COLUMBUS, Ohio – Most of the 105,017 fans had filed out of Ohio Stadium before they encountered their only disappointment of the day.
Dane Sanzenbacher tied two school records by catching four touchdown passes from Terrelle Pryor, and No. 2 Ohio State poured it on to beat Eastern Michigan 73-20 on Saturday — the most points by the Buckeyes in 60 years.
The biggest cheers throughout the day came when it was announced that Arkansas was leading top-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide came from behind to win 24-20, the only damper on an otherwise glittering afternoon for the Buckeyes.
After all, there was certainly no drama at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes (4-0) scored on their first six possessions against the 44½-point underdogs, who lost their 16th game in a row.
Pryor completed 20 of 26 passes for 224 yards and the four scores, rushed seven times for 104 yards and a touchdown and also caught a 20-yard scoring pass from his former high school teammate, Jordan Hall, late in the third quarter. Sanzenbacher had nine catches for 108 yards.
Eastern (0-4) did put together three long, impressive scoring drives against an Ohio State defense that had surrendered just two touchdowns coming in. But the Eagles were overmatched at almost every position, and Jaamal Berry added a 67-yard TD run for Ohio State, the redshirt freshman's first in his promising college career.
It took just three plays on each of Ohio State's first two possessions to make it 14-0.
After Eastern began with a three-and-out, Pryor ran left and then cut back to the middle of the field on a 53-yard scramble to open the scoring. The Eagles punted again before Pryor hit passes of 9 yards to Brandon Saine and 25 yards to DeVier Posey to set up a Sanzenbacher's catch on a 31-yard crossing pattern for the score.
Dan Herron took a pitch around left end for a 7-yard score after Devin Barclay's 42-yard field goal to put the Buckeyes ahead 24-0 after a quarter.
Pryor later hit Sanzenbacher on scoring tosses of 9, 7 and 8 yards.
The Buckeyes lost cornerback Chimdi Chekwa to a back injury early in the game.
The Eagles, winless under second-year coach Ron English, forged a 75-yard march to start the second quarter that resulted in Dwayne Priest's 2-yard TD run. Alex Gillett completed all five of his pass attempts on that drive, then later hit half of four passes in a 73-yard scoring drive capped by a 13-yard pass to Kinsman Thomas. Gillett later hit Don Scott on a 32-yard scoring pass.
Sanzenbacher's four touchdown catches tied the school mark shared by Terry Glenn (against Pittsburgh in 1995) and Bob Grimes (in 1952 against Washington State). Grimes' four TD receptions was the only other time a quarterback and receiver hooked up on four scoring passes in the same game.
It was the most points by the Buckeyes since an 83-21 victory over Iowa in 1950.
The big offensive day also marked the most points scored by Ohio State in coach Jim Tressel's 10 years, the previous high coming in a 58-7 victory over Northwestern three years ago.