Never Forget 31-0
Fumbles about the only flaw in Ohio State's win
BY JOHN ERARDI | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
COLUMBUS - About the only signs of any flaws that the Buckeyes exhibited in Saturday's 44-0 victory over Minnesota were the fumbles.
OSU lost three, one each by quarterback Troy Smith, tailback Chris Wells and first-time punt returner Malcolm Jenkins.
"It's distressing, there's no question about it," said OSU coach Jim Tressel. "We can't let people come around the edge (on the quarterback). And when they (do), a quarterback's got to keep it tight."
KA-BOOM: The hit of the day came in the second quarter, by Gophers cornerback Dominic Jones on Buckeye flanker Ray Small.
"It was a horrific hit," said Minnesota coach Glen Mason, referring to the impact. "I have a tendency to over-react to those things, but Pat Smith, our orthopedic surgeon doesn't, and when I saw him sprint out there, that's when I really got concerned. The best thing I saw today was that kid get up."
After a few minutes down on the turf, Small walked off the field with some help, but then had to be carted to the locker room. Whether he suffered a concussion wasn't released to the media as of press time Saturday.
DR. STRANGEGLOVES: It was so cold Saturday that OSU quarterback Troy Smith donned gloves on the field early, but quickly pitched them after he fumbled. "(They weren't) affecting my throws," he said. "As I got into the game, it wasn't that cold anymore. So I wanted to really get a feel for the ball."
ON THE MEND: Defensive tackle David Patterson declared himself fit after a solid effort Saturday in the defense's shutout of UM.
"I felt great out there," he said. "Coming into the game, I was a little nervous that this (knee) brace would slow me down a little bit, but it didn't. I felt great moving around ... Before the game, men and Quinn (fellow defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock) were talking (that) it was kind of sad (that) we only have about two more halves in the stadium. We love any moment we can be out there."
NOT WHAT EXPECTED: Going into the season, UM coach Mason didn't think the Buckeyes would be this good. Not national No. 1 good.
"Everybody anticipated somewhat of a dropoff because of the caliber of the players they lost last year," Mason said. "I don't see any dropoff, nor have the other people who've played 'em.
DOT THIS, JACK: Ohio State alum and golfing great Jack Nicklaus became only the fifth non-band member to "dot the i" in "Script Ohio," the precise OSU marching band maneuver that is one of the most famous in sports.
Nicklaus has always been a huge Buckeye football fan. From the time of the first OSU game he saw in person at age six, to when he was 20, he missed only one OSU home game.
Two of the other people to "dot the i" were comedian Bob Hope and OSU football coach Woody Hayes.
E-mail [email protected]