Oct. 17, 2005
Transcript of Press Luncheon
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THE INDIANA GAME
Thirteenth-ranked Ohio State begins a two-game road sojourn this week with a visit to Indiana. The Buckeyes and Hoosiers meet at 12:10 p.m. (EDT), Saturday, in Memorial Stadium (cap: 52,354). The game will be televised locally by ESPN Regional (WBNS, Channel 10, in Columbus) and nationally on ESPN. WBNS Radio, the flagship station for the Ohio State radio network, carries all OSU games and begins its network programming 60 minutes before kickoff with the Jim Tressel pregame show.
The Buckeyes are coming off a 35-24 win over Michigan State in which they recorded a school record 12 sacks en route to their fourth victory of the year against two defeats. The victory over the visiting Spartans keeps OSU in the thick of the Big Ten race at 2-1 – tied with Northwestern, half a game behind Penn State, Wisconsin and Iowa, all of which are 3-1.
Indiana, under the first-year leadership of Coach Terry Hoeppner, is 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in league play. The Hoosiers dropped a 38-21 decision at Iowa last Saturday. Ohio State has sold 15,000 tickets for the game, not counting any purchases made through the Indiana Ticket Office.
OSU TRAVEL PLANS
Ohio State will bus to Bloomington, but fly home via private charter after the game. The team and official party will depart Friday afternoon from the Woody Hayes Athletics Center on five charter busses, will stop at Memorial Stadium for a brief walkthrough and then check in at the Four Winds Resort. The team will return home immediately after the game, flying to Rickenbacker Airport in Columbus.
A LOOK AT OHIO STATE
Ohio State is ranked 14th this week in the Associated Press and No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches polls, up from No. 15 in both polls from a week ago. The win Saturday over Michigan State gives the Buckeyes a 2-2 record against ranked teams this year. With no unbeaten teams remaining in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes are in the thick of the conference title chase with their 2-1 record.
Coach Jim Tressel’s squad is coming off a gritty effort against Michigan State in which it overcame a 17-7 deficit and four lost fumbles to down the Big Ten’s most prolific offensive team. The Buckeyes needed a pair of blocked field goals (one of which was returned 72 yards for a score), a school-record 12 sacks and three touchdown passes of 46 yards or more to secure the victory.
“I think this game says a lot about the character of this team,” Tressel said. “Michigan State is a very good team, but our guys never stopped competing and somehow found a way to win.”
The Buckeyes continue to lead the Big Ten in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense, and are fourth in pass defense. OSU is allowing 66.2 yard per game rushing, a figure that ranks second nationally. The Buckeyes are ninth nationally in total defense (274.5 yard per game) and 10th in scoring defense (15.3 points per game). Ohio State has given up 10 touchdowns on the year – five rushing and five passing. The Buckeye defense also leads the Big Ten in sacks with 28, opponent first downs (93) and opponent third-down conversions (22 of 82 for 26.8 percent).
Offensively, the Buckeyes are averaging 359 yards and 26.5 points per game. Quarterback Troy Smith has thrown for 806 yards and six touchdowns and tailback Antonio Pittman leads the rushing attack with 563 yards on 110 carries. Pittman has topped the 100-yard mark three times this year and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Ohio State is averaging 165 yards per game rushing and 194.3 through the air. Split end Santonio Holmes has a team-high 27 receptions, good for 475 yards and four of the Buckeyes’ eight passing touchdowns.
The Buckeyes also lead the Big Ten in net punting with an average of 41.5 yards per kick on 26 punts.
|29.0||Points Per Game||26.5|
|25.0||Opp. Points Per Game||15.3|
|157.3||Avg. Rushing Yards||165.3|
|253.3||Avg. Passing Yards||194.3|
|410.7||Avg. Total Offense||359.7|
|171.3||Opp. Avg. Rushing Yards||66.2|
|196.0||Opp. Avg. Passing Yards||208.3|
|367.3||Opp. Avg. Total Offense||274.5|
|48/109||Third Down Conversions||40/83|
|33:34||Avg. Time of Poss.||31:22|
|6-3, 314||Avg. Ht./Wgt. Off Ln||6-5, 305|
|6-4, 266||Avg. Ht./Wt. Def Ln||6-3, 284|
BUCKEYES DOWN SPARTANS
The Buckeye defense had its hands full with Michigan State’s high scoring offense last Saturday in Columbus, but still held the Spartans well below their season average of 45 points per game. Spartan quarterback Drew Stanton threw for a career-high 340 yards, but was sacked 12 times by the relentless Ohio State defense. Michigan State entered the game first in sacks allowed with five through its first five games. They left dead last.
Linebackers A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel all recorded double figures in tackles for the Buckeyes, as did safety Donte Whitner. Hawk finished the game with 19 stops, while Carpenter had 11 and tied the school record for sacks in a game with four. Whitner matched his career high with 11 tackles, one more than Schlegel. Defensive tackle David Patterson had a career high three tackles-for-loss.
Cornerback Ashton Youboty finished with six tackles, a blocked field goal and a 72-yard return for a touchdown on another MSU field goal attempt. Ohio State trailed 17-7 until Youboty scooped up a blocked field goal and scored with no time left on the clock to make it 17-14 at the half.
“That play turned the game around,” Tressel said.
Offensively, the Buckeyes hurt their own cause with four lost fumbles, but scored on pass plays of 51, 57 and 46 yards to dig themselves out of a 17-7 hole. Troy Smith threw for a career high 249 yards and enjoyed the first three-touchdown-passing-game of his career. Two of those tosses went to Santonio Holmes, who sandwiched catches of 51 and 46 yards around Ted Ginn’s 57-yard scoring reception. Ginn’s catch is the longest play of the year for the Buckeyes.
Antonio Pittman recorded his third 100-yard day of the year, finishing with 101 yards on 18 carries to lead all rushers.
The Buckeyes had the ball for just over 19 minutes against the Spartans, but made the most of their opportunities, averaging a whopping 9.4 yards per play on 41 plays.
TRESSEL ON OSU
“I am proud of the way we played and the effort we gave for 60 minutes. We never stopped competing,” Tressel said. “But we have to do the little things better to be a great team. One of those is taking care of the ball.”
CARPENTER, YOUBOTY HONORED
Linebacker Bobby Carpenter and defensive back Ashton Youboty have been selected as the Big Ten’s Defensive and Co-Special Teams players of the week following Ohio State’s win over Michigan State Saturday. Carpenter was in on a season-high 11 tackles and tied the school record for sacks in a game with four, resulting in 27 yards lost. Youboty returned a blocked field goal 72 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first half, turning a potential 20-7 deficit into a three-point game at intermission. He later blocked another field goal attempt following an Ohio State turnover.
BUCKEYES SET SACK RECORD
Thanks to a single-game record 12 sacks Saturday against Michigan State, the Buckeyes now lead the Big Ten in that category and have already surpassed their total of a year ago when they dropped the opposing quarterback 24 times. The Ohio State single-season standard for sacks is 47, set first in 1998 and later matched in 2000. Both of those teams played 12 games.
Ohio State now has an all-time record of 769-300-53.
The Buckeyes recorded a school-record 12 sacks against Michigan State, breaking the old mark of 11 set against Iowa in 1998.
Ohio State has won 25 of its last 27 home games – the losses coming to Wisconsin in 2004 and Texas earlier this year.
Under Tressel, the Buckeyes are 32-3 when leading at the half and 34-3 when ahead after three quarters.
The crowd of 105,122 vs. Michigan State was the 24th-consecutive Ohio Stadium sellout and the seventh largest in Stadium history.
The Buckeyes have scored at least one touchdown in 107-consecutive games.
The 15 tackles-for-loss against MSU was four short of the school record (Penn State 1999).
Bobby Carpenter has been a Spartan terror the past two years, recording 24 tackles in OSU’s two wins over MSU.
Punter A. J. Trapasso had a career long 76-yard punt against Michigan State. The OSU record is 87 yards by Karl Edwards at Illinois in 1983. Trapasso’s punt is the fifth best in OSU annals and longest in Ohio Stadium since Howard Wedebrook nailed a 78-yard punt in 1936 against Michigan.
Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel meets with the media each Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m., followed by Coach Tressel’s comments and a question-and-answer session at about 12:15 p.m. Selected players are available at the luncheon and again after practice on Tuesday. Tressel also meets with the media following practice each Wednesday during the season.
EXPERTS THIS WEEK
Two Ohio State assistant coaches (one from each side of the ball) are available in the atrium of the Woody Hayes Athletics Center after practice each Thursday during the season to preview the upcoming game. The experts this week are cornerbacks coach Tim Beckman and quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels.
BIG TEN SUCCESS
Since beginning league play in 1913, Ohio State has compiled an all-time Big Ten record of 420-162-24 and captured 29 conference championships. Ohio State’s 29 championships include 15 outright and 14 shared crowns. Between 1972 and 1977, the Buckeyes shared the title six-consecutive times and went to a still unprecedented four straight Rose Bowls.
COACH Jim Tressel
Jim Tressel is now in his fifth season as head coach at Ohio State. His record with the Buckeyes is 44-13 and his career record is 179-70-2 (.717). He is in his 20th year as a head coach.
Tressel took over the Buckeyes in 2001, directing them to a 7-5 record that year. In 2002, he led Ohio State to a 14-0 record and the school’s first consensus national championship since 1968 and was nearly everyone’s choice as National Coach of the Year. In 2003, the Buckeyes won their first five games to extend their winning streak to 19 and finished with an 11-2 record. The squad last year, which had to replace 14 NFL drafted players, won five of its last six games en route to an 8-4 finish.
Tressel’s teams have appeared in four Bowl games and are 3-1 in those contests, including back-to-back BCS wins in the Fiesta Bowl. They also are 3-1 against Michigan in one of the most intense and storied rivalries in all of sport.
Eight of Tressel’s players have won first-team All-America honors and three have won major awards, including kicker Mike Nugent, the recipient of the Lou Groza Award last year as the best place-kicker in college football.
Tressel is a master in close games. Since coming to Ohio State, he is 16-9 in games decided by a touchdown or less and 4-1 in overtime games.
He is at his best against the best with an 18-7 record against teams ranked in the Top 25 and a 5-2 mark against teams ranked in the Top 10.
The 52-year-old Tressel is a 1975 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College.
Eight Ohio State players are listed on the various postseason awards watch lists: linebacker A.J. Hawk (Butkus, Lombardi, Lott, Bednarik, Walter Camp), center Nick Mangold (Rimington, Lombardi), split end Santonio Holmes (Biletnikoff, Walter Camp), linebacker Bobby Carpenter (Butkus), safety Nate Salley (Thorpe), cornerback Ashton Youboty (Thorpe), tight end Ryan Hamby (Mackey) and flanker Ted Ginn Jr. (Walter Camp, Biletnikoff).
Ohio State leads the series with Indiana, 63-12-5, and has won 22 of the 25 games played in Bloomington (two losses and a tie). The Buckeyes have won the last 12 meetings between the teams, dating back to a 27-all tie in Bloomington in 1990. Ohio State has won the last six games played at IU, including a 35-6 decision in 2003.
Between 1952 and 1986, the Buckeyes were 30-0-1 against the Hoosiers and ran off 23-consecutive victories from 1960 to 1986. That string ended in 1987 with a 31-10 Indiana win in Columbus. The Hoosiers also won the following year in Bloomington, marking just the second time in the series IU has recorded back-to-back wins.
Ohio State has outscored Indiana 137 to 44 in the last four games.
RECAPPING LAST YEAR
Ohio State snapped a three-game losing streak and recorded its first Big Ten win of the year with a 30-6 win over the visiting Hoosiers (10/23/04). With freshman tailback Antonio Pittman leading the way with 144 yards, the Buckeyes rushed for 282 yards and rolled up 443 yards in total offense. Quarterback Troy Smith made his first start and responded by throwing for 161 yards and a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. He also ran for 58 yards. All-American kicker Mike Nugent booted three field goals and Pittman rounded out the scoring with a 28-yard run in the final period of play. The OSU defense held Indiana to 53 yards rushing.
CARPENTER TIES SACK RECORD
Senior linebacker Bobby Carpenter tied the Ohio State single-game sack record against Michigan State, recording four sacks for losses of 27 yards. The 6-3, 255-pound Carpenter, who finished the game with a season-best 11 tackles, tied the school mark set in 1991 by Jason Simmons. As a result of his showing against the Spartans, Carpenter leads the Big Ten in sacks with 8.0 in six games and is second in tackles-for-loss with 10.5.
HAWK RECORDS SEASON HIGH
Senior linebacker A.J. Hawk was credited with 19 tackles against Michigan State, the second best effort of his career (he had 20 against Wisconsin last year). The Buckeye All-American now has 341 career stops to rank seventh in Ohio State annals. He trails only Marcus Marek (572 tackles), Tom Cousineau (569), Chris Spielman (546), Steve Tovar (408) and Alvin Washington (345) in the OSU records book. Hawk leads the Buckeyes in tackles with 68, including 8.0 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks. He has led the team in tackles in each of the first six games and is averaging 11.5 stops per game.
HOLMES ENJOYS BEST DAY OF 2005
Split end Santonio Holmes had his best day of the year Saturday, hauling in five passes for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Michigan State. Holmes scored on passes of 51 and 46 yards and has now caught at least two passes in 24-consecutive games. It was the sixth multiple touchdown game of his career.
Holmes is seventh in career receptions at Ohio State with 114 catches. He also ranks 10th in career receiving yardage with 1,793.
On the year, he has 27 catches for 475 yards and four touchdowns, all of which lead the team. He is averaging 17.2 yards per catch and 79.2 yards per game. As impressive as Saturday’s effort against Michigan State was, Holmes’ top effort was 224 yards against Marshall in 2004.
SMITH HAS BEST DAY PASSING
Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith posted career highs in passing yards (249) and passing touchdowns (3) in Saturday’s win over Michigan State. His previous highs had been 241 (Michigan last year) and two (three times, including Iowa this year). Smith finished the Michigan State game with 291 yards in total offense for the third-best showing of his career. On the season, he is averaging 220.8 yards per game in total offense and has accounted for 12 touchdowns. The 6-1 junior is 7-2 in his nine games as a starter for the Buckeyes.
HUSTON BIG TEN FG LEADER
Senior kicker Josh Huston leads the Big Ten in average field goals per game at 1.83. Huston has made 11 of his 13 attempts. He did not have a try against Michigan State. Huston also has the best field goal percentage in the league at 84.6 and is second in kick scoring at 8.5 points per game. Additionally, 19 of his 33 kickoffs have been touchbacks.
HUSTON IN THE RECORDS BOOK
Senior place-kicker Josh Huston tied school records for most field goals in a game and most field goals in a game at Ohio Stadium by booting five treys against Texas. Huston converted from 45, 36, 25, 44, and 26 yards out against the Longhorns, staking OSU to a 22-16 lead. He also narrowly missed from 50 yards away. The five field goals in Ohio Stadium equals the record set by Bob Atha against Indiana in 1981 and matched last year by Mike Nugent, the school’s all-time leading scorer. Atha kicked his five in Ohio Stadium. Nugent’s five came at North Carolina State. Huston’s six field goal attempts against Texas is a school record.
Offensive tackle Steve Rehring is out indefinitely after contracting pneumonia and being hospitalized for nearly a week. The 6-8, 330-pound true freshman had played in three games before becoming ill. Linebacker Marcus Freeman and tight end Rory Nicol remain sidelined with injuries. Neither has played this season. Offensive tackle Kirk Barton, sidelined early in the Penn State game with a leg injury, is expected to return this week after sitting out the Michigan State game.
D’ANDREA RETURNS TO ACTION
Linebacker Mike D’Andrea made his first appearance in a game in more than a year Saturday, seeing time with the special teams in the win over Michigan State. D’Andrea has been out since last year’s Northwestern game (10/2) while recovering from a knee injury. The coaching staff hopes to work him into the linebacker rotation this week. He was a starter last year until being hurt.
BUCKEYES ENJOY ACADEMIC SUCCESS
A league best 22 Ohio State football players were named to the Big Ten’s All-Academic team last fall, marking the third year in a row the Buckeyes have led the conference in that area. Additionally, a record 44 Ohio State football players qualified for last spring’s annual OSU Scholar-Athlete Dinner, which requires a grade-point average of 3.00 or better for the past academic year. As a team, the Buckeyes have an overall GPA of 2.82.
THREE PLAYERS RECEIVE SCHOLARSHIPS
Seniors Steve Winner, John Conroy and Rob “Chic” Harley have been put on scholarship by Coach Jim Tressel.
“They have worked hard and deserve it,” said the Ohio State coach. “It is nice to be able to reward players for their work ethic. All three have a passion to be here, so I know this is special for them.”
Winner is from Dublin, Ohio, Conroy from Bay Village, Ohio and Harley from Elmhurst, Ill.
HUSTON GETS DEGREE
Kicker Josh Huston was one of 23 Ohio State student-athletes to receive an undergraduate degree Aug. 28. With a degree in real estate and urban development already completed, Huston began work on another undergrad degree in psychology when fall classes started in late September.
THE BUCKEYES ALL-TIME
Ohio State enters this week with an all-time record of 769-300-53 since first fielding a football team in 1890. That includes a Big Ten record of 420-162-24 since 1913, an Ohio Stadium slate of 359-102-20 since 1922 and a bowl mark of 17-19.
Linebacker A.J. Hawk, center Nick Mangold, safety Nate Salley and offensive guard Robbie Sims are the 2005 captains. The four seniors were elected by a vote of their teammates. Hawk and Mangold are both from Centerville, Ohio (as is Mike Nugent who was one of last year’s co-captains and Kirk Herbstreit, who captained the 1992 team). Salley is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Sims from Macedonia, Ohio.
SEVEN ROOKIES SEE ACTION
Seven true freshmen – offensive tackle Alex Boone, cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, linebacker James Laurinaitis, safety Jamario O’Neal, flanker Brian Robiskie, tailback Maurice Wells and defensive end Lawrence Wilson – have seen action this year for the Buckeyes. Jenkins (San Diego State) and Boone (Michigan State) each have starts to their credit.
COACHING STAFF ADDITIONS
There are two new faces on the Ohio State coaching staff this year, both on the defensive side of the ball. Tim Beckman has taken over as the cornerbacks coach and Paul Haynes has assumed the role of safeties coach. Beckman comes to Ohio State from Bowling Green, where he spent the past seven seasons. Haynes, who grew up in Columbus and played at DeSales High School, was at Michigan State the past two years.
OTHER COACHING CHANGES
With the departures of defensive coordinator Mark Snyder for Marshall and Mel Tucker for the Cleveland Browns, veteran OSU assistant Jim Heacock has been elevated to defensive coordinator and Luke Fickell to co-defensive coordinator. Additionally, wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell will now serve as assistant head coach. This marks the second-consecutive year the Buckeyes have started the season with a new defensive coordinator, but Heacock is a former head coach who is in his 10th season at Ohio State and Fickell is in his fourth year on Tressel’s staff.
Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman and quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels will be in the press box for the Buckeyes during the game, as will cornerbacks coach Tim Beckman and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
GAME 1–MIAMI (OHIO)
Miami 0 0 0 14 14 Ohio State 10 10 14 0 34
The Buckeyes opened the season with a 34-14 win over the RedHawks before an Ohio Stadium crowd of 104,695. The Buckeyes led 20-0 at the half and 34-0 after three quarters before giving up two late touchdowns.
Quarterback Justin Zwick completed 17 of 23 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown and Antonio Pittman rushed for 100 yards on 14 carries to pace a balanced OSU attack. Four different receivers caught five passes from Zwick and backup Todd Boeckman, including Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr., both of whom were on the receiving end of touchdown tosses.
The OSU defense, meanwhile, was its same aggressive and productive self, limiting Miami to just 159 yards through the first three periods, recording five sacks and scoring on a 26-yard interception return by Donte Whitner that put the Buckeyes ahead 20-0 with one minute, 21 seconds to play in the half and took most of the starch out of the visitors.
Linebacker A.J. Hawk led the defense with 10 tackles. The Buckeyes’ starting linebacker corps of Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel all had sacks. So did Whitner and defensive end Mike Kudla, who forced a fumble that led to OSU’s final touchdown – a 42-yard Boeckman-to-Ginn pass. The Buckeyes ended the afternoon with 382 yards (220 passing, 160 rushing) on offense. Miami finished with 298.
GAME 2 — TEXAS
Texas 10 3 3 9 25 Ohio State 0 16 6 0 22
The first meeting between the two football giants was everything it was supposed to be and then some. With a national television audience looking in and a record Ohio Stadium crowd on hand, the teams battled back-and-forth in an epic struggle that will go down in history as one of the classic games ever played in the Horseshoe.
After falling behind 10-0 at the end of the first period, the Buckeyes led 16-13 at the half and 22-16 after three quarters. But the Longhorns took a 23-22 lead with 2:37 to play and then added a safety with 19 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
Led by All-America linebacker A.J. Hawk, the Buckeye defense forced three turnovers, including a pair of interceptions. Hawk, who seemed to be everywhere, had one of those picks and also recovered a fumble. The Buckeyes’ starting linebacker trio of Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel combined for 31 tackles.
Josh Huston tied the school record with five field goals and narrowly missed on a sixth. The Buckeyes’ only touchdown came on a 36-yard pass from Troy Smith to Santonio Holmes, tying the score at 10-all with 8:11 to play in the first half. In addition to catching four passes for 73 yards, Holmes also returned three kickoffs for 109 yards.
Sophomore Antonio Pittman led the Buckeyes in rushing for the second-consecutive week, finishing with 75 yards on 17 carries and repeatedly picking up additional yards with extra effort.
GAME 3 – SAN DIEGO STATE
San Diego State 6 0 0 0 6 Ohio State 7 7 3 10 27
After San Diego State registered a 6.0 on the Ohio Stadium Richter scale by scoring on an 80-yard pass on its first play from scrimmage, it was all Ohio State defense the rest of the way. Led by the brilliant linebacking corps of All-American A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel, the OSU defense completely shut down the Aztec offense for the next 59 minutes and 49 seconds. After their opening drive, the Aztecs could manage a meager 99 yards the rest of the day, including just 44 in the second half. Eleven of their 14 possessions ended with a punt – the other three were the lone score, the end of the half and a fumble. SDSU managed just 13 yards rushing.
Hawk again led the team in tackles with eight, including a tackle-for-loss. Carpenter had two sacks and Schlegel was credited with half a sack and also recovered a fumble. It was Schlegel’s pressure that forced the Aztec fumble, which he recovered on the SDSU 1-yard line on the final play of the third quarter. Brandon Schnittker scored on the next play to put OSU up 24-6.
Quarterback Troy Smith accounted for 235 yards in total offense and ran for a pair of touchdowns. Seven different receivers caught at least two passes, led by Santonio Holmes and Roy Hall with four catches each.
Kicker Josh Huston added a pair of field goals, connecting from 25 and 39 yards out to complete the scoring.
A number of young players saw their first extended playing time, including true freshmen Mo Wells, who carried the ball nine times for 32 yards, and Brian Robiskie, who gathered in his first career reception and then spun his way up field for 13 yards. Redshirt freshman Erik Haw made his debut and responded with one carry for 6 yards and two receptions for another 6.
The Buckeyes rolled up 375 yards in total offense on 82 plays.
GAME 4 — IOWA
Iowa 0 0 3 3 6 Ohio State 7 10 7 7 31
The Buckeyes were masterful on both sides of the ball against the Hawkeyes. With junior quarterback Troy Smith and sophomore tailback Antonio Pittman both enjoying their best outings of the year, the Buckeyes amassed a season-high 530 yards – 314 rushing and 216 through the air. Smith completed 13 of 19 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 127 yards and a pair of scores on 18 carries, rolling up 318 yards in total offense. Pittman sliced and diced his way through the Hawkeye defense for 171 yards on 28 carries, both of which were career highs.
The OSU defense, meanwhile, limited the Hawkeyes to 137 yards and an average of 2.4 yards per play on 57 plays. Iowa had 13 yards at halftime, compared to Ohio State’s 331. The Buckeyes also converted 13 of their 18 third down opportunities, including nine-of-10 in the first half. Iowa converted just one-of-12 third downs.
As he has all year, A.J. Hawk led the Buckeyes in tackles with 10. Safety Donte Whitner had seven stops and an interception, and end Mike Kudla, a disruptive force all afternoon, had a sack and a half. Bobby Carpenter and Tyler Everett added sacks for the Buckeyes, who had five on the day.
The Buckeyes led 17-0 at the half and put the game away by scoring on their first possession of the third quarter on a 4-yard run by Smith, who scored earlier on a 16-yard jaunt. Both of Smith’s touchdown passes went to Anthony Gonzalez, who enjoyed his best day as a Buckeye with six receptions for 90 yards. Santonio Holmes had five receptions for 95 yards in a balanced OSU attack.
The 300-yards rushing was the most by the Buckeyes since the 2002 season opener against Texas Tech and the 530 yards in total offense marked the first time OSU had topped the 500 mark since 2002.
The minus-yardage figure by Iowa was the first time since 2003 that an opponent (Indiana, -12 on 32 attempts) had finished on the negative side of the ledger.
GAME 4 — PENN STATE
Penn State 0 14 3 0 17 Ohio State 3 7 0 0 10
The Buckeyes dropped a hard-fought 17-10 decision to unbeaten Penn State in an old-fashioned defensive struggle. The Buckeyes held the Nittany Lions to 195 total yards, including just 74 in the second half and eight in the fourth quarter, but could not overcome an early 14-3 deficit and a pair of costly turnovers. A 30-yard Josh Huston field goal and a 10-yard run by Troy Smith accounted for all of the OSU scoring.
Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn combined for seven receptions and 81 yards and Antonio Pittman had 58 yards on 15 carries for the Buckeyes who wound up with 230 total yards.
Linebackers A.J. Hawk and Anthony Schlegel led the team with nine tackles each and Hawk had three of the Buckeyes 11 tackles-for-loss. Hawk has led the Buckeyes in tackles in all five games this year.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
Indiana opened the season 3-0 before dropping two of three Big Ten games. The Hoosiers are 4-2 overall with wins to open the season against Central Michigan (20-13), Nicholls State (35-31) and Kentucky (38-14) and another against Illinois (36-13). The losses have come against Wisconsin (41-24) and last week at Iowa (38-21).
The Hoosiers are averaging 29.0 points and 410.7 yards of total offense each game. Indiana has thrown for 20 touchdowns this season, all from the arm of Brett Powers, who has completed 132-of-226 passes for 1,520 yards, an average of 253.3 yards per game. His primary target is James Hardy, who he has found 46 times for 744 yards and eight TD strikes. Hardy is averaging 16.2 yards per reception and 124.0 yards per game. James Bailey has 21 receptions for 231 yards and three TDs and Marcus Thigpen has 15 catches for 204 yards and two TDs. On the ground, Chris Taylor is averaging 76.7 yards of the team’s 157.3 yards per game. He has 90 carries for 460 yards and two of the team’s four rushing touchdowns.
Defensively, the Hoosiers are limiting the opposition to 25.0 points and 366.2 yards of total offense each game. Opponents are averaging 170.2 yards on the ground and 196.0 yards in the air. The defense has picked off four passes and has recovered seven fumbles while recording nine sacks for losses of 83 yards. Will Meyers and John Pannozzo each have 40 tackles to lead the Hoosiers. Meyers has 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble and one recovered fumble. Pannozzo has 6.5 tackles for losses totaling 36 yards and has three sacks for 29 yards. He also has forced two fumbles and recovered one. Victor Adeyanju has a team-high 7.5 tackles-for-loss and also has three sacks.
INDIANA’S LAST GAME
The Hoosiers pulled within three points with just under 10 minutes to play, but Iowa got long touchdowns from Albert Young and Damien Sims to pull away in the final eight minutes for a 38-21 victory last Saturday in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes had to overcome a big day from Indiana receiver James Hardy who caught 12 passes for 203 yards. He became just the fourth IU player to surpass 200 yards receiving in a game. Hoosier quarterback Brett Powers completed 37-of-57 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns, while his team added 86 yards on the ground to outgain Iowa 446 yards to 425. Drew Tate threw for 265 yards and two TDs and Albert Young ran for 125 yards and two TDs.
IU COACH TERRY HOEPPNER
Terry Hoeppner (Franklin College, 1969) is in his first season at Indiana after six seasons (1999-2004) as the head coach at Miami (Ohio), where his teams went 48-25 and won two Mid-American Conference East Division titles. His 2003 team finished 13-1, went 8-0 in the MAC, won the GMAC Bowl and ranked 10th in the final AP poll and 12th in the coaches poll. In all, Hoeppner spent 19 seasons at Miami, the first 13 as an assistant coach before taking over for Randy Walker, the current Northwestern head coach. Hoeppner is the third coach to leave the “Cradle of Coaches” for Bloomington joining John Pont and Bill Mallory, a former Ohio State assistant and the winningest coach in Indiana history.
2006 SCHEDULE COMPLETED
Ohio State has completed its 2006 football card with the addition of Bowling Green. The two teams will play Oct. 7 in Ohio Stadium, giving the Buckeyes seven home games next year. The Buckeyes and Falcons have met three times previously. Ohio State leads the series 3-0. All three games have been played in Columbus. The most recent game was in 2003.
The Buckeyes are at Minnesota next Saturday. The game will be televised by ABC with a noon (EST) kickoff. Ohio State will depart Columbus on Friday afternoon via private charter and will stay at the Hilton in Minneapolis. The team will fly home immediately after the game.