J.T. Barrett tossed six touchdown passes to lead Ohio State past Kent State 66-0 on Saturday in front of 104,404 at Ohio Stadium.
The loss dropped the Golden Flashes to 0-3 on the season with one game at Virginia (Sep. 27) before returning to Mid-American Conference play Oct. 4 at Northern Illinois.
"When you go through adversity like we have been through, it shapes you," said Kent State head coach Paul Haynes. "These games are shaping us. We will be a good football team, but right now we are not showing it. We have to get better at the little things, and we will continue to do that."
Barrett found Michael Thomas for a 14-yard score and Rod Smith for touchdown throws of 1 and 8 yards as Ohio State built a 21-0 lead after one quarter. The redshirt freshman quarterback added scoring tosses of 63 yards to Thomas, 2 yards to Marcus Baugh and 50 yards to Devin Smith to push the advantage out to 45-0 at halftime.
One more 3-yard touchdown hookup with Jalin Marshall with 9:20 to play in the third quarter pushed the lead to 52-0 and ended Barrett's day with 312 yards on 23-of-30 passing.
"They have good athletes, and we have to give them credit," said Kent State safety Nate Holley, who led the Flashes with 14 tackles, including 12 solos. "Fundamentally we were not sound, though. There were things we needed to do, like wrap up or keep our eyes up. We didn't do them. They were throwing stiff-arms out there and we weren't breaking the stiff-arms off and making the tackle. It was partly on us because of our technique, but then again we were playing some good dudes.
Kent State's most significant highlight against Barrett came in the first quarter when Matt Dellinger spoiled another potential Buckeyes score, intercepting a pass tipped by Golden Flashes cornerback Demetrius Monday near the goal line.
The Flashes created two other Ohio State turnovers on the day. In the third quarter, Matt Sommers forced a fumble after the Buckeyes tried to return a blocked punt deep in the Kent State end of the field. In the fourth, Marques Moore caused another fumble that was recovered by Jordan Italiano.
Backup running back Curtis Samuel added a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth to help the Buckeyes (2-1) close out the win. Samuel finished with 100 yards on 15 carries to lead a rushing attack that gained 284 yards on 53 attempts.
Kent State's offense was led by Nick Holley, who ran for 34 yards on six carries and caught six passes for another 37 yards. Nate Holley led the Flashes defense with 12 tackles, including 10 solos.
Colin Reardon finished with 76 yards on 14-of-27 passing, including three interceptions, for Kent State.