The Buckeyes started out fast, scoring early and often against the Rattlers. After throwing an interception on the first drive of the game, redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton recovered and threw four touchdown passes before the end of the first quarter, spreading the ball around in the process.
Junior tight end Jeff Heuerman, junior wide receivers Evan Spencer and Devin Smith and senior running back Carlos Hyde all caught passes for scores from Guiton, helping OSU jump to a 34-0 lead.
Guiton’s success this season in Miller’s absence is a result of how much he has pushed himself and developed, according to OSU coach Urban Meyer.
“He pushed himself academically, and he’s an exceptional guy,” Meyer said of Guiton. “He’s an efficient player right now, he’s an incredible manager, coach on the field so, you know, his time came. It’s not because he had the buckeye in his pocket or his lucky T-shirt; it’s because he worked hard with the position coach to get ready for his opportunity and boy did he.”
It was Hyde’s first action of the season after being suspended by Meyer for his involvement in an incident at a Columbus bar in July. Hyde finished the game with 41 yards on five carries to go along with his touchdown catch.
With his return, one of the game’s story lines was how he was going to fit into the offensive system moving forward. Meyer addressed that following the game.
“I think you have three (running backs) that are above the others right now, you have Jordan Hall, Rod Smith and Carlos Hyde are the top three backs,” Meyer said. “(Redshirt-senior running back) Jordan Hall gives you flexibility, too. I’m evaluating what to do.”
OSU continued to pile it on in the second quarter, as Hall scored his second touchdown of the game on an 18-yard scamper to give his team a 41-0 lead.
Guiton set the OSU record for touchdown passes in a game just before halftime, when he connected with Spencer in the back of the end zone for his sixth scoring toss. That score gave the Buckeyes a 55-0 lead at the break. Guiton completed 24 of 34 passes for 215 yards with six touchdowns and one interception, and said it was “a lot of fun” setting a record like that.
“It’s a blessing. Like I said, thank God, thank the O-linemen. I had all day,” Guiton said. “The coaches wanted to come out throwing the ball around, I thank them for the trust they put in me to be able to do that, and I just trust the receivers and make plays.”
With the game in hand, OSU’s backups started the second half and played the rest of the game. Freshman running back Ezekiel Elliot found the end zone for the first time in his OSU career in the third quarter on a 16-yard run. He scored again later in the quarter on a 13-yard run, as the Buckeyes took a 69-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Redshirt-freshman quarterback Cardale Jones ran 10 yards for a touchdown late in the game to make the final score 76-0.
Starting redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby said the defense’s goal was to not allow FAMU to score any points, and that it felt good to achieve that goal.
“As a defense we shut them out,” Roby said. “That was our goal and we were able to accomplish that, so that’s always a good feeling, leaving a game with a goose egg.”
A moment of silence was taken before the game to honor Maria Tiberi, an OSU student who was killed in a car accident Sept. 17. Meyer said they presented the Tiberi family with an OSU football helmet.
“Once again with a heavy heart and sympathy and prayers for (the Tiberi) family,” Meyer said. “We gave them a helmet, and you wish you could do more for that family.”
OSU is scheduled to start Big Ten play next Saturday against Wisconsin at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.