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WKU Football at no. 6 Ohio St: A Breakdown

Kayden Mulrooney
Junior wide receiver Denzil Alleyne (82) catches a pass in the end zone and scores a touchdown during a game against Houston Christian on Sept. 9, 2023.

In my Ohio State game preview I made the in my mind not-so-bold prediction that WKU would cover the 30 point spread and keep the Buckeyes within three scores.


Ohio State played up to their No. 6 national ranking, throttling the Hilltoppers 63-10 in the Saturday evening contest. 

“We did all we could do to try to go out there and give ourselves a chance.” Head coach Tyson Helton said. “ We’ll rebound and keep on rolling.”

The game was entirely lost in the second quarter. Despite only being down four with eight minutes left to play in the second, the Hilltoppers miscues on both sides of the ball practically threw the game away.

Offensively, it was aggressiveness that cost WKU. Two failed fourth down attempts, including one at their own 40, along with a fumble inside their own territory resulted in a 21 point Buckeye swing.

“I own about 40 of those points out there.” Helton said. “ I put our defense, at times, in bad situations.”

Defensively, the Hilltoppers were overwhelmed by the talent of Ohio State in the second quarter. WKU allowed five Ohio State touchdowns during the 15 minute period, including a stretch where the Buckeyes tallied 28 points on only nine plays.

“Small errors really, some of us missing our assignments,” redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Hosea Wheeler said. “ Little things to clean up going into next week.”

If there are any moral victories the Hilltoppers can take away from the game, the WKU defense played a solid second half. WKU only allowed one touchdown on the five Ohio State drives, forcing two punts and an impressive big man interception from Wheeler.

However, WKU’s offensive woes carried over into the second half, going scoreless in the two quarters, giving up two defensive touchdowns to Ohio State on a fumble recovery in the endzone and a 58-yard pick six. 

WKU, who find themselves in arguably their toughest two game stretch of the year, will need to move ahead from this tough loss and turn the page to next week’s game against the reigning Sun Belt champs, the Troy Trojans.

“We’re now gonna play the Sun Belt Champs in Troy and they’re an excellent football team.” Helton said. “ We can’t blink for a second.”

Football reporter Jake McMahon can be reached at [email protected].

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