Under the bright lights and surrounded by storied tradition, graduating wide receiver Xavier Johnson was the Buckeyes’ rising star when his first touchdown of his career helped Ohio State’s No. 2 beat Notre No. 5 by 9:10 on Saturday lady defeated.
Johnson caught a 24-yard pass down the middle to put Ohio State 14-10 ahead with 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Third-year running back Miyan Williams added safety with a two-yard rushing score just under five minutes from time in the fourth game.
The Buckeyes’ offense stalled in the first half of the game and totaled 149 yards, including 50 on the ground. Graduate kicker Noah Ruggles missed a 39-yard field goal attempt, his first of the season, by 36 seconds in the second quarter after missing just once in 2021.
Notre Dame controlled the ball in the first half and scored on both trips to the red zone and totaled 181 yards of offense. Struggling Irish quarterback sophomore Tyler Buchner averaged 16 yards at halftime from his eight completions.
Third-year quarterback CJ Stroud finished with 223 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Knowles’ new defense
Ohio State expects a defense that ranks among the best in college football.
Though Buchner saw through a flash and completed a 54-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Lorenzo Styles in the first offensive play of the game, Ohio State’s defense played a two-half story against the Fighting Irish.
Ohio State conceded 10 points in the first half but kept Notre Dame scoreless in the second.
Fourth-year linebacker Tommy Eichenberg recorded two sacks to lead the Buckeyes defense.
Scores of Buckeye alumni filled the stands at Ohio Stadium in front of over 106,000 fans.
Returning football alumni included members of the 2002 team honored for the 20th anniversary of its national championship season. Former head coach Jim Tressel led the group, and recent former Buckeyes in attendance included quarterback Joe Burrow, running back Ezekiel Elliott, cornerback Jeff Okudah, wide receiver Chris Olave, and defensive end Chase Young.
Akron native and current Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James also returned to Ohio Stadium when his son Bronny James visited campus as a prospective basketball recruit.
The Buckeyes will next play Arkansas State on Sept. 10 while continuing their five-game home stand to start the 2022 season.