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Game Thread Game Eight: #1 Ohio State 44, Indiana 3 (10/21/06)


The Buckeye Watch
By Tony Gerdeman​
Well, the game turned out to be what every Indiana game should be--fun for the entire family.​
Troy Smith threw four touchdowns in the first half, which shouldn't be a surprise to you if you read The O-Zone's game preview. He probably should have had five or six, but what're you gonna do?
For the second week in a row, Ted Ginn got to throw a pass, and for the first time, it didn't make Baby Garo Yepremian cry.
The defense was a long punt return away from pitching a shutout. They stuffed the run and kept Kellen Lewis running all over the place. Kellen Lewis is already good, but he's going to be very good, very soon.
Jay Richardson played another great game, as he notched two sacks and stuffed the run. He is coming on at the exact perfect time.
And enough can't be said about the game that Antonio Smith played. He finished with twelve tackles, four for loss, had a sack and a forced fumble. He was a combination of Antoine Winfield and Donte Whitner.
The secondary as a whole played a tremendous game. The corners were blitzing constantly, they forced two fumbles, had two interceptions and held a recently-potent offense to practically nothing.
Hopefully we'll get three more wins just like this one.
Actually, how about four.
11:09 I'm watching Gameday on mute because I'm watching last night's Battlestar Galactica on the big television. I don't care what you think.
11:29 I'm now watching Desmond Howard on Gameday plow his way through his bit on kick returns. There are times when he makes Joe Paterno seem eloquent.
12:04 Buckeyes win the toss and defer. Pretorius kicks it to the four. What's happened to his touchback ability?
12:05 The Buckeyes open in the nickel and Demetrius McCray promptly runs the ball to the right for eleven yards.
12:08 Three of the last four plays have seen a corner blitz called. They are trying to get Kellen Lewis out of his comfort zone, but he doesn't seem rattled yet.
12:09 Dang! Donald Washington had a pass punch him in the gut and land on the ground. If he catches that one, he may be gone. Chalk that one up as a freebie by the Buckeyes.
12:10 The Hoosiers punt the ball to the Ohio State two-yard line. Very impressive. Well, we've got 98 yards of offense coming up.
12:11 They start with a three-yard quarterback sneak. I understand you're backed up, but that's a wasted play against this defense. Either run it with a back, or stand in the pocket and throw it.
12:12 On third and five, Troy Smith floated it to Ted Ginn and threw it over his head. It looked like he was trying to place the ball, rather than just throwing it.
12:13 Tackle him!! Tracy Porter just took the punt back to the Buckeye fifteen-yard line. Ross Homan stood him up, then sat him down on the tackle. The linebackers got caught up in the traffic and they couldn't get to Porter, who immediately took the punt wide in order to get to the sideline. And apparently there were no blocks in the back on the return, just legal blocks in the shoulder blades.
12:16 Watch Hardy here...incomplete pass. Lewis tried hitting Marcus Thigpen on the wheel route. Thigpen slipped out of the backfield, but he was out of bounds when he caught it.
12:17 Oooh...another dropped pick. Hardy was bobbling the pass and he knocked it up in the air. The ball was screaming to be picked. The Hoosiers will have to settle for a field goal.
12:18 Austin Starr kicks a 34-yard field goal. And the route is on, Indiana 3-0.
12:21 Roy Hall is back on kick returns? Is this 2004?
12:22 Troy overthrew Brian Robiskie. Maybe Troy just needs to unload on a deep one in order to get the kinks out...but not on third down here.
12:23 Nice grab, Brian Hartline for nine yards and the first down. Shoot. Forget everything I just wrote. He was bobbling it out of bounds. Troy finally throws a nice pass and we can't catch it.
12:25 Well that's two straight three and outs. I don't think you can make too much of it though. The first drive ended on a bad pass, but Troy had plenty of time. The second drive ended with the drop of a nice throw. Eventually things will begin to click, we just need to catch the ball.
12:29 Donald Washington just blew up the screen to McCray...fumble! Dang it. We couldn't get to it. Indiana is trying to give us the ball right now and we still can't get it from them.
12:30 Ouch. James Bailey just split the double team on the punt and blasted Ted Ginn. And I'm sure there are some critics out there saying, "C'mon, Ted", as if it's his fault he couldn't make anything out of that.
12:31 Twenty-two yard screen to Antonio Pittman. Great, great call. Indiana's defense has had some "success", so they're getting aggressive and Jim Tressel used it to his advantage. Are you watching, Michigan?
12:32 Why not attack Indiana's aggression again with a deep play action pass.
12:33 Troy goes option right...nothing there...reverses his field and heads up the left side for 29 yards! Very nice run by Troy. He doesn't look as fast as he has in the past, but he looks fast enough. Keep calling the "reverse field option", they can't stop it.
12:34 Now Pittman takes it to the left side (wisely) for nine yards. Could've been six points there, but he couldn't stay in bounds. Pittman's run gets it to Indiana's 23-yard line.
12:35 Play action...wide open to Rory Nicol for the touchdown! Another great call, this time on third and one. Nice fake by Troy and there was nobody near Nicol as he skipped on into the end zone. Nice, soft pass from Troy. Buckeyes 7-3.
12:36 That was the perfect call in that situation. Dionte Johnson and Chris Wells came into the game on third and one, and you just KNEW they were going to go to Wells to pick up the first down.
12:37 The kickoff goes to the two. Whoa!! Brian Hartline just drilled Marcus Thigpen. There's a Tatum Award candidate. Thigpen is a little gimpy after that one, and rightfully so. I would like to apologize to Brian Hartline for misspelling his name "Kurt Coleman" in the game preview when talking about shadowing Marcus Thigpen.
12:38 Demetrius McCray was just stopped for a loss of one by Pitcock and Laurinaitis. Stop trying to run, you're just upsetting your family.
12:38:41 Time for an interception return for a touchdown here. Shoot, the ball was too high to be caught by James Hardy, hence it was about three feet too high for Antonio Smith to catch it. Oh well.
12:40 Indiana punts the ball out of bounds at the Buckeye 47. You ever sit back and wonder how many touchdowns Ted Ginn would have if he actually got to receive half of the punts kicked against us?
12:41 And Chris Wells just took it down the left side for 10 yards. I love watching this kid stiff arm people. He's like the bully I always wanted to be, but I never had the half-fastened overalls to pull it off.
12:42 Nice five-yard run up the middle for Wells. I don't know how he got tripped up, but it may have saved a touchdown for the Hoosiers.
12:43 That's the end of the first quarter. The Buckeyes lead 7-3.
12:44 I guess we can attribute the slow start to the Noon kickoff. Especially since things are starting to pick up. You get the feeling that Indiana won't be able to march the ball at all and will need a return or turnover to get in scoring position again. If we don't have at least 21 at the half, I'll be upset.
12:46 Oh snap! (That's right, I said it.) Troy just pulled off another one of those Heisman moments on a 31-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn in the corner of the end zone. Troy dropped back, surveyed, nearly got sacked, started to scramble, resigned himself to scrambling, then thought to himself, "You know what...let's just see if..." and ZZZIPPP...perfect fadeaway pass with a ton of arm on it and right on target to Ginn. What a pass! 14-3 Buckeyes.
12:48 Nice kickoff into the end zone by Pretorius. I take it we're going with the wind this quarter.
12:49 Wow! The entire front four just went through the Indiana offensive line like free pizza through an office. (i.e. extremely fast.) Antonio Smith was there as well to push Demetrius McCray out of bounds seven yards behind the line of scrimmage.
12:50 On third and eleven, the Hoosiers pick up sixteen yards on a pass to Gilmore. I think I saw Quinn Pitcock laying down hurt on the seven-yard loss a moment ago. I don't think he's been back in yet. Consider me worried.
12:51 Antonio Smith just came on another blitz and sacked Kellen Lewis. Smith didn't bite on the play action bootleg, and kept coming after Lewis. I'm not gonna say I told ya so...
12:52 Pitcock is back in. Dang it. We just ran Kellen Lewis out of bounds but got a little aggressive in taking him down and got a fifteen-yard penalty. It wasn't a vicious hit, but Laurinaitis jumped on him just a bit late.
12:55 No hold on Vernon Gholston there? Perhaps he has stickem on his jersey and the lineman couldn't get his hands free. I'm guessing that's the case. Oh well, Curtis Terry ran Kellen Lewis out of bounds for no gain.
12:56 Third and ten. Are you kidding me?? Lewis was contained and he split six or so defenders to pick up the first down. Freeman should have had him. After that move, Freeman should be calling Kellen Lewis "sir". He looked like Garrett Wolfe out there.
12:57 Antonio Smith on the corner blitz again, and he tackled McCray for a one yard loss. It's Antonio Smith, everywhere the ball is, all day long.
12:58 Sack by Jay Richardson! He's been unstoppable the last two weeks. Keep it up!
1:00 Michigan State is terrible. They're down 14-3 to a team that can't even score, and now that team has fourteen points? And they're about to score again? John L. Smith...for shame!
1:02 Nice twelve-yard draw by Antonio Pittman
1:02:31 Play action to Gonzo for 24 yards. Nice moves by Gonzalez, before and after the catch. That guy finds creases like gravy. (That may not make much sense to you initially, but if you think about it, you'll see that I'm right.)
1:03 Pittman just ripped off fifteen more yards to the left side. We're getting that Pittman train a-rollin'. It?s rollin? ?round the bend...
1:06 Thirteen yards for Ted Ginn on third and five. Nice stop route by Ginn to get the ball to the Hoosier nine.
1:08 Oh jeez. Troy hit Gonzo in the corner of the end zone and he was as wide open as you will ever see one player be. The defensive back must've lost him in the lights. 21-3 Buckeyes.
1:09 My wife's brother chimes in, in his best Dennis Green voice, "The Hoosiers were who we thought they'd be!"
1:12 Man, Pretorius just put another kick into the end zone. I want to see more of Brian Hartline on kick coverage, dang it!
1:15 Hey, a three and out for the Hoosiers, all right!
1:18 Play action and deep to Teddy Ginn, but it was overthrown. The play-by-play guys says the Hoosier corner was running stride for stride with Ginn. Yes, their strides were nearly in unison, but Teddy's strides were about six yards ahead of his defender's.
1:21 Okay, I'm completely confused. I don't know if it's the refs, or if it's the ESPNU, or what, but we just lost a down after off-setting personal fouls. The ref said the down was going to be replayed, but I don't think it was. The personal fouls must have been after the whistle and the ref just didn't understand that once a whistle blows, the play is over. Either way, according to my notes, we just punted on third down. I know Jim Tressel loves the punt, but that's a little extreme.
1:24 Jahkeen Gilmore just caught a 23-yard pass from Kellen Lewis. Very nice throw by the freshman.
1:26 Are you kidding me? Kellen Lewis just ran all the way across the field and threw the ball back across his body to Andrew Means for a gain of seventeen yards. That's not supposed to happen!
1:27 Jay Richardson just got another sack! Now THAT's what's supposed to happen!
1:30 Wow, Vernon Gholston got after Lewis and nearly brought him down...and they're calling Lewis for intentional grounding! Wow, huge loss on third down. That'll go down as a 24-yard sack for Vernon. That leaves Indiana with a tough fourth and 41.
1:33 Buckeyes with the ball and 51 seconds left in the half. First down pass to Brian Robiskie for 21 yards. And throw on another fourteen for a personal foul facemask, to get the ball to Indiana's fourteen-yard line.
1:34 Nice pass from Troy to Robo to get the ball to the one. Dang it, that may cost me my prediction.
1:34:49 Jake Ballard touchdown! What a great grab! Shoot, there's a flag. It's offsides, touchdown stands! That's four first half touchdown passes for Troy Smith. Imagine if somebody had predicted that in print somewhere. Just imagine.
1:36 That was a perfect pass by Troy Smith. Troy knew his time was running out and Ballard hadn't yet broken free from his man, so Troy threw it in the best spot for his man to catch the ball, and Ballard made a leaping grab. Nice toss. Nice catch. 28-3 Buckeyes.
1:37 And that's the end of the first half with the Buckeyes holding a comfortable 28-3 lead. Remember, though, this Hoosier team has a history of comebacks, and the Buckeyes can't relent on this Indiana team. I'm guessing that's about what Jim Tressel will tell the sideline person.
1:38 Preach it, Brother Cooper! John Cooper is in the studio at halftime and, when asked about the upcoming Michigan game, said "Troy Smith will do whatever it takes to win that game."
1:41 There's not a lot of halftime analysis or adjustment talk that I can put in here. Unless you want to read stuff like, "Continue to play great and we'll be just fine."
1:42 Troy's 11-18 for 168 yards and four touchdowns. Not a bad finish after the 0-4 start.
2:02 Gonzo just returned the kickoff for three yards. I refuse to get upset about the pooch kick.
2:04 On third and eleven, Troy just found Gonzo for nineteen yards over the middle.
2:06 Fumble! Shoot. Troy kept it on the option and had the ball popped out by a Hoosier. That will undoubtedly move Brady Quinn ahead of Troy in the Heisman race. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
2:07 The Buckeye defense has yet to give up any points following a turnover, I'm guessing that streak will continue today.
2:10 Three and out for the Hoosiers. They punted to Ted and he took it out wide like the Hoosiers did in the first quarter and got a nice return out of it.
2:13 Gonzo just pulled in a 21-yard reception on the Troy Smith rollout. That play is seemingly always open. It's also a play that you'll see quite a bit when Michigan comes to town. Keep it in mind. Write it down. Scream it at your neighbors. Threaten strangers with it.
2:14 Oh, come on! Here's the reverse...Ginn's passing again...Rory Nicol touchdown!! All he does is catch touchdowns! Nice 38-yard touchdown pass from Teddy. Beautiful spiral on that one. Were you watching, Michigan? I knew you were. 35-3 Buckeyes.
2:15 When Rory Nicol has one-on-one coverage, it doesn't really matter what anybody else is doing, you have to get the ball to number 88. If he's even, he's leavin'.
2:18 Aaron Pettrey is kicking off. This is good to see. He kicked it a yard deep and Aaron Gant got a nice pop on the return.
2:20 Antonio Smith just destroyed another wide receiver screen, this time for a loss of four yards. Obviously, whether deserving or not, Leon Hall is going to get the spot opposite Malcolm Jenkins on the All Big Ten team, but there needs to be a spot on the second team for Antonio.
2:22 Kellen Lewis just scrambled for three yards before Larry Grant caught him and gave him a belly-to-back suplex. (I had always hoped my extensive wrestling knowledge would come in handy one day.)
2:23 To be honest, my extensive wrestling knowledge comes in handy every day.
2:25 Indiana punts the ball into the end zone for a touchback.
2:27 Nice eight-yard run right up the middle by Antonio Pittman. It's time for some good old fashioned will imposin'.
2:28 Gone...gone...dang, not gone. Pittman just ripped off 44 yards down the left sideline. As you may have guessed, I thought he was gone.
2:30 Delay of game, Troy Smith. Bill Curry called it exactly right. He said Troy got greedy and was trying to change the play to a more perfect play. Oh well, I'll take "more perfect" over "just plain old perfect" every day of the week, even if it does cost us five yards every now and again.
2:30:39 Third and thirteen...and we run a draw with Antonio Pittman? And lose three yards in the process? I don't like that call at all. Time for a long field goal here. Looks like it'll be a 51-yarder. I wonder who's going to come out for it. It's Pettrey! And he nailed it, right down the middle, and into the back of the net. I'm guessing his hip is feeling better. 38-3 Buckeyes.
2:31 When was the last time we had two different kickers kick 50-yard field goals in the same season?
2:34 That's the end of the third quarter. The Buckeyes still lead 38-3. Prepare for a fast fourth.
2:37 Blake Powers is in at quarterback for the Hoosiers, who have the ball at their ten-yard line. Powers hands the ball to McCray, who gets knocked around back to the two-yard line! But a fifteen-yard face mask penalty by Jay Richardson will turn a big loss into a nice gain.
2:42 Interception! Malcolm Jenkins stepped in front of the infamous ill-advised pass back across your body. You could see that one coming. And to avoid any risk of an early spike, Jenkins chose to be tackled rather than risk the fumble right before he reached the end zone.
2:45 Justin Zwick and the second-team line are in. Chris Wells just fought for seven yards on second and nine.
2:46 Third and two...and Chris Wells just went up the left side for another 21 yards! Very nice run. It's fun to watch him when he gets up near full speed. Then it's a little more fun to watch the defensive back brace for impact.
2:47 Nice five-yard run by Mo Wells. He showed that sneaky strength the players talk about.
2:48 Another third and two...but this time Chris Wells is ?stopped? for a gain of seven. He's getting to each level in a bad mood. He gets through the line angry, he gets into the linebackers furious, and by the time he gets to the secondary...well, he's actually happy to see them. Nice run, Berserker.
2:49 Touchdown Chris Wells! Nice twelve-yard run over the left side. A nice and easy run. There was nobody over there. Dang. Pettrey missed his first extra point of the season. 44-3 Buckeyes.
2:50 Justin Zwick was a perfect 0-0 on that drive.
2:53 Hey! Hartline was blocked in the back on the kick return. They called it. Nice job, refs. You have to watch people when they try to stop Hartline. They can't do it without cheating. Lousy cheaters.
2:55 The Hoosiers just ran a wide receiver screen and John Kerr read it perfectly. But he just put his head down and tried to knock the receiver over, he never wrapped him up. And the Hoosiers gained eight yards on it.
2:56 Here comes an interception...Powers is loading up to go deep...and he went deep to Andre Amos!! Another easy interception for the Buckeyes. Fortunately, the refs won't be stealing this pick from Amos.
3:00 I think I can start wrapping this one up...uh ohhh...Mo Wells nearly broke that one. He took it up the middle for 32 yards. He almost got us to half a hundred. Nice run by Mo. It's good to see him getting so many carries today. I'm sure it's tough for him to get a rhythm when he gets one carry every fifth drive.
3:03 And that's the ball game. The Buckeyes finished out with some nice runs to get the ball to the Hoosier sixteen-yard line, but let the clock run out.
3:05 I guess you can call this a nice win. It looked good. The opponent was obviously overmatched, but that's Indiana for you. Though I do think Hoeppner and Lewis will have Indiana in a bowl game very soon.
3:10 The Buckeyes put up 540 yards of offense, 270 passing and rushing. Nice balance, I guess. Pittman got his hundred yards. Troy got his touchdowns. Ginn got his highlights. Our defensive line continues to dominate. And the secondary continues to catch balls that don't belong to them.
3:12 Are you watching this Michigan State game? It was 38-3 Northwestern, now it's 38-38.
3:15 And Northwestern just threw an interception with three minutes to go. They have actually "out-Michigan Stated" Michigan State.
3:17 Looks like Northwestern has rediscovered some offense, though. Keep that in mind for down the road here.
3:19 Speaking of down the road, I'm looking forward to seeing what our rush defense does against the Gophers next week. Obviously, the Gophers are down right now, but our run defense is still suspect against running teams.
3:20 Today, however, we held the Hoosiers to seven yards rushing. Put that in your guitar and pick it, Johnny Cougar!!
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Buckeyes Outclass Hoosiers
By John Porentas​
Indiana was billed as an improving team following their consecutive wins over Illinois on the road and ranked Iowa at home last weekend. They found out in Columbus that they still have a ways to go.​
No. 1 Ohio State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten) overcame a slow start to drub the Hoosiers (4-4, 2-2 Big Ten) by a final of 44-3 in front of 105,267 fans on a balmy, sunny day in Ohio Stadium.​
"We got outcoached and outplayed by a team that on this day was a lot better than we were," declared Indiana Head Football Coach Terry Hoeppner. "I've said all along that I've voted them number one. Nothing I saw today changed that. It's a very good football team."​
The Buckeyes failed to gain a first down on their first two possessions and gave up field position to Indiana when A. J. Trapasso's second punt of the game was returned 34 yards by Indiana's Tracy Porter to the OSU 15-yard line. The OSU defense came into the game with Indiana already in the red zone. Three plays later, they were still on the 15 yard line facing a fourth and 10 as the OSU defense simply stoned the Indiana offense. The Hoosiers settled for a 34 yard field goal by Austin Star to score what would prove to be their only points of the day.​
"As soon as they got the ball that close I came out there and said to the guys 'Lets go, lets stop them now so we can really take the hearts out of them because when teams get that kind of field position they feel they have momentum going for them," said OSU defensive end Jay Richardson who had a career-high two sacks in the game.​
"I think it was really strong for us to come out there and make that statement early that we're going to be here and we're going to do our best to stop them."​
The Ohio State defense simply took away any semblance of running game from the Hoosiers the rest of the game. Indiana quarterback Kellen Lewis had some success on scrambles, but gave that yardage back as OSU's pass rush was able to register four sacks for -46 yards. For the day, Indiana produced just seven net yards on the ground against an OSU defense that had been vulnerable against the run earlier in the season, but has steadily gotten better as the season has progressed.​
"We had the talent, we had everything else, everyone knew that, but everyone doubted the defense just because of the inexperience," said OSU redshirt freshman wide receiver Brian Hartline. "Eight games later it isn't inexperienced anymore, so maybe that's filling the void, that's got to be it," Harline said.​
"Maybe it just sunk in," added senior defensive tackle Joel Penton of OSU's improvement in run defense.​
"It's something that we concentrate on every week, and something we continue to work on. This week was no different. We knew we had to stop it (the run) if we were going to be successful, and it worked out. The defenses he (OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock) was calling were run defenses.​
"I think it was probably a relief for him to make Indiana one dimensional, make them have to pass, and I think that's what happened."​
Once it got untracked, the OSU offense was explosive and efficient. The Buckeyes totaled 540 total yards of offense, 270 on the ground and 270 in the air. OSU quarterback Troy Smith did not complete a pass in his first four attempts as the Buckeyes went three-and-out on their first two possessions. On their third possession, Smith finally got a completion on a screen play to Antonio Pittman that went for 22 yards for OSU's first first down. The play seemed to open the flood gates. The play is called "Slip left" and it got the Buckeyes going.​
"It was a great call by our coordinator and staff," said offensive lineman Kirk Barton.​
"We needed something to break that seal on us and after that everything kind of opened up for us. Getting that slip left really helped us out," Barton said.​
"Obviously my staff understood, something short, something simple would have to get the offense going, not just myself," said Smith.​
"That play got the offense going and got us going on the scoring drive. I guess you would have to say the coaches are in that position for a reason and they just made a good call."​
The play ignited a seven-play, 87 yard drive that culminated in a 23 yard touchdown pass from Smith to tight end Rory Nicol. The score came on a second-and-one, and a tremendous play-action fake by Smith fooled the Indiana defense and left Nicol running wide open down the middle. Smith hit him in stride and Nicol took it into the endzone for six.​
Ohio State scored on its next two possessions to take a 21-3 lead and effectively take Indiana out of the game.​
The Buckeyes' second touchdown came via a 31 yard pass from Smith to wide receiver Ted Ginn. On the play, Smith escaped pressure from the Hoosier pass rush, scrambling to his left, and hit Ginn in the back corner of the south endzone near the east sideline. The play capped a four-play, 53 yard drive that took just 1:35 off the clock and put OSU up 14-3 with eight seconds gone in the second quarter. OSU's third TD also came on a pass from Smith, this time a five yard strike to Gonzalez on a drive that took nine plays to cover 78 yards and took 3:59 off the game clock.​
"I saw they were in man, cover zero with no deep safety, but as I was running in motion I saw there was a guy trailing me and a lot of teams will pass it off and run a switch and let the corner take it, but that particular time I think they just got screwed up," said Gonzalez who was all alone just standing in the endzone when Smith delivered him the football.​
OSU's final touchdown of the first half really took the starch out of the Hoosiers. Following a 12 yard punt return by Ginn, OSU started at the Indiana 49-yard line with just 51 seconds on the game clock. On first down, Smith completed a 21 yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Brian Robiske to the Indiana 28, but a personal foul penalty on Indiana on the tackle tacked on 14 more yards to give OSU a first down at the Indiana 14. Smith then found Robiske again, this time for 13 yards to the Indiana one. With just 26 seconds left to play Smith floated a perfect pass over the Indiana linebackers to freshman tight end Jake Ballard who made a diving, fingertip catch for the score.​
"As soon as the ball was in the air, I said 'I have to catch this ball,'" said Ballard​
"It was a tight defensive front, a six-man alignment and I had get off the ball for a three yard dig and make it in front of the linebackers. When I did that I was getting double covered by two linebackers. He just threw it high enough where I could get it and not them. When I saw it in the air I said 'I have to make the catch. If I make this catch, I think it will make a statement a little bit," Ballard said.
Indiana could get nothing going offensively in the second half, but the Buckeyes picked up right where they left off in the third quarter.OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel opened up the OSU bag of tricks when the Buckeyes ran a reverse to Ginn who pulled up while he was headed toward right end and threw a pass to Nicol. Nicol beat his defender for the reception at about the 10-yard line and continued into the endzone with his second touchdown reception of the day. The play covered 38 yards to cap a three-play, 58 yard drive that took just over a minute off the clock. OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman described the thinking that went into the call.
"We talked about that was around the place where we wanted to throw it. Tress brought that up and I asked if it was a little bit too close, but he said he thought we could get it in," said Bollman.
OSU kicker Aaron Pettry added a 51 yard field goal near the end of the third quarter to put the Buckeyes up 38-3. OSU's final score came in the fourth quarter when the second team offense went 68 yards in nine plays for a score. Running back Chris Wells covered the last 12 yards for the score. The Buckeyes made the drive without attempting a single pass. Pettry missed the PAT to make the final score 44-3.
OSU running back Antonio Pittman led all rushers with 105 net yards on 16 carries. Smith ended the day with 15 completions on 23 attempts (65.2%), but completed 15 of his last 19 after misfiring on his first four attempts. He threw for 220 yards and tied his career-high with four TD passes, all of them in the first half. Smith also rushed for 38 yards including a 29 yard scramble to continue a drive. Smith did not throw an interception, but did turn the ball over on a fumble in a short yardage situation.
The OSU defense continued to produce turnovers against the Hoosiers. Defensive backs Andre Amos and Malcolm Jenkins recorded an interception in the game, both INTs coming in the second half at the expense of substitute Indiana quarterback Blake Powers. OSU's defense has now produced 17 turnovers on the season, 15 on interceptions and two on fumble recoveries.
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While looking through the box score to find when a couple plays happened so I can make clips, I noticed that Indiana had a grand total of seven (that's "7", as in single digits) yards rushing. It seems we stuff their ass every year. So, I went back and looked at the last five times we've played Indiana and got the Hoosiers' rushing totals for each game:

2002: 56 yards
2003: -12 yards
2004: 53 yards
2005: 42 yards
2006: 7 yards

Grand total: 146 yards (29.2 ypg).

Why do they even bother bringing running backs with them?
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1:21 Okay, I'm completely confused. I don't know if it's the refs, or if it's the ESPNU, or what, but we just lost a down after off-setting personal fouls. The ref said the down was going to be replayed, but I don't think it was. The personal fouls must have been after the whistle and the ref just didn't understand that once a whistle blows, the play is over. Either way, according to my notes, we just punted on third down. I know Jim Tressel loves the punt, but that's a little extreme.

I've search the thread a bit...can't find anything on this. Did we punt on 3rd down? The penalties were during the play.
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For all the great Heisman Highlight throws Troy makes, little ones like this are what makes him a great QB. Look how he perfectly places this pass where only a 6'7 TE could make the grab. Flawless.
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NFBuck; said:
For all the great Heisman Highlight throws Troy makes, little ones like this are what makes him a great QB. Look how he perfectly places this pass where only a 6'7 TE could make the grab. Flawless.
He's so smart and his arm is so closely linked to his brain...it's not a fluke that he only has thrown 6 ints in the past two years. While he's thrown 27 TD passes.
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JonathanXC;641012; said:
I've search the thread a bit...can't find anything on this. Did we punt on 3rd down? The penalties were during the play.

I believe when the ref announced the penalty, he said "after the play" and
assessed the "dead-ball" offsetting penalties, which would mean that the down (in this case 2nd down) counted. However, he finished by saying "the
down is TWO." I think he was just mistaken on the down ... thinking it
had been 1st down instead of second.

I only heard this on radio, so maybe one of you guys who recorded the game
could clear this up. The announcers I heard didn't seem to notice the
mistake. The play was followed by an incomplete pass on 3rd down and the
punt on fourth.
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October 23, 2006

Monday Morning quarterback
Indiana quarterback under pressure all day against Ohio State

Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner took playful exception with a reporter Saturday who suggested that IU quarterback Kellen Lewis was under some pressure by the Ohio State defense in the 44-3 loss to top-ranked Buckeyes.
? IU offensive line has a long day: With two true freshmen starting on the left side of the offensive line, the group is going to take its lumps. The line gave up four quarterback sacks and IU managed just 7 net yards rushing.
? No pressure: For the second game in a row, the IU defense did not record a sack. IU has 10 sacks in eight games.

Lewis, in three quarters of action, was sacked four times and pressured all over the field. Some of his passes were dropped, but as the day wore on he missed open targets because he was rushed and throwing short.
"Some pressure?" Hoeppner said. "I'm going to have a clinic and let you be a quarterback and we're going to have guys running at you and see what you can do. I've done that in the past.
"Do you want to sign up for it?''
The reporter said he would and Hoeppner laughed.
"He didn't have a lot of time, but I'm not going to be overly critical of any one individual,'' Hoeppner said.
Hoeppner said it was more what Ohio State did than what the Hoosiers failed to do.
"(Lewis) didn't have a very good game but he wasn't the lone ranger in that department. I didn't have a very good game, either," Hoeppner said.
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Bucks unleash weapons of mass production
Ginn improves his quarterback rating, catches TD
For The Advocate

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State's offense had more wrinkles Saturday than Clint Eastwood's face.
Three touchdown passes to tight ends ... are you kidding? Touchdown passes to -- and from -- Ted Ginn? A circus catch in the end zone by true freshman Jake Ballard.
Next thing you know, quarterback Troy Smith will be throwing to offensive tackle Kirk Barton."I actually did ask the coaches about that," said the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Barton after Saturday's 44-3 rout of Indiana. "They said we can't do it because it's not the NFL, so, hopefully in the future ..."
Barton, who played tight end at Massillon Perry, gets a headache just thinking about being a defensive coordinator gameplanning for the top-ranked Buckeyes (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten).
"It's got to be a two-Ibuprofen night for them," he joked. "I think what we did today makes us a little more dangerous, a little harder to defend, if we have a second-string tight end (Ballard) catching a touchdown and our starting tight end (Rory Nicol) catching two."
The only battle Saturday was for style points between Smith and Ted Ginn Jr. Smith probably widened his lead in the Heisman race by throwing four first-half touchdown passes and leading the Buckeyes to season highs in points and yardage (540). Ginn caught his seventh touchdown of the season and threw the first of his career -- a 38-yarder to Nicol in the third quarter.
It was sweet redemption for Ginn, whose option pass for Nicol last week at Michigan State was wide of the mark.
"We practice it a lot, and we got a good opportunity to throw it," Ginn said. "I saw (Nicol) covered, but I wanted to throw it so bad I was going to throw it into double coverage.
"I tried to give him a catchable ball and tried to put it in the right spot like Troy does. I think it's more exciting than a punt return or deep ball."
It would have been even more dazzling had Nicol made a breathtaking catch. But that wasn't necessary because middle linebacker Adam McClurg fell trying to stay with the 6-5 sophomore.
"It's funny because we were talking trash to Rory all week," Barton said. "We knew he didn't drop that ball last week, but we teased him about it. We said if he did it again he'd probably be booed.
"He said during (Friday's) walk-through, 'I might have to go out and get two touchdowns.' And he did. It's pretty funny that he actually did it. We were laughing pretty hard on the sideline."
Nicol's first scoring grab came on a wide-open 23-yard play-action pass from Smith to put the Buckeyes in front 7-3 in the first quarter. Smith threw three more touchdowns in the second period, including a 5-yarder to Anthony Gonzalez (his sixth touchdown of the season) and a 1-yarder to a diving Ballard right before halftime.
But Smith was at Heisman-best when he pirouetted away from pressure, rolled to his left and actually retreated before firing a 31-yard touchdown strike to Ginn ... off his back foot.
"I'm sure it was a great play," Barton said, admitting all of OSU's touchdown passes this season are beginning to run together. "I'll see it on film (today) and go, 'Wow.'
"Troy does that every week now. They're going to have to extend the Heisman ceremony to get all of his highlight footage on there. It's going to be a long show."
Not nearly as long as the one the Hoosiers (4-4, 2-2) endured Saturday. Marcus Thigpen, their return demon, came in with three kickoff scores this season, but he didn't get out of the first quarter thanks to a crushing tackle by Brian Hartline.
With Indiana essentially down for the count, it was left to OSU's suddenly new-look offense to keep it interesting for the 105,267 in Ohio Stadium.
"We always come up with trick plays, and we had been practicing, practicing, practicing, watching duck after duck after duck (from Ginn's right arm)," Smith said, teasing his friend from childhood. "Today, after I carried out the fake, I turned and saw a perfect spiral.
"He always says if he gets a chance, he's going to throw a touchdown because we've had an ongoing feud since way back in little league football when we were opposing quarterbacks.
"The offensive line did a great job. You had to block for at least two or three seconds, hold your blocks even longer for (the play to work). And Rory made a great play on the ball. Special people in special places, they do special things."
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Long day for Indiana offensive line
By Sam Blackburn

COLUMBUS -- Between a 7-yard rushing day on offense and 540 yards yielded on defense, Indiana didn't have much of a chance Saturday against No. 1 Ohio State.
As Hoosiers coach Terry Hoeppner put it, the Buckeyes had a lot to do with those shortcomings.
"Today we got out-coached and out-played by a team, that on this day, was No. 1," Hoeppner said. "The game is won up front, and we didn't do well on either side of the ball. Again, we gave up too many big plays and that has to be fixed."
Offensively, the majority of Indiana's troubles were the result of continuous pressure. The front four did most of the damage, especially senior defensive end Jay Richardson, who garnered two first-half sacks and two tackles for loss.The other end, sophomore Vernon Gholston, added another sack and forced a key intentional grounding call late in the first half.
That made for tough sledding against an Ohio State defense that led the Big Ten in takeaways (15) and was second in sacks (24) entering Saturday. The Buckeyes tallied two interceptions in this game. Not bad for a defense many felt would be rebuilding after losing nine starters a year ago.
"They're still not as good as last year, but they were definitely on their 'A' game today," Indiana wide receiver James Hardy said. "They came out flying around, and it wasn't easy to get the ball upfield. They would act like they were going to play press coverage, but then they would back off and drop eight (into coverage) every time. Their defensive line was so good that they just rushed four most of the game."
The Hoosiers managed only 165 yards of offense -- 77 on their final two drives after most of the Buckeye starters departed. That placed a load of unwanted pressure on their own defense, which ranked eighth in the Big Ten in total yards and last in rush defense. They tried to devote safeties to pass coverage against Ohio State's offense, in an effort to prevent the big play. It was a lost cause against the likes of Ted Ginn Jr., Tony Gonzalez and a suddenly effective tight end corps.
Ginn caught a touchdown pass and threw for another. Two different tight ends caught touchdowns.
"We needed to stay in coverage," Indiana cornerback Tracy Porter said. "We could have eliminated some of those touchdowns if we did. But they have a good group of receivers. With the speed they had, it made it even more difficult to cover. Plus you have to keep an eye on the quarterback, which wasn't easy."
When asked what makes the Buckeyes so difficult to defend, Hoeppner didn't immediately give the credit to Troy Smith, who many consider to be the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
The total package creates the real problems.
"They make you defend the width and the depth of the field," Hoeppner said. "Their wide receivers are really dangerous. At times we got good coverage and got some pressure, but not nearly enough, obviously. They are a very difficult team to blitz because that puts you in (man) coverage against their wide receivers ... If you're going to do that, you better get there."
Hoeppner still believes his team will respond.
"Coach Tressel said on the field after the game, 'You'll be in a bowl game,'" Hoeppner said. "And I believe that too."
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Forgotten Ohio State tight ends make their mark
By Gary Ogle

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State won't be renamed Tight End Tech after Saturday's 44-3 dismantling of Indiana.
But the OSU passing game showed the position is still an eligible receiver in Columbus.
"I appreciate your suggestion if that's what you're looking for," Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said, prefacing his answer about three touchdown passes to tight ends Rory Nicol and Jake Ballard. "We said all along that we hope we throw it to the guy that's open ... Rory got open and Ballard's catch, holy smokes, I mean that was pretty darn good too.
"We're an equal opportunity employer. We'll throw it to whoever's open, and that's what the quarterbacks are asked to do."Before Saturday, OSU tight ends were part-timers, at best. Nicol was the only one to catch a pass through the first seven weeks. He had seven for 55 yards and a score.
"It can be frustrating, but at the same time we've been winning games and that's what it's about," Nicol said.
Against the Hoosiers, he only caught two balls, but took both to the end zone, including one from Ted Ginn Jr.
"It's not really about me or my position or my group of players," Nicol said. "We just keep working, and today was the day we got the ball."
Every time Ohio State tight ends had the ball in their hands they scored. Their 62 combined yards more than doubled the position's production for the season. Nicol came wide open on a play-action pass late in the first quarter, the first of four first half scoring passes for Troy Smith to four different receivers.
True freshman Jake Ballard's first career catch was a diving touchdown grab late in the second quarter.
"It was first down on the 1. I thought I was just going to block for (Antonio) Pittman and they called a passing play," said Ballard, unable to stop smiling during the barrage of questions. "Troy trusted me enough to throw it up to me, and I made a good catch.
"If I make plays early, that means they'll get me on the field more. That's my goal, to get on the field more."
OSU's Heisman candidate wasn't the only one to take advantage of the newly discovered weapon. After last week's near miss at Michigan State, Ginn got a second chance to connect with Nicol in the third quarter. Ginn found him guarded only by linebacker Adam McClug, who fell after the catch. Nicol was unmolested on his 38-yard trip to the end zone.
"We felt we were going to have some situations to beat them deep," Nicol said. "There were some explosive plays we were involved with that we practiced all week and luckily executed today."
Nicol's two-touchdown day doubled his career total and his 61 receiving yards were the most he's had in two-plus seasons at Ohio State.
"Yeah, I'd say so," he said about it being his best day as a Buckeye.
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Tight ends get their turn
JASON LLOYD, Morning Journal Writer

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State has spent much of the year throwing uppercuts. But Saturday against Indiana, it went for the body punches.

Whenever the Buckeyes need a big play, they have plenty of options: Troy Smith, Ted Ginn, Anthony Gonzalez or Antonio Pittman. That's why it was so surprising to see tight ends catch three of Smith's four touchdown passes in Saturday's 44-3 win over the Hoosiers.

''We're an equal opportunity employer,'' coach Jim Tressel said. ''We'll throw it to whoever is open. That's what the quarterbacks are asked to do.''

On Saturday, that just happened to mean a healthy dose of Rory Nicol and Jake Ballard.

Nicol caught just two passes Saturday, but both went for touchdowns and resulted in a career-high 61 receiving yards, including the 38-yard touchdown off the pass from Ted Ginn.

Ballard, a true freshman, had his first career reception go for a 1-yard touchdown on a nifty diving catch in the back of the end zone.

''I thought I was just going to block for Pittman and they called a passing play,'' Ballard said. ''Troy trusted me enough to throw it up to me and I made a good catch.''

Tight ends at Ohio State are traditionally solid blockers who occasionally get a pass thrown their way as their careers progress. Ben Hartsock and Darnell Sanders developed into proven options in the passing game, but only after they spent a couple of seasons running into defensive linemen and linebackers.

Blocking is always the No. 1 priority and that's no different this year.

''I'm not a primary receiver in our offense. We've got so many good guys outside, that's just reality,'' Nicol said. ''They're so dangerous outside that sometimes our numbers aren't called. But there are going to be times like (Saturday) when it is going to be called and we'll need to make plays. Thankfully we were successful.''

Nicol is the first tight end at Ohio State to catch two touchdowns in a game since Darnell Sanders caught a pair in the Outback Bowl following the 2001 season, Tressel's first year in Columbus. He easily could've had three on Saturday, since he was all alone in the end zone when Smith instead fired to Ballard.

''You can't get three in a day,'' Nicol said. ''That's too many.''

Nicol was also the intended receiver on Ginn's first career pass attempt, which came last week against Michigan State. The throw fell well short and Nicol had no chance at catching it, but that didn't stop teammates from poking fun at him all week.

Finally, Nicol had enough and blurted out that he was going to catch two touchdowns against Indiana.

Sure enough, he did.

Now Nicol, who missed all of last season with a broken foot, and Ballard will likely slither back into the underworld of blocking and grunting and doing the rest of the things Ohio State tight ends are commanded to do.

That's fine with both players, who fully comprehend what is expected of them and realize what the Buckeyes have in home run threats like Gonzalez and Ginn.

''The two receivers we have are good. They're two of the best in the country,'' Nicol said. ''Why change anything we do, because it hasn't been stopped yet? Until it's stopped and we're not successful, until Anthony Gonzalez can't win on his route and until Teddy Ginn can't catch the ball, we're not going to change. Why should we?''
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