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Aug. 30, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Second-ranked Ohio State opened its 2003 season Saturday with a 28-9 over No. 17 Washington before the third-largest crowd (105,078) in Ohio Stadium history. The Buckeyes rolled to a 21-0 first half lead and remained undefeated in six night games at home.

The Buckeyes scored their first touchdown of the season with 8:31 to play in the first quarter. Maurice Hall capped off the 72-yard, eight-play drive with a two-yard run up the middle. The drive’s key play came on second and four from the Buckeyes’ 44-yard line when quarterback Craig Krenzel connected with Drew Carter on a 37-yard pass.

The Buckeyes tallied again on their next possession, Krenzel scrambling out of harms way and racing 23 yards around left end to cap off a 78-yard march. Mike Nugent’s PAT gave OSU a 14-0 lead with 2:51 to play in the first half. Split end Michael Jenkins caught two passes on the seven-play drive. Punter B.J. Sander and the OSU defense set up Ohio State’s third touchdown. First Sander pinned the Huskies on their own one-yard line, then the stout OSU defense forced the Huskies to punt from deep in their own end zone. Chris Gamble’s 10-yard return gave the Buckeyes the ball on the Husky 25. Krenzel then took the bark out of the Huskies with an 11-yard touchdown run that came on third-and-10 with 11 seconds left in the half. From that point on, it was purely academic.

Washington did score on its opening possession of the second half on a 46-yard field goal by Evan Knudson. Knudson’s kick, his first as a collegian, capped off an eight-play drive. Cody Pickett completed four of eight passes on the drive.

But the Buckeyes answered two possessions later with their final TD of the day, junior tailback Lydell Ross breaking a tackle and darting in from 15 yards out to give the Buckeyes a 28-3 lead.

The Huskies’ final score came with 3:27 to play in the game on a two-yard run by Pickett. By that time the Buckeyes were substituting liberally.

The defense played a key role in extending Ohio State’s home non-conference win streak to 32 games by holding an explosive Washington offence to 262 total yards and just seven total rushing yards. In the decisive first half the Buckeyes out-gained Washington 237 yards to 77, and collected 14 first downs to just four for the Huskies. Defensive end Simon Fraser had seven tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack, and was named co-Big Ten defensive player of the week.

Krenzel led the Buckeye offense, completing 15 of 27 passes for 203 yards with no interceptions. He also gained 27 yards on eight carries and the two first half TDs. Maurice Hall was the game’s leading rusher with 58 yards on 15 attempts and a touchdown. Michael Jenkins led the Buckeye receiving corps with six catches for 80 yards. Eight different Buckeye receivers caught passes.