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Game Thread Game Three: #1 Ohio State 37, Cincinnati 7 (9/16/06)

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

  1. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Canton Rep

    [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Buckeyes run away late[/FONT]
    Sunday, September 17, 2006 [FONT=Verdana,Times New Roman,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]By Todd Porter REPOSITORY SPORTS WRITER[/FONT]

    COLUMBUS - Mama said there would be days like this.
    The Buckeyes? high-octane offense sputtered with its first noon start of 2006 Saturday against unranked Cincinnati. There were penalties and incomplete passes. Quarterback Troy Smith had difficulty finding a rhythm. Wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. had a hard time getting open.
    All while Ohio State ground out a 37-7 win over the Bearcats.
    Smith said that is how a No. 1 team in the country handles those days.
    ?One thing we got out of the game was we faced our first test of adversity,? Smith said. ?You need that to become a national championship-caliber team. If every game is vanilla, you don?t know what the other side tastes like. ... We had to come out firing on all cylinders, and we didn?t. A national championship-caliber team in that situation does what we did.?
    The Buckeyes eventually ran away with the game thanks to Antonio Pittman, whose 155 yards rushing sparked Ohio State out of a slumber.
    Barrels of ink have gone toward Smith?s and Ginn?s Heisman machine. Pittman, at times, seems like the third wheel.
    ?I?ve been telling you all along (about) the spark Antonio provides for the offense,? Smith said. ?It?s all kinds of unsung heroes within any football team. Too often you get a couple of guys that get all the ink, and the people who are really doing the grinding day in and day out at practice or games don?t get enough.
    ?You give him enough carries, he?s going to make a play. He?s going to make something happen.?
    It was Pittman?s final carry of the afternoon that broke Cincinnati?s back. He took a counter handoff and cut back down the left sideline ? thanks to a block by T.J. Downing ? for a 48-yard run. That made it 27-7 with 9:57 left.
    Ohio State (3-0), which relied on Smith?s arm and Ginn?s legs in overpowering Texas and Northern Illinois, abandon the running game in the first quarter. The Buckeyes had 2 yards on the ground in the first 12 minutes.
    ?Someone whispered that in my ear,? Ohio State Head Coach Tressel said with a half smile. ?After the first quarter, Antonio did a good job of making some things happen for us. We did a better of doing the things we ought to do against what we were facing.?
    The Ohio State offense was hit or miss on its opening drive. A pass interference call on third down set up the Buckeyes at the Cincinnati 44.
    Then Smith was sacked. On third-and-15, he rifled a pass to Anthony Gonzalez in the middle of the field for a 16-yard gain.
    After an 8-yard swing pass to Ginn, who then dropped a pass on second down. Smith fired low on third down to tight end Rory Nicol.
    Aaron Pettrey salvaged the 28-yard drive with a 47-yard field goal, his longest of the season.
    That opened the door for Cincinnati to leave the crowd of 105,037 sitting in quiet astonishment. Quarterback Dustin Grutza led the Bearcats on a five-play, 80-yard drive. He stepped up to avoid pressure and hit Jared Martin for a 22-yard TD pass. The Bearcats, led 7-3.
    The Buckeyes, meanwhile, meandered their way through the first quarter. In four possessions, they managed 40 yards.
    Pittman picked up when the second quarter started. His 14-yard run on second-and-9, in which he ran through two defenders, breathed life into the offense. He followed that with a 23-yard run to the Bearcat 30.
    ?When I?m putting my head down, getting those tough runs, that?s just me doing what I?m supposed to do,? Pittman said. ?I was brought here for a reason, and that?s to run hard every play.?
    Ohio State settled for a 42-yard Pettrey field goal, cutting the score to 7-6. Midway through the second quarter, the No. 1 team in the nation was losing.
    To see Cincinnati beating us was a gut check,? said Downing, a GlenOak graduate. ?We had to put things together and get the show on the road, because it?s only a 60-minute game. You don?t have that much time.?
    On Ohio State?s next possession, Smith marched his team 80 yards in nine plays. He threw to Nicol twice for first downs.
    The back-breakers were two passes to Gonzalez. He hit the St. Ignatius graduate for 9 yards on third-and-3 and again three plays later for a 33-yard gain to the Cincinnati 6.
    Smith then found Ginn on a crossing route under the Bearcat defense for a 12-yard score and a 13-7 lead before halftime.
    Pittman again got his team rolling in the second half. He carried on four straight plays midway through the third quarter, gained 38 yards. Smith ended the drive with a second TD pass to Ginn.
    Smith finished 21-of-30 for 203 yards. Ginn caught five passes for 33 yards and two TDs. Gonzalez caught five for 85 yards. Six Buckeyes had at least two catches.
    When backup kicker Ryan Pretorius drilled a career-long 52 yard field goal near the end of the game, one of the loudest roars of the day was unleashed in Ohio Stadium.
    Perhaps it was because Ohio State covered a 29 1/2-point spread. Perhaps, though, it was because the Buckeyes avoided a pitfall.
    Reach Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or e-mail: todd.porter@cantonrep.com
     
  2. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Canton Rep

    WAKE-UP CALL WR Anthony Gonzalez, as deep a thinker as there is on Ohio State?s team, attributed Saturday?s slow start to the early kickoff time. ?It was our first noon game of the year after playing at night and 3:30,? Gonzalez said. ?You have to wake up at 7 in the morning, and I don?t think many guys on the team are used to being up that early. ... It?s something we have to get accustomed to. It?s hard to get your body going a little bit.?

    QUOTEBOOK Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel on his team?s slow start: ?It didn?t look to me like we had quite as much pep in our step. ... It didn?t seem like we were flying around to the degree we like to.? On defensive linemen Quinn Pitcock and David Anderson: ?I?ve said all along, our two inside guys ... I don?t know if anybody in America has a pair like that.?

    MONEY FOR BOOKS OSU?s athletic department will donate $5 million over five years toward the renovation of Thompson library. Ohio State will receive about $7 million a year from the Big Ten?s TV deal and new Big Ten Channel that begins next season.

    WELL ROY WR Roy Hall played for the first time this year, entering on Ohio State?s second series. Hall, who is recovering from a high ankle sprain, caught one pass for 5 yards.

    THE STREAK QB Troy Smith has now throw 152 passes without an interception, dating back to the final play of the first half against Northwestern last season. That streak almost ended in the third quarter. Off a play-action fake, Smith?s throw to Rory Nicol floated high, but Nicol did a good job shielding the defender in the end zone. The ball zipped past the defensive back as well. On the next play, Smith hit Ted Ginn Jr. for a 9-yard TD pass.

    BUCKEYES Antonio Pittman?s 155 yards rushing was the 10th 100-yard game of his career. ... Gonzalez has caught 17 passes this season, and 16 of them have gone for first downs. ... Ginn has at least one catch in 22 straight games. ... The Buckeyes are 55-9-1 when ranked as the No. 1 team. ... Ohio State?s 10-game winning streak is the second longest in the nation. ... Smith has thrown for 200 yards or more in nine of his last 10 games.

    Reach Repository sports writer Todd Porter at (330) 580-8340 or e-mail: todd.porter@cantonrep.com
     
  3. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0

    Dispatch

     
  4. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0

    Dispatch

     
  5. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Link

    Roundup: News and notes from The Horseshoe


    Area flavor: Cincinnati wide receiver Derrick Stewart, a sophomore out of Ursuline High, caught five passes for 64 yards on Saturday. Stewart is one of several Mahoning Valley players on the Bearcats' roster. Starting defensive end Anthony Hoke, a junior out of Warren Harding, had four tackles. Other area players include sophomore linebacker Delbert Ferguson, a Warren Harding High graduate who played his first three years at Ursuline; freshman defensive lineman Chris Harrison (Liberty); and sophomore defensive tackle Adam Hoppel (Beaver Local).
    Quote of the game: Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, speaking of defensive tackles Quinn Pitcock (3 sacks for minus-24 yards) and David Patterson (1 tackle for a loss): "I've said all along our two inside guys, Quinn and David, I don't know if anybody in America has a pair like that."
    Play of the game: Ohio State led 13-7 but Cincinnati was marching late in the first half. On first down at the Buckeyes 42, Bearcats quarterback Dustin Grutza avoided some pressure by rolling right and with a quick glance up the field he saw tight end Brent Celek sneak behind the defense. Grutza lofted the pass to the right flat ? a few inches short. "I tried to 'touch' it over but I didn't put enough on it," Grutza said. "If I put a little more on it, it's a touchdown." Buckeyes linebacker James Laurinaitis reached up with his left hand, tipped the ball, then collected it and returned it 2 yards before he was brought down by Grutza. It was the beginning of the end for the Bearcats as Ohio State outscored them 24-0 in the second half.
    Called shot: Best banner from last week's game: "Texas: Burnt Orange. Ohio State: Burnt Couches."
    Vindicator staff/wire reports
     
  6. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Link

    Pittman breaks loose against Cincinnati
    By ED PUSKAS Tribune Chronicle Sports Editor


    COLUMBUS ? It?s not like Ohio State?s rushing attack had been lacking in the first two games of the season.

    Antonio Pittman earned 185 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries in victories over Northern Illinois and Texas. But the Buckeyes? longest run from scrimmage in those games went for just 14 yards.

    That, and the fact that quarterback Troy Smith and receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez had been so productive, was one reason Pittman had flown ? or run ? a little under the radar.

    Not anymore. Not after Ohio State?s 37-7 victory over Cincinnati.

    Pittman rushed for 155 yards ? almost matching his total in the first two games ? and had a 48-yard touchdown run to break open the game early in the fourth quarter.

    The Buckeyes started slowly against the Bearcats, but Pittman and the offensive line got better as the game progressed.

    ??I think I?ve been telling you all along about the spark that Antonio provides for the offense,?? Smith said. ??You give him enough carries and enough opportunities, he?s going to make a play.??

    Pittman?s touchdown came with Ohio State leading, 20-7. He went around left end, bounced outside and broke away from the defenders along the sideline.

    It took a few tough inside runs to soften up the Bearcats? defensive front, but eventually Pittman found bigger and better holes.

    All in a day?s work, he said.

    ??When I?m out there putting my head down, getting those tough runs, that is just me doing what I am supposed to do,?? Pittman said. ??I was brought here for a reason and that was to run hard every play.??

    Pittman also had a 23-yard run on which he carried tackler for several yards, then broke free to turn it into a bigger gain.

    Some of the Buckeyes? big running plays came when Smith and Pittman worked the option to get outside.

    ??Cincinnati was coming after us, and if you can get outside when they?re attacking, you have a chance,?? Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. ??We had run one or two options in the first half, but we felt as if it was something that would be good for us based on what they were doing and the coverages they were playing.??

    Pittman was good for the Buckeyes last season, too, when he rushed for 1,331 yards and seven touchdowns on 243 carries. But this season, Ohio State also has emerging true freshman Chris Wells ? who has looked good ? and sophomore Maurice Wells ? who scored a touchdown against Cincinnati ? battling for carries.

    Bring on the challengers, Pittman says.

    ??It?s the best thing for the team to have a lot of good backs,?? he said. ??Competition is always a good thing if it forces you to get better.??

    epuskas@tribune-chronicle.com
     
  7. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0

    Dispatch

     
  8. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Link

    Early troubles don?t doom Buckeyes

    By ED PUSKAS Tribune Chronicle Sports Editor


    COLUMBUS ? The dense fog in central Ohio was gone long before kickoff Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

    It took more than a quarter for the fog surrounding the top-ranked team in the land to lift.

    No. 1 Ohio State, perhaps suffering from a post-Texas hangover, started slowly against Cincinnati and even spotted the Bearcats an early lead.

    But the Buckeyes played through some early mistakes and eventually overcame them to pull away for a 37-7 victory.

    Quarterback Troy Smith and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. hooked up twice for touchdown passes, tailback Antonio Pittman ran for 155 yards ? including a 48-yard touchdown ? on just 16 carries as the Buckeyes? offense slowly stirred.

    ??We got started a little slow in the first half,?? Pittman said. ??In the second half, we came out and stuck with the run and it opened up the pass.??

    Quinn Pitcock led an Ohio State defense that sacked Cincinnati quarterbacks eight times. Pitcock, a senior defensive tackle, had three of those sacks.

    The Bearcats? 59 yards in losses on those sacks contributed to a negative rushing total. The Buckeyes held them to -4 yard on 22 attempts.

    ??We came to play today,?? Cincinnati coach Mark Dantonio said. ??We started well with a solid first half. At halftime, I told them to play one play at a time. We sustained in the third, but started to fall at the end.

    ??The defense played well, but ran out of gas.??

    Ohio State scored 34 unanswered points from the middle of the second quarter on, but the Buckeyes? performance was uneven.

    ??It just didn?t look to me like we had quite as much pep in our step as we came into this football game,?? Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.

    That is almost understandable, considering the Buckeyes were coming off an impressive 24-7 victory over the Longhorns in Austin.

    Ohio State (3-0) was a 30-point favorite against Cincinnati, but the Buckeyes didn?t play like it early.

    Ohio State?s first-quarter performance was peppered with missed blocking assignments, penalties and dropped passes.

    Each of those mistakes figured in the Buckeyes settling for a 47-yard field goal by Aaron Pettrey on their first possession for a 3-0 lead.

    But Cincinnati answered quickly with a five-play, 80-yard drive. Former Ursuline High School star Derrick Stewart had a 28-yard catch-and-run on a swing pass to midfield, and quarterback Dustin Grutza gained 23 more to Ohio State?s 22.

    On the next play, Grutza waited for redshirt freshman Jared Martin to come open across the middle and found him for the first catch and touchdown of his college career. Martin?s only reception of the game gave the Bearcats a 7-3 lead.

    ??I think after the first touchdown was when we really stepped it up,?? Pitcock said.

    Once again, sophomore linebacker James Laurinaitis made a big play. Laurinaitis, who had 13 tackles, forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass against the Longhorns, tipped a Grutza pass to himself for another interception to halt a Cincinnati drive at Ohio State?s 22 with just 25 seconds left in the first half.

    ??We know our play-making ability,?? Laurinaitis said. ??Most of the mistakes were common-sense things we needed to change. We all just needed to line up with our man and execute.??

    It was the same with the offense, Smith said.

    ??We didn?t whine, we didn?t fuss and we didn?t bicker with one another,?? he said. ??When someone was giving constructive criticism to someone, we listened.??

    It took a while, but the Buckeyes found themselves.

    Pettrey added a 43-yard field goal midway through the second quarter to cut the Bearcats? lead to one, 7-6. After forcing a Cincinnati punt, Ohio State took the lead for good with three minutes to play in the first half.

    Smith capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ginn. Smith found his former Glenville High School teammate in the right flat and Ginn did the rest for a 13-7 halftime lead.

    The two connected again in the third quarter to make it 20-7. Ginn dragged from left to right across the middle and Smith found him for a 9-yard touchdown.

    Smith finished 21-of-30 for 203 yards. Ginn had five catches for just 33 yards.

    ??They played tough,?? Ginn said of Cincinnati?s defense. ??They came up and jammed me a lot and that will work sometimes. But if you don?t get a good jam on me, I?m gone.??

    Pittman was gone after bouncing outside to the left sideline on a fourth-quarter carry. The 48-yard touchdown made it 27-7, and Tressel began to empty the bench.

    After Anderson Russell intercepted Grutza on Cincinnati?s next series, Maurice Wells added a 9-yard touchdown run midway through the final quarter. Backup kicker Ryan Pretorius completed the scoring with a 52-yard field goal with 1:14 to play.

    The Buckeyes host Penn State Saturday in the Big Ten opener.

    ??I think we?re all anxious to get into the Big Ten season and we perhaps played a little bit like we were anxious to get into the Big Ten season,?? Tressel said. ??But we did what we had to do.??

    epuskas@tribune-chronicle.com
     
  9. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Blade

    Buckeyes notebook: Defense plays impressively

    By STEVE JUNGA
    BLADE SPORTS WRITER


    COLUMBUS - With its explosive offense seemingly a given, one potential flaw seen for top-ranked Ohio State is its young and inexperienced defense, particularly against the run.
    That concern was not really addressed two games into the season as the Buckeye defense allowed 126 rushing yards per game in otherwise comfortable wins over Northern Illinois (35-12) and previously No. 2 Texas (24-7). But the OSU defense took a step forward in yesterday's 37-7 win over Cincinnati, holding the Bearcats to minus-4 net yards rushing on 22 attempts. "When your defense holds to seven points, gets three takeaways and seven sacks, and holds 'em to minus-4 yards rushing, you're going to have a great chance," OSU coach Jim Tressel said. "I think we're getting better all the time over on that side." Sophomore middle linebacker James Laurinaitis topped OSU with nine tackles yesterday, plus his second interception of the season. "Our goal was to stop the run and we were a lot better there," Laurinaitis said. "Another play we have to learn to stop, obviously, is the bubble [screen pass] play. We find a weakness every week and we work to correct it." Senior defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock led the way up front with five tackles, including three quarterback sacks. "Every game our first goal is to stop the run and react to the pass," Pitcock said. "We've been working hard on filling our gaps and getting better pursuit angles. Tackling hurt us the first two games and we improved each quarter." POCKET PATIENCE: Troy Smith has had great success quarterbacking the Buckeyes, sporting a 16-2 record as a starter after yesterday's win. He matured last season, and this season has moved further forward simply by standing still. The dangerous runner has become a more complex weapon by finding a comfort zone in the pocket. The more patient Smith showed this on one play in particular against UC. With his pocket collapsing on a play late in the first half, Smith waited an extra instant for Ted Ginn Jr. to break free on his route. The result was a 12-yard TD completion three minutes before halftime. Smith paid a physical price by taking a big hit from the UC defense. "He's getting older," Ginn said. "As you get older and move up you really start to look at things and take advice from people. He's standing in the pocket and delivering the ball. "That makes him a heck of a lot better. He can stand in there and deliver the rock, and then if something breaks down he can get loose and run." NO THIRD WHEEL: With preseason hype pointing to both Smith and Ginn as Heisman candidates, it is sometimes easy to overlook running back Antonio Pittman as a first-rate weapon. But, within the team, there is no overlooking Pittman, who rushed for 1,331 yards last season and has 340 more this season after yesterday's 16-carry, 155-yard output. Included was a 48-yard TD burst in the fourth quarter. "You give him enough carries, enough opportunities, and he's going to make a play and make something happen," Smith said of Pittman. "Antonio did a good job of making some things happen for us," Tressel said. "He certainly was a spark, and the one that closed the door was [Pittman's] long one. That was big." A LEG UP: Ohio State might have become spoiled in recent seasons by the placekicking talents of All-American Mike Nugent followed by Josh Huston last year. The Buckeye kicking game returned to that quality form yesterday when Aaron Pettrey booted 47 and 43-yard field goals, and backup Ryan Pretorius added an impressive 52-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Pettrey (5-for-7) and Pretorius (1-for-1) also combined for a 6-for-8 effort on kickoffs for touchbacks. "It was good to see the field goal kickers be solid," Tressel said, "and the kickoffs were all good except one [53-yard return by UC's Dominick Goodman in second quarter] that we let out. "Our punting wasn't as extraordinary as it was a week ago, but it certainly didn't hurt us. Special-teams-wise, it was a pretty solid day."
     
  10. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Blade

    Article published Sunday, September 17, 2006

    OSU finally takes a bite out of Bearcats

    OSU's James Laurinaitis intercepts Cincinnati QB Dustin Grutza, who makes the tackle.

    By STEVE JUNGA
    BLADE SPORTS WRITER


    COLUMBUS - It was the proverbial sandwich game for top-ranked Ohio State yesterday against Cincinnati.
    The one to clear the pallet between last week's No. 1-versus-No. 2 showdown at defending national champion Texas and next week's home test against defending Big Ten co-champion Penn State. At the conclusion, it wasn't quite a Dagwood sandwich, but it wasn't exactly finger food either. The Buckeyes started slowly on both sides of the ball before picking up their appetite and chomping their way to an easy 37-7 victory over the Bearcats before 105,037 fans at Ohio Stadium. OSU (3-0) trailed for the first time this season, for a span of 18:36 in the first half after Cincinnati (1-2) scored the game's first touchdown. By game's end, however, Ohio State had gotten big plays from its big-play people - two touchdown passes from Troy Smith to Ted Ginn Jr., a game-breaking 48-yard TD run from running back Antonio Pittman, an interception to go with nine tackles from linebacker James Laurinaitis, and three of the team's eight quarterback sacks from defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock. "It didn't look to me like we had quite as much pep in our step in this game," Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said. "We weren't quite as explosive and flying around to the degree that we'd like to. But, as the game went on, we did pick up steam." The Buckeyes showed improvement in the kicking game, delivering a 3-for-3 effort on field goals of 47, 43 and 52 yards.

    After going up for good on Smith's first TD strike to Ginn (12 yards) three minutes before halftime, Ohio State rolled to its 10th straight win by blanking the 'Cats 24-0 after halftime. "It starts up front, and as the game went on our protection got better and things started to open up," Smith said. "It was kind of frustrating [early] because it was just things that we weren't doing." Smith found Ginn for a nine-yard TD hookup with 7:10 left in the third quarter, and Pittman closed the door on UC when he bolted 48 yards untouched around left end for a score with 9:57 left in the game to put the Buckeyes ahead 27-7. "The opportunity was there and I made the most of the situation I had," Pittman said. "The offensive line did a great job for me up front, and Ted and Gonzo [Anthony Gonzalez] did a great job blocking downfield." "We started off slow, no doubt about it," Ginn said. "But halftime came and the coaches got us rolling and we came out and put it all together." Maurice Wells added a nine-yard TD run and Ryan Pretorius came on to boot a 52-yard field goal to cap the scoring against a Bearcat team that managed 216 passing yards but was held to minus-4 yards on 22 rushes. "I think we're all anxious to get into the Big Ten season," Tressel said. "But we did what we had to do and it was led by an excellent defense." The Ohio State offense sputtered for much of the first half, settling for Aaron Pettrey field goals of 47 and 43 yards before finally finding the end zone. Pettrey's kicks were sandwiched around a Cincinnati 22-yard TD catch from Clyde High School product Jared Martin with 6:36 left in the first quarter. Smith, considered a leading Heisman Trophy candidate this season, was brilliant on OSU's first TD march, completing all six of his passes for 79 net yards. He unloaded from the pocket to Ginn for the score an instant before getting unloaded upon by the Bearcat defense. "We came to play today," said UC head coach Mark Dantonio, Tressel's former defensive coordinator at OSU. "We started well with a solid first half. At halftime, I told them to play one play at a time. We sustained that in the third, but started to fail at the end. The defense played well but ran out of gas." For Martin - a 2005 Clyde High grad - his TD grab from Dustin Grutza was his first career catch. "My first catch felt great to score a touchdown," Martin said. "But we didn't get the victory and that is all that matters at the end of the day."
     
  11. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Never Forget 31-0

    Dispatch

    Dispatch

     
  12. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Link


    Buckeyes pick three
    Buckeyes struggle early, but defense rights ship with 3 INTs
    By JON SPENCER
    For The Advocate

    COLUMBUS -- Say what you will about Ohio State's half-hearted effort and the half-truths told by the statistics, but the Buckeyes won going away Saturday.
    Sometimes, when you're No. 1, winning ugly sends a positive message, too.
    "Maybe we had a letdown after the week before, but we came back strong and showed our character," linebacker James Laurinaitis said after three late scores turned a day-long struggle into a 37-7 rout of Cincinnati.
    "Anytime you don't play your best game and still have a victory like this, it has to give you confidence."Coming on the heels of last week's 24-7 win over No. 2 Texas, the Buckeyes had to find a new way to pat themselves on the back. Keeping the fans in suspense for a half before throwing the knockout punch apparently achieved that aim.
    Coach Jim Tressel wryly suggested the Buckeyes (3-0) might have been trying to get a jump-start on the Big Ten season, which begins next Saturday at home against Penn State.
    Problem is, they were playing a Big East opponent.
    Even though Ohio State gained 444 yards on the afternoon, most of the first half had expired before the Buckeyes finally crossed the goal line -- and they needed to do it twice before it counted.
    Trailing 7-6, Ohio State finally got untracked after a 33-yard catch and run by Anthony Gonzalez to the Cincinnati 6-yard line. Quarterback Troy Smith scored on the next play, but a holding call on center Doug Datish negated the touchdown.
    The Buckeyes finally got it right two plays later when Smith hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a crossing pattern for the go-ahead 12-yard score.
    That pair hooked up on basically the same play early in the third quarter, this time for a 9-yard score, increasing the lead to 20-7. Three fourth-quarter scores, two of them by the second unit, made for a misleading final score.
    "Every game we're not going to jump out like we did (28-0 in the second quarter) against Northern Illinois," Ginn said, looking back at the opener. "(Teams) are going to play us hard every game. We just have to stay calm and cool."
    The defense took a chill pill after swallowing an 80-yard, five-play touchdown drive by the Bearcats (1-2) in the first quarter. Derrick Stewart streaked 28 yards on a bubble screen, and quarterback Dustin Grutza scrambled 23 yards to set up his 22-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Jared Martin in the back of the end zone.
    Ohio State, which opened the scoring on the first of two Aaron Pettrey field goals, was behind for the first time all season.
    "We were telling everybody to calm down and not get overworked about one (drive)," defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock said, speaking for the other veterans on the defensive line. "Settle down and focus on the next play."
    With Pitcock recording a career-high three sacks, the defense -- and offense -- followed his lead.
    "The defense riled everybody up and got us going," said Smith, who was 21-of-30 passing for 203 yards and the two touchdowns to Ginn before turning the game over to his backups.
    Ohio State looked like an entirely different team in the second half. Antonio Pittman gained 103 of his 155 yards after the break, 48 of that on a touchdown run around left end. The Buckeyes finished with eight sacks -- which helps explain the minus-4 yards rushing by Cincinnati.
    Defensive backs Malcolm Jenkins and Anderson Russell intercepted passes, the first two picks by the secondary this season.
    But it was Laurinaitis' acrobatic interception in front of tight end Brent Celek before halftime that killed a scoring threat and gave Ohio State momentum for good.
    "I think our players are starting to understand that it is a game of inches," said Cincinnati coach and former Ohio State defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio. "It's a touchdown if (Grutza) gets that ball up. Our guy was open. We're still in the game at that point."
    The second 30 minutes told a different story.
    "It just didn't look like we had much pep in our step at the start," Tressel said. "We weren't quite as explosive and flying around to the degree that we like. We didn't have that burst within, but as the game wore on, we picked up steam and got better. To me, that was a good way to end things."
     
  13. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Link

    Bearcat beating mere food for fans thinking ahead
    By Larry Phillips
    News Journal

    Something about the University of Cincinnati football team conjures images of food. Not in a barbaric sense, like meat to lions, although No. 1 Ohio State certainly could've viewed the Bearcats in that fashion -- a bland bite on its nonconference menu. Yet as sandwiches go, UC's hero became a meatball to the Buckeyes in Saturday's 37-7 decision at Ohio Stadium.
    A few fantasized Zanesville native Mark Dantonio's Bearcats, snugly nestled between Texas and Penn State on OSU's schedule, could trap the unbeaten Buckeyes.
    Instead, the Bearcats were a tasty appetizer methodically devoured by Jim Tressel's bored bunch. Killer whales play with hapless seals just like this.
    No shame in UC's fate. Last week, No. 2 Texas was Buckeye chow in Austin.Cincinnati hung tough for a half. Quarterback Dustin Grutza's underthrow on a late second-quarter pass became an interception instead of a potential go-ahead touchdown. What should've been a third-quarter OSU pick in the end zone turned into points when Ted Ginn caught his second TD pass on the next play.
    Alas, pretenders are often left chasing enticing delusions.
    Good fortune and facts are reserved for beasts who feast on such pie-in-the-sky talk.
    Facts include Troy Smith's amazing accuracy. Smith was 21-of-30 passing for 203 yards and two TDs.
    Once again, a defense refused to recognize receiver Anthony Gonzalez. Once again, Gonzalez made the opposing secondary pay with five catches for 85 yards. Ginn was a slightly sleepy version of his mercurial self, catching five for 33 yards and two more TDs. His best play was a crushing block on Antonio Pittman's 48-yard TD dash in the fourth quarter. Pittman had 155 yards on 16 rushes and a touchdown.
    Defensively, tackle Quinn Pitcock is on his way to All-America status and added three sacks while clogging the middle like a glob of butter to a hardened artery. Sophomore linebacker James Laurinaitis picked off a pass for the second straight week, added a sack among a team-high nine stops to emerge as a playmaker for a growing group.
    That scenario triggered after-supper thoughts of the task at hand. Are the Buckeyes properly primed to dine when Big Ten play begins next week?
    A better question: Who can fend off a team with a national championship appetite and jaws to match?
    Pass the pepper and a plate of Penn State.
     
  14. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

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    BIG-PLAY BUCKEYES STAY PERFECT
    Sluggish start against UC quickly forgotten
    By Jon Spencer
    News Journal

    COLUMBUS -- Say what you will about Ohio State's half-hearted effort and the half-truths told by the statistics, but the Buckeyes won going away Saturday.
    Sometimes, when you're No. 1, winning ugly sends a positive message, too.
    "Maybe we had a letdown after the week before, but we came back strong and showed our character," linebacker James Laurinaitis said after three late scores turned a struggle into a 37-7 rout of plucky Cincinnati.
    "Anytime you don't play your best game and still have a victory like this, it has to give you confidence."Coming on the heels of last week's stunningly easy 24-7 win over No. 2 Texas, the Buckeyes had to find a new way to pat themselves on the back. Keeping fans in suspense for a half before throwing the knockout punch achieved that aim.
    Coach Jim Tressel wryly suggested the Buckeyes (3-0) might have been trying to get a jump-start on the Big Ten season, which begins Sept. 23 at home against Penn State. Problem is, they were playing a Big East opponent.
    Even though Ohio State gained 444 yards on the afternoon, most of the first half had expired before the Buckeyes finally crossed the goal line -- and they needed to do it twice before it counted.
    Down 7-6, OSU got untracked after a 33-yard catch and run by Anthony Gonzalez to the UC 6. Quarterback Troy Smith scored on the next play, but a holding call on center Doug Datish negated the touchdown.
    The Buckeyes got it right two players later when Smith hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a crossing pattern for the go-ahead, 12-yard score. Smith unloaded the ball just as he was being sandwiched by two defenders.
    That pair hooked up on basically the same play early in the third quarter, this time for a 9-yard score that pushed the lead to 20-7. Three fourth-quarter scores, two of them by the second unit, made for a misleading final score.
    "Every game we're not going to jump out like we did (28-0 in the second quarter) against Northern Illinois," Ginn said, looking back at the opener. "(Teams) are going to play us hard every game. We just have to stay calm and cool."
    The defense took a chill pill after swallowing an 80-yard, five-play touchdown drive by the Bearcats (1-2) in the first quarter. Derrick Stewart streaked 28 yards on a bubble screen and quarterback Dustin Grutza scrambled 23 yards to set up his 22-yard TD pass to a wide-open Jared Martin in the back of the end zone.
    Ohio State, which opened the scoring on the first of two Aaron Pettrey field goals, was behind for the first time all season.
    "We were telling everybody to calm down and not get overworked about one (drive)," tackle Quinn Pitcock said, speaking for the other veterans on the defensive line. "Settle down and focus on the next play."
    With Pitcock recording a career-high three sacks, the defense -- and offense -- followed his lead.
    "The defense riled everybody up and got us going," said Smith, who was 21 of 30 for 203 yards and the two TD strikes to Ginn before turning the game over to his backups.
    Ohio State looked like an entirely different team in the second half. Antonio Pittman gained 102 of his 155 yards after the break, 48 of that on a touchdown run around left end. The Buckeyes finished with eight sacks -- which helps explain the minus-4 yards rushing by UC -- and defensive backs Malcolm Jenkins and Anderson Russell intercepted passes, the first two picks by the secondary this season.
    But it was Laurinaitis' acrobatic interception in front of tight end Brent Celek just before halftime that killed a scoring threat and gave OSU momentum for good.
    "I think our players are starting to understand that it is a game of inches," said UC coach and former OSU defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio. "It's a touchdown if (Grutza) gets that ball up. Our guy was open. We're still in the game at that point."
    The second 30 minutes told a different story.
    "It just didn't look like we had much pep in our step at the start," Tressel said. "We weren't quite as explosive and flying around to the degree that we like. We didn't have that burst within, but as the game wore on, we picked up steam and got better. To me, that was a good way to end things."
     
  15. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

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    Early birds Bucks are not
    JASON LLOYD, Morning Journal Writer
    09/17/2006

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    COLUMBUS -- One of the benefits of being the No. 1 team in the country is later starting times for most games. Of the seven games that have either already been played or have the time set, only yesterday's had a scheduled kickoff for noon.


    That might be a good thing.

    The noon start meant a 7 a.m. wake-up call for all the players, which perhaps made for some tired eyes in the first half. Receiver Anthony Gonzalez said the early start may have played a role in Ohio State being flagged eight times for 59 yards in penalties, and that doesn't count the handful of flags that were declined.

    ''We spent all preseason talking about ?We've gotta be ready for the night game' and we did fine in our night game,'' Gonzalez said. ''And now our noon game comes and we look lost.''

    Every starting time dictates a different routine. But the games that begin at noon obviously have routines that begin the earliest.

    The Buckeyes were called for three holding penalties, two false starts and a personal foul. They also had three more penalties declined. One of the bigger offenders was left tackle Alex Boone, who was whistled for a personal foul, but luckily for him, it was offsetting with one on Cincinnati as well. He later was flagged for a holding penalty and limped off the field in the third quarter.

    ''It's difficult because it's something we haven't done yet and we weren't accustomed to,'' Gonzalez said of the early start. ''The whole day it just seemed like we were out of sync a little bit. It was terrible.''

    Nice catch

    Clyde's Jared Martin picked a great time for the first catch of his career -- in the back of the end zone in Ohio Stadium to give Cincinnati a 7-3 lead in the first quarter.

    Martin, a redshirt freshman who played quarterback and defensive back in high school and made first team All-Ohio, shook loose in the secondary and caught a 22-yard pass from Dustin Grutza midway through the first quarter that became Cincinnati's only score of the game.

    ''It was kind of exciting, even though the outcome of the game made it bittersweet,'' Martin said. ''We all wanted to win the game, we all believed we were in the game. We had some missed opportunities. It's great to score a touchdown, but it would be even better to have a victory.''

    Crossing 'em up

    Once the Buckeyes got rolling, the offense had great success with a number of underneath routes. Tight end Rory Nicol had three catches for 36 yards and Ted Ginn caught both of his touchdowns on crossing routes with Gonzalez.

    The key to the crossing routes, quarterback Troy Smith said, is timing.

    ''As the game went on, our protection got better and things started to open up,'' Smith said. ''It takes a lot of time and protection to hit a guy coming across from one side of the field to the other side. So as the feel of the game went on and we got a better feel for the Bearcats, things started to open up.''

    Out of the Pitts

    A number of players said the four-straight running plays by Antonio Pittman in the third quarter provided a spark for the offense. Pittman was running through tackles and carrying defenders for extra yardage as he took the ball from the Ohio State 40 to the Cincinnati 33 on the four plays.

    ''I was just trying to make the most of my opportunity,'' Pittman said. ''If that's what it takes to get the team going, then I'm all for it.''

    Pittman later showed off his speed in the fourth quarter, getting the corner on Cincinnati's defense and racing 48 yards for the touchdown.

    ''I came around the corner I didn't see nobody,'' Pittman said. ''I felt I had to outrun one guy and I was gone.''

    Sack man

    Defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock entered yesterday with six sacks in his career, then got half that many in one game. Pitcock consistently beat Bearcats center Chris Flores and guards Frank Straub and Trevor Canfield into the backfield. Pitcock sacked Bearcats quarterback Dustin Grutza three times and ate up double teams the rest of the day.

    ''I feel like I found some weaknesses within the offense and took advantage of it when I had the opportunity,'' he said. ''And I'm really kicking myself in the butt because I did miss two other sacks I should have had.''

    Extra points

    Maurice Wells' touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the first of his career ... Elyria's Haruki Nakamura (St. Edward) had four tackles for Cincinnati yesterday after leading the Bearcats in tackles a year ago ... James Laurinaitis led the defense with nine tackles ... Freshman Anderson Russell was second with six tackles and also had his first career interception. The celebration was quickly squelched when he was hit for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for spiking the ball after catching it ... Eddie George was honored at halftime for being inducted into the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame ... Craig Krenzel served as honorary team captain.

    jlloyd@morningjournal.com
     

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