COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Freshman tailback Maurice Clarett tries for an encore performance Saturday when ninth-ranked Ohio State continues the non-conference portion of its schedule against Kent State.
Two weeks ago, Clarett became the first freshman running back to start an opener for Ohio State and rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in a 45-21 victory over Texas Tech in the Pigskin Classic.
Clarett was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, joining Penn State's Zack Mills as the only freshmen in league history to earn the honor after the first week of the season.
Despite not playing last week, Ohio State moved up two spots in the poll and cracked the top 10.
The Buckeyes play their first four games of the season in the state of Ohio, including three home games. They host No. 12 Washington State next week, then play at Cincinnati before hosting Indiana in their Big Ten opener.
Kent State (1-0) opened its season last week with a 34-7 victory over Division I-AA New Hampshire. The Golden Flashes gained 399 of their 477 yards on the ground, led by Joshua Cribbs, who rushed for a career-high 191 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
Cribbs is a dual threat as he became the first player in Division I-A history to pass and run for more than 1,000 yards in a single season last year.
Cribbs, who took over the starting quarterback duties in the third game last season, rushed for 1,019 yards and five touchdowns on 164 carries. He also completed 131-of-238 passes for 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Kent State won five of its last six games last year to finish 6-5, its first winning season since 1987. In the three previous seasons, the Golden Flashes combined to go just 3-20.
Despite being separated by just 75 miles, the schools will be facing each other for the first time. Kent State is the last of the six Ohio teams in the Mid-American Conference to play the Buckeyes in a six-year span.