COLUMBUS, Ohio — Terrelle Pryor tossed three touchdown passes, Brandon Saine rushed for 103 yards and two scores and No. 2 Ohio State rolled over error-prone Marshall 45-7 on Thursday night in a tuneup for a big date with Miami.
Pryor completed 17 of 25 passes for 247 yards and TDs covering 6 and 11 yards to DeVier Posey and 65 yards to Dane Sanzenbacher before 105,040 at Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes, who haven’t lost a home opener since 1978, next play on Sept. 11 against No. 13 Miami, which coasted past Florida A&M 45-0.
It was a bleak debut for new Marshall coach Doc Holliday, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant at West Virginia. The Thundering Herd fumbled the opening kickoff and were down 14-0 before running their first play in Ohio State territory.
Ohio State’s defense limited Marshall to 44 yards on the ground and 199 total. Brian Rolle picked off Brian Anderson’s pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
Anderson, who completed 17 of 28 passes for 135 yards, was harassed most of the night. He had an interception and the Herd also lost two fumbles.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes’ offense amassed 529 yards.
The first play was a telling sign for the Thundering Herd.
Andre Booker returned the opening kickoff and was hit hard by Dorian Bell and Dominic Clarke. The ball came loose and Nate Oliver recovered at the Marshall 22 for Ohio State.
Four plays later, Posey was open by a mile in the left corner and Pryor hit him for a 4-yard score.
After a punt, the Buckeyes were right back in business.
Pryor hit Posey for a 5-yard gain before Saine raced 40 yards off left tackle, breaking two tackles on the way to the 4. He then took a pitch untouched around right end for another score.
The Buckeyes had run seven plays, taking 2:13, and were up 14-0.
The offense continued to click.
Pryor hooked up with Sanzenbacher on a 65-yard bomb and Saine added a 45-yard scoring run on a quick burst up the middle.
Late in the half, the Buckeyes took a 35-7 lead when Rolle — who scored his only other career touchdown in last year’s opening-game victory over Navy — grabbed Anderson’s throw and followed a line of blockers into the end zone.
Not everything was perfect for the Buckeyes, however. Plagued by special teams errors on several occasions last year, including the victory over Oregon in the Rose Bowl, those problems arose again.
Devin Barclay’s first point-after kick was blocked but squirted over the crossbar. Booker had a 63-yard kickoff return. Then a 53-yard field goal attempt by Ohio State’s Drew Basil was blocked by Johnny Jones, the ball glancing directly to teammate Ahmed Shakoor who brought it back 39 yards for the score.
In the only previous meeting in 2004, it took Mike Nugent’s 55-yard field goal with no time left for Ohio State to escape with a 24-21 win.
This one was decided far earlier.