Hilltoppers Fall At No. 6/4 Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio – WKU Football hung tough with No. 6/4 Ohio State for a quarter and a half, but ultimately fell to the top-10 team 63-10 on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

The Hilltoppers (2-1) were down 7-3 at the end of the first quarter and made it a 14-10 game at the 8:10 mark of the second quarter, but the Buckeyes (3-0) reeled off four unanswered touchdowns to end the second quarter and pull away.

“We came here to try to win, we played on the edge, we did all we could do to try to go out there and give ourselves a chance, and good football teams don’t allow you to do that,” WKU head coach Tyson Helton said. “That’s what they did today. They stopped us on fourth down, made us turn the ball over, so hats off to them. They did a nice job. We’ll rebound and keep on rolling.”

Despite the result, quarterback Austin Reed managed to put up 207 yards and a touchdown, while receiver Malachi Corley tallied 88 yards and a score on eight receptions in his return to action to lead the offense, which finished with 284 yards.

Ohio State got on the board first with a 21-yard touchdown run to cap off the game’s opening drive, but WKU put up points by the end of the first quarter with a 43-yard field goal from Lucas Carneiro to make it 7-3 heading to the second.

The Buckeyes scored on a 7-yard rush early in the second to pull ahead by double digits, and the Hilltoppers responded with a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped off with a 2-yard pass from Reed to Corley, making it 14-10.

Ohio State reeled off four unanswered touchdowns to take a 42-10 lead into the break – a score that would hold until the 4:38 mark in the third, when the Buckeyes recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. Ohio State added two touchdowns in the fourth – one on a 28-yard reception and the other on a 58-yard pick six – to cap off the 63-10 decision.

“I’m trying to take positives out of the game,” Helton said. “I was glad that our defense just didn’t go out there and lay down. I felt like they kept battling. That’s tough, man. That’s tough to set your jaw when you’re getting beat like that and you’ve got a head coach that looks you in the eye and says, ‘I’m going to keep rolling it out here.’

“But I like our football team. I like our football team. One game is one game. This is a game we knew we had to lay it out there and it didn’t work out how we wanted it to.”

WKU will return to action Saturday, Sept. 23, with an 11 a.m. game at Troy. That game will be televised on ESPNU.