Oct. 23, 2004
Box Score | Quotes | Notes
By RUSTY MILLER
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Troy Smith threw two touchdown passes and Tony Pittman ran for 144 yards – both seeing their most substantial playing time of the season – to lead Ohio State to a 30-7 win over Indiana on Saturday, ending the Buckeyes’ three-game losing skid.
Ohio State (4-3, 1-3) avoided its first 0-4 record in the Big Ten since 1922.
Pittman, starting at tailback in place of the suspended Lydell Ross, carried 20 times for 144 yards and had a 28-yard touchdown late in the game. Ross was held out of the game for passing counterfeit coupons at a Columbus strip bar hours after Ohio State’s third consecutive loss, 31-7 at Iowa last Saturday.
The Buckeyes had 282 rushing yards, almost as many as they had in their four previous games (287).
Indiana (2-5, 0-4) lost its fifth game in a row overall and 12th in a row to Ohio State.
Smith, who didn’t play in three of the last four Buckeyes games, completed 12 of 24 passes for 161 yards without an interception and ran for 58 yards on 11 carries. He had been stuck on the bench behind fellow sophomore Justin Zwick, who struggled all season before sustaining a slightly separated shoulder at Iowa.
The Buckeyes had scored two touchdowns on their last 29 possessions before scoring the first four times they got the ball against Indiana.
Six plays after taking the opening kickoff, Smith threw a pass into the right flat that cornerback Buster Larkins could have intercepted and returned 50 yards for a touchdown. Instead, the ball tipped off his hands and bounced to Ted Ginn Jr., a former high school teammate of Smith’s in Cleveland. Ginn broke four tackles in a zigzagging sprint to the end zone to complete a 59-yard play.
On the play before the touchdown, Pittman fumbled the ball away to the Hoosiers. The officials, after consulting with Big Ten video review officials in the pressbox – said Pittman was downed before the ball popped loose and returned possession to the Buckeyes.
After a punt by Indiana, which managed just 242 yards, Smith led an 85-yard drive that included runs of 28 and 11 yards by Pittman. On third and goal from the Indiana 5, Smith hit Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone to make it 14-0.
Mike Nugent kicked field goals of 29 and 52 yards on the next two Ohio State possessions and later added a 35-yard field goal.
Indiana drew as close as 14-7 on a Matt LoVecchio keeper late in the first quarter. The key play in the drive was LoVecchio’s 42-yard completion to Courtney Roby.
LoVecchio hit on 14 of 25 passes for 156 yards with one interception.
Ohio State totaled 443 yards on offense – more than in their last two games combined.