COLUMBUS, Ohio — There were a lot of questions surrounding Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields heading into his first start for the Buckeyes.
“Can he live up to the hype of his recruiting ranking?”
“Is he capable of performing at a high level after only eight months in Ohio State’s program?”
“Was his average performance in the spring game just a fluke?”
All of those questions were answered and squashed by Fields after a record-setting performance in his Buckeye debut on Saturday against Florida Atlantic.
On Ohio State’s first drive of the game, Fields ran a beautiful RPO and took the ball to the house himself on a 51-yard touchdown run, following his blockers to perfection.
Fields’ excellence would not stop there as he would cap off their next drive with this beautiful 25-yard strike to a wide-open Jeremy Ruckert for the touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 14-0.
The brilliance of Fields didn’t stop there as he continued to produce touchdowns on the next two drives for the Buckeyes as well, one being a gorgeous 32-yard pass to an open Binjimen Victor in the end zone and the other a 29-yard pass to Chris Olave for the score.
Oh, by the way, all four of these touchdowns came in the first 8:10 of the game. Yes, you read that right. Justin Fields accounted for four touchdowns in the first eight minutes and ten seconds of the 2019 football season.
The Buckeye offense would mellow out for the the majority of the game following those four touchdowns, but Fields would account for one more touchdown by the end of the game, this one a short 3-yard TD pass to TE Jeremy Ruckert in the third quarter.
Fields’ five touchdowns on Saturday against the Owls ties Dwayne Haskins’ school record set last season for the most touchdowns by a Buckeye quarterback in their starting debut.
If you didn’t get a chance to see all five of those touchdowns, you can watch them all right now:
Tying the record of a Heisman finalist and arguably the greatest quarterback in Ohio State history isn’t a bad way to make a first collegiate start.
It wasn’t just Fields’ touchdowns that were impressive, it was his accuracy. He completed 18 of his 25 pass attempts in the Buckeyes’ season opener against FAU and a few of those incompletions came on dropped passes by his receivers.
Fields proved himself on Saturday. He showed everyone why he’s the highest-rated recruit to ever come to Ohio State. He showed everyone that he is capable of leading this team to greatness this season.
The Buckeyes clearly have a lot of things to work on after their performance following the first quarter against Florida Atlantic, but they showed several flashes of greatness and at the center of that greatness was Fields, who has certainly cemented himself as an early Heisman Trophy contender.
The Buckeyes will most likely learn from the mistakes that plagued them in the last three quarters of their season opener and Justin Fields looks like he will be a guiding light on offense while the team sorts out whatever problems they may have.
Ohio State was far from flawless on the football field in their season opener, but Justin Fields was pretty darn close to perfection in his debut.
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