By: DJ Johnson
Any optimism Head Coach Rob Ianello and The University of Akron football team had prior to their showdown with Ohio State was put to rest Saturday afternoon following a 42-0 loss to the Buckeyes.
The shutout marks the fourth consecutive season-opening loss for the Zips, making it two in a row for the second-year head coach.
“It doesn’t matter to me who the opponent is; I expect a certain level of fight and competitiveness and execution from our team, and I felt we didn’t do that today like we should expect to do at The University of Akron,” Ianello said.
The No. 18 Buckeyes struck first midway through the first quarter on a 15-yard run by quarterback Joe Bauserman. Two touchdown catches by tight end Jake Stoneburner in the second quarter made the halftime score 21-0.
A 41-yard field goal attempt by T.J. Marchese went wide just before the half. It was the closest Akron came to scoring in all of the 60 minutes.
“We didn’t get anything generated on offense at all to change the field position, so that really puts you in a bind,” Ianello said. “I’m probably most disappointed in our offensive performance.”
The second half did not prove to be any better for the Zips, as a third Stoneburner touchdown early in the third quarter put the game out of reach.
Ohio State freshman quarterback Braxton Miller tossed his first collegiate touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to Devin Smith, making the score 35-0. A two-yard run by Rod Smith with under six minutes to go in the fourth was the last score of the game.
“I tell our team that no matter who we play that it is never acceptable to not play at a high level,” Ianello said.
Akron linebacker Brian Wagner highlighted an otherwise dreadful day for the Zips. Wagner recorded a game-high 15 tackles, including 10 unassisted.
Transfer Clayton Moore, making his first career start at quarterback for UA, struggled against the superior Ohio State defense. Moore finished the game six of 16 passing for 54 yards with one interception.
“He’ll be his hardest critic, that I know.” Ianello said of Moore.
On the opposite sideline, Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell avoiding being the first Buckeyes’ coach since 1892 to lose his debut.
Though the Buckeyes were without the services of wideout DeVier Posey, running back Dan Herron, offensive tackle Mike Adams and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, Fickell was impressed with those who did touch the field.
“We’re going to focus on the guys we have here,” Fickell said. “We’re going to continue to have guys step up.”
Ohio State compiled 517 yards of total offense to Akron’s 90. Bauserman highlighted the potent OSU offense, completing 12 of 16 passes, including three touchdown tosses. Stoneburner was the beneficiary on all three of Bauserman’s TD passes.
“He’s been an integral part of this offense all through camp,” Fickell said of Stoneburner. “I kind of expected it.”
Stoneburner was one of 11 Ohio State receivers to catch a pass on the day. OSU gained 293 yards through the air on the afternoon and ran for 224 more on the ground.
“We had a couple things in mind. The first thing is we wanted to be sharp and fast,” Fickell said. “I think after looking at it from ground level, without studying it at all, we did a pretty good job.”
OSU will take on another MAC Conference team this Saturday as they welcome Toledo to the Shoe.
Akron will welcome Temple to InfoCision Stadium Saturday, looking for their first win in their home opener.
Temple shut out Akron a year ago, 30-0.