• Follow us on Twitter @buckeyeplanet and @bp_recruiting, like us on Facebook! Enjoy a post or article, recommend it to others! BP is only as strong as its community, and we only promote by word of mouth, so share away!
  • Consider registering! Fewer and higher quality ads, no emails you don't want, access to all the forums, download game torrents, private messages, polls, Sportsbook, etc. Even if you just want to lurk, there are a lot of good reasons to register!

Game Thread Game Six: #1 Ohio State 35, Bowling Green 7 (10/07/06)


Falcons ineffective in trying to win field position war

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mark Znidar


NEAL C . LAURON COLUMBUS DISPATCH Kurt Coleman (4), David Patterson (97), James Laurinaitis (33) and Jay Richardson (99) go up to block a field goal attempt by Bowling Green?s Alonso Rojas in the first half.

For the average Joe who gets winded walking to his car in the parking lot, a football field seems like a prairie without tumbleweeds.
Bowling Green coaches, though, were worried about every square foot of the Ohio Stadium turf going into the game yesterday against topranked Ohio State.
Their fears were played out as the Buckeyes streaked to a 35-7 victory by taking advantage of excellent field position courtesy of the Falcons? shaky special teams.
"Field position affected the game a lot," BG coach Gregg Brandon said. "It?s like war, when you give up too much ground."
The play that got Bowling Green into a deep hole was a blocked 50-yard field goal attempt by Sean Ellis on the Falcons? first possession.
Brandon was so undecided about whether to go for a field goal or punt that he burned a timeout. Already trailing 7-0, he wanted points.
Kurt Coleman got a hand on the low kick and Jamario O?Neal returned 14 yards to give the Buckeyes possession on their 47. Nine plays later, Antonio Pittman scored on an 8-yard run and the rout was on.
"We probably should have punted it," Brandon said. "My thought there was, ?Hey, the kid has made some long field goals in practice and he has never had a shot and let?s see if he can get it up.?...That was probably a bad decision on my part."
Bowling Green lost more field position with freshman Alonso Rojas averaging 29.4 yards on five punts. Speedy Ted Ginn Jr. had one punt return for 21 yards, but the threat of him breaking one led to shanks of 25, 21, 25 and 28 yards by Rojas.
"We tried to punt it out of bounds (effectively) because of their skill back there, but we weren?t able to do that," Brandon said. "You have to punt the ball."
Another special teams gaffe was an 11-yard kickoff return by Chris Bullock.
Great catch

Receiver Corey Partridge made BG?s touchdown one for the highlight shows. He made a one-handed catch of 12-yard pass by Anthony Turner in the third quarter.
"Da-da-duh, da-da-duh," Turner said in mimicking the ESPN jingle. "It was a great catch. That should be on ESPN."
Partridge, a senior from Loveland, called it a dream situation. He grew up watching Ohio State.
"I came open on the back side and made eye contact with Anthony," Partridge said. "I?m a white guy and I?ve got short arms, but it was a great ball and it was a reaction thing. I was kind of surprised I was able to catch it one-handed. I got an adrenaline rush like no other. But I think we should have scored a few more times. We shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers."
Turner, who completed 16 of 24 attempts for 179 yards by throwing underneath the coverage, was frustrated the offense didn?t show more.
"That was the game plan," he said of the conservative drive. "If we used it in the first half, it would have been a different story. We dinked and dunked, and it worked. But it didn?t work enough. We did what we could do and made the best of it."
Sack attack

Ohio State quarterbacks had been sacked only six times in five games, but Bowling Green got to Troy Smith twice for 14 yards in losses.
The Falcons paid for the pass rush, though, as Smith scrambled several times for positive yardage. The biggest blow was a 34-yard run to the BG 8 that set up the second touchdown.
"Initially, we weren?t prepared for him to run like that," defensive end Devon Parks said. "After a few scrambles, we had a few spy calls. We knew we?d be able to get pressure on them. We studied film and saw a few things they might give up."
[email protected]
Upvote 0

Small victory for Buckeyes

Freshman receiver delivers on promise. OSU rolls to win over Bowling Green

By Marla Ridenour

Beacon Journal sportswriter

COLUMBUS - Top-ranked Ohio State's 35-7 victory over Bowling Green on Saturday provided a glimpse of the future, an early peek at a passing of the torch.
Probably after this season, OSU junior flanker Ted Ginn Jr. will slip the baton to Ray Small, a former high school teammate who has been expected to follow in his footsteps for years. Even while Ginn was gaining the reputation as one of the most dangerous players in college football, Cleveland Glenville's Ted Ginn Sr. was telling people Small was the most talented receiver he has coached.
Ginn Jr. and Small displayed their amazing skills, but the Buckeyes (6-0) showed only flashes of brilliance against Bowling Green (3-3). Even with a blocked field goal by freshman cornerback Kurt Coleman in the first quarter to set up a touchdown and the Buckeyes' 12th interception of the year by sophomore defensive end Vernon Gholston, OSU led only 21-7 with 6:21 left in the third quarter.
Then Troy Smith, whose 85 percent completion percentage (17-of-20) was the third-highest in a game for OSU, got the Glenville gang going. He tossed a swing pass to Small and the fellow Tarblooder swept around the corner for an 11-yard touchdown that was the first of the freshman's career.
With 12:13 to play, Ginn pulled in a 57-yard touchdown pass from Smith, Ginn's longest reception since a 58-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the opener against Northern Illinois. Ginn had a career-high 10 receptions for 122 yards. He has caught 17 passes in the past two games against Bowling Green and Iowa.
``I was especially pleased with that last one because we had a couple home-run opportunities in the last couple games and didn't connect,'' Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. ``We need people to know we're going to go deep. That's part of who we are and who we need to be.''
Ginn said he saw Bowling Green sophomore cornerback Antonio Smith playing off as he had all afternoon. Ginn had about 2 yards on Smith when he caught the ball.
``Once out of 10 I might get it, sometimes (Anthony Gonzalez) might get it,'' Ginn said. ``I'm glad coach called it.''
After finishing with four receiving touchdowns in 2005, Ginn has six this season despite being the focus of opposing defenses. It's a role that has taken some adjustment.
``It's not that I like it, it's something I've got to do now,'' Ginn said. ``I've got to get used to it. I go into games thinking, `If I catch five balls, I've got to make it the best five balls in the whole wide world.' ''
Asked if it has been frustrating, Ginn said, ``Yeah. How would you like it for somebody to double-team you all night? You can't let anybody know. You've got to take it in stride and play the play.''
Last week, fellow receiver Gonzalez prasied Ginn for how he handled some taunting at Iowa. Ginn said he must take that in stride, too.
``Everybody in this world is going to try to taunt you no matter who you are, if you're a football player or a regular person,'' Ginn said. ``You've got to be able to ignore people and keep walking.''
Waiting in the wings and learning from what Ginn is going through is Small, ranked the No. 7 receiver in the nation in the recruiting class of 2006. Small said he struggled in fall camp until he caught a pass in practice and took it the distance.
``Everybody was, `Wow, I didn't know he could do that.' Ever since then, I've been rotating in,'' Small said.
Last week Small predicted he would score against the Falcons. After he came through, Tressel jokingly called Small ``a soothsayer.''
``At first, it was a play-around thing,'' Small said. ``Then I went to coach Tressel and told him, `Coach, if I have an opportunity I'm getting in the end zone.' He kind of brushed me off. But I was real confident.
``I'd never gone this long without scoring a touchdown. It was kind of a low-grade team we were playing, so I'm going to score.''
Small said in high school he clocked a 4.25 in the 40 at a Nike camp. But running track with Ginn frustrated him.
``Usually in practice I would win the 100s,'' Small said. ``But when we would run 300s, he would win every race. I would be right behind him.''
And what does the soothsayer see in his future?
``I'm predicted to be just like him,'' Small said of Ginn. ``Hopefully I'll be better than Teddy.''
Injury report
Starting right tackle Kirk Barton (Perry) left on the second play of the game, forcing senior Tim Schafer into the lineup. But Tressel downplayed the injury.
``I think Kirk will be fine,'' Tressel said. ``He had a little bit of a foot procedure this week and didn't get as much practice as he would have liked. We were only going to play him two or three series, anyway.''
Senior defensive tackle David Patterson went out in the second quarter with what he called a ``level one MCL sprain'' of his right knee. Tressel said Patterson will be day-to-day in practice for Saturday's game at Michigan State but ``in the long run David will be just fine.''
``I twisted my knee in the new turf,'' Patterson said. ``My leg got stuck. I knew it wasn't that bad, it didn't pop or anything. The doctor said it was like a sprained ankle. I wanted to go back in.''
Upvote 0

Each step has a purpose for OSU

With eye on title, Buckeyes have no room for letdown

By Sheldon Ocker

COLUMBUS - Ohio Stadium was rockin' with 105,057 fans on Saturday, only about 104,835 adorned in red.
They came to see a football game. They came to see Ohio State crush Bowling Green, the 35-point underdog, appropriately attired in the same colors worn by the Browns.
It wasn't that the crowd wanted blood. Several thousand were far too anesthetized for that, having executed some serious tailgating in the parking lots for half a day.
But these folks did insist that the Buckeyes, the top-ranked team in the land, dominate, debilitate and annihilate the Falcons. Everything short of amputate was fine with them.
As the game progressed, it became clear that Ohio State would win easily, but that Bowling Green's players would leave town with their heads held high and all of their limbs intact.
Truth be told, a 35-7 beating isn't a big deal against the team that many expect to play for the national championship. What's more, the Falcons were trailing only 21-7 with 6:21 left in the third quarter.
After awhile, the fans began to boo the Buckeyes, though not all the time. There were occasions when Ohio State failed or declined to complete the snuff job on the Falcons, who were alleged to be woefully outmanned.
Didn't these guys lose to Kent State 38-3? Does that mean the Golden Flashes have a more potent offense than Ohio State? Let's go out on a limb and say, probably not.
It was not unexpected that after beating Texas, Penn State and Iowa in its first five games, the Buckeyes might lack a ready supply of adrenalin against the Falcons.
``I'm sure as a coach, nothing's ever as good as you'd like it to be, and I would categorize this just that (way),'' OSU coach Jim Tressel said, adding, ``Sometimes when you go down and score early in games like this, you lose a little bit of your edge. I don't know if we did or didn't.''
Tressel didn't explain what he meant by ``games like this.'' What he probably knew and didn't say is that his team didn't have much of an edge before or after it scored less than four minutes into the game.
The Buckeyes only outgained the Falcons by 48 yards. Only three times did Bowling Green go three-and-out.
The Falcons' scoring drive lasted 8 minutes, 39 seconds, and Ohio State was called for three offensive holding calls during the game. Shouldn't it be the Mid-American Conference team that is forced to hold to keep the Big Ten stalwarts out of its backfield?
``The offense... just had the feeling of not necessarily disappointment, but just an empty feeling,'' center Doug Datish said.
OK, so you can find fault in any performance, athletic or otherwise. That's not really the point.
Ohio State beat Bowling Green handily, so it's time to think about Michigan State, the next opponent on the schedule. Michigan State is no Bowling Green, or is it?
After blowing a big lead against Notre Dame and being rudely dismissed on Saturday by another arrogant Michigan team -- that's how fans in East Lansing view the Wolverines -- maybe the desire has gone out of the disappointed and disappointing Spartans.
Then again, next Saturday will be Michigan State's national title game, if the Spartans have anything left. If Ohio State plays the way it did against Bowling Green, there could be trouble.
And that goes for the succeeding games against Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern. It's still a long way to the showdown against Michigan. Playing five stiffs in a row probably is not the ideal way to prep for the Wolverines, who are tired of getting beat by Tressel's teams.
Most Ohio State partisans already have concluded that if the Buckeyes beat Michigan Nov. 18 for the Big Ten championship, the next game on the schedule will be in Arizona for the national title.
Tressel, more than anyone, knows his team is one giant pitfall away from blowing the season before the showdown with the Wolverines. Be it listlessness, overconfidence or disinterest, it is something that is difficult to guard against.
``Everything from this point on is Big Ten football, and that's what it's about,'' Tressel said, hoping that a return to league play will cure any tendency to slack off.
Tressel knows it's not that simple. His troops are mindful that the next four opponents might not beat them if they formed one team out of all their best athletes.
Should Ohio State continue to win all the way to Michigan, Tressel will have done one of the better coaching jobs in his career. He would never say that now, but maybe in a few years, in a reminiscing mood, he'll tell you about it.
Upvote 0

Well and good

The Buckeyes manage to avoid serious harm in a routine victory over Bowling Green

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Doug Lesmerises
Plain Dealer Reporter

Columbus- As his right knee twisted in the turf, Ohio State senior David Patterson did not hear a pop. So while the starting defensive tackle was helped off the field in the second quarter of Saturday's 35-7 win over Bowling Green, he didn't fear the worst.
Avoiding the worst was a win in itself for the No. 1 team in the country.
Patterson said he was diagnosed with a sprained knee ligament, and though his status for next week's game with Michigan State is up in the air, his season doesn't appear to be in danger. Starting right tackle Kirk Barton left after Ohio State's first offensive series of the game and didn't return after aggravating an injury to his left foot that cropped up this week, but coach Jim Tressel said it wasn't serious. Linebacker Curtis Terry didn't start after not practicing this week with a foot injury, but shouldn't be out long.
In a nonconference game stuck in the middle of the Big Ten schedule, Ohio State emerged 6-0 without any apparently devastating blows to its national title hopes. And though there's a lot to look at and work on this week, there's something to be said for moving on.
"I'm sure as a coach nothing's ever as good as you'd like it to be, and I would categorize this as just that," said Tressel, admittedly eager to get back to Big Ten play. "I think today was worthwhile, but not wonderful."
The worthwhile included three touchdown passes from quarterback Troy Smith, once again efficient in the passing game while stretching his legs in the running game for the first time this year.
He completed 17 of 20 passes for 191 yards and ran seven times for 54 yards, including one dodging 34-yard escape to set up a touchdown.
Ted Ginn Jr. set a career-high with 10 catches and scored a touchdown on a 57-yard pass from Smith, and tight end Rory Nicol and freshman receiver Ray Small caught their first touchdowns of the season. Antonio Pittman ran for 61 yards and two scores and the defense picked off its 12th pass of the season, this one by defensive end Vernon Gholston.
But there was a rash of penalties on the offensive line, Bowling Green worked over the Buckeyes on an 85-yard touchdown drive that lasted 8:39 at the start of the second half, and the game was in a bit of doubt longer that expected.
"Any team that talks about being the best team in the country can't have the amount of penalties we had," Nicol said of the Buckeyes, who lost 36 yards on five flags. "That'll be something we put a lot of stress on and really work on. We've got to get past that."
Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock, a critical sort by nature, planned to hit the drawing board after the Buckeyes allowed 339 yards of Bowling Green offense, the second-highest total this season behind the 343 yards gained by Northern Illinois in the season opener.
"I think we really have to look at what we did today and try to simplify things and make things a little bit easier," Heacock said. "We need to look at fundamental things, like how we can tackle better. I think we really have to spend the week getting better."
Maybe it's nit-picking, but it's also fair for an undefeated team to find flaws in victory. It's better than the alternative. No. 2 Auburn lost to Arkansas on Saturday and No. 3 USC was nearly upset by Washington. Against Bowling Green in 1992, Ohio State escaped with a 17-6 win but lost receiver Joey Galloway to a season-ending knee injury.
And it was nerve-racking for a moment Saturday when Patterson went down.
"Any time someone goes off, you're concerned about it," linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "David's one of our emotional leaders and one of our captains, so when you see him come out of the game, you get nervous a little bit."
Said Patterson, "I was a little worried, but I knew it wasn't that bad. I wanted to go right back in."
But he didn't, and was wearing a knee brace after the game. The Buckeyes already lost starting free safety Anderson Russell for the season after he tore ligaments in his knee against Iowa last week.
Ohio State still is the best team in the country. If they stay healthy, the Buckeyes should remain on top.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
[email protected], 216-999-4479
Upvote 0

Nicol sticks to first-read story

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dennis Manoloff
Plain Dealer Reporter

No matter how strenuously Buckeyes tight end Rory Nicol pleaded his case, no one was inclined to believe him.
It did not seem possible that Nicol could have been Troy Smith's first option on their 3-yard hookup for a touchdown early in the first quarter Saturday. It capped a nine-play, 64-yard opening drive that ignited the Buckeyes' 35-7 victory over Bowling Green.
Nicol appeared to be the third option based on the time Smith used to sort through the Falcons' defense and eventually find him.
"Honest to goodness, I was Troy's first read," Nicol said. "You can ask him. The reason it didn't look like it is Troy's so good with his eyes, faking out the defense. He even catches us sometimes, where we think the ball's not going to come. But the next thing you know, you're catching a 95 mph fastball."
Nicol praised Smith for doing an excellent job of looking back at receiver Anthony Gonzalez, thereby drawing attention away from Nicol. The touchdown reception was the second of Nicol's career. He caught his first, also from Smith, on Oct. 16, 2004, against Iowa.
The Buckeyes have scored on their opening drive in four of six games this season.
Six packs:
At one point in his collegiate career, Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman wondered if he ever would find the end zone again.
Now he's a certified end-zone magnet.
Pittman rushed for two touchdowns against Bowling Green -- both 8-yard runs to the left in the first half -- extending his TD streak to 11 games.
After scoring his first touchdown as a Buckeye on Oct. 23, 2004, against Indiana, Pittman went 12 games in a row without one. He ended the drought with a 67-yard run at Minnesota on Oct. 29, 2005, and has been making a routine of scoring on the ground since.
He finished the Minnesota game with two, then rushed for two more against Illinois the following week. He closed last season with one touchdown in each of his final three games.
Pittman had one touchdown in each of his first five games this fall before the two against the Falcons. He finished with 13 carries for 61 yards Saturday, part of Ohio State's 32 carries for 139 yards.
Turf talk:
The Buckeyes played on a new grass surface, which was installed after their previous home game, Sept. 23 against Penn State. The original grass field did not withstand wet conditions.
Asked what he thought of the new surface, Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said, "I thought the sideline was extraordinary."
The players said it was an improvement, but nothing spectacular. They cited bumps and divots, but were willing to give it time to settle.
Smith used the occasion to lobby Tressel.
"If we take some time to beat it up a little bit, fall on it a little more, run some more deep routes, we'll be OK," Smith said.
Hard-nosed Falcons:
Buckeyes players were impressed with the effort of Bowling Green.
"They gave us a good game," defensive lineman David Patterson said. "They were a tough team and played physical up front."
"I think Bowling Green was definitely prepared for us," defensive lineman Quinn Pitcock said. "They were showing us a lot of different looks."
The Buckeyes hardly rejoiced over their performance, citing too many mistakes and failure to execute some plays. But they insisted it was not because they were looking ahead.
"We prepared very well for this game, just like we do all the rest," Nicol said.
The Falcons got the Buckeyes' attention at the outset of the third quarter, crafting a 15-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that lasted 8:39. It pulled them within 21-7.
Ohio State answered with a 14-play, 70-yard drive that lasted 7:18, meaning the third quarter had just two drives.
Patterson dismissed the idea that the Bowling Green game might have been some sort of nuisance, given that it interrupted the Big Ten flow.
"I was just very thankful for us to get another chance to play in Ohio Stadium," he said. "I think the rest of the seniors and the other guys on the team are thankful for that."
"I second that," Smith said.
"Third that," Pitcock said.
"Fourth," center Doug Datish said.
Gonzalez caught three passes for 31 yards. Two resulted in first downs, giving him 24-of-27 for first downs/touchdowns this season. His 27 total receptions are one shy of his output from all of last season.
The 2006 Buckeyes are the 23rd team in school history to start 6-0. The most recent was the 2002 national champion (14-0).
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
[email protected], 216-999-4677
Upvote 0

Bests from the Ohio State-Bowling Green game

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Best block

Freshman cornerback Kurt Coleman called himself a "go-to guy" on Ohio State's field-goal-block team, and he got to a ball in the first quarter. Coleman darted in from the left side to block a 50-yard try that could have cut Ohio State's lead to 7-3.
He never even tried to block a kick in high school, but the Ohio State coaches saw something in him and put him in that spot in the preseason. Coleman has been learning the nuances of the job ever since.

Best run

Quarterback Troy Smith had the kind of run we haven't seen in a while on a 34-yard gain in the first quarter that set up an 8-yard Antonio Pittman touchdown on the next play.
"I haven't run like that in a long time," Smith said. "I had a lot of guys joking with me when I got to the sideline."
The scramble, which included Smith skipping past one diving tackler just past the line of scrimmage, was longer than any he had last season, when he gained 611 yards on the ground.

Best grab

Bowling Green's only touchdown was something to behold, both the 15-play, 85-yard drive that took 8:39 out of the third quarter and the actual touchdown catch itself.
Falcons sophomore receiver Corey Partridge beat Ohio State's Antonio Smith and made a one-handed catch on a 12-yard pass from Anthony Turner.
"It was a great drive by our offense," Partridge said. "I just stuck out my hand and managed to make the catch."

Best grab II

Defensive end Vernon Gholston's sack gave him a team-high 4? on the season, and he practically needed just one hand to do it.
Bowling Green was trying to get something going at the end of the first half and had moved the ball 37 yards after taking over at the 29-yard line with 1:06 left in the half. Passing up a 51-yard field-goal try, the Falcons lined up for a final play from the 34-yard line. Quarterback Anthony Turner tried to escape the pocket to his right, but Gholston was there.

Best line

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has been cracking jokes for several weeks now. The guess is he must feel pretty good about his team. After the game, asked about the loss by No. 2 Auburn, he even made light of the early season minicontroversy that erupted when Tressel said he voted Texas No. 1 and it turned out he hadn't.
"I guess you take notice," Tressel said of Auburn's loss, "because I have a ballot in the USA Today coaches poll, so I have to be very focused on doing that job well."

That, my friends, was Tressel sarcasm.
- Doug Lesmerises
Upvote 0

BG's orange pants aren't too scary; OSU's Ginn is

By Kyle Nagel
Staff Writer

Sunday, October 08, 2006

COLUMBUS ? Thoughts and observations from Saturday's Bowling Green-Ohio State football contest at Ohio Stadium, as I ask myself, "Why was that game played again?"
? Teams are scared to death to punt to Ted Ginn Jr. Just ask Bowling Green punter Alonso Rojas, who had five tries. On four of those, he kicked the ball almost directly out of bounds, which is why he ended the day with an average of 29.4 yards per kick.
By comparison, that's like averaging 1.8 yards per rushing attempt. It's a sorry number.
? Bright orange is not a very menacing color. That's what the Bowling Green uniforms carry on the pants. It's not very scary when the other team looks like the label of something you would use to wash your sink.
Maybe it was an attempt to keep the OSU players squinting at the brightness.
? A.J. Trapasso is a stud. The Ohio State punter kicked two times on Saturday and averaged 47 yards. Entering the game, he was averaging 42.4 yards on 24 punts. And he's only a sophomore.
Although Ohio State doesn't have the reputation any longer that the punter and kicker are its most important offensive players, punting duties are safe with Trapasso.
? Troy Smith throws hard. Ginn caught his 57-yard score in the fourth quarter about three steps from the end zone.
? No. 2 Auburn lost to Arkansas, 27-10. It's like any team ranked second is in the fast lane watching Michigan speeding closer and closer. Eventually, they just get over.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7389 or
[email protected]
Upvote 0

Buckeyes go through the motions, still whip BG

Ohio State wins 35-7, prepares for five Big Ten foes before Michigan showdown.

By Kyle Nagel
Staff Writer

Sunday, October 08, 2006

COLUMBUS ? The liveliest conversation between the four Ohio State football captains and their coach afterward was about the new turf on the field at Ohio Stadium.
"It was pretty," coach Jim Tressel said. "The color was nice."
Beyond that, No. 1 Ohio State's expected 35-7 victory against Bowling Green on Saturday in front of 105,057 didn't provide many signature sights.
There was a 57-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Troy Smith to receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with 12:13 left that ended the scoring and a hold-your-breath run from Smith in the first quarter.
Much of the rest ? the 726 yards of combined offense, six touchdowns (only one of more than 12 yards) and the tipped interception by Buckeyes defensive lineman Vernon Gholston ? was like the ol' drive-the-car-around-the-block in January to keep the engine at attention.
In this case, it was the 6-0 Buckeyes staying warm to play the remaining six games of the Big Ten Conference schedule, which aren't exactly daunting aside from the season finale against Michigan.
"We always have things to work on," linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "We always need to improve."
Ohio State led comfortably throughout, from the opening-drive, 3-yard scoring pass from Smith to tight end Rory Nicol for a 7-0 lead, to the two 8-yard Antonio Pittman touchdown runs that gave the Buckeyes a 21-0 lead at halftime.
BG (3-3) opened the second half with an 85-yard drive that cut the OSU lead to 21-7, but Smith racked up two more scores, 11 yards to freshman Ray Small and 57 yards to Ginn, to set the final margin.
When it was over, though, the softest game on the Buckeyes' schedule didn't answer many questions.
Except, of course, how the sod would hold up.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7389 or
[email protected].

OSU by the numbers
13 ? Consecutive Ohio State wins, the nation's longest streak
4 ? Games, of six, in which OSU has scored on its first drive
4 ? Games, of six, in which OSU has allowed 7 points or fewer
10 ? Catches, a career high, for Ted Ginn Jr. (122 yards)
Upvote 0

OSU's Smith uses short field to thump BGSU


COLUMBUS - A month before the football season started, Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith was dressed in a suit and tie and sitting in front of a bouquet of microphones about 300 miles from here in downtown Chicago.

Smith made an off-the-cuff remark about his off-the-field ambitions - and Bowling Green should have been listening.

"Real estate is my dream. That's what I want to get into," said Smith, who has a degree in communications and is doing graduate work in his dream field.

Yesterday, Smith and the Buckeyes (6-0) gave the Falcons a stern lesson in the laws of the land while handing Bowling Green a 35-7 defeat. When you are playing the No. 1 team in the country, you don't surrender chunks of real estate without Ohio State exacting a stiff fee.
On numerous occasions, Bowling Green allowed the Buckeyes to play on a short, 50-yard field. The payment was quick and severe for Bowling Green's frequent field-position sins.

"It seemed like we were starting near the 50 all day, and the shorter the field you have to work with, the better," Ohio State center Doug Datish said. "Either our defense was setting us up with great field position, or we got it after punts and kickoffs. Either way, that's a risky thing to do with the kind of playmakers we have."

The Falcons (3-3) were trying to keep the ball away from those playmakers, kicking off short and punting out of bounds to avoid any returns by Ohio

State speedsters Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez. But the field position gains still had the Buckeyes knocking on the door time after time.

A squib kick let Ohio State start its first drive at the 36, and a touchdown quickly followed. Bowling Green then had a long field goal try blocked, setting the Buckeyes up near midfield again, and resulting in another short drive for a score. An interception on a tipped ball gave Ohio State possession at the BG 21, and another touchdown followed for a 21-0 lead at the half.

"It seemed like we had great field position all day, and that is something this offense will take advantage of for quick scores," said Ohio State tight end Rory Nicol, who scored the game's first touchdown on a three-yard pass from Troy Smith.

"When they punt the ball out of bounds or kick it short, it gets us thinking about scoring right away. We've got such dangerous guys back there, it's scary to think about letting them run it back, but the other option is giving us great field position - and we'll take it."

After Kurt Coleman of Ohio State blocked the Falcons' 50-yard field goal try midway through the first quarter, the Buckeyes looked stuck with a third-and-26 from the BG 42. But Smith collected a low snap that dribbled to him, stepped back, rolled to his left, then cut all the way back across the field to the right for a 34-yard gain - his longest run since a 46-yard carry against Michigan in 2004.

Tailback Antonio Pittman scored on the next play from eight yards out for a 14-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, BG quarterback Anthony Turner tried to sidearm a pass to Chris Bullock, but Ohio State's Vernon Gholston intercepted the ball off Bullock's fingertips and set up the Buckeyes at the BG 21.

Passes to Ginn and Roy Hall moved the ball to the 8, where Pittman slipped a couple of tackles and rolled in for the score and a 21-0 Ohio State lead.

"When our defense wasn't getting us the ball, that was the strategy for Bowling Green, and that's the approach they chose - to sacrifice field position to prevent a return," Datish said. "It's a tough thing to do to your defense, to ask them to hold us time after time on a short field. But I don't think I'd kick to those guys, either."

BG coach Gregg Brandon said the field position advantage enjoyed by the Buckeyes had a major impact.

"It affected it a lot," Brandon said about his strategy of keeping the ball away from Ohio State's playmakers.

"It's like war, you just give up ground. We gave up too much land. But again, their weapons create that. You don't want to kick the ball to those guys."

The Falcons cut the Ohio State lead to 21-7 with a 15-play, 85-yard drive that opened the second half. Turner found Corey Partridge cutting across the end zone, and Partridge made a one-handed grab for the score.

The Buckeyes made it 28-7 early in the fourth quarter when Smith found freshman Ray Small in the red zone, and Small outran the BG defense 11 yards for a touchdown. Following a Bowling Green punt that Ginn took back 21 yards to near midfield, Smith showed Bowling Green the acceleration clause when dealing with the Buckeyes as he hit Ginn with a 57-yard bomb on first down to make the margin 35-7.

"Anytime you can strike through the air like that, I was especially pleased with it," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "We need people to know that we're going to go deep. People need to know that's part of who we are."

Contact Matt Markey at:
[email protected]
or 419-724-6510.
Upvote 0

Buckeyes conduct business as usual
Lacking enthusiasm, OSU wins easily over Bowling Green

For The Advocate

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith seemed more interested in watching highlights on a TV monitor than answering questions after Saturday's 35-7 stroll past Bowling Green. At least he waited until after the game to look distracted.
"I'm sure as a coach nothing's ever as good as you'd like it to be, and I would categorize this as just that," coach Jim Tressel said, putting a damper on OSU's 13th straight victory. "Today was worthwhile, but not wonderful." It's not that the top-ranked Buckeyes (6-0) played poorly. They jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first 18 minutes, driving the length of the field with the opening kickoff before parlaying a blocked field goal and interception into touchdowns.

But their effort lacked the sustained excellence of their wins over Texas and Iowa and they knew it. Part of it was playing a 35-point underdog. Part of it was easing off the pedal after a fast start. Part of it was interrupting the Big Ten season to shoehorn this lopsided battle of Ohio into an expanded 12-game regular season.
"I don't think we took any major steps back," linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "We could have shown more emotion, but it's tough when you play a game like this in the middle of the Big Ten schedule.
"The Big Ten is obviously where it's at. Coach (Tressel) said the hardest thing is playing a game that doesn't mean anything to the Big Ten (race). But there's only so many games you get a chance to play in Ohio Stadium. We should cherish every chance we get to play in front of our fans."
Other than seeing OSU preserve its perfect record, the best thing the 105,057 in the 'Shoe could say about Saturday was that Smith didn't hurt his Heisman chances. He completed 17-of-20 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions, showing why he leads the Big Ten in pass efficiency.
He also had a 34-yard scramble on third-and-26 to set up one of Antonio Pittman's two 8-yard touchdown runs in the first half.
The knockout punch came at 12:13 of the fourth quarter when Smith went deep on a 57-yard pass to Ted Ginn Jr. for the game's final score. Ginn finished with a career-high 10 catches for 122 yards.
"It's like PlayStation," Bowling Green coach Gregg Brandon said of OSU's video game-like ability to score in a hurry. "Those kids (Smith and Ginn) are phenomenal."
The moral victory for BG was an 85-yard, 15-play drive with the second-half kickoff. The Falcons held the ball for more than eight minutes with Corey Partridge making a one-handed grab of a 4-yard pass from Anthony Turner to cap the series.
The Buckeyes answered with a seven-minute march of their own to quell any thoughts of a comeback. It ended in the first minute of the final period on an 11-yard pass from Smith to freshman Ray Small for his first touchdown catch.
Defeat all but guaranteed before halftime, the Falcons (3-3) considered their lone touchdown a small victory after losing what Brandon referred to as "too many little battles."
The battle for Ohio State was staying interested. "The offense had a feeling of, not necessarily disappointment, but just a little bit of an empty feeling," center Doug Datish said. "Every win is worthwhile and satisfying, but we felt we probably could have done a little better out there. "Now we're looking forward to playing in the Big Ten."
Upvote 0
Let me start by saying that I'm glad we got the win! What scares me is that I hope our guys don't assume they can play down like that and still win big for the next 5 Saturdays. That could bite us in the ass.

That being said, Troy managed the game well and looked sharp. It makes me cringe to see Quinn throw for 3 TD's and alomst 300 yards. I have no doubt that Troy is the better QB and I hope he doesn't get robbed of the Heisman for being a victim of our system. Don't get me wrong, the system works for winning games, it just doesn't necessarily showcase a QB's abilities.
Upvote 0
I don't understand this talk of "playing down" to Bowling Green. Did you expect a touchdown pass on every play? Did you expect the defense to keep Bowling Green without a first down?

The Buckeyes quickly and easily drove down the field for a touchdown. Then, maybe the defense was being a little conservative on BG's first drive, but why not? Why play aggressive and let BG take advantage of a slip by a defensive back? The defense kept with their "bend but don't break" philosophy, and held Bowling (Orange) to a long field goal attempt. The next drive, Ohio State shot themselves in the foot a little, getting penalized 15 yards, and looking at a third-and-25. After Smith scrambled for the first down, it was an easy touchdown. Then, OH NO! The players must be taking plays off! Ohio State had to punt on their next possession! But they got the ball back and scored another easy touchdown. Then another punt (we're doomed!), and then sometime later Zwick came in.

Zwick, by the way, I think played pretty well. He was 1-for-4 on that drive, with his receivers dropping 2 passes. It looked like he threw the ball away on the one pass, but I think it was Robiskie who at least COULD have caught the one, and then Gonzalez, of all people, SHOULD have caught his fourth-down pass. Anyway, halftime score was 21-0.

The only part that bothered me was Bowling Green's first drive of the third quarter. 59 plays for 85 yards, and 8-1/2 minutes off the clock. Ohio State has to play better defense than that. But the offense came back out and drove right down the field for a touchdown. Then, the very next offensive play for Ohio State was another touchdown. 35-7.

What more could you want?
Upvote 0
Good win, as expected........but I'd be lieing if I didn't say that I was disappointed with our offensive line play yesterday, especially in pass protection.

Our defense also didn't get enough pressure on BG's qb........ It seemed like the boys were going through the motions yesterday. We can't do that next week at Michigan St. they could sneak up and beat us, that's no joke.
Upvote 0