Bosa. On TCU’s second play, Bosa torches the Frogs’ left tackle and strips Robinson. The ball bounces perfectly into the end zone, and Davon Hamilton recovers. (Replay a few minutes after the fact shows it probably should have been a safety because Hamilton touched the ball while his foot was out of bounds. Whoops.) TCU’s defense has allowed just three points in two possessions, but the Frogs are suddenly down 10 all the same. OSU 10, TCU 0.


Ohio State goes five-and-out. A pass in the flat to KJ Hill Jr. gains 20 yards, but good coverage forces one incompletion, and Parris Campbell is tackled short of the sticks on third-and-5 from the OSU 49. Drue Chrisman pins the Frogs inside their 10. OSU 3, TCU 0.


TCU tries to find a rhythm for Shawn Robinson early. He fires quick completions to Darius Anderson for six yards, Artayvious Lynn for 10, Taye Barber for 11, Jalen Reagor for 12, and, on a gorgeous bubble screen Reagor for 16 to the OSU 16. The Horned Frogs are operating at maximum tempo to keep the Buckeyes on their heels.

A holding penalty slows the Frogs down, though, turning a touchdown run into a second-and-11. A short run and an unsuccessful fade later, Cole Bunce misses a 31-yard field goal. Massive missed opportunity. OSU 3, TCU 0.


After JK Dobbins is stuffed on the game’s first play, Dwayne Haskins hits Austin Mack twice — first for 16 yards, then for a gorgeous diving 48-yarder. Three plays in, it’s first-and-goal from the 2. But after another stuff and a batted pass, Rashod Berry drops a third-down pass, and the Buckeyes settle for a Sean Nuernberger 19-yard field goal. Haskins put it right on Berry’s hands. OSU 3, TCU 0.


TCU won the toss and elected to defer. Ohio State will get the ball first. We’ll say the crowd is 60-40 in Ohio State’s favor in this one. Maybe a bit more.

Ohio State has plowed through the first two games of Urban Meyer’s suspension without issue, surging to a 2-0 record and a No. 4 ranking. But despite a pair of Power 5 opponents to kick off the season, the Buckeyes haven’t really been tested in 2018.

That ends Saturday.

Ohio State will make the trip to Texas for one of September’s marquee games when it faces No. 15 TCU at AT&T Stadium. For the Buckeyes, it’s a chance to prove their talent can shine against a legitimate foe, even without Meyer on the sideline. For the Horned Frogs, its a chance to spread their College Football Playoff hopes beyond the perimeter of Fort Worth.

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: AT&T Stadium, Dallas, TX
  • TV: ABC
  • Streaming: Watch ESPN
  • Odds: Ohio State is favored by 12.5 points.
  • Dwayne Haskins has plenty of autonomy behind center with the OSU offense, and so far it’s worked out pretty well.

When it comes to making the plays work on offense, OSU signal-caller Dwayne Haskins is the guy that determines what’s going to happen. The answer Day gives here came from a question of whether or not Haskins has the ability to audible plays at the line.

It appears Day already has the confidence in his quarterback to make the right decisions. So far this season, Haskins has completed 79.2 percent of his passes for 546 yards and nine touchdowns, while barely playing more than a half per game. On the running side, J.K. Dobbins is averaging 5.4 yards per carry, while Mike Weber is picking up 7.8 yards per attempt.

Was last week’s slow start vs. SMU indicative of a bigger problem at TCU?

The Horned Frogs fell behind early in Dallas last week thanks to a mistake-filled first half that saw dropped snaps, missed field goals, and multiple fumbles. While SMU’s penchant for bigger, flashier mistakes ultimate put TCU on the path to a blowout win, it wasn’t exactly reassuring with a date against the Buckeyes looming.

Shawn Robinson was able to gash the Mustangs on the ground, but his aerial attack left plenty to be desired. He completed just 16 of 29 passes for 154 yards, one touchdown, and one interception against a defense that gave up 451 passing yards to North Texas in its season opener. On Saturday, he’ll take on an Ohio State secondary that ranks 12th in the nation in passing defense; can he handle that kind of massive increase in competition?

S&P+ ratings peg Ohio State as the nation’s No. 2 team, while TCU falls in at 22nd. With the first two weeks of the season unfolding pretty much as planed, the Buckeyes appear to be the safe pick Saturday.

But, in my heart of hearts, I can’t abandon the Horned Frogs. TCU 34, Ohio State 33.

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