EditorsNote: removes reference to Fields playing 4 games last season; updates Fields stats; corrects one spelling of Ruckert
Justin Fields threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in the first 8:10 of his Ohio State debut to lead the No. 5 Buckeyes to 45-21 win against Florida Atlantic in the season opener for both teams at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday.
Fields, a sophomore transfer from Georgia, had scoring strikes of 25, 32, and 29 yards, plus a 51-yard TD run, before FAU stiffened to trail 28-3 at the half.
Fields completed 18 of 25 passes for 234 yards and four TDs. He also rushed for 61 yards and a TD on 12 carries.
J.K. Dobbins ran for 91 yards and a touchdown as part of 469 yards of offense for the Buckeyes.
The Owls were limited to minus-22 yards through two quarters (minus-14 rushing) but finished with 228 yards.
FAU quarterback Chris Robison completed 22 of 34 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown.
Ryan Day made his debut as the full-time Ohio State head coach, replacing Urban Meyer who retired in January.
Fields opened the scoring with his long scoring run up the middle at 13:07 of the first quarter and found tight end Jeremy Ruckert open about two minutes later for a 25-yarder to make it 14-0. Binjimen Victor had a 32-yard TD catch, and Chris Olave took advantage of blown coverage for his 29-yard scoring reception for a 28-0 lead.
Ohio State did not score on its next four possessions of the half, and Florida Atlantic got on the board with 33 seconds remaining in the first half on a 28-yard field goal by Vladimir Rivas.
He added another from 28 early in the third quarter to make it 28-6.
OSU went seven series without a score until Fields hit Ruckert from 3 yards for a 35-6 lead with 2:37 left in the third. FAU responded with a 3-yard run by Larry McCammon, and the Owls made a two-point conversion to get within 35-14.
—Field Level Media