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Article by everbodys favortie AP writer


Posted on Thu, Sep. 16, 2004 <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="5" align="right"> <tbody><tr><td><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="250"><tbody><tr><td><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><td align="left" class="adlabel"> <script language="JavaScript1.1"> _krdDartInc++; document.write('<SCRIPT LANGUAGE=\"JavaScript1.1\" SRC="http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/journalgazette.sports/sports;kw=center6;c2=sports_homepage:wink2:os=center6;group=rectangle;tile='+_krdDartInc+';ord='+_krdDartOrd+'?"><\/SCRIPT>'); </script><script language=\"JavaScript1.1\" src="http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/journalgazette.sports/sports;kw=center6;c2=sports_homepage:wink2:os=center6;group=rectangle;tile=2;ord=1095357673939?"></script>
<noscript> </noscript> </td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr> <tr><td><table cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr><td> <!-- begin image table --> <table> <tbody><tr> <td align="left">
</td> </tr> <tr><td class="photocredit" align="right">Associated Press </td></tr> <tr><td class="photocaption" align="left" width="304">Ohio State’s Mike Nugent, center, watches as Kyle Turano, left, and Simon Fraser celebrate Nugent’s game-winning field goal Saturday.</td></tr> </tbody></table> <!-- end image table --> </td></tr> </tbody></table></td></tr> </tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table>


Unbeaten Buckeyes had better learn to minimize turnovers


[size=-1]By Rusty Miller[/size]

[size=-1]Associated Press[/size]

<!-- begin body-content --> If No. 9 Ohio State continues to play the way it has in its first two games, it’s doubtful the Buckeyes will remain unbeaten for long.

In wins over Cincinnati and Marshall, the Buckeyes have not forced a turnover while they’ve committed seven giveaways.

That puts them No. 116 and next to last in the nation in turnover margin at minus-3.5 per game.

The Buckeyes eked past Marshall 24-21 because they built up an early lead behind Justin Zwick’s three touchdown passes and then relied on the leg of Mike Nugent, who converted a 55-yard field goal as time expired. This week, Ohio State travels to North Carolina State.

“The most glaring situation that we need to confront is that we can’t turn the football over, most especially and give someone seven points and the second time gave them the ball on the 13-yard line,” coach Jim Tressel said.

“You’re just not going to be able to become a champion if that continues.”

The 2002 national champion Buckeyes certainly didn’t. They forced 30 turnovers and committed just 17 for a plus-13 margin. A year ago, Ohio State sank to plus-1 but won the close ones to go 11-2.

“A zero-to-seven turnover margin won’t make it,” said Tressel, who has called his team lucky to be unbeaten.

This week the defense has been working on stacking up runners and knocking the ball loose. Zwick, who has solidified his hold on the starting job despite an erratic start, has concentrated on throwing the ball away when he’s pressured instead of trying to thread passes into double coverage.

“We just have to take better care of (the ball),” Zwick said.

Mason’s postscript

After beating Mid-American Conference favorite Toledo by 42 points in the opener, Minnesota was expected to walk all over Division I-AA Illinois State on Saturday.

But the Redbirds hung tough, tying the game at 14 with 1:09 left in the first half and losing by 16.

Gophers coach Glen Mason was displeased. Did he let ’em have it in the locker room at halftime?

“His postgame speech was worse,” nose tackle Anthony Montgomery said, drawing laughter.


Purdue’s redshirt freshman tight end Dustin Keller has been particularly productive in the first two games with four catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.

In his own unique way, Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller said Keller’s ability to catch the ball hasn’t come as a surprise, given that he is a converted wide receiver. But Keller’s proficiency as a blocker has been better than expected.

“He’s spent his whole life on the outside being a Twinkie, catching the ball and dancing and stuff,” Tiller said. “Now he’s 36 inches from the tackle and he’s gotta put his coconut on somebody.”

Hurtin’ hawks

The injuries just keep mounting at Iowa, which is running out of running backs.

Albert Young has become the second back lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Young tore the ACL in his right knee in the first half of Iowa’s 17-10 victory over Iowa State on Saturday.

Earlier, the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes, who travel to Arizona this week, lost running back Marcus Schnoor to a torn ACL in his right knee. He was hurt in the season-opening victory over Kent State.

This is the second straight year that Young has suffered a season-ending injury. He sat out last year after breaking his right leg.

“It’s a tough ordeal for a guy to have two significant injuries,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Every guy on our team has dreams and aspirations and nobody sits around dreaming about being injured, having an operation or being in a cast or something like that.”

“All that being said, if you are going to play the game, you realize that’s one of the risks that are involved.”

Nebraska transfer Marques Simmons moves into the No. 2 running back slot behind Jermelle Lewis.

Fast start

Usually, Indiana fans are already counting the days to the first basketball practice.

OK, maybe they still are, but nonetheless they also have an unbeaten football team for a change.

The Hoosiers are 2-0 for the first time since 1996 and have already matched their win total from last season. In addition, coach Gerry DiNardo picked up his first road win in his three seasons, his first win over a ranked team and the Hoosiers ended a 13-game road losing skid with a 30-24 win over then-No. 24 Oregon.

“I think everything we’ve done, from the game snaps to practice, everything from the beginning is beginning to show,” said DiNardo, whose team plays at Kentucky on Saturday.

Quick hits

Indiana’s Lance Bennett leads the nation in kickoff returns (46.3 yards per return) and the Hoosiers are No. 1 in the nation with a 51.2-yard average. ... Michigan’s leading rusher after two games is David Underwood, who has only gained 61 yards on 23 carries. ... Marion Barber III is now third on Minnesota’s all-time rushing touchdown list with 28 and needs six more to tie for second with his father who played from 1977-80.

How have won since tressel showed up, get a lead, sit on it and play defense playing the odds and numbers games with special teams, yes i think so