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Game Thread Game Ten: #1 tOSU 17, Illinois 10 (11/4/06)

Discussion in '2006 Football Season Capsule' started by 3yardsandacloud, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    The Buckeye Watch
    By Tony Gerdeman
    There are only a few irrefutable maxims in college football. One of them is "Never apologize for a win."
    Fret all you want, but the Buckeyes won.
    Is Illinois better than Texas?
    Is Rutgers better than Ohio State?
    If you answered "no" to both, then why are you still lamenting?
    Here's some trivia for you: Of the last twenty college football teams to win or share a national championship since 1990, do you know how many of them never played in a game decided by eight points or less?
    Only two. And both of them were Nebraska, in 1994 and 1995. We're talking about two of the most dominating teams in decades. The closest the 1994 Huskers came to losing was a ten-point game. The 1995 team, however, pounded everybody. Their average score that season was 53-14.
    Why do I mention this? Because what happened Saturday isn't rare. It's actually the norm.
    Rare is winning all of your games by at least seventeen points, especially since the 1995 Nebraska team couldn't even do that. (They beat Washington State 35-21 for their closest margin of victory.)
    So what happened on Saturday?
    Here's the nutshell: The Buckeyes were up 17-0, looked to be driving for another touchdown, and Beanie fumbles. Illinois got a little momentum, played great defense, and we decided to get out of Champaign as quickly as possible. If Beanie doesn't fumble, we're up 24-0 and then we pack it in anyway. Does 24-10 really make you feel that much better?
    If you want to fret, then fret.
    Remember in Predator when Jesse Ventura said, "I ain't got time to bleed."
    Well, I ain't got time to fret.
    Enough with the rambling, let's get to some more rambling...
    5:15 What is that terrible noise?
    5:40 Oh, it's my alarm.
    6:30 We're supposed to be heading out for Champaign right now, but after taking the dogs out, I decide to put on another protective layer. Hopefully four layers will be enough.
    7:00 There are five of us in the family truckster, and talk turns to hopes that we get to play somebody other than Louisville in the National Championship game, because that would be boring.
    8:00 Talk now turns to Michigan and how we'll beat them.
    9:00 SEC bashing.
    11:35 We're listening to Fox Sports Radio and SEC fans are calling up and showcasing their eight-word vocabulary. I make fun, but to be fair, they do have 215 different grunts for "Boy howdy".
    12:00 We arrive at the parking lot. The far parking lot. If this were Ohio State, a comparable parking spot to Ohio Stadium would have been Clintonville. We set up for some tailgating. I break out the deli tray. We have some hotdogs. We throw a football.
    12:15 An "independent ticket salesman" is riding around on a bike asking who needs tickets. We tell him we need five together. He doesn't have five together, but he'll see what he can do. We'll never see him again.
    12:30 It's a good thing we're throwing a nerf football, because we've hit about every car and port-a-john line-waiter in the county. I'm a little worried about how Troy's going to be able to throw in this wind, because it's wreaking havoc with us.
    1:20 The independent ticket salesman is back. He's got five for us. They're good seats, on the fifty, but way up. We haggle. We get him down to $35 per ticket. He asks how much that is total. I tell him it's $175. He says, "Wow, you must be alumni." I nod. That's right, I honed my abilities to multiply and add small numbers at The Ohio State University. My motto: "Do Something...Meh."
    2:45 We're inside the stadium now. We pass by the students in possession of the Illibuck Trophy. We stop to touch it! What an amazing experience. I can only imagine it being similar to parents witnessing the birth of their firstborn.
    2:47 Now we're walking up the ramps to section II. I think there are like 87 levels. My heart hurts.
    2:54 We get to our seats. We are in the last row at the top of the stadium, with our backs to the press box. We are, however, on the 46-line. Great seats. Nobody behind us telling us to sit down, plus we can sit back and lean against the press box. And we have a nice windbreaker and possible rain covering. I'd take these seats every day of the week. Things are good.
    2:58 Looking at the warm Alex Boone, but Quinn Pitcock is dressed and out there. Tim Schafer and Jim Cordle are taking turns at left tackle.
    2:59 I think I see Devon Lyons out there dressed and running around. Wow, talk about your forgotten depth. That guy was Robo before Robo was Robo.
    3:03 I'm just told that Michigan is only up on Ball State 34-26 and Ball State has first and goal in the final minutes. Further proof that Michigan has the best defense in the country. Not any defense can hold a freshman quarterback to only 26 points.
    3:28 We're really quite outnumbered in our section. There are about three Buckeye fans ten rows below us, but that's it. There are plenty of Buckeye fans outside the 30s, but we're pretty much all alone here. This could get interesting.
    3:33 In retaliation for our "O-H!"..."I-O!!!" yells, one of the Illini faithful turns around and says, "Go Michigan." We politely laugh.
    3:35 It's cold. And the windbreaking pressbox could be doing a better job, in my opinion.
    3:36 Oh no. Illinois is a key-shaking school. If I would've known this, I never would've made this road trip. The NCAA needs to make it known which schools are key-shakers and which schools aren't lazy idiots.
    3:37 Antonio Pittman opens the game with a loss of one.
    3:38 That's more like it, Pittman for a thirteen-yard run. Get this train a'rolling.
    3:39 Screen to Pittman, this one picked up eight and is good enough for a first down. I love the fact that we can actually run the screen pass the last couple of years and not make it look like it was drawn up in the dirt twelve seconds ago.
    3:40 We just went five-wide on third and three and Illinois blitzed. Troy hit Hartline for ten yards. We'll take that all day, because somebody's always going to be open.
    3:42 Chris Wells carries the ball for three yards. My wife's brother says Wells tackles himself more often than the opponent does. I ask him if he's saying Beanie is Lydell Ross.
    3:43 Hmm...nice looking play. Troy had the option to run, pitch or throw, and decided to throw as he was running towards the line of scrimmage. It was the type of throw that Michael Wiley used to make. He hit Robo for seventeen or so, down to the eleven-yard line.
    3:45 Fourth and one from the one-yard line. It's Beanie time! We've got the Beanie chant going. Touchdown Chris Wells!! He was nearly stopped for a loss, but made a quick move to split the defense and found the end zone. 7-0 Buckeyes. And we're yelling.
    3:46 And we're asked not-so politely, and in an explicit manner, to quiet down.
    3:47 That was a very nice drive, and right straight into the wind.
    3:49 Nice kickoff that was muffed. We almost recovered the world's longest on-side kick.
    3:50 Illinois starts at the eight-yard line. Marcus Freeman just hit Pierre Thomas three-yards behind the line of scrimmage, and Little Animal finished him off. Nice way to start the game.
    3:50:32 And that's not so nice. Illinois just busted an option left for about 42 yards. Freeman did hit Juice Williams hard on the pitch. Keep hitting him.
    3:51 And the smack is beginning from the Illinois fans.
    3:52 Third and ten for the Illini. Laurinaitis on the blitz...missed Juice. This is how he gets his long touchdowns. He's scrambling...and throwing it deep downfield...overthrown and incomplete. If you've got a shot at him, you have to bring him down, because his receivers start running towards the end zone, and he's got the arm to reach them.
    4:00 Three and out for the Buckeyes. It happens.
    4:01 Juice kept it and ran outside for five yards. The defensive is moving all over the place, just like against Texas. The defensive line is shifting, the linebackers are running up and back, and the defensive backs are moving around. Psychological Operations Buckeye-style.
    4:03 Quinn Pitcock is in. That's very good to see. Juice, or "Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuice", as he is referred to in the stands, overthrows an open receiver. Never forget that we're dealing with a quarterback that's only completing 43% of his passes.
    4:04 Illinois throws a screen...fumble!! White ball! Curtis Terry recovered the ball. That gives the Buckeyes the ball on Illinois' 38.
    4:07 Troy hits Gonzo for seven yards on third and six. And that brings us to the end of the first quarter, with the Buckeyes leading 7-0.
    4:08 It was a good quarter for the Buckeyes. And now we've got the wind, let's do something with it.
    4:10 The scoreboard is showing a salute to agriculture.
    4:11 Sixteen yards to Robo on second down. Troy is sitting back and eating up this defense buffet-style.
    4:13 Second and goal from the seven-yard line. Troy keeps it for six yards, down to the one. Beanie time?
    4:13:40 Nope, Pittman is staying in. And he's getting in the end zone! Touchdown Buckeyes. There was nobody there. Pittman got two yards into the end zone before a defender got to him. 14-0 Buckeyes.
    4:14 And props to Aaron Pettrey for making two consecutive extra points. He's back!
    4:15 We've got a little frat dude two rows below us. His attention is focused on the two girls sitting a row above him. He's showing out and asking what kind of mascot a Buckeye is. We ignore him for the moment.
    4:16 There is an attempted "O-H" from the west corner of the open end of the stadium, but apparently the east open end doesn't understand what's being yelled. Nothing materializes. It's a shame. Because Memorial Stadium is a horseshoe, there's really no fourth part of the stadium to do an all out "O-H-I-O". Fortunately, I think they're putting seats there soon.
    4:17 Pitcock just blew the entire offensive line backwards, enabling the Buckeyes to tackle Pierre Thomas a yard behind the line of scrimmage.
    4:19 On third and eight, Juice threw back across his body and found Jeff Cumberland for fifteen-yards. You have to make him pay for throws like that.
    4:20 Malcolm Jenkins! He just stopped the quick hitch for a loss of four yards. He's the best cornerback in the country and I defy you to name one better. (And it's not Leon Hall.)
    4:21 Donald Washington dropped an interception. That would have made up for allowing Juice to throw back across the field a few plays ago.
    4:22 Three flags have been thrown on the punt return.
    4:24 It takes two minutes for the refs to confer. Two penalties on the Buckeyes and one on the Illini. Penalties offset and an Illinois fan asks "What kind of math is that?"
    4:27 We've got the wind now, let's open it up and go deep here. I say that because I'm cold and it would probably help to jump around and if I do it by myself, I'll just look like even more of an idiot.
    4:28 Beanie for thirteen yards to the left side. Nice kickout for the first down.
    4:30 Ugh. Beanie just fumbled, and wasn't touched. He wasn't even keyed on. He was going to get another ten yards or so, and he just let the ball out of his hands. My wife's brother pipes in, "Told you he was Lydell Ross."
    4:31 What can you say about the fumbling? It's one thing to fumble when you get drilled, but his last three fumbles, he's only been touched by a defender once. You can talk about concentration issues all you want, but you would think the easy part of being a running back is taking the ball with you. He's got to shake this, because we do need him against Michigan.
    4:32 Lawrence Wilson just came around the edge and chased down Rashard Mendenhall for a loss of one. Great play by Wilson!
    4:33 Curtis Terry is stalking Juice at the line of scrimmage. He's in full hunt mode. Here he comes...Terry hits Juice and the ball is loose. The refs are calling it a fumble and the Buckeyes have it!! I think he was throwing, but I'll take it. Get that ball snapped, let's go! Run the play!!
    4:34 It's being reviewed. I'm no genius--even if I can add numbers and stuff--but I think this is coming back. Which leads to me to tell you about an idea I've had lately. Coaches should teach defenses how to line up and snap the ball. Once the ball is made ready for play and the clock starts ticking, have Quinn Pitcock snap it to Marcus Freeman, then let Freeman take a knee. Now you've got Buckeye ball and it's second and twelve. Aw who am I kidding. If that sort of thing would actually work, Charlie Weis would've already thought of it.
    4:36 It's overturned. Illinois punts.
    4:42 The Buckeyes go five-wide and Illinois blitzes again. Troy finds Gonzo for eight yards. I understand the desire to blitz when there is nobody to help protect, but it's not working for you right now.
    4:44 Troy with a nice fifteen-yard run. He made a couple of defenders look pretty foolish on that one.
    4:44:34 Troy Smith threw an incomplete pass. It was short and ugly, and hit the ground before it could even get to Ted Ginn. Meanwhile, Brian Hartline had J Leman matched up on him. Could've been a big play, but Troy never looked his way.
    4:45 There's a flag for intentional grounding. Troy was pressured, and got rid of the ball as he was getting sacked. Roy Hall was about six yards from where the ball was thrown. The refs are converging and conversing. I'm guessing this one will be waved off.
    4:46 I was wrong. What a terrible call. Perhaps "in the vicinity" shouldn't be a judgment call.
    4:47 We're getting some freezing rain right now. If you care.
    4:47:20 The intentional grounding leaves the Buckeyes with third and 18 from the Illinois 39-yard line. Troy hits Ginn for about seven yards. That was merely an effort to get into field goal range.
    4:48 Looks like the Buckeyes are debating on whether to kick a fifty-yard field goal, or go for it on fourth and eleven. We've got the wind, so a field goal is definitely possible here. Of course, if they go for it, you know Gonzo will get open.
    4:49 They're kicking it. And it's good!! Straight through and true for Pettrey. 17-0 Buckeyes.
    4:52 That's the end of the half. Usually I'd have some halftime thoughts here, but I've been standing all game long, so I'm going to sit down and try to warm up. By the time you read this, my suggestions for halftime adjustments will have been rendered moot anyway. Not like they're usually taken into account, though. Anyway, I'm going to put another glove on.
    5:01 Ah yes, a tribute to hair bands at halftime! I'm actually singing out loud to "Livin' on a Prayer". And I'm not alone. Sad? I don't think so.
    5:07 Apparently Michigan made a goal line stand to win the game. It takes a great, great defense to make goal line stands like that. Congrats to them!
    5:11 I think Illinois is the only place that shoots off fireworks when they're down 17-0.
    5:13 The aforementioned frat boy is back. More chiding. Stuff about thugs, drug dealers and murderers. And then we can stay quiet no longer. My buddy Jared asks the kid if he thinks he's attending Duke or something. I ask him if he's aware that Illinois takes players that can't get into Ohio State. It's a lost cause, however, because the dude can't even name half of the starters on the team.
    5:16 On third and eight, Juice keeps it and runs for five yards. I yell out, "Nice, safe play!" Somebody else yells out, "Yeah, you don't want to hurt your brain!" Things are getting politely chippy.
    5:20 Third and fourteen for the Buckeyes here. Nice time for a screen. Yep, here it comes! Pittman picks up seventeen yards and a first down. It was a great pick up, but you have to give Illinois' defense credit for putting us in that situation.
    5:21 The frat dude looks back at us and says the Buckeyes and their scary mascot are in big trouble against Michigan. "The same Michigan that beat Ball State 34-26 today?" we ask. Of course, he is unaware of the day's happenings. He's barely aware of what's going on in this stadium, let alone a stadium in another state.
    5:23 Illinois holds and the Buckeyes punt, pinning the Illini to the three.
    5:24 While on the discussion of mascots, the stranger next to me (a Buckeye) starts talking about Chief Illiniwek, and I mention that it's offensive to me. He agreed and said it was offensive to Native Americans. I said, "I'm not talking about that, I'm saying it's offensive to white guys that can actually dance." I got a look from a couple of Illinois fans for that one.
    5:30 Illinois goes three and out. The frat dude asks why we aren't pulling away, and that 17-0 isn't that impressive. I yell back at him, "Hey, we've already got sixteen more points than we need."
    5:33 Buckeyes go three and out and Troy gets sacked. Looks like Jim Tressel has no desire to test this wind with the passing game. He just wants to get out of town.
    5:35 Backup quarterback Tim Brasic is in for Juice Williams. Intrigue! His first pass is batted down at the line and he immediately gets booed. The game is suddenly turning into an Ohio State spring game.
    5:36 Brasic hits Kyle Hudson for six yards on third and two. No boos.
    5:38 The Buckeyes hold once again and Illinois punts.
    5:40 On first down, the Buckeyes run again. And again Pittman is stopped for no gain. Say what you want, but Illinois has a very good run defense. Go look at what they've done against their Big Ten opponents this season.
    5:41 Run on second down. Jim Tressel is determined to get this third quarter over with.
    5:41:44 Troy just got sacked from the backside. He was lucky he didn't fumble that one. It's apparent just how much this team misses Alex Boone.
    5:42 That's the end of the third quarter. The Buckeyes still holding fast to their 17-0 lead. Jim Tressel didn't want to mess with the wind that quarter, and I'm guessing we'll run just as much in the fourth quarter in order to get this game over with.
    5:43 The Illibuck Trophy ceremony is taking place. What an emotional moment. Every time I see it happen, it reminds me of the immensity of watching the Berlin Wall being brought down.
    5:48 Just to let you know what's happened in the last few minutes: we punted then Illinois punted.
    5:51 The frat boy is leaving. We ask him where he's going, he says he's "going boozing". He says some things, then wishes us luck against Michigan because we're going to need it. I yell back at him, "You stay classy, Champaign!"
    5:54 The Buckeyes go three and out and punt. Terrible punt by Trapasso. He had the wind behind him and only kicked it 31 yards. The ball only made it to the Buckeye 47-yard line. Is that the first time Illinois has crossed midfield?
    5:57 Oh! Near interception by Marcus Freeman. He got a hand on it, but couldn't pull it down. We still need an interception to keep our season-long streak alive.
    5:59 End around...the receiver is comes an! I'm not sure who it was, Brandon Mitchell or Malcolm Jenkins, but they didn't even look back, they just plowed through the intended receiver in the end zone. The pass interference will be half the distance to the goal and put the ball on the buckeye eleven.
    6:01 Second and nine from the ten-yard line and I'm imploring the Illinois fans to get up and get loud. It's actually working. The crowd is getting louder when they need to shut up. This is hilarious.
    6:02 Fourth and nine from the ten, and I'm yelling "Go! Go! Go!".
    6:03 But my cries fall on deaf ears. Illinois kicks the field goal, making it 17-3. More fireworks! Bless you, moral victories. Very nice 37-yard scoring drive.
    6:04 Will they go with an onside kick this early? Probably no need, since they can just kick it deep, stop the two runs and then sack Troy on third and long.
    6:06 Personal foul on a Buckeye lineman. Couldn't hear the ref announce the number. That's not smart. That puts us at second and eighteen from the fourteen-yard line.
    6:07 Finally, a deep's short to Ginn, but the defender ran through Teddy, getting flagged for pass interference in the process. First down Buckeyes.
    6:08 Nice seven-yard run for Pittman on first down. Perhaps the Illinois defense is starting to tire.
    6:11 And perhaps not. Our last four runs have totalled six yards.
    6:12 Interception! The pass was tipped by a tight end and pulled down by the Illini. Troy tried to float it in over a defender, and it was a little high. Probably shouldn't have been thrown, even though it was third down. Jim Tressel much prefers punting to intercepting.
    6:13 We got it back!! James Laurinaitis picks off the pass, reclaiming his team lead for interceptions. Hopefully that will allow us to finish this thing off.
    6:17 Three and out, but we did kill some clock.
    6:17:30 "Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuice". Juice is back in, and the crowd goes wild.
    6:18 Juice's first pass is overthrown. Yeah, Zooker, the kid may be a little cold right now. It may take him a spell to get warmed up. Way to bring him in for the final few minutes of the fourth quarter.
    6:19 Dang it! He just completed a 24-yard pass back across his body and in the middle of the field. We have to pick those off.
    6:21 Ohhh!!! James Laurinaitis just drilled Williams. Williams got rid of the ball, but the receiver couldn't hang on to it. Juice is still down.
    6:22 Now they've got to bring in Brasic, who apparently everybody here hates--and he knows it.
    6:23 Three straight completions for Brasic takes the ball from the Buckeye 35 down to the three-yard line. And now the crowd loves him. (I'm still not worried, for what it's worth.)
    6:24 Option right...touchdown Rashard Mendenhall. They ran outside and we just couldn't get to him in time. 17-10. (Still not nervous.)
    6:26 C'mon, Hands team. (A little nervous now.) Here's the kick...the ball is live...and bouncing high...we missed it...Robo!!! Brian Robiskie pulled it down. Wow. Everybody had a shot at that one. Looked like Brandon Mitchell missed the initial bounce and it went through his hands.
    6:27 Illinois has two timeouts left, and there's 1:09 to go. We won't get a first down, so they'll get the ball back, but I can't imagine them having more than ten seconds or so to do anything with it.
    6:27:09 First down run...four-yard loss for Pittman. Timeout Illinois.
    6:28 False start Rory Nicol. Really? Now? Do it when the clock is running, so that they'll restart the play clock. But don't do it when the clock is already stopped. All you've done is guarantee we're not going to get a first down.
    6:29 Pittman one-yard run on second and nineteen. Timeout Illinois. That's their last one. 1:04 left to play.
    6:31 Pittman for three yards. There is a nineteen-second difference between the game clock and the play clock. 24...23...22...
    6:31:40 Buckeyes take a delay of game penalty.
    6:32 Here comes the punt. Illinois has all eleven men at the line of scrimmage. I don't know about this thinking. If there's a good roll, the clock could run out. A.J. got the punt off...and it's a beauty!! Downed at the two. Four seconds left.
    6:33 Feel free to start the clock. You've placed the ball at the line of scrimmage. What are you waiting for? Finally, the Illini run out onto the field. It's a hook and lateral...the dude stepped out!!! He was out of bounds. That's the ball game. Wow! What a terrible game.
    6:35 I'm sure fans are tearing their hair out right now. This was wrong and that was terrible and this needs fixed. That's fine. This season had been too easy on you anyway.
    6:36 And you know what? I'll happily take three more just like it.
  2. timBUCK2

    timBUCK2 Tim the Enchanter... WOLVERINE SLAYER!!

    osugrad21 likes this.
  3. sandgk

    sandgk Watson, Crick & A Twist

    Highlights - from the Illinois game? - I bet most are defensive plays:)

    Hope the Laurinaitis hit made the cut. That certainly quieted the crowd in Champaign.
  4. Maybe, just maybe, this is what JT wanted. Then, next week we're going to run the West Coast no-huddle and throw for nine touchdowns against NW and Meatchicken won't know what the hell to prepare for.

    C'mon Alex Boone, get healthy.

    And Chris Wells, throw away those gloves.

    [sigh] I guess everything will be okay. After all, we lived through 2002 and THAT was sweet.

    Go Buckeyes!!
  5. akronbuck

    akronbuck Junior

    juice, ask your parents what drugs were they on to come up with that name JUICE.

    OJ fans
  6. Buckeye513

    Buckeye513 Stable Genius

    His name's Isiah.
  7. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    Leman a sign of brighter days ahead for Illini

    November 6, 2006
    By Tim Cronin Staff writer
    CHAMPAIGN -- Illinois will not be going to a bowl this year.
    The Fighting Illini will not have a winning record and will garner little in the way of individual postseason accolades.
    Exception should be made for linebacker J Leman. He has a given first name -- it's Jeremy -- but has gone by J since he was starring at Champaign Central, just a few miles to the west of the Illinois campus.
    Saturday, the junior turned in his best game as a collegian, collecting 19 tackles in Illinois' narrow 17-10 loss to top-ranked Ohio State. That pushed him to 117 tackles on the season, tops in the Big Ten and the best showing at Illinois since Matt Sinclair corralled 129 players three years ago. With two games left in the season, it's almost a sure thing he'll pass Sinclair on the single-season list.
    For Leman, who made 15 tackles against Syracuse earlier in the season, it was just another day busting up someone else's office -- and coming painfully close to winning.
    "It's good," Leman said of his day, "but it doesn't come close to beating the No. 1 team in the country. This is the fifth week in a row the team has come down to the last minute, literally. We've proved we can play with anyone. It's just a matter of finishing games now, and we aren't doing that."
    To say Leman is the bell cow on Illinois' defense is to state the obvious. But at a school once known as Linebacker U, with a heritage that begins with Butkus and Squirek and continues through Rice and Howard, the bell hadn't rung much in recent years. It has rung loudly lately, and Leman has been at the forefront. Head coach Ron Zook can't thank him enough.
    "I went over to J once and asked if he was tired," Zook said of a second-half conversation. "He said, 'No,' and I said, 'Good, because you're not coming out.' "
    In an era in which even premier high school teams use situational substitutions in aligning their defenses, Leman stays in the game. He is as adept at pass coverage as he is at stopping the run, which bodes well for his NFL future.
    "They play a lot of Cover-1 (basic defense) out of a Cover-2 shell," Buckeyes receiver Ted Ginn Jr. said. "That's kind of difficult to see as a receiver."
    Leman and Ginn met once, Leman's solo open-field tackle holding Ginn to a 1-yard gain on his second reception of the day. That one was miscredited on the official play-by-play sheet, so Leman may be up to 20 tackles by the time the coaches critique the team's performance.
    They'll have little bad to say about Leman.
    Leman's also smarter than the average player. A senior academically, he fulfilled the requirements for his speech communications degree as a junior. Now he's in graduate school, hoping to become a sportscaster or -- a clear sign it's the 2000s -- an infomercial host once his football career ends.
    For opposing teams, that can't be soon enough. For Zook, it will be a dark day.
    "I love him," Zook said. "He's a great person, great player. A team guy."
  8. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    Illini quarterback OK to start next game

    Monday, November 6, 2006
    From Journal Star news services
    Knocked down by No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday, Illinois freshman quarterback Juice Williams will be back in the starting lineup next weekend.
    Williams left the game late in the fourth quarter in the 17-10 loss to the Buckeyes after taking a hard hit on a pass attempt. X-rays on his jaw Saturday night were negative.
    Williams will start when Illinois (2-8 overall, 1-5 Big Ten) hosts Purdue (6-4, 3-3) on Senior Day at Memorial Stadium.
    "He's got a sore jaw," Illinois coach Ron Zook said Sunday. "I talked to him last night. He was better this morning.
    "I thought maybe it was a late hit. It was the first thing I looked at. We had a guy miss a protection. Juice thought he was going to pull off, but he hit him."
  9. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]SOME GOOD HANDS: Illinois coach Ron Zook claimed he told his team their game against Ohio State would come down to an onside kick at the end.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]But Zook?s scenario didn?t have OSU?s Brian Robiskie recovering the kick to help preserve the Buckeyes? win.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Robiskie was put into one of the key roles in Ohio State?s narrow escape when things didn?t go quite as planned after Illinois cut the lead to 17-10 with 1:40 to play.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The following kickoff bounced through the hands of senior Brandon Mitchell, which left the ball bouncing free on the artificial surface at Memorial Stadium.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]?I?ve seen Brandon make that catch a thousand times in practice,? Robiskie said. ?It bounced off somebody to the left of me, I saw it out of the corner of my eye and reached out and grabbed it.?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]PITCOCK BACK: Defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock returned on Saturday after sitting out the Minnesota game because of a concussion.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Joel Penton started but Pitcock entered the game in the first quarter.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]?It was a minor injury but we were cautious and kept me out (against Minnesota) so it wouldn?t become anything major,? Pitcock said.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]STREAK ENDS: Troy Smith?s streak of throwing at least one touchdown pass in 12 straight games ended on Saturday.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]STREAK CONTINUES: Ohio State has intercepted a pass in every game this season. Linebacker James Laurinaitis got his fifth of the season in the fourth quarter Saturday. [/FONT]
  10. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0


    OSU Insider

    Edited for format--21
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2006
  11. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    Offense owes defense a favor

    Jim Tressel did allow that there are some concerns over and above the normal.
    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. ? Lost in all the much ado about Ohio State's lack of do much of anything on offense in Saturday's 17-10 victory over Illinois was the play of the Buckeyes' defense.
    Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) limited the Illini to just 100 total yards through three quarters Saturday, and despite giving up 10 points and 133 yards in the fourth quarter, never wavered in the face of the home team's frantic final push.
    "We needed a game like this to test us," said Ohio State defensive lineman and captain Quinn Pitcock."
    "This was a valuable learning experience for us," added senior center Doug Datish. "We needed a battle."
    Fans uneasy
    The players and coaches may feel that way, but Buckeye fans had to be squirming after the Illini (2-8, 1-5) got to within seven points with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining in the game.
    Ohio State ran 16 plays in the fourth quarter ? and gained 11 total yards.
    "The defense helped us out," Datish added, "especially in the second half."
    Illinois rushed for 99 yards ? not a great number, and especially poor if you take out the 43-yard run on its second play from scrimmage by Pierre Thomas.
    But the Illini did gash the Buckeyes with their option game. There were no major yardage gains, but anytime Illinois needed 2 or 3 yards for a first down (or its touchdown) that's the play it called.
    "They're second in the Big Ten in rushing offense," said Pitcock, "and we always feel we have to stop the run first. Other than that [early play] we felt we were able to do that."
    Some concerns
    The Buckeyes readily agreed with the credo "A win is a win," but after a game in which his team gained just 224 total yards, coach Jim Tressel did allow that there are some concerns over and above the normal.
    "It's a Big Ten victory on the road. That's huge," said Tressel. "We always talk about the idea that championships are won with tough wins on the road when you play in a conference like ours.
    "Obviously, we need to get better but we said the same thing when the game is 44-3. [The Buckeyes] need to keep their heads up. They're undefeated in the Big Ten Conference. That's pretty good."
    Just not good enough, for a team with national championship aspirations.
  12. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member


    Illinois tested Buckeyes' will
    Tressel views bruising as good


    That Sunday morning long look into the mirror wasn't quite as easy for the nation's top-ranked team this time around. There were bruises, blemishes, and a cut or two exposed on Ohio State.

    But despite its glaring flaws, Saturday's 17-10 win over Illinois, that didn't meet the expectations of most and didn't come close to covering a generous four-touchdown spread, still goes on the left side of the win-loss ledger. OSU coach Jim Tressel was very frank about the flaws exposed in the game, after his team lost the momentum, slogged its way to just 29 yards of offense in the second half, and then needed an assist from the clock to stop Illinois' 11th hour surge. "I think every time you are tested, every time you are bruised or battered - it can be good for you, in life and in football," Tressel said. "You learn more when you are suffering. We're 10 weeks through this season, and hopefully we can learn a lot from what we have not done as well as what we need to. We'll grow from this game. We have excellent leaders. They'll handle it well. We have guys who are more than willing to look at themselves, and with our coaching staff, go find ways to get better, and go on from there."

    To a man, the Buckeyes seemed relieved to escape with the win, and convinced that every game can't be a polished gem with a lopsided outcome. "My team is 10-0," Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith said in the aftermath of the Buckeyes' first close call of the season. "And a win is a win."

    Smith had an arduous evening against a 2-8 Illinois team. His 108 passing yards with no touchdowns were not the Heisman-type numbers he had been accustomed to posting. Smith ran for his life more than a few times, got sacked on three occasions, and had a fumble and an interception.

    A reflective Smith felt that the Buckeyes had "toughed it out" on a night when things were not going smoothly. He said repeatedly that winning was enough - he did not need to see a bunch of points and a stack of yardage. "Toughness is one key to anyone becoming great,'' Smith said. "There were times when I really had to dig down deep and understand that this is where I wanted to be, this is going to be the situation I'm going to be in, and I'm going to have to take some of these hits to continue to play in the game.''

    Tailback Antonio Pittman had an even more difficult time, rushing a career-high 32 times for just 58 yards - 1.8 yards a carry. Ten times Saturday night Pittman carried the ball for no gain or for negative yardage. "Every game's a battle in the Big Ten, and some are more of a battle than others, especially on the road," OSU senior center Doug Datish said. "There's a lot of give and take in every game. I think there's a valuable lesson in this for us, that every game is not going to be perfect, but we still have to figure out a way to get the win."

    Ohio State's nine previous wins this season had all come by 17 or more points. In the four games before Illinois, the Buckeyes' 35-7 win over Bowling Green was their closest margin of victory. "Sometimes your character is going to be challenged," senior defensive tackle David Patterson said, "and Illinois - they gave us a great challenge." The Buckeyes could also be reminded that the 2002 national championship season was fraught with this kind of anxiety. Half of the 14 wins in that historic year came by seven points or less.

    Datish, who was redshirted in the 2002 season, said he hopes his younger comrades left Illinois better prepared for contesting games down to the wire. "As the season goes on, you might look at a game like this and think that the young guys had a chance to grow up," Datish said. "A game like this can do that for a team."
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2006
  13. lvbuckeye

    lvbuckeye Silver Surfer

    wow. i love the character of this team.
  14. MondayAMGenius

    MondayAMGenius My kid is enlightened in the ways of the Buckeye

    Great to be home

    Watched the game in NYC with my son. We kept saying no spread, vanilla playcalling, and no audibles..

    Before I got home I kept looking for sports writers to point out that we toatlly changed our look offensively, and could be tying a hand behind our backs to cornfuse scUM. No such luck.

    It's great to get back on line and read the comments here at BP that reaffirm all of our thoughts.

    Go Bucks!!
    PlanetFrnd and osugrad21 like this.
  15. rocketman

    rocketman flying low


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