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Game Thread Game Nine: #1 tOSU 44, Minnesota 0 (10/28/06)


Fumbles about the only flaw in Ohio State's win

Buckeyes notebook


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.
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Steve19;646764; said:

This trend in ripping off helmets must end. I don't know if this one was called for a face mask or not, but I don't think so.
Steve - the caption to this at daytondaily news (pic 10 of 26)
reads as follows:
Minnesota cornerback Keith Massey (9), right, grab's Ohio State running back Chris Wells' helmet Saturday, Oct. 28 during the second half of a college football game in Columbus. Massey was penalized for face mask in this play.
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JonathanXC;646531; said:

It's going to be a tough game...it's The Game...the Ohio State and Michigan that play Minnesota won't be the same teams that show up on Nov. 18th.

Right now, I'm not worried at all. If I had to predict right now, I'd say we win by 14+...
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MililaniBuckeye;647118; said:
Right now, I'm not worried at all. If I had to predict right now, I'd say we win by 14+...

I agree.

At first I was, but by looking at the stats and comparing the two... I dont think it will be close.

Michigan is probably a very good team.

This OSU team is one of the greatest of all time.
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The-Ozone Note and Quotebook
By John Porentas​
Whitewash: The Buckeyes dominated Minnesota thoroughly on both sides of the ball, and despite 44 point outburst by the offense, it was the defense that really claimed the day with its first shutout since 2003.​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Stan White [/FONT]
"I guess if you have to rate in a 44-0 game who had a better day, the offense or defense, I would say the defense did," said OSU senior fullback Stan White Jr.​
"We had a couple of mistakes in the way of penalties and turnovers in the first half that we shouldn't have had, and the defense picked us up and gave us great field position all day," White said.​
It was clear that the shutout was important to the OSU defense. The Gophers got possession on the OSU 34-yard line following a muffed punt in the fourth quarter and drove to a fourth-and-one at the OSU 15-yard line against a defensive unit made up largely of reserves. The OSU coaching staff elected to send the first teamers back onto the field for that play, and the Buckeyes got the stop for the turnover to preserve the whitewashing.​
"I think the guys are excited about it," said OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock of the shutout.​
"They've been talking shutout for a while. It was nice to get, and we were able to play some young players too. That combination is always good.​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Todd Denlinger [/FONT]
"It's a huge deal and a a big confidence booster," said OSU defensive lineman Todd Denlinger.​
"There's a lot of critics out there saying this defense can't do it, that we're young and inexperienced, but to be able to shut down and offense like Minnesota is a huge confidence booster."​
Still Not Good Enough: Though the Buckeyes played very well against Minnesota they are far from satisfied with their play. That should bring a smile to the face of OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel who always stresses constant improvement no matter how well you play.​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]James Laurinaitis [/FONT]
"You can always find something to improve on," said linebacker James Laurinaitis sounding very much like his head coach.​
"Football is a perfectionist sport. That's a good thing when you have a lot of guys that believe in that, that you can get better each and every week, it's going to help you out."​
OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman was on the same page. Bollman found chinks in OSU's offensive performance despite the 44 point outburst by the Buckeyes.​
"I thought we ran the ball OK most of the time," said Bollman.​
"There were a couple of times there were in some fronts where we didn't block them as well as we could have or should have, but I think overall for the most part the guys did what they were expected to do in the running game.​
"We made too many mistakes in the first half. We had some costly penalties and we had those two turnovers in the first half that were very poor. There were some times we did some good things the first half also, but we should have had some more points on the board. We took care of that in the second half."​
Up Front Day for an Up Front Guy: The weather was windy, damp and blustery on Saturday, not exactly tanning weather, but for the OSU offensive line, it was darned near perfect. According to OSU offensive lineman Doug Datish and Alex Boone, the weather played a part in OSU's excellent performance up front on offense.​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Alex Boone [/FONT]
"It was kind of an "in the trenches" kind of game," said Boone. "The weather was cold and it was raining before and it was kind of slippery. That's what you want to see in the trenches.​
"I think this is one of the best games where the offensive line actually controlled the game. We were just pushing around and had to do what we had to do to win the game. I think we did a great job and Pitt and Beanie ran the ball very well today," Boone said.​
According to Datish, OSU offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jim Bollman made the point that the Buckeyes would have to dominate up front before the game.​
"Before the game, Coach Bolls (Bollman) was saying, we need to get control of the game with the offensive line and the way to do that was to run and keep Troy off his back, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that today, and hopefully in the coming weeks we'll get some good weather so we can throw the ball around a little bit. If we don't, we'll have to do it again," Datish said.​
Turning Points: It's hard to imagine there being turning points in a 44-0 game, but according to OSU defensive end Jay Richardson, it was two holds on fourth-and-short situations by the OSU defense that kept the Gophers off the scoreboard following OSU turnovers that really made a difference in the game.​
"That's huge, especially that second one where they could have got a field goal and kept the goose-egg off of there," said Richardson.​
"We were able to stop them and that was good for our confidence and our overall team energy."​
Forgive and Forget: Freshman tailback Chris Wells had a costly fumble in the game, giving up the football at the Minnesota 15-yard line and most likely costing the Buckeyes points on the scoreboard. That kind of mistake will often result in some time on the pine for a player, but the OSU coaching staff got Wells back into the game where he played well for the remainder of the contest. OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman explained the reasoning behind that move.​
"What are you going to do, sit him on the bench the whole time?" asked Bollman.​
"Troy fumbled the ball too. We have to improve in that area, we can't put the ball on the ground, but we haven't had very many of those, and Chris has had three, so he's got to improve on that, but would we help ourselves as a team by keeping him on the bench is the question you ask yourself as a coaching staff. Certainly the answer today was not to leave him on the bench. One of the benefits of having those three guys is that Pitt doesn't have to play the entire game. The only way that anybody gets any better is to get some experience. The more that he and Mo (Wells) play the better off he'll be," Bollman said.​
Don't Forgive, Don't Forget: The OSU coaching staff has come up with a motivational theme for every week this season. This week the Buckeyes were reminded of how the Minnesota offense shredded them last season in OSU's win over the Gophers in Minneapolis. Apparently that ploy worked.​
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Jay Richardson [/FONT]
"Even though we won last year our stats were so terrible and we gave up so many yards, for us that was kind of a loss on defense, so we used that as motivation this year, that we had to come back and get them back for what they did. To us it was like playing a team that beat us last year," said OSU defensive end Jay Richardson.​
"I think we appealed to their pride and felt like we had to do something better than we did last year, and they responded," added a smiling OSU defensive coordinator Jim Heacock after the game.​
Protecting Troy: The Ohio State offensive line has done an excellent job of protecting quarterback Troy Smith this season. According to offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, some of the credit for the line's success in pass protection has to be shared with Smith himself.​
"The threat of Troy being a runner means that people don't want to rush him in certain fashions," Bollman said.​
"You saw that today when with a normal pass rush he takes off and makes a big run. That threat always aids the protection.​
"In the same way people don't like to blitz us sometimes because we have some guys who are pretty good route runners man-to-man and Troy has done a good job hitting them all year."​
It's another way of saying pick your poison. Pressure Troy and he'll either run on you or find the receiver who is in man coverage. Give him time to pass and he'll pick your zone apart.​
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Unfortunately, I missed the game because I had to go down to Grants Pass, OR and couldn't record it(VCR isn't hooked up right) but it seems like it turned out the way I predicted(OSU: 42 Minny:0, only 2 points off :wink2: ). Good to see Troy get his first rushing td of the year and nice to see Pittman back on track.
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Minnesota marauding

David Briggs
Media Credit: David Heasley
Jack Nicklaus dots the "i" at the homecoming game against Minnesota.

Ohio State is the best football team in the land because:

A. A defense that lost nine starters is becoming as vaunted as an offense with two leading Heisman candidates, now allowing the fewest points per game in the nation.

B. It takes a pair of fumbles and costly penalties to hold them to a 17-0 halftime lead.

C. Even when a team contains an explosive runner like Antonio Pittman and covers all of its superb receivers, quarterback Troy Smith can break off a brilliant 21-yard touchdown run.

D. They roll up 482 yards of offense and a season-high 44 points on a day in which strong winds whipped through Ohio Stadium, yet coach Jim Tressel is less than satisfied: "I'm not sure we did offensively as great a job as we could have."

The answer, of course, in Saturday's 44-0 whitewashing of Minnesota (3-5, 0-5 Big Ten) was "E," all of the above, as top-ranked OSU (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) overcame three turnovers to gain its first shutout since 2003 and roll to a national-best 16th straight win.

Too difficult? Here's a simpler option: Just about anyone with a human brain - and fortunately that excludes ESPN's Skip Bayless - says they are.

So it was just another day for No. 1 Saturday, another humdrum win that kept the Buckeyes on course for the potentially epic Nov. 18 brush with second-ranked Michigan.

"I think we're doing a pretty decent job across the board, but there's always things to get better at," cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said.

Pardon the humility, folks. OSU has now outscored its last four opponents, 161-17 and is the first Buckeyes team since 1973 to open a season with nine straight wins by at least 17 points.

"We faced an incredible football team," Minnesota coach Glen Mason said to reporters. "They are very, very good. I didn't need to play them to know that, though."

So good the Buckeyes are left to play games against themselves. Like deciding who had Saturday's more remarkable feat. Was it Smith being able to toss for 183 yards and a score in such blustery conditions? The Buckeyes running for 266 yards? Or that OSU's defense, one that gave up 578 yards of offense to Minnesota last season, could hold the Gophers to just 182 this year?

"Who had a better day? I would say the defense did," fullback Stan White Jr. said.

The response was unanimous. A defense maligned for its youth at season's start continued its rapid ascent from the offense's shadows on a day where they statistically became the nation's best - they are now allowing less than eight points a game.

"As a defense coming in, not a lot of people had faith in us," cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said. "But from spring ball here on, we met as a group and said that we can do this, that we can be in the best in the country. It's not necessarily a surprise to us, but I know it's a surprise to many."

It was almost as if the shutout was the final validation, an exclamation point for the defense.

And they knew it. When asked how badly the defense wanted a shutout - something neither the 2002 championship team nor any of this year's unbeatens had - Jenkins smiled: "Bad," he said. "We got close earlier this year and we just wanted that on the board."

The starters even pleaded their way back in during the fourth quarter to preserve it. When Jenkins muffed a punt early in the fourth to give the Gophers the ball at the OSU 36, defensive coordinator Jim Heacock capitulated to the starting defense's will.

No matter the Buckeyes were ahead, 37-0. The zero hung precipitously.

"We didn't want to get taken out of the game," linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "Our competitiveness, we wanted that shutout bad. You only get a certain number of opportunities to play in the Horseshoe. And in a game like that, you want to stay out there and protect that."

They did. On a fourth-and-one play at the OSU 15, Minnesota quarterback Bryan Cupito was stuffed by defensive tackle Joel Penton.

"We gave them that opportunity and they responded," Heacock said.

"That was really important," linebacker Curtis Terry said. "You don't go into a game talking about a shutout, but it's rewarding."

As if that was a problem. It was OSU's second fourth-down stand of the day to go along with picks by Malcolm Jenkins, Antonio Smith and Jamario O'Neal.

"I don't see any drop-off, nor have the other people who played them," Mason said. "They're a fine defensive team."

That's simply implied with the other side of the ball. Though perhaps overshadowed, OSU more than proved its style can work under any conditions.

Working on an awful field with winds gusting at speeds upward of 35 miles per hour, the Buckeyes hardly stalled.

And Pittman ran for a pair of scores in rolling to his sixth 100-yard game this season. Smith was an efficient 14-of-21 with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brian Robiskie in the second quarter. And, of course, he delivered his weekly Heisman moment.

Early in the third quarter, Smith ran to the left behind tackle, left the corner in his place before darting back to the middle of the field and into the endzone for a 21-yard score.

Only fumbles on consecutive second-quarter plays by tailback Chris Wells and Smith kept the game from becoming even more of a laugher.

It was another methodical trouncing that perhaps left some from the crowd of 105,443 who began filtering out of Ohio Stadium during the third quarter longing for the Krenzel-era win, but sprinkle in a few overtime thrillers doing it. Such is crazy talk, the players say.

"We've just got to keep rolling," Smith said.
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Small smacked silly, Beanie botches ballcarrying, Gonzo gets gonged


David Briggs

The Ohio Stadium grounds crew has taken plenty of heat recently, so sorry to pile on.

But the new field, which was replaced more than a month ago for about $100,000, continues to devolve. On Saturday, parts of the field looked as if they had been steamrolled: paint covered numerous bare spots and the discolored grass was spongy throughout.

"They just replaced the field, right?" Minnesota coach Glen Mason said. "They need a new gardener. If they have a weakness, it's a lousy field."

Earlier in the week during his weekly conference call with reporters, Ted Ginn Jr. expressed his displeasure with the surface.

"It was slippery, wet, soft," Ginn said. "I didn't really like it. It doesn't look like real grass."

Coach Jim Tressel, as if realizing his offense of criticizing the field during the week, would only call the grass "a little better (Saturday)."

Small knocked out, Pitcock has concussion

Ray Small laid motionless for a few moments Saturday after taking a brutal - and cheap - shot to the chin from Minnesota cornerback Dominic Jones.

The freshman wideout briefly lost consciousness, but eventually walked off the field. He reportedly suffered a concussion and Tressel doubted Small would play Saturday at Illinois.

"It was a horrific hit," Mason said. "The best thing I saw all day was when that kid got up."

Also on the head injury front, receiver Anthony Gonzalez suffered a minor concussion early Saturday. He watched the second half from the sideline in street clothes.

Finally, defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock did not play Saturday because of a concussion he suffered during the Oct. 21 win over Indiana. Tressel said both Gonzalez and Pitcock are expected to play Saturday.

"Quinn and Gonzo will be fine," Tressel said.

All is forgiven

Chris Wells sat alone on the Buckeyes bench.

The freshman tailback had just coughed away his third fumble of the season and he doubted he would get another call.

"That's what I thought," Wells said. "I was disappointed."

Two weeks earlier at Michigan State, after he fumbled on his first run, Tressel wasted little time in sending Wells back in. On Saturday, the wait was a tad longer - Wells didn't get his next carry until the end of the third quarter, as the coach called the fumbles "distressing."

Upon his return, though, Wells more than made up for lost time. He finished with 90 yards on 15 carries and a fourth quarter touchdown run.

Afterward, he was grateful for the team's continued faith in him.

"The coaches just told me to get it out of my head because I was going back in," Wells said. "Coach Tressel, man, he instilled confidence in me by putting me back in. That felt good."

Troy and Justin, sittin' in a tree

Before Justin Zwick could reach the sideline after his one-yard dive into the endzone late Saturday, he was jubilantly mauled by Troy Smith.

"If anybody was going to be there for him, I was," Smith said. "And tell him how happy I was for him."

Zwick's fall from star recruit to backing up Smith during his fifth season at OSU is well-chronicled. But during moments like Saturday's fourth quarter touchdown, one that capped a Zwick-led 85-yard touchdown drive, the past could be thrown out.

"Justin's touchdown, it really touched me because I think that was one of the things that he probably needed," Smith said. "Any person, where you're in a situation where things aren't going the way you want them to go, you get a chance to get a breath of fresh air when something happens like that."


"The funny thing is that even though we won last year, defensively our stats were so terrible that for us, it was kind of a loss. We used that as motivation, because to us, it was like playing a team that beat us last year." - OSU defensive end Jay Richardson on last year's defense giving up 578 yards of total offense to Minnesota.

Extra points

The Buckeyes' helmets were adorned Saturday with the initials of Andrew Polakowski, the OSU student who was recently suffocated by a residence hall elevator ... Smith hasn't thrown an interception in his last 120 pass attempts ... Under Tressel, OSU is 44-3 when taking a lead into half-time ... The Buckeyes have scored at least 24 points in 16-straight games.
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The Buckeye Watch
By Tony Gerdeman

Ah, the elusive shutout.​
The proverbial snipe has finally been captured.

The Buckeyes secured their first shutout since the 2003 season, and Glen Mason didn't seem too pleased about it.

Oh well, he'll get over it.
Even though it was just the Gophers, the Buckeyes showed a different look, of sorts. With the wind as tempestuous as it was, the running game was in full force, complemented by timely, and secure, passing.

The Buckeyes rushed for 266 yards against Minnesota. Last week, they rushed for 270 yards. Obviously, the defenses aren't exactly the template of formidable, but it's nice to get into a groove.

The injuries, however, cloud the future.
Quinn Pitcock was held out with a concussion. Anthony Gonzalez left with a mild concussion in the second quarter. And who knows what all is wrong with Ray Small right now.

Still, everybody has two weeks to recover.
And hopefully it won't come down to it, but I'm guessing Michigan Week has a way of healing players. Especially seniors.
Anyway, that's a couple weeks off.

Let's get back to the Gophers...
3:48 AM I wake up to the sound of sleet hitting the bedroom window. I apparently have a headache, but my prevailing concern is for the field conditions this afternoon.
1:13 I'm watching the Notre Dame-Navy game and I think these CBS announcers are auditioning for NBC, because they sure do love their Irish.
2:00 I'm in the midst of watching another dominating Michigan performance. Or at least, that's what it will be called on Sunday.
3:33 T-minus eight minutes until Mark Jones breaks out a "garnet and gray" reference on us.
3:34 I'm thinking that this wind is going to bring a lot of short passes and a whole lot more running today. The last time Troy Smith played in poor weather, he threw two interceptions. Especially now with people talking about Troy's latest non-interception streak, bad things may happen.
3:37 Per the flag, the wind is blowing across the field, meaning there's no going with or against the wind. That's not going to be good for anybody...except for our defensive backs.
3:39 The wind just blew the ball off of the tee. It begins...
3:39:29 Whoa! Ginn just took the kickoff to the 43. I thought he was gone on that one. Looked like he had a little trouble hitting the accelerator. Probably on account of his cleats being unable to grab loose soil.
3:40 Antonio Pittman with a little three-yard run up the gut to start the game. Expect to see a whole bunch more of that today. And maybe some play-action bootlegs.
3:41 Nine-yard pass to Stan White. Troy was just about to run, then stepped back and hit Stan White. Last week it was the tight ends, this week will it be the fullbacks?
3:41 End around to Teddy...only six yards on the carry. Doesn't look like he's able to get very good footing out there.
3:42 Mark Jones just called Antonio Pittman "AP". Like he knows him. I call him "AP" too, though, and I've never had a conversation with him. I guess I'll let this one slide, Jones.
3:43 AP just picked up nineteen yards on his last two carries. In comes CW to run behind SW Junior...and he picks up four yards. That's some nice-looking power football, right there.
3:44 First and goal from the nine...touchdown Antonio Pittman! Antonio took the hand off and went to the left side untouched. Easiest smash-mouth drive I've seen in a while. Looked like we were playing Notre Dame's defense out there. 7-0 Buckeyes.
3:46 Nice ground-based drive there. And the only throw went to Stan White, who happens to be the most ground-based Buckeye we've got.
3:49 Minnesota's second-leading receiver, tight end Matt Spaeth, is out. This is good news for us.
3:50 The Gophers go three and out. You get the feeling that if Ginn could just get a lane, nobody would be able to react quick enough to catch him. But not on this punt. The ball sailed ten yards over Gonzo?s head, who was up so far because of the wind.
3:52 The jump shot touchdown celebration is the dumbest touchdown celebration since the Ickey Shuffle. But at least the Shuffle took creativity. Lousy creativity, but creativity nonetheless.
3:55:29 Ooh...did you just see that one, Michigan? Pittman just caught a throwback screen and went up the sidelines for 31 yards. That's a good way to get large chunks of yardage without letting the wind influence the ball.
3:58 Aaron Pettrey kicks 42-yard field goal, right down the middle. Pettrey nailed that one, knowing that he didn't want the wind to take the ball. 10-0 Buckeyes.
4:01 Another touchback on the kickoff for Aaron Pettrey. It's good to have the other "AP" back.
4:04 E.J. Jones just got stopped two yards behind the line of scrimmage by Curtis Terry. It's getting to the point that when you see somebody coming off the edge and nailing the ball carrier, you just know it's Terry.
4:05 David Patterson just stopped Jones at the line of scrimmage. Good to see him out there again. One question, though, where's Quinn Pitcock?
4:06 Third and twelve and Cupito just hit Mike Chambers for eight yards, but James Laurinaitis wrapped him up short of the first down. Cupito was pressured by Jay Richardson, who continues to play well. Marcus Freeman was fortunate to not get a roughing call.
4:07 Pittman off tackle to the left side for eleven yards. This is like taking candy from a baby kangaroo. Have you ever seen one of those things? They're like the size of a tootsie roll.
4:08 Nice quick hitch to Gonzo for eight yards. If you're not running the ball, this is the second-best way to negate the effects of the wind.
4:08:41 Play-action...looking downfield...but Troy dumps it to Stan White. Nice check down for eleven yards. Way to milk that efficiency, Troy.
4:09 That's the end of the first quarter, Buckeyes lead 10-0.
4:10 Eventually these short passes will open up the deep stuff, but the throw will have to be on a line. The floating touch pass won't have much of a shot if it's too far down field. And I don't know how keen Troy is on the purposefully under thrown deep pass.
4:12 Aha! Another screen to Pittman, this one goes for seventeen yards. Troy's getting a bunch of free yards on the feet of his running backs.
4:14 Pittman has nine carries for 55 yards right now. You wonder what he could do with the thirty carries a game Michael Hart or P.J. Hill gets. Actually, since neither of those players played much in the second half today because of injuries, maybe we should just let sleeping dogs lie.
4:14:48 Dang it. Chris Wells just fumbled. Minnesota recovers it. In spot duty, this is unacceptable. Freshman or not, you've been a running back forever. Wells wasn't even hit hard, and he let go of the ball. The worst part about getting labeled a fumbler is that now people are trying to strip you all the time, which causes more fumbles. His last fumble was caused by Doug Datish. (I'm trying to keep Eddie George's freshman year in mind. It helps.)
4:16 Quick hitch to Logan Payne, which Antonio Smith promptly stops for a gain of nothing.
4:18 Third and eight from the Minnesota eleven. Cupito better be very careful here. Dang. He was. Twelve-yard slant to Decker on Donald Washington. When it's executed well, the slant is pert near impossible to stop.
4:20 Laurinaitis sack! Cupito changed the play at the line and apparently Laurinaitis knew the call. He got through the line and Cupito basically gave up and went down.
4:22 Minnesota punts it out of bounds. Throw another log on the fire of terrible punts on account of Ted Ginn Jr.
4:25 Fumble! Troy Smith just got hit from behind by Steve Davis, and Davis grabbed his arm and stripped the football. Troy ran right into Davis, too. The second-team offensive line was in on that drive.
4:26 The Buckeye defense still hasn't allowed any points following a turnover. The Gophers get the ball at the Buckeye 37, so the defense has their work cut out for them.
4:27 Third and ten...Logan Payne catches an eight-yard pass down to the 29-yard line. Glen Mason will go for it here.
4:27:33 They didn't get it! You had a feeling that was coming. The defense holds again following a turnover! Yes, this defense is only giving up 8.3 points per game, but the zero points they've given up following turnovers may be their most impressive statistic.
4:28 But let's not scoff at the 8.3 points per game.
4:31 Pittman just picked up nine yards on two runs, leaving it third and short. Will we see Beanie here? Nope, Pittman again. He got stopped initially, but leapt forward for the first down. Nice second effort.
4:33 Troy Smith just scrambled for eleven yards. He was forced out by good pressure, then made some nice moves. The offensive line has got to pass block better.
4:34 Whenever I switch to the USC-Oregon State game, the Trojans pick up a first down. They're down 7-0, by the way.
4:36 Troy just overthrew Dionte Johnson in the flats. He hung Johnson out, and the fullback took a nice hit. Troy was looking deep initially, but there was nothing open for him, so he dumped it off.
4:37 Nice sideline route by Gonzo for eleven yards. Another first down pick up for him.
4:38 Play-action bootleg to Ginn for fifteen yards. We'll be seeing more of that this season, count on it.
4:39 Touchdown Robo! From eighteen yards out. Troy Smith just played the Minnesota defense like a player piano. He didn't even have to hit the keys to get the defense moving around. Before the snap, Troy was yelling something at Ginn, then repeated it for emphasis. The safety cheated over a bit. Troy got the snap, pumped towards Ginn on the left side, then calmly shifted over to the right side and threw a perfect touch pass to Brian Robiskie in the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown. The safety, of course, couldn't get over in time. 17-0 Buckeyes.
4:41 It should be mentioned that we have just equaled Michigan's total point output against former Big Ten Champion Northwestern today. We have yet, however, to equal the three points they gave up.
4:42 They just showed a replay of the touchdown pass. If E.T. ever lands on your house and you're trying to teach him English, show him that play and he'll immediately know how to say "Sweeeeeeeet."
4:45 Malcolm Jenkins interception!! What a perfect throw to Jenks by Bryan Cupito! Jenkins left his man and came over to pick off the overthrow.
4:48 Three quick plays get us about seven total yards. Jim Tressel is going for it on fourth and three from the Minnesota 28. I'm guessing he'll be looking for Gonzo here.
4:49 Yep! Gonzo for eleven yards. You'd think defenses would know this.
4:49:39 Wow! Ray Small just got hit very, very hard and was very, very defenseless. That's a scary hit by Dominic Jones. Small's arms were up in the characteristic "something's terribly wrong here" position.
4:50 Small is moving now. Great sign. He's actually getting up and walking off with some help. Great to see. I'm guessing Troy's going to be buying Ray dinner for the rest of the week.
4:52 Second and thirteen from the twenty. Go! Go! Troy with an eighteen-yard run down to the two...but it's coming back. Of course it is. What did we do now? Steve Rehring busted for hands to the face. That will push us back to the thirty-five yard line with just a few seconds left.
4:53 Just get a few yards and set up for the field goal here.
4:55 Shows what I know. Troy scrambled around and looked into the end zone, leaving it short for Roy Hall. That looked bad from the get go, but those have a tendency to turn into "Heisman Moments", so I'll not criticize the decision. Let's just chalk it up to the wind and assume it would've been six had the day been calmer.
4:56 That'll bring us to the end of the half, as the Buckeyes lead 17-0. A dominating thirty minutes, yet somewhat off-kilter. The two turnovers, of course, don't help. Neither do 30 mph winds. And the penalties. We mustn't forget about the penalties. Rehring's hands to the fact cost us a 24-0 halftime score.
4:58 John Saunders just said "Ohio State only up 17-0..." I bet when he went to see "Twister" in the theater, he probably said something to the effect of, "Aw c'mon, it's just an F5."
4:59 I think that's my second Twister reference this week. I wonder what that means.
5:00 It probably means I need to see some movies from this decade.
5:05 I just came back from taking my dogs out, and boy is it windy out there. I was having trouble walking them, what with the leaves blowing around and whatnot. I can appreciate what Troy's going through out there.
5:06 Troy's halftime numbers: 11-15-132 and a touchdown. I'm betting he won't throw ten passes in the second half. Antonio Pittman has sixteen carries for 78 yards. He won't reach 25 carries.
5:17 Game's back on.
5:18 Jay Richardson just batted the pass down at the line. Minnesota faked the toss sweep and threw back, and Jay was waiting for it. Nice read by the senior.
5:18:41 Cupito's hit! The camera can't keep up with the ball in the air...it's picked off by Antonio Smith! Richardson caused that one too! He beat the double team and got to Cupito just as he was releasing the ball. Very nice.
5:20 Throwback screen to Pittman...dropped. Dang. That was going to be a big one.
5:21 But who needs it, let's just have Troy Smith run the ball into the end zone from the 21-yard line! He's breaking ankles out there. Great run. He looked to throw, then looked to run, then looked to score. Shoot. Mark Jones just said Troy Smith was breaking ankles. I talk like Mark Jones. That's depressing.
5:22 Anyway, it's now 24-0 Buckeyes. Suddenly, I'm not so into the game. This Mark Jones thing's got me really screwed up, dog.
5:23 Hard to believe that that was Troy Smith's first touchdown run of the season.
5:28 Wow! Marcus Freeman just stopped Amir Pinnix for a one-yard loss. Was that Freeman's first solo tackle for loss on the season?
5:29 Minnesota's doing their own throwback screen...but they threw it back to the wrong guy! Jamario O'Neal jumped over the receiver and stole the ball from him. What a great play by O'Neal! That was a different version of the Glenville Connection than we're used to seeing. Curtis Terry got the pressure on Cupito, who had to get rid of the ball to avoid the sack, and O'Neal won the jump ball. Very nice.
5:30 Play-action deep to Ginn...incomplete. There's just no way to complete that pass in this wind. You could see Troy looking for it and wanting to throw it earlier in the game, but it's just not a high percentage pass. Ginn was even open, but it was virtually an impossible throw. Only Brady Quinn could've made that throw. On the run. Behind his back.
5:31 Pittman just went the wrong way, hanging Troy out to dry. Troy improvised for a four-yard gain.
5:33 Brian Hartline!! Troy just hit Hartline for 32 yards down the middle on third and fourteen. Hartline is tough over that seam. Nice throw, too.
5:34 Touchdown Antonio Pittman. Easy run from thirteen yards out, over the right side. He's got a nose for the end zone, once they get in the red zone. You almost expect him to score every time he touches it down there. And once he gets outside, he kicks it in and gets to the end zone with unmatched urgency. He gets there like nobody we've had in years and years.
5:34:51 Dang! Another missed extra point; this one blocked. Minnesota tried to return it for two points, then they fumbled, the Buckeyes picked it up and tried to get their two points. That would've been a terrible way to lose a shutout, but not unheard of. (Remember last season's Illinois game?)
5:36 Georgia is terrible.
5:40 Ross Homan and John Kerr are in there together. Interesting.
5:41 Larry Grant just stopped E.J. Jones in the backfield. I would like to see more time out of Grant. I'm assuming he'll get it today.
5:41:33 E.J. Jones was just tripped up for a loss of one. I think Cupito got him. David Norrie says it was the "Turf Monster". How dare you sir! How dare you disparage this beautiful field of play, Mr. Norrie. The brown grass, the green mud. What's not to love? I'd like to see your yard sometime, Captain Perfect!
5:42 Malcolm Jenkins catches the punt. Does he know you can fair catch those things now?
5:46 Pittman just went for eight yards, leaving us with a third and two.
5:46:29 And in comes Beanie Wells. I think this is his first appearance since the fumble. And he just took it nine yards up the middle, carrying the pile for the final seven yards of that run! That was a very strong run, and a nice bit of redemption and determination.
5:47 Mo Wells just carried the ball for three yards, but he's coming out. He looks like he's got a stinger. Flashback to 2002.
5:48 So in comes Chris Wells...and he just took it for fifteen more yards, through traffic. He's trying to reprove himself, and he'd doing a bang up job of it. Very impressive couple of runs here for him.
5:49 And Brian Hartline just picked up seventeen more yards on a nice throw and catch. Actually, after seeing the replay, the catch was much better than the throw. And that brings us to the end of the third quarter, the Buckeyes lead 30-0.
5:50 This will most likely be Troy's final drive of the game. It would be nice to see him throw another touchdown. Why not that little flanker swing screen that doesn't really have a name but needs one?
5:53 Nice eleven-yard run by Pittman. Troy faked the run right, then pitched it out left to AP, who went up the sideline.
5:54 Four-yard run for Chris Wells. He just pounds himself up the gut and goes forward for good yardage. As I said a minute or so ago, I'd like for Troy to get another touchdown, but now I'm starting to hope that they let Beanie finish out this drive.
5:55 And they do! Chris Wells from three yards out for the touchdown. I can say this for the kid, he bounces back well. And we get to watch him the rest of the way out due to Mo's stinger. 37-0 Buckeyes.
5:56 Mark Jones just referred to us as the "Scarlet and Gray". Good for him on getting his basic football knowledge under control.
5:57 Oregon State is up 23-10 on USC.
5:57:49 Oregon State just returned a punt for a touchdown, to make it 30-10!
5:59 The Buckeye fan in the cowboy hat and white cape was just referred to as "Buckeye Man". This will probably infuriate the real "Buckeye Man" as he rewinds his tape tonight to see if he made it on television.
6:00 That was weird. Cupito got pressured by Robert Rose and decided to take a backwards jump shot in order to get rid of the ball. Pinnix caught the alley oop, but could not finish. He was then, subsequently, finished by the aforementioned Robert Rose.
6:02 Nope. Malcolm Jenkins doesn't realize you can fair catch a punt, because he just ran up on this one and muffed it like a fat kid playing dodge ball.
6:02 Well, the defense is up against it here. How sad would it be if the shutout and their streak of no points on turnovers were snapped because of a fumble by the star cornerback. Would that qualify as irony?
6:04 Can we possibly get a tighter camera shot on Glen Mason please. It's times like these that I'm glad my televisions are opposed to high definition.
6:05 They just said Gonzo has a mild concussion and Mo Wells has a stinger. The stinger was apparent. The mild-concussion wasn't. That's his second in about six months. Hopefully it's on the mild side of mild.
6:09 Minnesota is down to a fourth and one from the Ohio State fifteen. It's stuffed!! Ross Homan stuffed the keeper. They're measuring, but he's two feet short. The yellow line never lies! He's short, Buckeye ball, and the defense holds yet again!
6:11 Now let's go get our Bean on.
6:12 This may be Beanie's first game where he comes away sore.
6:13 Nice throw by Justin Zwick, picking up fifteen yards. That gives Beanie a bit of a rest before they go back to pounding him.
6:14 Eleven-yard cutback run by Wells. He is so fun to watch. When he plants to cut back, he's seemingly only a step from being near top speed.
6:17 Zwick on the bootleg on third and eight hit Hartline for eleven more yards. Nice throw by the senior. A better move by Hartline to pick up the first down.
6:19 Beanie just got knocked down, but not all the way down. He regained his balance and took it up the sideline for fifteen yards. You can't just hit this kid, you have to keep hitting him. First and goal from the five.
6:21 Zwick keeps it from the one and plunges into the end zone! The senior gets rewarded and Troy Smith is the happiest guy in the stadium. He's jumping around like the just won the 50/50 drawing. The entire sideline is now pummeling Zwick. Good scene. 44-0 Buckeyes.
6:29 That's going to do it for this game. Minnesota ran the clock out and the Buckeyes preserve the shutout. Glen Mason just gave the quick handshake at midfield. Not Lloyd Carr quick, but still pretty quick.
6:30 Is it scary to think of what this score could've been had the Buckeyes been able to go downfield? I like the fact that we won in a different way. We didn?t utilize the big play, instead we utilized the consistent play. We can pretty much do whatever we want. Teams can gear up to stop one aspect, that?s fine. But this is far from a one-trick pony.
6:31 Aw, who am I kidding, Michigan will be ready.
6:32 Let's just enjoy the shutout and finish watching Oregon State blow this huge lead and, most likely, the game.
6:33 Michigan will be there to worry about tomorrow.
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BB73;647965; said:
3:52 The jump shot touchdown celebration is the dumbest touchdown celebration since the Ickey Shuffle. But at least the Shuffle took creativity. Lousy creativity, but creativity nonetheless.
4:45 Malcolm Jenkins interception!! What a perfect throw to Jenks by Bryan Cupito! Jenkins left his man and came over to pick off the overthrow.
Ok, abut an hour before the pick gerd makes a comment about the jump shot celebration.. why? i dont remember seeing it until jenkins made the pick before half and when he jumped up after being tackled had a 3 pointer to the ref down the sideline
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scarletngrey11;647196; said:
I agree.

At first I was, but by looking at the stats and comparing the two... I dont think it will be close.

Michigan is probably a very good team.

This OSU team is one of the greatest of all time.

Please, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Michigan IS a very good team. Their rushing D is exceptional, and their offense is very explosive with Manningham in the lineup.

I agree that this year's team is really good, but let's not go annointing the Bucks "one of the greatest teams of all time" until we win the national championship.
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