The junior running back rushed for 141 yards on 17 carries as the Buckeyes shut out Cincinnati, 42-0.
Dobbins’ day included a 60-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. It was the longest TD run of his career and his longest run since a 77-yard gain against Wisconsin in the 2017 Big Ten Championship Game.
He was also more efficient with his carries than he was as a sophomore. His 8.3 yards per carry was better than any game in 2018. Dobbins just looked more decisive and explosive with the ball in his hands, finding the holes his offensive line created as well as driving for extra yards.
That’s the Dobbins Ohio State needs more of to get where it wants to go this season.
Dobbins’ backfield partner, Justin Fields, had an impressive second start on Saturday. Although he did not have the multitude of big plays that he did at the start against Florida Atlantic, he looked very comfortable and decisive throwing the football. He completed 14 of 16 passes in the first half, with one incompletion coming after Cincinnati’s Darrick Forrest jarred the ball loose from Ohio State’s K.J. Hill. Fields finished 20-for-25 for 224 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed nine times for 42 yards and two TDs.
Following OSU’s Week 1 win against FAU, Dobbins and Fields spoke of learning to work together as a running duo. Saturday was an example of how good they can look.
They were also helped by a good afternoon by the offensive line. They opened good holes for Dobbins to run through and gave Fields plenty of time to throw. Dobbins also laid a key block on a four-yard TD run for Fields in the third quarter.
Dobbins did not get a carry in the second half.
Ohio State’s defense had its first shutout since blanking Rutgers, 56-0, on Sept. 30, 2017. They forced and recovered a fumble from Cincinnati’s Tavion Thomas at the 1 in the final minutes to secure the shutout.
The Buckeyes held the Bearcats to just 27 yards rushing through three quarters before the backups came in on defense.
Chase Young dominant once again
As good as Ohio State’s offensive line was on Saturday, it’s defensive line might have been even better. Chase Young especially had a big game. He was responsible for 1.5 of the Buckeyes’ five sacks. That gives him three in his first two games. He needed five games to reach that mark last year.
In addition, he also blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter that kept the Bearcats off the board.
An afternoon of firsts
Saturday’s game also was a day of firsts for several Ohio State players.
Freshman receiver Garrett Wilson had his first career reception and touchdown on the same play, where he made a nice acrobatic catch on a nine-yard throw from Fields in the second quarter.
Tyreke Smith also recorded his first career sack. The sophomore from Cleveland Heights made his season debut on Saturday after not playing against Florida Atlantic.
Tuf Borland grabbed his first interception off a pass that Shaun Wade tipped. That pick came inside the OSU 5 and kept Cincinnati off the scoreboard once again. Wade almost set up another interception earlier in the game with a tipped ball. But Young dropped it.
Ohio State goes on the road for the first time this season as it opens Big Ten play on Sept. 14 at Indiana. Kickoff is at noon.