Club Football: Buckeyes run roughshod over Raiders in blowout win
At the conclusion of every Wright State club football game this season, head coach Anthony Van Horn gathers with his players on the field for a few minutes for a post game message.
For the past three weeks, those gatherings had a spirited, sometimes light-hearted tone. Sunday afternoon in Columbus, the tone was much different.
No. 7 Ohio State ran over, around and through No. 4 WSU and handed the Raiders their worst loss of the year in a 49-14 drubbing.
The Buckeyes (1-0, 6-1) gashed the Raiders’ defense on the ground early and often. WSU’s Defense – something the team hung its hat on during its three-game win streak – were the ones being pushed around this time.
In the Raiders’ three previous wins, WSU surrendered a combined 33 points. At halftime of Sunday’s game, OSU led 36-0.
“We started out in the hole very quickly. [OSU scored] three touchdowns right off the bat, and before I could turn around, we gave up 20 points,” Van Horn said. “We just have to do a better job of just making sure that we don’t pin our defense back like that where they are giving up easy touchdowns.”
The going was just as tough for the WSU offense. The large deficit OSU created in the first half forced WSU quarterback Nate Bollheimer to throw more early than he has in past games. When the Raiders’ defense did create opportunities for the offense to narrow the Buckeyes’ lead, WSU was unable to close the gap.
Following an interception by linebacker Robert Maxi, and with the Raiders trailing 29-0, Bollheimer fired a screen pass towards the WSU sideline only to watch Buckeyes’ two-way lineman Alex Recker intercept it and run it back for an OSU touchdown that put the game out of reach.
The Raiders were also not their normal, composed selves. Several moments of frustration, both on the sidelines and on the field, culminated in the fourth quarter when safety Jared Rex launched himself towards an OSU player that was attempting to down an OSU punt inside WSU territory. Rex was penalized 15 yards for targeting and was ejected.
“As a team, it’s just something that we can all learn and try to get closer together from,” defensive end Ricky Redinger said. “A big time loss can definitely hurt or help a team, and I think that we’ve got a good group of guys, we’ll get after it at practice and this will really help us.”
Van Horn said practice this week will focus on overall execution. In the meantime, he said he wants his players to “look at the loss as a learning experience.”
“We came out here and we have some people that seem to be a little complacent because of the winning streak we were on. I told them in the huddle after the game that we got exposed today because some people were not taking it as seriously as they should. It’s a rude awakening for them,” Van Horn said.