Here we are, officially kicking off the Buckeye Sports Bulletin NCAA Football 14 Tournament with the Round of 64.
Ohio State starts the tournament with a matchup that is presumably an easy one for the No. 1 seed of the Midwest Region. The Buckeyes are taking on Miami (Ohio), the MAC champions, and a team it beat by more than 70 points in 2019.
Will they prevail against the outmatched RedHawks, and if so, who will Ohio State be facing off with in the upcoming round?
Further than that, what will the entire Round of 32 look like for this virtual tournament? Find all those answers below with a game-by-game breakdown of what the video game consoles churned out.
Note: For the full explanation of what this tournament is, how these seeds were selected and the schedule for when upcoming rounds will be released, click here for our introduction to the tournament.
1 Ohio State vs. 16 Miami (OH)
59-17 Ohio State
Miami (Ohio) entered the first round matchup looking for revenge for the 77-5 beating that Ohio State delivered during the regular season, but left Ohio Stadium with yet another blowout defeat. Ohio State jumped out to an early lead, and rode into halftime up 42-10, thanks to five Justin Fields touchdowns – four through the air, one on the ground.
Even with the backups in, Ohio State had no issues holding off the RedHawks, and second-string quarterback Chris Chugunov even got in on the fun late, delivering a strike to Binjimen Victor for a 59-yard score with just three minutes to play.
Fields was nearly perfect on the day, completing 21 of his 24 pass attempts for 304 yards and four touchdowns, while running for an extra 92 and a score on 19 carries. Halfback J.K. Dobbins shouldered much of the load on the ground, toting the rock 28 times for 148 yards and a touchdown. Victor had a career day, reeling in 10 receptions for a whopping 194 yards and three touchdowns.
Chase Young led the Buckeye defense, with nine solo tackles, four for a loss, and two sacks, while Jeff Okudah and Jordan Fuller both snagged interceptions.
For Miami, little went right on offense, despite three Buckeye turnovers. Quarterback Jackson Williamson went 20-of-39 passing for 180 yards and a touchdown, while halfback Jaylon Bester ran 10 times for just 34 yards. Safety Sterling Weatherford’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown off of Chugunov in the fourth quarter provided Miami’s only points of the second half.
8 Cincinnati vs. 9 Kentucky
Kentucky took a trip up I-75 led by wide receiver turned quarterback Lynn Bowden and left with a dominant victory to advance to the round of 32.
Bowden, with a newfound ability to spread the ball around (it may be a good video game, but it is still a video game, and it doesn’t seem to fully understand Bowden’s skillset), completed 20 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns, eschewing his usual run-first style (six carries for 31 yards).
4 Minnesota vs. 13 Ohio
Ohio kept it more than respectable, but couldn’t quite keep up with Minnesota’s high-powered offense as it pulled away late for the win in front of a raucous home crowd.
A large part of that can be chalked up to the Golden Gophers’ electric passing attack. Quarterback Tanner Morgan, riding a wave of RPOs, tossed for three touchdowns and nearly 400 yards while completing 24 of his 37 passes. Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman combined for 14 receptions and 248 yards, along with two touchdowns, as they terrorized the Ohio defensive backfield.
5 Iowa vs. 12 Kansas State
It was a classic Midwest battle between two Midwest stalwarts that would have made former K-State head coach Bill Snyder and current Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz very proud. Well, that is, until the quarterbacks took over.
With 16 combined punts, it was still very much a field position battle, but tremendous showings from both Iowa’s Nate Stanley (23 of 40 for 328 yards and two touchdowns) and Kansas State’s Skylar Thompson (23 of 43 for 392 yards and two touchdowns) lit up the scoreboard and made up for paltry rushing performances from both sides.
The game was as back and forth as they come, with six lead changes and a late Kansas State touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Schoen that very nearly sparked a comeback, but Iowa recovered the onside kick attempt with 1:22 to play to shut down any chances of that.
3 Michigan vs. 14 Nebraska
No problems for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines under the lights of the Big House. Nebraska pulled within four points going into the half, 17-13, with a strong second quarter and a late field goal, but a miserable second half doomed the Huskers. Michigan finished the game scoring 21 straight points to take the win.
A large part of that run came from the Wolverine defense, which locked down Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez and held him to less than 100 second half yards (22 of 39 for 269 yards and a score on the day). A late Daxton Hill pick six was a fitting end to a day to forget for the Nebraska offense.
6 Iowa State vs. 11 Michigan State
37-34, Michigan State
This may very well have been the best game of this whole first round. It had everything: Lead changes, a 30-point second quarter, a legitimate quarterback duel between Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke (19 of 29 for 262 yards and a touchdown) and Iowa State’s Brock Purdy (27 of 43 for 264 yards and four touchdowns), and a final three minutes truly fitting of March Madness.
In those final three minutes, following a 32-yard Matt Coghlin field goal to tie the game at 34, the Spartans held strong, forcing a three-and-out after just 30 seconds to get the ball back with a chance to take the lead from midfield and 2:30 to play.
A strong run paired with a poorly timed facemask penalty put Michigan State into field goal range immediately, an 11-yard Elijah Collins run moved the Spartans even closer, and with three seconds to play, MSU lined up and Coghlin drilled a 27-yard field goal for the win.
7 Air Force vs. 10 Missouri
44-38 (3OT), Missouri
Talk about a clash of styles. With Missouri unable to run, and Air Force unable to pass, four quarters wasn’t enough to settle this one. The Tigers roared back after a slow start to take a late lead, but Air Force was able to find a response in the fourth quarter to knot the game at 24.
The Falcons actually had a chance to win in regulation with about a minute to play, but opted to kneel out the clock to avoid testing the arm of quarterback Donald Hammond III (13-of-26 passing for 196 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) and risk a mistake. The decision paid off in overtime, as, with the clock off, Air Force struck first on a well-run option score for halfback Kadin Remsberg.
Missouri, again, refused to go away. With the game on the line, quarterback Kelly Bryant found wideout Kam Scott in the back of the end zone on fourth-and-8 to send the game to a second overtime.
After two more touchdowns in the second overtime, Hammond’s magic finally ran out. He was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage trying to find the end zone, and with just a field goal needed to win, Missouri put the ball in the hands of Bryant, and he delivered. A nine yard slant to Jalen Knox, Bryant’s 73rd pass of the game (38-of-73 passing for 400 yards and two touchdowns) sealed the upset.
2 Penn State vs. 15 Western Kentucky
41-17, Penn State
Penn State broke out the white out under the lights for this round matchup, but probably didn’t need to. The Hilltoppers put a good scare into the Nittany Lion faithful early on, taking a 14-10 lead in the first quarter, but 21 unanswered points to end the half gave Penn State a 31-14 lead it would never look back from.
WKU could only muster up a field goal in the second half, and with the game in hand, PSU trusted its ground game to grind out yards and burn clock, as the Nittany Lions look ahead to Missouri in the round of 32.
1 LSU vs. 16 Louisiana Tech
This Battle of Louisiana went as expected, with LSU mostly cruising to a first round victory. The Tigers jumped to a 21-0 lead and rode running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire the rest of the way.
Edwards-Helaire rushed a whopping 39 times for 212 yards and three scores, while also grabbing six catches for 71 yards. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow completed 22 of 35 passes for 283 yards and a score.
8 UL Lafayette vs. 9 Miami (Fl.)
The 8-9 matchup absolutely delivered, with UL Lafayette holding on to win after nearly blowing a 23-point fourth quarter lead.
Don’t let the normal looking score fool you, the Rajun Cajuns lead 28-5, with Miami scoring just a safety and field goal through the first three quarters. But the Hurricanes scored a pair of touchdowns with two-point conversions, and it took ULL making a gutsy call, going for it on 4th and 6 and connecting on an 11-yard pass, to officially ice the game and not allow the Hurricanes a chance to tie or win.
Levi Lewis was the hero for the Cajuns, completing 28 of 52 passes for 378 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Jarren Williams threw for 351 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the loss.
4 UCF vs. 13 Mississippi State
The Golden Knights rolled to a 16-point victory over their SEC opponent, highlighted by 332 passing yards and two touchdowns by UCF true freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel.
Mississippi State could not get much of anything going offensively, amassing just 279 yards of offense compared to 514 by UCF. Tommy Stevens struggled for the Bulldogs, completing just 16 of 40 passes for 184 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
5 Baylor vs. 12 South Carolina
44-27, South Carolina
Those pesky 5-12 matchups. It was back and forth for much of the game, but South Carolina capitalized down the stretch, outscoring Baylor 21-7 in the fourth quarter to seal the 17-point win.
Jake Bentley threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns, while Tavien Feaster rushed 25 times for 124 yards and two scores to lead the Gamecocks to victory. Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer completed less than half of his passes (19 of 39), but threw for 353 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
3 Auburn vs. 14 Ole Miss
37-35, Ole Miss
This was maybe the greatest video game finale ever witnessed.
Auburn roared all the way back from a 37-22 deficit in the fourth quarter and had two opportunities in the final two minutes to win with either a field goal or touchdown.
The first ended in a Bo Nix interception. The second, which started at Ole Miss’ 47-yard line with 53 seconds left, ended differently. Nix, despite some horrid throws and near interceptions, led the Tigers down to the 25-yard line with 3rd and 10 and 19 seconds left. Nix then threw a beauty to fullback (!!) Jay Jay Wilson, who was wide open in the end zone.
He dropped it. Kicker Anders Carlson missed the 42-yard field goal on the next play to give the Rebels a rousing upset win.
6 Texas A&M vs. 11 Tulane
Three straight upsets, with this one not being even as close as the final score shows. The Green Wave rolled over the Aggies, leading 27-7 at halftime and never again having the game come within less than 13 points.
A trio of seniors led the way for Tulane, especially quarterback Justin McMillan (391 passing yards, four TDs). Running back Darius Bradwell added 127 rushing yards and a score, while wide receiver Darnell Mooney caught seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
7 Texas vs. 10 Florida Atlantic
Back to some normalcy here. Texas defeated Florida Atlantic rather handedly, using 27 straight points in the second half to build an insurmountable lead and take down the Owls.
Quarterback Sam Ehlinger had quite the outing, throwing for 355 yards, rushing for 65 yards, and amassing five total touchdowns. Running back Keaontay Ingram also added 161 total yards and two rushing scores.
The teams combined for 1,030 total yards (551 Texas, 479 Florida Atlantic), 810 of which came through the air.
2 Georgia vs. 15 Florida State
The biggest blowout in the first round for the South Region came from Georgia, who beat the tar out of Florida State on the way to a 34-point victory.
The Bulldogs led 38-6 at half and 52-9 after three quarters before the Seminoles added a safety and touchdown when the game was far, far out of reach.
Quarterback Jake Fromm (26 of 39, 367 yards, three TDs, INT) and running back D’Andre Swift (21 carries, 110 yards, two TDs) did most of the damage for Georgia, who outgained Florida State 531-365.
1 Alabama vs. 16 Illinois
Even without star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who will miss this tournament just as he missed the real life postseason, Alabama had little issue with Lovie Smith’s upstart Illinois squad. A 15 point quarter made it a bit more respectable, but the Crimson Tide never showed any serious signs of danger as they advance to the next round.
In Tagovailoa’s place was backup Mac Jones, who filled in admirably, completing 19 of 33 passes for 236 yards and two scores. He truly wasn’t needed much, because the Alabama skills corps was ready for the challenge and rose to it. Najee Harris and Brian Robinson combined for over 200 yards and two scores on 41 carries, and star receiver Jerry Jeudy only needed five receptions to find the end zone and rack up 112 yards.
8 Tennessee vs. 9 Oklahoma State
No trouble here for the surging Volunteers, as they leaned on their defense to shut down Oklahoma State and freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders.
A 14-point second quarter – led by two Chuba Hubbard touchdowns – was all that the Cowboys could manage, as they put up just 265 yards of total offense on the day.
4 Oregon vs. 13 SMU
This was as much a tale of two halves as you’ll ever see. Oregon jumped all over the Mustangs early, taking a 31-0 lead into halftime thanks to two Justin Herbert touchdowns and big runs from C.J. Verdell and Travis Dye. SMU couldn’t get anything going, and looked completely overmatched.
In the second half, however, Oregon’s defense collapsed. SMU scored two quick touchdowns to cut the lead to 17, and found the end zone again to answer another Herbert touchdown, making it 38-21 entering the fourth quarter.
SMU dominated that as well, but a failed SMU two-point conversion and a fourth Herbert touchdown, this time on the ground, was enough to keep the Ducks out in front despite the surge from SMU and quarterback Shane Buechele, who threw for 428 yards and three scores on 31-of-48 passing.
5 Washington vs. 12 Arizona State
26-14, Arizona State
Herm’s boys pull off the upset! With stout defense and a persistent rushing attack, the Sun Devils were able to neutralize Jacob Eason and advance to the next round.
Quarterback Jayden Daniels and halfback Eno Benjamin combined for 48 carries and 222 yards and kicker Christian Zendejas hit all four of his tries to push his offense over the finish line.
3 Utah vs. 14 San Diego State: 16-13, Utah
If the Utes are going to make a run in this tournament, it’s probably going to have to be with defense, just like it was in this matchup.
A third quarter touchdown was the only time that the Aztecs could find the end zone, but Utah had similar struggles moving the football, and won on the back of a great performance from kicker Jadon Redding, who went 3 for 3 and drilled a 45-yarder in the third quarter.
Utah’s lone touchdown came in the final seconds, when quarterback Tyler Huntley carried for eight yards to find paydirt with just 24 seconds to play.
6 USC vs. 11 TCU
This was a lot of fun. The two teams combined for a whopping 58 points in the first half, including 24 for USC alone in the second quarter, as the Trojans managed to dismantled Gary Patterson’s once-vaunted defense.
Kedon Slovis’ performance for USC at quarterback certainly made his offensive coordinator, Graham Harrell, proud. Slovis threw for 556 yards and two touchdowns on 50-of-69 passing.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Max Duggan went 44 of 67 for 414 yards and two touchdowns, though he did throw an interception. However, seven USC sacks put TCU behind the sticks far too often, and USC was able to pull away in the second half, holding the Horned Frogs to just seven points.
7 Washington State vs. 10 Boise State
40-15, Washington State
The West division is just full of excellent passing attacks. Just after the extravaganza that USC and TCU put on, Anthony Gordon decided to make his case for best passer in the region.
He went 36-of-58 passing for 418 yards and three scores, while the Cougars rolled over quarterback Hank Bachmeier 40-15.
2 Oklahoma vs. 15 BYU
No trouble here for the No. 2 seeded Sooners. OU answered BYU’s 400 yards of total offense with 673 of its own, including 518 passing yards, 480 of which came from Jalen Hurts, who went 35-of-52 passing and threw six touchdowns.
BYU struggled to hold onto the ball all game, turning it over three times and converting on just 4 of its 14 third down tries.
1 Clemson vs. 16 Louisville
In typical Clemson fashion, this early game against an overpowered opponent was treated largely as a warm up for the rest of the tournament. A 7-7 tie in the first quarter was the only time in the game that Louisville looked truly competitive, as the Tigers raced out to a 28-7 halftime lead and never looked like anything less than the dominant one-seed.
Trevor Lawrence wasn’t perfect, completing just 61 percent of his passes (22 of 36), but when he did hit, he hit big time. He threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns, finding Justyn Ross (10 receptions, 182 yards) for two scores, and Armani Rodgers (4 receptions, 63 yards) and Tee Higgins (3 receptions, 39 yards) once each.
8 Navy vs. 9 North Carolina
59-20, North Carolina
Goodness gracious. Another clash of style game, but this one was nowhere near the competition that we saw in Air Force vs. Missouri in the Midwest bracket. North Carolina scored the first 21 points of the game and led 38-6 at the half, as freshman quarterback Sam Howell gashed Navy’s undersized defense.
Unable to hang onto the ball (three turnovers) or move the chains (5 of 16 on third downs), Navy had no way to keep North Carolina’s high powered offense off the field. When an option team is losing the possession battle, it usually doesn’t bode well.
Meanwhile, Howell made a serious statement, as he went 35 for 57 for 536 yards and four touchdowns.
4 Memphis vs. 13 Temple
It’s a first round American Conference battle in the Liberty Bowl. That usually means there’s going to be some craziness, and there certainly was in this one.
The Owls managed to hold one of the best offenses in America to just 7 points in the first half, and were it not for a garbage time touchdown, the Tigers would have mustered just 13 total points on the day, a far cry from their usual massive totals.
A lot of that can be chalked up to quarterback Brady White. White went just 18-of-40 passing for 236 yards, and his two interceptions gave Temple extra chances that it really didn’t need.
5 Notre Dame vs. 12 Pitt
35-28, Notre Dame
A first round rivalry game, with a unique style matchup that came down to the final two minutes. What more could you ask for?
Neither team was able to find any room to breathe all game long, by design. Notre Dame’s streaky offense struggled against Pitt’s stingy defense, despite what the final score indicates, with halfback Tony Jones Jr. rushing for just 86 yards on 18 carries.
On the other side of the ball, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett was able to find some success (24 of 43, 330 yards, two touchdowns), and kept the Panthers in the game despite a pretty obvious talent discrepancy. Pitt actually held a 28-21 lead with 5:56 to go in the fourth quarter, but a furious comeback from the Fighting Irish put Pitt down by seven, 35-28, with two minutes to play. The Panthers couldn’t answer though, as ND held on for the win.
3 Wisconsin vs. 14 Texas Tech
52-45 (OT), Wisconsin
This was as much of a heavyweight fight as you’ll ever see from a No. 3 vs. No. 14 game. Texas Tech was up for the test and matched every Wisconsin punch with a massive play of its own, as four quarters couldn’t settle things.
After trailing 31-10 with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter, Tech went on a furious run, scoring 28 unanswered points and taking a 38-31 lead with 6:14 to play in the game. Wisconsin finally fought back with a lengthy drive to tie the game, but another TTU score forced a last second Wisconsin drive to send the game to overtime.
There, the Red Raider magic ran out, and Wisconsin managed to dodge the upset and advance.
6 Indiana vs. 11 Virginia
Despite the final score, the 11-seeded Cavaliers were actually in control for much of this game, as they will advance to take on a battle-tested Wisconsin squad. Virginia never trailed, getting out to a 21-14 lead at the half and keeping the Hoosiers at an arm’s length through the entire second half, despite some offensive struggles.
Quarterback Bryce Perkins played well, completing 27 of 39 passes for 306 yards and touchdown, though he did throw two costly interceptions. He also ran for 48 yards on 10 carries, and would have had much more were it not for an 85-yard touchdown scamper turned back on a clipping call.
7 Appalachian State vs. 10 Virginia Tech
24-22, Appalachian State
A late drive push from Virginia Tech nearly gave the Hokies a game-winning field goal, but two fourth quarter fumbles in scoring position helped the Mountaineers hold on and advance.
The first fumble may have been the more damaging of the two, though the second was certainly more crushing for the Hokies. With 4:26 to play, trailing 17-15, a Hendon Hooker fumble gave App State a 72-yard touchdown to extend its lead, and actually ended the quarterback’s day with an arm injury. Hooker was Tech’s best runner, carrying 13 times for 88 yards and two scores.
The second fumble came with just seconds to play, inside the ASU 20-yard line. Backup quarterback Quincy Patterson was sacked and had the ball come loose, ending Virginia Tech comeback bid and ruining what could have been a fairly easy game-winning field goal try.
2 Florida vs. 15 Wake Forest
This was as good as it gets. The seed difference wasn’t evident at all in this slugfest, due largely to Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman. Newman completed 37 of 53 passes for 397 yards and kept the Demon Deacons in the game despite Florida’s tremendous defense.
With the game on the line, both Newman and Florida’s Kyle Trask stepped up, with Newman leading a drive with just under three minutes to play, down the field and into range for a field goal that gave Wake Forest the lead.
Trask responded though, leading his own drive and completing a 52-yard strike to Van Jefferson to reclaim a 26-22 lead. Wake Forest neared midfield with just under a minute to play, but couldn’t convert on fourth-and-4, as the Gators punched the final ticket to the round of 32.
Come back tomorrow for the Round of 32.
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