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


Late separation
JASON LLOYD, Morning Journal Writer

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COLUMBUS -- Last week was the party. Yesterday was the hangover.

After dismantling Texas so convincingly last week, the offense didn't show the same precision early in yesterday's 37-7 win over Cincinnati. Fortunately for Ohio State, the defense provided the coffee and Antonio Pittman was the cold shower.

The defense forced three turnovers and held the Bearcats to minus-4 yards rushing, while Pittman rushed for 155 yards, the third-highest total of his career. His 48-yard run around the left side in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the top-ranked Buckeyes, who begin Big Ten play next week with a visit from Penn State.

It's not often a 30-point win can be classified as unimpressive, and the second half certainly showed improvement from an offensive standpoint. But after the first quarter, the Buckeyes had 2 rushing yards. Minutes before the end of the first half, they were still trailing, 7-6.

''It didn't look to me as if we had quite as much pep in our step,'' coach Jim Tressel said. ''It didn't seem like we were quite as explosive and flying around to the degree we like to ... The first half, quite honestly it looked like a letdown.''

The players and coaches spent all week discussing how to avoid a letdown following a game like they experienced last week, then went out and had one anyway. But Tressel was at least pleased with how the players responded after halftime.

''I think as the game went on we did pick up steam and that made me feel better after the first half,'' Tressel said. ''Offensively we improved as the game went on.''

Cincinnati head coach and former OSU defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio confused Ohio State's offense early by disguising blitzes and spinning defensive linemen. That led to surprising pressure on quarterback Troy Smith and an inordinate number of holding and illegal blocking penalties on the offensive line, which in turn stalled drives and contributed to the slow start.

When Clyde's Jared Martin caught a 22-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter, Cincinnati held a 7-3 lead. It was the first time Ohio State trailed this year and the Buckeyes remained behind until late in the first half, when Ted Ginn caught a 12-yard touchdown pass on a crossing route with three minutes left in the half.

''The Bearcats came in here and did exactly what I knew they were going to do: They were going to give us a game and we had to come out firing on all cylinders,'' Smith said. ''We didn't do that, but a national championship-caliber team does exactly what we did -- we faced some of the mistakes we made in the first half and capitalized the way we game planned for when we got the ball again.''

Ginn's touchdown was his first of two and gave the Buckeyes a 13-7 lead. They continued to build on it as the second half progressed. The Bearcats had 92 total yards following their touchdown drive in the first quarter, then gained just 120 the rest of the game.

''At halftime, the feeling was that we could really take them,'' Cincinnati tight end Brent Celek said. ''We played with the No. 1 team in the country for the first three quarters.''

But by the fourth quarter, it wasn't much of a game in part because of Ohio State's defense. Gashed for 323 rushing yards through the first two games, the defense held Cincinnati tailbacks Greg Moore, Butler Benton and Bradley Glatthaar to 27 yards on 11 carries. Mix in the eight sacks on quarterback Dustin Grutza and an opposing team left Ohio Stadium with negative rushing yards for the first time since Iowa had minus-9 yards last September.

Quinn Pitcock had three sacks -- never easy for a defensive tackle -- and James Laurinaitis had a sack and another interception as he continues to evolve into a premiere middle linebacker.

''When your defense holds folks to 7 points and gets three takeaways and (eight) sacks and holds them to minus yards rushing, you're going to have a great chance,'' Tressel said. ''So I think we're getting better all the time (defensively).''

The rest was up to Pittman, who really got going on Ohio State's second possession of the third quarter. He carried on each of the first four plays of the drive, taking the ball from the Ohio State 40 to the Cincinnati 33. Smith finished the drive with another touchdown pass to Ginn on another crossing route, giving him five touchdown catches through three games -- or one more than he had all of last year.

Smith finished 21-of-30 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He has not thrown an interception in his last five games, spanning 153 pass attempts.

But it was Pittman who managed to nudge Smith and Ginn off the stage long enough to take control. He only carried 16 times, but averaged 9.7 yards a carry.

''Too often, you get a couple guys that get all the ink and the people that are really doing the grinding day in and day out at practice or games don't get enough,'' Smith said. ''That's why I've been talking about Antonio Pittman from the start. You give him enough carries and enough opportunities, he's going to make a play and make something happen.''

That goes for the rest of this offense, too.
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[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]OSU?s second-half surge an eye-opener[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]BY JIM NAVEAU - Sep. 17, 2006[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]COLUMBUS ? Maybe the biggest area of concern to emerge from No. 1 Ohio State?s 37-7 win over Cincinnati on Saturday was the need for a little better clock management.
Alarm clock management, that is.
After a less-than-sharp, almost sleepy start, the Buckeyes (3-0) scored three times in the game?s final 10 minutes to roll to a one-sided win over UC (1-2).
Maybe that slow start could have been expected after last Saturday night?s 24-7 win over No. 2 Texas.
It might have been predictable, but it still wasn?t welcome.
Especially when Cincinnati jumped out to a 7-3 lead and OSU led only 13-7 at halftime.
?It just didn?t look like we had as much pep in our step as we came into this football game,? Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. ?I think as the game went on we did pick up steam and that made me feel better.
?After the first half, quite honestly, it looked a little bit like a letdown situation. But as the game wore on, we got better.?
Junior wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez had another theory why the Buckeyes looked like they ambled through the early going but sprinted hard for the finish line. It was the first noon game of the year and he didn?t think OSU was ready for that.
?I?m not so sure it was the positioning of the game (after Texas) or the opponent. A lot of the early struggles came from the fact we had not played a noon game yet,? Gonzalez said. ?When you play a noon game you?re up at 7 and hardly anyone on our team wakes up at 7 in the morning. That?s something you?re not accustomed to and sometimes it?s hard to get your body going.
?I don?t think it was the whole thing, obviously. But I think the fact it was an early game gave us some problems.?
Junior tailback Antonio Pittman rushed for 155 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown and quarterback Troy Smith completed 21 of 30 passes for 203 yards and two TDs for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes? defense didn?t allow a point the last 51 minutes of the game, had eight sacks and intercepted three passes.
Ohio State?s momentum grew offensively and defensively as the game unfolded, though the defense got it going earlier than the offense.
The Buckeyes finished with 444 yards on offense after gaining only 40 yards in the first quarter, with just two of those yards coming from the ground game.
The defense limited UC to 118 yards offensively in the last three quarters after surrendering 94 yards in the opening quarter.
Pittman, whose 148 yards were his third-highest total in a game at OSU, got 96 of those after halftime.
Aaron Pettrey?s 47-yard field goal gave OSU an early 3-0 lead, but Cincinnati answered with 22-yard touchdown pass from Dustin Grutza six minutes into the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead.
A 43-yard field goal by Pettrey and a 12-yard Smith to Ted Ginn Jr. scoring pass put Ohio State up 13-7 at halftime.
Another Smith to Ginn scoring play, a 9-yard pass, gave Ohio State a 13-point cushion at 20-7 halfway through the third quarter.
Antonio Pittman?s 48-yard touchdown run with 9:57 left in the game was quickly followed by Maurice Wells? 9-yard TD run at 7:45 to play and a 52-yard field goal by Ryan Pretorius with just over a minute on the clock.
Cincinnati coach Mark Dantonio said his team tired badly at the end.
?At halftime, I told them to play one play at a time. We sustained that in the third quarter but started to fail in the end. The defense played well but ran out of gas,? he said.
Ohio State?s win was its 10th in a row, the second-longest active streak in NCAA Division I football.
OSU didn?t have a turnover and Smith has now thrown 152 consecutive passes without an interception, dating back to the Northwestern game last November. He has thrown touchdown passes in nine of his last 10 games and has had two or more in six of his last eight.
Smith said much of the credit for this win belonged to other people ? specifically the defense, the offensive line and Pittman.
?If you give him enough carries and enough opportunities, he?s going to make a play, he?s going to make something happen,? he said about Pittman.
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UC notebook
Yards are like miles on offense; Bucks stop Bearcats early, often
COLUMBUS - The defense showed promise in containing Ohio State's powerful offense before wearing down in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 37-7 loss to Ohio State, but the University of Cincinnati offense continues to display major problems moving the ball.
UC scored only one touchdown, was shut out for the final three quarters and never advanced beyond the Ohio State 47-yard line in the second half.
In defense of quarterback Dustin Grutza, who was sacked seven times, he had no running game to keep the Ohio State defense off balance. The Bearcats were held to minus-4 yards rushing.

"When you have third and long, it's real difficult," Grutza said, "because they're dropping a bunch of guys in into coverage. They're sitting right at the first-down marker covering everything beyond that point."
Greg Moore was UC's leading rusher with 14 yards on three carries, followed by Butler Benton with 13 yards on five carries.
The Bearcats have rushed for 160 net yards in three games.
Grutza's 23-yard run against Ohio State was the longest by a UC player this season.
The longest run by a running back is Bradley Glatthaar's 20-yard run.
CELEK SETS RECORD: Senior tight end Brent Celek caught three passes for 39 yards, giving him 800 yards for his career, surpassing the previous UC mark for receiving yardage by a tight end, held by Kris Bjorson.
"That really doesn't mean too much to me," Celek said. "All I want to do is win. That's the main thing I'm here for. That's just side stuff."
With 68 receptions, Celek needs 14 more to break Bjorson's school record of 81.
A FIRST FOR MARTIN: Freshman wide receiver Jared Martin's 22-yard pass reception was the first reception of his college career.
Grutza had been flushed out of the pocket and appeared to have some running room until he spotted Martin open in the end zone.
For Martin, it was a catch that he will always remember.
"It was definitely exciting," he said, "although the outcome of the game was bittersweet. It's great to score a touchdown, but it would have been better to have a victory."
STEWART'S IMPACT: First-year sophomore Derrick Stewart continues to show potential.
The speedy Stewart caught five passes for 64 yards to lead UC's receivers.
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There's No. 1, and there's UC
Bearcats' game effort finally devolves into game over
COLUMBUS - When you're Cincinnati and you're playing Ohio State, you take your wins where you can find them, so we'll start with this: That five-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter was a work of art, and gave every fan of UC football reason to believe that better days are coming.
Now then.
There are a few laws of quasi-amateur football, and they are as immutable as water running downhill. One is, Ohio State will always have more and better football players than almost anyone it plays, UC included. Another is, unless the Buckeyes decide to play poorly and with generosity toward the other team, the other team is almost never going to beat them.

UC hung with the best team in the land for a half. Three quarters, if you want to be charitable. Then the offense stopped moving, the defense wore down and halfway through the fourth quarter, Ohio State was mercy-playing its third-string quarterback. The 37-7 final was every bit as revealing as the score suggested. The top-ranked Buckeyes are that talented and deep. The Bearcats could match them for awhile, but if you're treading water against Ohio State, you're drowning.
The Bearcats had done a very good job shadowing OSU's rocket-man wideout Ted Ginn Jr. They'd done decent work against OSU's running game. They just ran out of gas which, in the 85-scholarship world of college football, means they fell way short on talented bodies.
"Play one play at a time, and the nation (will) begin to watch" was UC coach Mark Dantonio's halftime message. It was just 13-7 OSU then. It is a small win for the perception of Bearcat football that the thought occurred that UC was just a bad Troy Smith pass from making Dantonio look prophetic.
But Smith doesn't throw many bad passes. He hasn't been intercepted in three games. He is one of dozens of quality Ohio players the Buckeyes sign routinely, and UC almost never signs at all. Until that changes, nothing else will.
"You're playing hard, you're playing against a good team with good athletes, it kind of wears you down,'' said UC free safety Haruki Nakamura. Say this about the Bearcats: They're no longer fodder for the Buckeye machine. QB Dustin Grutza's 22-yard, improvisation pass to Jared Martin put the Bearcats ahead 7-3 and kept the Bucknuts on edge for another 90 minutes or so.
But three quarters is a quarter shy. After the TD, UC's offense moved in sand. It never made it inside Ohio State's 39-yard line. It allowed Grutza to be sacked seven times. Meanwhile, OSU's offense piled up 167 yards on three fourth-quarter possessions. If you want to see the difference between OSU and UC, skip the star players. Go straight to the lines. The Buckeyes' offensive front outweighed UC's D-line by an average of 50 pounds each.
Ginn unchained himself from UC's secondary long enough to catch a 9-yard slant pass for a third-quarter TD that made it 20-7. When Antonio Pittman took off around left end and sprinted past the entire right side of UC's defense for a 48-yard TD run, you had to feel the nation stopped watching.
"We came to play. We weren't intimidated," Dantonio said. That's fine. If we were prone to offering Bearcat football typewritten pats on the head, we'd go with that. But programs striving to be more than everyone's Homecoming opponent don't get points for coming to play."
When the Bengals were awful, team apologists always suggested how hard the players played. Yeah . . . so?
At some point, ambitious programs need to do better than lose by 30, to anyone. "We played with the number one team in the country for three quarters. I think that says a lot,'' said Nakamura. It would say a lot more if they hung around for the whole game.
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Lethargic Buckeyes come to life
COLUMBUS - The Buckeyes' wake-up call came 15 minutes after noon Saturday.
One quarter through its game against Cincinnati, top-ranked Ohio State found itself losing for the first time this season.
"It just didn't look to me like we had quite as much pep in our step," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "It just didn't seem like we were quite as explosive or flying around to the degree that we like to."
The Buckeyes were one week removed from a convincing win against the defending national champion Texas Longhorns, one week away from their Big Ten opener against Penn State, and looking to one another for a solution when trailing 7-3 after the first quarter Saturday.
"I'm not so sure it was the positioning of the game or the opponent," junior receiver Anthony Gonzalez said. "I would say that a lot of the early struggles, and I really believe this, has to do with the fact that we had not played a noon game yet.
"When you play a noon game you're up at 7 in the morning and hardly anybody on our team wakes up at 7 in the morning. ... We've just got to deal with that a little better."
The Bearcats held the Buckeyes' offense to two yards rushing in the first quarter and 178 total yards in the first half.
Ohio State finished with 444 yards and a 37-7 victory before 105,037 fans.
"We sat and we looked at each other ... and understood that the group of guys in the game would have to be the guys that would get the job done," OSU quarterback Troy Smith said. "We did just that.
"We didn't whine. We didn't fuss. We didn't finger-point at anybody."
A 43-yard field goal by Ohio State kicker Aaron Pettrey made it 7-6 with 9:17 remaining before halftime, but it was during the Buckeyes' next offensive drive that things really started moving.
Ohio State drove 80 yards in nine plays and took the lead on a 12-yard pass from Smith to junior flanker Ted Ginn Jr. with 3:00 left in the half. The duo connected again on a 9-yard touchdown pass over the middle on the Buckeyes' second offensive drive after halftime.
Smith completed 21 of 30 passes for 203 yards. Junior running back Antonio Pittman scored on a 48-yard run that made it 27-7 with 9:57 left in the third quarter and finished with 16 carries for 155 yards.
"Antonio certainly was a spark," Tressel said. "The one that closed the door was the long one. That was big."
The Buckeyes' defense finished with eight sacks and intercepted Bearcats quarterback Dustin Grutza three times. It held UC to minus-4 yards rushing and 212 yards overall.
"Going into this game we felt like we needed to stop the (run)," said Ohio State defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock, who had three sacks. "I felt like we were able to do that today. ... We were able to hit our goal of holding them under 14 points, winning the turnover margin and, with that, I think we were confident we were going to be able to win the game."
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OSU cures UC's upset feeling
Bearcats strong early, then fade vs. Buckeyes' depth
COLUMBUS - The University of Cincinnati Bearcats could taste the upset at halftime.
They had led No. 1 Ohio State for about 12 minutes of the first half and their defense was doing a credible job of shutting down the powerful Ohio State offense.
The six-point deficit they faced as they sat in their locker room seemed almost like a victory.

"At halftime you could feel it," said UC tight end Brent Celek. "Guys felt like we could come out and give it to them."
UC coach Mark Dantonio even told his players the nation would begin to take notice as the game unfolded, as if something momentous were about to happen.
But before long, the Bearcats (1-2) were overwhelmed by the Buckeyes' superior depth, and what once might have seemed like must-see TV denigrated into a 37-7 Ohio State blowout Saturday before 105,037 fans at Ohio Stadium.
Still, this was not an instance where UC simply couldn't play with Ohio State (3-0). The Bearcats just couldn't do it for the full 60 minutes.
"I don't think we were intimidated by the situation," Dantonio said. "Defensively, I thought we played pretty well, but we ran out of gas at the end."
The Bearcats knew that to have a chance to win, they would have to play nearly flawless football and hope for miscues by the Buckeyes.
Instead, UC had three turnovers to none for OSU.
UC quarterback Dustin Grutza completed 18 of 22 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. But he was sacked seven times, intercepted twice and called once for intentional grounding.
His first interception was especially damaging. Trailing 13-7 late in the first half, UC drove from its 20-yard line to the OSU 42.
On first-and-10, Grutza sprinted out of the pocket and spotted an open Celek. But his pass was picked off by linebacker James Laurinaitis at the Buckeyes' 20.
"I tried to touch it over him," Grutza said, "but I didn't put enough on it. If I put enough on it, that's a touchdown."
For about 18 and a half minutes - from the 6:36 mark of the first quarter until the 3:00 mark of the second - the Bearcats were leading and had their fans dreaming of an upset.
A 22-yard touchdown pass from Grutza to freshman wide receiver Jared Martin had given the Bearcats a 7-3 lead, and the UC defense was protecting it.
Trailing 7-6, the Buckeyes went to work after taking over on their 20 with 7:17 left in the half. They drove 80 yards to score a touchdown on a second-and-goal, 12-yard pass from quarterback Troy Smith to Ted Ginn Jr. Smith was on the verge of being sacked by UC's Anthony Hoke but still managed to release a perfect throw to Ginn.
OSU had 173 yards at halftime to 148 for UC and had just one offensive play of more than 30 yards.
"I can't give coach Dantonio and his staff enough credit," Smith said. "They did a great job coming out, mixing some things up."
The Bearcats would manage only 64 more yards in the second half, while OSU rolled up 271 yards and three touchdowns against a worn-down defensive unit.
"We folded a little bit in the fourth quarter," Dantonio said. "That's what bothers you."
But in the wake of UC's 10th consecutive loss to Ohio State, the Bearcats players and coaches preferred to focus on the positive.
"We played with the No. 1 team in the country for three quarters," said free safety Haruki Nakamura. "I think that says a lot."
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Ginn has big things on his mind

Sunday, September 17, 2006Mary Schmitt Boyer
Plain Dealer Reporter
Columbus- With his two scores against Cincinnati on Saturday, Buckeyes receiver Ted Ginn Jr. has scored five touchdowns in three games, and he expects to continue that pace when the Big Ten season starts next week against Penn State.
"I want to just come out and play hard and play tough and do things," said Ginn, who had five catches for 33 yards, three punt returns for 18 yards and one kickoff return for 18 yards.
Ginn and Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith led a contingent of 10 players on both teams from Glenville High School in Saturday's game. Buckeyes freshman Robert Rose marked the occasion by sacking Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza for a loss of 7 yards late in the fourth quarter. It was his first tackle this season.

Of the 10 Tarblooders in the game, seven of whom play for the Buckeyes, only Cincinnati's Freddie Lenix and Ohio State's Bryant Browning did not play.
"It's good to see our group of kids coming out of the inner city are really doing something with their lives," Ginn said. "Even though we're on two different sides, we still love each other throughout anything."
Mixed signals:
The Buckeyes used four quarterbacks in the game. Justin Zwick replaced starter Troy Smith with 9:28 left in the fourth quarter. On his third play, he threw a 36-yard pass to Ray Small and followed that with a 27-yard pass to Brian Hartline. Zwick completed 2 of 3 passes for 63 yards.
Sophomore Todd Boeckman replaced Zwick on the next series and fumbled his first snap. But the Buckeyes recovered and eventually scored on a 52-yard field goal by Ryan Pretorius. Boeckman completed his only pass attempt for 7 yards to Small and also ran for 5 yards.
Freshman Rob Schoenhoft took over on the Bearcats' 20-yard line and completed a 5-yard pass to Roy Hall before being sacked for a loss of 19 yards.
It was Hall's first action of the season after missing the first two games with an ankle injury.

"It was good to see Roy back out there," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "He's probably 85 to 90 percent healthy now. In fact, the catch he made was really good. He plucked that right off the grass and it was good to see him get one there."
Hold on:
Offensive tackle Alex Boone was called for two penalties against Cincinnati, a personal foul in the first quarter and a hold in the third. After the hold, Boone sat out a few series before returning midway through the fourth quarter.

"I think his knee got nicked a little bit," offensive coordinator Jim Bollman said of Boone. "We wanted to give him a rest for a couple of series."
Boone, a sophomore out of St. Edward, also was called for three penalties last week at Texas. Asked whether Boone was getting singled out on calls, Bollman said, "He ought to get singled out when those things happen. Those things have to get fixed."
Extra points:
The last time the Buckeyes had three field goals longer than 40 yards in one game was Sept. 18, 2004, when Mike Nugent had field goals of 50, 46 and 47 yards against North Carolina State. . . . The crowd of 105,037 was the 13th largest in Ohio Stadium history. . . . This was the first time in eight games under coach Mark Dantonio that the Bearcats lost after leading at the end of the first quarter. Dantonio, OSU's former defensive coordinator, is in his third season at the school. . . . With 39 yards receiving, Cincinnati tight end Brent Celek set the UC career record for receiving yards by a tight end with 800, breaking the record of 791 set by Kris Bjorson from 1989 to 92. Celek has at least one reception in 15 straight games.
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
[email protected], 216-999-4668
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Four things I think

Sunday, September 17, 2006

1. Latest indicator: Let's get to Nov. 18. The way Michigan lit up Notre Dame, the Wolverines' visit to Ohio Stadium to end the season could be, yeah, kind of big.
2. Put on back burner: The backup line leading the first touchdown drive against Texas last week was a great little story. But putting in the whole No. 2 line for a series, as the Buckeyes did Saturday during their third time they had the ball, might not be something to keep up. This time Ohio State had a false start and Chris Wells was stuffed on a third-and-1 run before OSU had to punt.
3. Light workload: I'm a little surprised we haven't seen more of Wells so far. Coach Jim Tressel keeps talking about the fewer number of plays with the new clock rule, which is true, so there aren't as many snaps to go around. And Antonio Pittman has been very good. But 10 carries for 35 yards the past two games seems low for Wells.
4. Easy ground test: The OSU defense did a fine job against the run, limiting Cincinnati to minus-4 yards after giving up 323 rushing yards the first two weeks. But the Bearcats, without a true No. 1 back, weren't much of a test. They were held to 35 rushing yards by Pitt last week. http://ads6.udc.advance.net/RealMed.../34373434633766653434646336326330?_RM_EMPTY_& rushing yards the first two weeks. But the Bearcats, without a true No. 1 back, weren't much of a test. They were held to 35 rushing yards by Pitt last week
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OSU tugs along

Buckeyes handle Bearcats with ease
Sunday, September 17, 2006Doug Lesmerises
Plain Dealer Reporter
Columbus- The start had been less than robust, and Ohio State was trailing for the first time this season when the second quarter began at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
Then defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock, a probable NFL first-round pick whose excellence often is hidden in the muck of the trenches, set up shop in the Cincinnati backfield.
Led by three sacks from the senior captain, the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes tossed aside their early blahs like Pitcock tossed aside blockers, pulling away for a 37-7 win over the Bearcats that will keep OSU atop the polls.
http://ads.cleveland.com/RealMedia/...w.cleveland.com/xml/story/s2/s2osf/@StoryAd?x "I've always thought Quinn was great," defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said. "The problem is he's down inside and he's in on a lot of tackles, but nobody sees them. I always wish people would watch film with me and see him making plays and holding up two guys."
His plays were obvious Saturday, and necessary.
Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith threw two touchdown passes, both to Ted Ginn Jr., completing 21 of 30 passes for 203 yards, while Antonio Pittman rushed for 155 yards on 16 carries, including a 48-yard touchdown run.
But coming off a 24-7 win over Texas last week, the offense didn't get going early, gaining just 40 yards in the first quarter. So the Buckeyes were trailing when the second quarter began, 7-3, after a 22-yard Cincinnati touchdown pass from Dustin Grutza to Jared Martin.
"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.
Pitcock had pep in every one of his 295 pounds. On the fourth play of the game, he got to Grutza for his first sack. On Cincinnati's first drive of the second quarter, Pitcock burst into the backfield and missed Grutza twice before linebacker James Laurinaitis got the sack. Pitcock stopped a run play on second down for a 1-yard gain. Then on third down, he forced Grutza to dump the ball off for a short gain.
Pitcock said he noticed on film Cincinnati (1-2) focused its protection on the outside more than the inside and anticipated he could exploit inside gaps.

"It feels like the whole play happens in a split second," Pitcock said of his sacks. "You're overwhelmed because it's over so quick and you don't even realize it."
That's how fans may feel about Pitcock - they don't realize what he's doing. His job last year was taking up blockers so the Buckeyes' experienced linebackers could roam free. This season, he and fellow senior tackle David Patterson are the physical and emotional leaders of the defense.
"This year I think he's a little more active," Heacock said. "He's coming off the ball and being a little more aggressive. I think sometimes he plays too cautious, too disciplined, and today he cut loose a little bit."
http://ads.cleveland.com/RealMedia/...w.cleveland.com/xml/story/s2/s2osf/@StoryAd?x With their Big Ten schedule beginning at home against Penn State next week, the Buckeyes (3-0) aren't looking to hold anything back. Gashed for 323 rushing yards in their first two games, Ohio State limited Cincinnati to minus-4 rushing.
"I think they've heard so many negative things about how bad they were going to be this year, I think sometimes it wears on them," Heacock said of his defense. "I think these kids are very anxious to show they're not bad either."
The defense had eight sacks and snagged three interceptions while the offense didn't turn the ball over. Once they got rolling, the Buckeyes burned Cincinnati with underneath crossing routes in the passing game while Pittman sparked the rushing game. The Bearcats pushed hard early, and coach Mark Dantonio, the former OSU defensive coordinator, offered some blitzes and other rushes OSU hadn't seen before. But, inevitably, Cincinnati wore down.
"We came to play today," Dantonio said. "The defense played well but ran out of gas."
According to Smith, who grabbed control of the Heisman Trophy race with Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn's struggles in a loss to Michigan, the Buckeyes got what they wanted.
"This was our first test of adversity," Smith said. "You need that in a season to become a national championship-caliber team. If everything is just vanilla, you don't know what the other side tastes like."
To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
[email protected], 216-999-4479
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this game is about what I expected. A slow start by the offense and then pulling away in the second half. It is good to see Boekman, Zwick, and Schoenoft getting in the game.

Let me just say I am drooling over Small and Hartline!!!
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I hope we're all right that Cincinnati was pumped-up, and Ohio State was pumped-down. Is that a word? I guess it is, now. I believe that this is the case, because after Pittman's touchdown run, when they took the starters out, the back-ups played very well. Zwick looked very good in his touchdown drive. Boeckman wasn't in long enough to do anything (was he just banged-up or is he going to be out for a while?) That fourth quarter saw almost as many points by Ohio State as the first three did. I think it was the first-string guys weren't up for trouncing Cincinnati, but the back-ups were.

I REALLY hope that I'm right. Otherwise, I think next week will be a long game, and the week after (Iowa) will be even worse.
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This blurb was in a couple of articles today:

22: Straight wins over Ohio foes for the Buckeyes since a 7-6 loss to Oberlin in 1921.

For the record, it's not true, since tOSU had a 7-7 tie against Wooster in 1924.
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This game went about like I thought with more scoring. I didnt mind the late FG which ruined my vbet because it was just a confidence builder.
Dantonio had a good game plan. It reminded me of Tressel ball. Do not underestimate the job UC did in contributing to the slow start of the Bucks. They played well and hard for the whole game.
That is except for the punter. I think we scared the Ginn out of him. :biggrin: . He had at least two shanks. One punt went about 10 yards.

I liked the game for us. It was a harder game which could only improve the character and mettle of the team.

The team was out of synch for most of the first half and Troy wasnt very accurate. That got corrected of course. I know Troy made 9 or more passes in a row in the 2nd half.

Boone has to stop getting holding calls. It seems he has at least one a game. The team has to stop getting Bad penalties. On one play there was so much yellow on the field I thought they had planted daisies:biggrin: :biggrin: . But we all know that is where we will improve as the season goes on. I am very satisfied with the teams progress.

At Wr we are set for years to come with Robiske, Hartline, and Small.
Smith as to be the leader for the Heisman. Zwick played well. It was good to see the other QB's get in and get experience even if they both fumbled. They needed to get their feet wet. C. Wells will be great. Mo wells had a good run for the TD. I was wondering when he was going to have a play.

The second team Oline didnt have as good an experience as they had against Texas but it was good to see them play. It's not often we have the luxury of a good second line.

I liked the play of Smith , Ginn, Gonzo, Pittman, Pitcock, Laurenitis, Jenkins, and Terry. We need more players to be more consistant ie Gholston, Patterson and the DB's.

My game ball goes to Pittman. He sparked the team, he ran around over and thru people. on his TD (which i was watching straight down the field from 35B section), when he hit the corner I saw his burst that put him past the Db and he was gone.:biggrin: everyone in my section stood up at that cornering moment and raised their arms to signal TD.

Ginn may have flashier plays but I think Gonzo was the best WR today.

Over all I was happy with the game, we played well and won.
I had some brats and some beer. I mingled with my fellow die hards.
The lady who sat next to me was well fleshed and sat there and sweated like a hot hog and fanned herself for the first half. :biggrin: :biggrin:.

In the john before the game a fan was shouting OH and we were shouting IO. Then he shouted UC and everyone shouted "we suck". A UC fan beside me said "hey thats what we shout at home too":biggrin:

Carmen Ohio continues to be a moment for me. Over half the crowd stayed to sing it.
Its great to be a Buckeye !!!!

:groove: :beer: :groove: :beer: :groove: :beer: :groove: :beer:
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