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Oct. 30, 1999

Game Stats
%^$ Game Notes and Quotes
%^$ Archie Griffin’s #45 Jersey Retired%^$

%^$By RUSTY MILLER
%^$AP Sports Writer

%^$

%^$

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After routing Iowa 41-11 Saturday, No. 21 Ohio State%^$immediately turned its thoughts to next week’s game at Michigan State.%^$

The Buckeyes (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten) won by the biggest margin this year and%^$piled up their most yards in coasting past the Hawkeyes (1-7, 0-5). That%^$progress will be tested at Michigan State, which ruined the Buckeyes’ national%^$championship hopes with a stunning 28-24 upset last year.%^$

“I’m sure our team was embarrassed by what happened last year,” coach John%^$Cooper said. “We’ll have another good week of practice, go up there and see%^$what happens.”%^$

Jonathan Wells, who scored twice on short runs and gained 51 yards on nine%^$carries against Iowa, said he was already thinking about getting back at the%^$Spartans.%^$

“Some guys will tell you that it doesn’t matter, but, of course, it does,”%^$he said. “If you were on this team last year, you’ve been waiting for this%^$game.”%^$

Ken-Yon Rambo caught seven passes for 179 yards, scored one touchdown and%^$set up two others to key Ohio State’s offense against Iowa. The defense did its%^$part by intercepting three passes.%^$

Rambo had consecutive games of 181 and 164 receiving yards against Ohio and%^$Cincinnati earlier in the season, but totaled just 166 yards in the Buckeyes’%^$last four games.%^$

“Ken-Yon’s role is to make the big play,” said quarterback Steve%^$Bellisari, who completed 12 of 24 passes for 240 yards and two scores. “He’s%^$getting the job done. We always expect great things from him.”%^$

The Buckeyes scored on their first three possessions and never were%^$threatened.%^$

Iowa, which had been outscored 52-0 in the opening quarter this season,%^$broke the streak on Scott Mullen’s 18-yard TD pass to Kevin Kasper. Kasper tied%^$a school-record with 13 catches for 135 yards, and Mullen completed 29 of 45%^$passes for 283 yards.%^$

Iowa came in ranked 103rd in offense of the 114 Division I-A teams, but%^$looked like a scoring machine the first time it got the ball.%^$

Chris Oliver’s 39-yard return got things rolling. The Hawkeyes needed only%^$six plays to cover the remaining 57 yards, as Mullen completed all three of his%^$passing attempts for 45 yards.%^$

After the touchdown, the Hawkeyes went with an unbalanced line and Rob Thein%^$surprised the Buckeyes by taking the snap and scoring the two-point conversion%^$around left end.%^$

“We’ve been real prolific in the first half all season long,” Iowa coach%^$Kirk Ferentz said sarcastically. “So it’s great to take the ball and drive it.%^$I think our guys were ready to go from the get-go.”%^$

Still, Ohio State’s Michael Wiley outrushed the entire Iowa State team,%^$gaining 86 yards on 15 carries compared to 53 yards on 26 attempts for the%^$Hawkeyes.%^$

Staying primarily on the ground on their first series, the Buckeyes scored%^$on Wells’ 1-yard run.%^$

After forcing an Iowa punt, Ohio State took over at its own 22 and put%^$together a 13-play scoring drive. Bellisari hit Rambo for 17 yards on%^$third-and-7 at the Hawkeyes’ 38. After a personal foul left the Buckeyes with%^$third-and-goal at the 18, Bellisari slipped two tackles and rumbled up the%^$middle for the touchdown.%^$

Rambo’s 58-yard reception from Bellisari was the key play the next time Ohio%^$State got the ball. After Wells ran for 18 yards, Bellisari flipped a short%^$play-action pass to Houser in the end zone to make it 21-8 at the half.%^$

The Buckeyes put it away in the second half as the defense picked off three%^$Mullen passes and the offense provided three TDs. In additiion to Wells’ 3-yard%^$run, Rambo caught a 40-yarder from Bellisari and backup quarterback Austin%^$Moherman hit Vaness Provitt on a 41-yard score.%^$

“That’s as close as we’ve come to playing a complete game,” Cooper said.%^$

It couldn’t have come at a better time, with Michigan State coming up next.%^$

“They beat us last year and destroyed everything,” linebacker Na’il Diggs%^$said of the Buckeyes’ fall from No. 1. “I have a little revenge niche.”