The Buckeyes look to rebound at Northwestern Saturday and keep their Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl hopes alive
First And 10
Ohio State is coming off a 13-6 loss to No. 3 Penn State Oct. 25. Northwestern won 24-17 at Minnesota Saturday
This is the 74th meeting between the schools in football; Ohio State leads the series 56-14-1
Ohio State has won the last three meetings by a combined score of 160-24
Coach Tressel is 80-18 in eight seasons at Ohio State and 215-75-2 in his 23rd season overall
Coach Tressel can tie Earle Bruce (81 wins) for third place on Ohio State’s all-time wins list with a victory Saturday
Running back Chris Wells needs 41 yards to eclipse 2,900 yards rushing for his career
The 105,711 who attended the Penn State game was the largest crowd ever at Ohio Stadium
Crowds of more than 100,000 have seen the last 47 games at Ohio Stadium
The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in pass defense and punt return average
The win over Ohio was the Buckeyes’ 800th all-time victory
No. 12/12/11 Ohio State (7-2/4-1) visits No. 25 Northwestern (7-2/3-2) for a Big Ten game Saturday, November 8, 2008, at Ryan Field (47,130) in Evanston. This noon Eastern game will be televised by ESPN2.
The Buckeyes and Wildcats are playing for the 74th time since their first meeting in 1913. Ohio State has a 56-14-1 edge in the series, with a 25-6-1 advantage in Evanston. The Buckeyes have won the last three meetings.
In The Polls
The Buckeyes are ranked 12th this week in the USA Today/AFCA coaches’ poll, 12th in the Associated Press media poll and 11th in the Harris Poll. Northwestern is ranked 25th in this week’s coaches’ poll.
In the latest installment of the BCS standings released Sunday, Ohio State is 11th and Northwestern is 24th.
After An Open Date
During the Tressel era, Ohio State is 1-4 in regular season games with an open date the week before (not counting season openers).
UCLA 13, Ohio State 6 (2001)
Ohio State 51, Ken State 17 (2002)
Wisconsin 17, Ohio State 10 (2003)
Northwestern 33, Ohio State 27 (2004)
Penn State 17, Ohio State 10 (2005)
During the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State, in the games following the Buckeyes’ 17 losses, OSU has a 15-2 record. Eleven of those games were at Ohio Stadium, where the Buckeyes under Tressel are 10-1 in the game following a loss. Only once during the Tressel era has Ohio State recorded back-to-back losses, a three-game stretch with losses at Northwestern, to Wisconsin and at Iowa in October, 2004.
With seven wins thus far in 2008, the Buckeyes are among 41 teams nationally that are bowl eligible. Others: Air Force, Alabama, Ball State, Boise State, BYU, California, Central Michigan, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Navy, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Rice, San Jose State, South Carolina, South Florida, Southern Cal, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Utah, West Virginia, Western Michigan.
Northwestern Report Card (7-2)
|W, 24-20||at Duke|
|W, 33-7||Southern Illinois|
|W, 22-17||at Iowa|
|L, 20-37||Michigan State|
|L, 19-21||at Indiana|
|W, 24-17||at Minnesota|
Ohio State is the fifth major college football program to reach 800 all-time wins; that event occurred in the 26-14 win over Ohio University. The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 805-306-53 in their 119 seasons. The top 10 schools in terms of total program victories:
Two Buckeyes Lott Trophy Quarterfinalists
Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis (a Lott finalist in 2007) are two of 20 collegiate defensive players to earn a spot on the Lott Trophy quarterfinalist list.
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its fifth year, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
Trapasso Semifinalist For Ray Guy Award
Senior punter A.J. Trapasso in among 10 semifinalists for the 2008 Ray Guy Award, given by the Greater Augusta Sports Council to the nation’s top collegiate punter.
Of 50 punters nominated, the contenders were evaluated on net average, percentage of punts inside the 20, average return yardage and percentage not returned.
The award, first presented in 2000, is named for football legend Ray Guy, the first punter ever inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Silver Bullets
In the 43-0 win over Youngstown State, Ohio State’s defense recorded the third shutout of the Jim Tressel era; others were in 2003 vs. Northwestern and 2006 vs. Minnesota. It was the first shutout by the Buckeyes in a season opener since OSU beat Miami (Fla.) 10-0 in 1977. The defense has held the opposition to single-digit scoring 31 times during the Tressel era.
Against Youngstown State, Ohio State’s defense allowed only 74 yards of offense. The Penguins registered -11 rushing yards on 21 attempts, the first time the Buckeye defense held an opponent to negative rushing yards since Cincinnati had -4 yards on 22 attempts Sept. 16, 2006.
Ohio State forced four Youngstown State punts and a YSU fumble on its five defensive possessions of the first half. Three of those five YSU drives resulted in three-and-outs. Overall, Ohio State forced YSU to punt on nine of its 12 possessions.
At Michigan State, the Buckeyes held the nation’s leading rusher, Javon Ringer, to just 67 yards, forcing five turnovers, including two fumbles returned for touchdowns (69 yards by Thaddeus Gibson and 48 yards by Jermale Hines). Michigan State scored only once against the Buckeyes.
Penn State, which came into the game averaging 45.4 points per contest, was held to just a touchdown and two field goals.
In the win over Ohio University, the Buckeye defense allowed just one offensive touchdown. At Southern Cal, led by 10 tackles from Malcolm Jenkins, the OSU defense gave up only four scores to the nation’s top team, and the Buckeyes held Troy (which entered the game averaging 48 points per outing) to just a touchdown and a field goal.
Ohio State, behind 12 tackles from James Laurinaitis, 10 stops from Ross Homan and seven tackles and a pair of forced fumbles by Anderson Russell, held previously unbeaten Minnesota to just 81 yards rushing. Homan and Laurinaitis, with 10 tackles each, were the leaders in the Wisconsin win.
Laurinaitis with 10 tackles, Freeman with nine and Thaddeus Gibson, with six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble, were the leaders of the defensive effort that held Purdue to just a field goal.
Three And Out
The Buckeye defense recorded seven three-and-outs versus Youngstown State, six at Michigan State, five in the wins over Ohio University, Troy and Minnesota, three against Southern Cal and Purdue, and two at Wisconsin, an average of 4.0 per game (36 total) during the 2008 season.
In 2007, the Buckeye defense held the opponent to three-and-out on 48.5% of all possessions (66-136). Turnovers ended 18 of those other opponent drives.
Laurinaitis For 335
With his 10-tackle performance at Wisconsin, senior linebacker James Laurinaitis passed the 300 career tackle mark, just the 14th Ohio State player ever to reach that standard.
His team-best 10 tackles with a TFL and two pass breakups against Purdue, followed by a team-best 11 stops with 1.5 sacks at Michigan State and 12 tackles against Penn State, give him 335 career tackles to date.
The two-time consensus All-American, who leads the Buckeyes in tackles for the third consecutive season, shows 90 total tackles this year, with 2.5 sacks, an interception and three pass breakups.
For his career, the 2006 Nagurski Award and 2007 Butkus Award winner has 20.5 TFL, 11.5 sacks and eight interceptions. In 14 career games against ranked opponents, Laurinaitis has 144 tackles, an average of 10.1 per contest.
Laurinaitis is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award; he was one of four finalists for that honor last season. He is the only Big Ten player still in consideration for that award. He is also one of 10 finalists from all positions for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
Jenkins For 11
Senior corner Malcolm Jenkins recorded his 11th career interception to start the second quarter of the 16-3 win over Purdue. Jenkins also blocked a Boilermaker punt in the first quarter that teammate Etienne Sabino returned 20 yards for the game’s only touchdown.
His 10th career interception, in the 20-17 win at Wisconsin, couldn’t have come at a more opportune time; Jenkins intercepted Badger QB Allan Evridge on the Wisconsin 34 with 53 second remaining in the game, the first play after OSU’s go-ahead touchdown.
Jenkins also had an interception in the win over Ohio University.
The senior standout came up with nine tackles, and a sack that forced the MSU fumble recovered by Thaddeus Gibson for a score at Michigan State.
The Thorpe Award contender ranks fifth on the OSU defense this season with 40 total tackles, five pass breakups and 3.5 tackles for loss.
The Buckeyes rank an impressive 10th in the nation this week in turnover margin, averaging +1.10 per game. Ohio State has forced 12 interceptions and recovered nine opponent fumbles this season.
Ohio State came up with five turnovers against Ohio, the biggest being a Shaun Lane recovery of a fumbled Ohio punt return attempt with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter, setting up the Buckeyes’ go-ahead score. Lawrence Wilson, Anderson Russell, Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis had interceptions for OSU against the Bobcats.
That marked the most turnovers forced by Ohio State since the 2006 Northwestern game, when OSU had two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
The Buckeyes also took advantage of five turnovers in the win at Michigan State. Thaddeus Gibson (69 yards) and Jermale Hines (48 yards) each returned Spartan fumbles for fourth-quarter touchdowns; Donald Washington returned a first-quarter fumble 44 yards for the Buckeyes. Kurt Coleman and Brian Rolle had interceptions against MSU.
Kurt Coleman nabbed two interceptions (the first picks of his career) in the win over Troy; the last Buckeye to record two interceptions in a single game was James Laurinaitis at Washington in 2007.
A Donald Washington interception and fumble recoveries by Anderson Russell (who forced two fumbles) and Ricky Crawford gave OSU the turnover advantage against Minnesota. At Wisconsin, a Ross Homan fumble recovery and a Malcolm Jenkins fourth-quarter interception were both key plays in that come-from-behind victory.
In the Purdue win, Malcolm Jenkins had an interception and also blocked a punt that was returned by Etienne Sabino for the game’s only touchdown. Lawrence Wilson recovered a Boilermaker fumble that was forced by Thaddeus Gibson.
The Buckeyes had a fumble recovery against Youngstown State, and Chimdi Chekwa recorded an interception in the endzone against USC.
Beanie For 2800
Junior Chris “Beanie” Wells continues to power his way up the Ohio State career rushing ladder. Now ninth among Ohio State career rushers, he shows 2,859 yards rushing on 502 carries since 2006, averaging 5.7 yards for every carry of his career.
With 86 more rushing yards, Wells will be in eighth place among Buckeye career leaders, ahead of Antonio Pittman (2,945 yards from 2004-06). With 94 yards rushing against Purdue, Wells passed Calvin Murray (2,576 yards from 1977-80) and Raymont Harris (2,649 yards from 1990-93).
Beanie rushed for 140 yards and a pair of scores at Michigan State, his 13th career 100-yard game and his fourth 100-yard performance in six outings this season.
He had a four-game streak where he was averaging 50.8 yards on his last four scoring plays: 62 at Michigan in 2007, 65 vs. LSU in the BCS title game, 43 against Youngstown State in this season’s opener and 33 against Wisconsin. His touchdowns at Michigan State covered 1 and 12 yards.
Beanie’s average gain on his 26 career rushing touchdowns is 18.7 yards.
Terrelle’s First Start…
Terrelle Pryor made his first career start at quarterback against Troy, marking the first time a true freshman started at quarterback for the Buckeyes since Art Schlichter in 1978. Pryor finished the game 10-for-16 passing for 139 yards and four touchdowns. He broke Schlichter’s freshman record of three touchdowns in a single game (vs. Purdue, Oct. 14, 1978).
His four TDs also tied Schlichter’s Buckeye freshman mark for passing touchdowns in a season.
It was the first four-touchdown game for a Buckeye quarterback since Todd Boeckman vs. Northwestern Sept. 22, 2007.
Pryor’s four TDs tie for the fourth-best single-game performance for a Buckeye, matching a mark set 13 times prior.
He also ran for 66 yards on 14 carries.
The Jeannette, Pa., product also rushed for 66 yards on 14 carries, and threw his first career touchdown pass, a 13-yarder to tight Rory Nicol on the game’s opening drive. He later threw his second on a 39-yard strike down the middle to receiver Brian Hartline. He completed a 38-yard TD pass to Brian Robiskie early in the fourth quarter and set the record for a Buckeye freshman QB with his 16-yard TD pass to Hartline later in the fourth. The 39-yard TD pass from Pryor to Hartline was the second-longest pass play of the season for Ohio State.
In the 34-21 win over Minnesota at Ohio Stadium, Terrelle Pryor made his second consecutive start at quarterback for the Buckeyes. He scored Ohio State’s first touchdown of the game on a 32-yard run at the 12:47 mark of the first quarter Ohio State’s quickest score to open a game this season. Pryor later added a 38-yard run in the second quarter, his longest of the season. His 38-yard run was the team’s second-longest rush of the year.
Pryor had two rushing touchdowns against Minnesota, becoming the first Buckeye quarterback to run for two scores since Troy Smith vs. Iowa Sept. 24, 2005. In addition to his 32-yard run in the first quarter, Pryor ran for a 1-yard score in the third quarter.
Pryor finished the game with 97 yards rushing (12.1 yards a carry), setting a Buckeye record for rushing yards for a true freshman QB. Art Schlichter set the previous mark vs. SMU in 1978 with 77. He also completed 8-of-13 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown.
…And More Terrelle
At Wisconsin, Pryor led the Buckeyes to a come-from-behind 20-17 win, the first home loss for the Badgers in a night game since 1995 and the first home loss for Wisconsin in 17 games.
Despite an interception and four sacks, Pryor kept his composure to maneuver Ohio State on a 12-play, 80-yard drive during the last six minutes of the contest, completing passes of 19, 27 and 13 yards. Pryor himself rushed for the game-winning touchdown from 11 yards out with 1:03 to play. Pryor was 13-19 passing for 144 yards and rushed for 20 more against Wisconsin.
In the Big Ten win over Purdue, Pryor was 10-14 passing for 97 yards and rushed for 27 more.
At Michigan State, Pryor was 7-11 passing for 116 yards and rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown. His 56-yard strike to Brian Hartline was the Buckeyes’ longest play on offense all season; his seven-yard touchdown pass to Brian Robiskie gives Pryor six passing touchdowns for the year. He was 16-25 for 225 yards passing against Penn State.
For the 2008 season, 13 different Buckeyes have recorded at least one reception, with four different receivers catching a touchdown pass thus far.
Eleven different Buckeyes caught at least one pass in the 43-0 win over Youngstown State. The leader in yardage was Brian Hartline, who totaled 59 yards on just two receptions, the long being 47 yards. Hartline has at least one reception in the last 27 games and was the leading receiver at Wisconsin with three catches.
The leader in number of catches in the opener was freshman DeVier Posey, with four receptions for 47 yards, including a 25-yard score. Brian Robiskie, Ray Small and Chris “Beanie” Wells had three catches each. Robiskie, who had a 31-yard touchdown reception from Todd Boeckman against YSU, has caught at least one pass in his last 34 games and has the most TD catches for the Buckeyes (5) this season.
Against Ohio University, six different Buckeyes were on the receiving end of Boeckman strikes; Ray Small had five receptions to lead the team.
Seven Buckeyes had receptions against Southern Cal, again led by Small with six catches.
In the win over Troy, four Buckeyes Hartline, Robiskie, Brandon Smith and Rory Nicol each had two receptions from Terrelle Pryor. Both of Hartline’s catches 39 and 16 yards were for touchdowns. Robiskie (38) and Nicol (13) also had touchdown catches against Troy.
Robiskie, who recorded his 100th career catch as a Buckeye against Minnesota, had eight catches for 90 yards against the Gophers, both stats OSU team highs for the season. Dane Sanzenbacher, with six catches for 82 yards, was the top receiver among seven Buckeyes who caught a pass against Penn State.
Bucks Win 77 Percent of Ohio Stadium Games
The Buckeyes boast an all-time record of 384-106-20 (.773) in Ohio Stadium since that facility opened in 1922.
The 105,711 fans who watched the Penn State game marked the largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history, topping the mark of 105,708 set against Michigan in 2006.
Ohio State has hosted 47 consecutive crowds of 100,000 or larger at Ohio Stadium; six of last year’s crowds ranked among the top 25 all-time. Ohio State’s all-time record in Columbus is 527-153-35 in 714 games.
Before the 2007 season, the old grass field in place at Ohio Stadium since 1990 was removed for a new synthetic surface called FieldTurf. The old field was rolled up and donated to the Columbus Parks and Recreation Service.
Score By Quarters
This season in the first quarter, the Buckeyes have outscored the opposition 71-10. The Buckeyes lead in the second quarter, 49-41, but the opponents hold an edge in the third quarter, 34-26. Ohio State has outscored its 2008 opponents 75-32 in fourth-quarter play.
The Buckeyes are outscoring opponents by 11 points per game (24.6-13.3).
Ohio State W/L Records
All-Time Record: 805-306-53
Big Ten: 447-189-28
Ohio Stadium: 384-106-20
Bowl Games: 18-21
November Games: 281-132-19
November Road Games: 178-78-11
Coaching Staff Assignments
Here’s a breakdown of the Ohio State coaching staff assignments for the 2008 season.
On the field:
Darrell Hazell: Wide Receivers, Assistant Head Coach
Jim Heacock: Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Front
Taver Johnson: Cornerbacks
John Peterson: Tight Ends, Recruiting Coordinator
Dick Tressel: Running Backs
In the booth:
Jim Bollman: Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line
Joe Daniels: Quarterbacks, Passing Game
Luke Fickell: Co-Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers
Paul Haynes: Safeties
When the Ohio State-Northwestern game kicks off, the Buckeyes will have a total of 38 players with at least one game of starting experience. Tops among those are: James Laurinaitis (35); Malcolm Jenkins (35); Marcus Freeman (33); Alex Boone (32); Rory Nicol (28) and Steve Rehring (28).
First-time starters (8) in 2008: C Mike Brewster, OT Bryant Browning, TB Dan Herron, DB Jermale Hines, LB Ross Homan, QB Terrelle Pryor, FB Brandon Smith, and TB Maurice Wells.
Average Per Down
Here’s a breakdown of how the 2008 Ohio State offense is operating on first, second, third and fourth down.
On first down, the Buckeyes have run a total of 236 plays, gaining 1,224 yards for an average of 5.2 yards per play. On second down, OSU has tried 187 plays for 1,013 yards, a 5.4 average. On third down, the Buckeyes have run 120 plays, gaining 563 yards for a 4.7 average. Ohio State has tried only five fourth-down attempts, gaining 45 yards.
Ohio State’s touchdowns this season have come eight times on first down (six rushing and two passing TD), seven times on second down (four passing and three rushing), four times on third down (three passes and a rush) and once on fourth down (a rush).
Sixteen freshmen have gotten their first college experience for the Buckeyes in 2008: 11 true freshmen and five redshirt freshmen.
Eleven freshmen (four redshirt/seven true freshmen) saw their first collegiate action in the opener against Youngstown State. True freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor connected with another true freshman, Lamaar Thomas, on a 9-yard pass in the first quarter, the first college completion for both. Pryor finished with 35 yards passing and 52 yards rushing in his debut, scoring on an 18-yard fourth-quarter run.
Redshirt freshman Joe Bauserman passed for 22 yards in his initial effort; his first collegiate completion went to true freshman DeVier Posey for four yards. Posey was the leading Buckeye receiver with four catches against YSU. Posey scored a touchdown on his first college catch, a 25-yard strike from Todd Boeckman.
Dan “Boom” Herron, a redshirt freshman, rushed for 17 yards on five carries in his first game. Other freshmen who saw action against Youngstown State: Mike Adams, Mike Brewster, Nate Oliver, Etienne Sabino, J.B. Shugarts and Solomon Thomas.
Good For Three
Ryan Pretorius’ four-for-four showing on field goals against Youngstown State marked the eighth time a Buckeye had four field goals in a game, and the first time since Josh Huston converted five attempts vs. Texas in 2005.
Pretorius connected on field goals of 28, 31, 26 and 50 yards, the last just two yards shy of his career best (52 vs. Cincinnati, 2006). He is currently 13th in the NCAA standings with an average of 1.62 made field goals per game.
Junior Aaron Pettrey made a career-long 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against Youngstown State, the fourth-longest field goal made by a Buckeye in Ohio Stadium history. Pettrey also connected on a 49-yard attempt in the Purdue win and hit a 40-yarder at Michigan State. He made field goals of 41 and 326 yards for the Buckeyes’ only scores against Penn State.
Pretorius was 27 and 38 yards and wide on a 53-yard attempt against Ohio University. He made a 29-yard field goal at Southern Cal but was wide on a 46-yard attempt. Pretorius was two-of-three on field goals against Minnesota and Purdue, and two-for-two at Wisconsin. Ohio State did not attempt a field goal against Troy.
Ohio State has held its opponent scoreless in 21 of 36 quarters of action (58.3%) during the 2008 campaign. The Buckeye defensive unit has given up only 12 touchdowns through nine games.
Against Ranked Teams
Ohio State is 126-102-12 all-time when facing a ranked opponent, and 38-40-7 on the road against ranked teams. Under Coach Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes are 32-11 overall and 11-5 on the road against ranked teams.
In Non-Conference Games
Under Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes are 23-1 at Ohio Stadium versus non-conference teams, the only loss coming 25-22 to No. 2 Texas in 2005. The Buckeyes are 27-3 overall in regular season non-conference games since 2001.
Big Ten Road Trips
Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 1913, Ohio State is 60-32-5 in conference road openers. Ohio State is 193-77-10 (.706) all-time in Big Ten road games.
By decades on the road in the Big Ten: 7-4 (1913-19); 12-6-1 (1920-29); 17-6-1 (1930-39); 8-9-2 (1940-49); 17-8-1 (1950-59); 24-6 (1960-69); 30-5-1 (1970-79); 26-14-1 (1980-89); 26-11-3 (1990-99); 26-8 (2000-07).
Under Coach Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes are 5-3 in Big Ten road openers and 23-7 (.766) in Big Ten road games overall.
In Night Games
Ohio State is 6-2 at home (26-12 away from home) in night games (games starting 5 p.m. or later local time) since 1959 and 32-14 in night games all-time. Earlier this season, Ohio State lost 35-3 at Southern Cal in a prime time game, posted a 20-17 night win at Wisconsin and lost at home to Penn State 13-6.
Last season, Ohio State played back-to-back night games for the first time in school history with Big Ten games under the lights at Minnesota and at Purdue, winning both contests. The Buckeyes also recorded a 37-17 night win at Penn State and lost to LSU in the BCS championship game.
Under Coach Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes are 14-8 in night games and 7-3 in Big Ten night games away from Ohio Stadium. Tressel’s teams are 2-2 at home in night games.
A league-best 24 Ohio State football players were named to the Big Ten’s 2007 all-academic team, marking the sixth year in a row the Buckeyes led the conference. Additionally, 45 Ohio State football players qualified for the annual OSU Scholar-Athlete Dinner in May, which requires a grade-point average of 3.00 or better for the past academic year.
Ohio State has seven seniors on its roster who have already earned bachelor’s degrees from OSU.
Those are: Todd Boeckman, Marcus Freeman, Ryan Lukens, Ben Person, Steve Rehring, Jon Skinner and A.J. Trapasso.
According to a survey by Boston College, Ohio State ranks among the Top 10 nationally in the number of players with degrees on the 2008 roster:
13 – Miami (Fla.)
10 – Boston College, Virginia Tech
9 – Maryland
8 – Auburn, Clemson, Pitt
7 – Arizona St., Memphis, Ohio State, Penn St.
Formerly walk-ons, long snapper Jake McQuaide (aerospace engineering), wide receivers Ben Kacsandi (biology) and Kyle Ruhl (family resource management), offensive lineman D.R. Ebner (exercise science) and tight end J.D. Larson (family resource management) were put on scholarship aid for the autumn quarter beginning Sept. 24.
Robiskie Draddy Trophy finalist
Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced that Ohio State senior receiver Brian Robiskie is among 15 finalists for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and the candidates for the 2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Robiskie is a 3.54 honors student in marketing and was a 2007 first team Academic All-American.
The Draddy winner, who will receive a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship, will be announced at the NFF’s Annual Awards Dinner on December 9 at the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Each of the 15 finalists receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.
Robiskie is the 20th Ohio State player to receive an NFF scholar-athlete award since the program began 50 years ago. Ohio State and Nebraska lead the nation with the most-ever honorees. Two Buckeyes, Bobby Hoying and Craig Krenzel, were previous Draddy Trophy winners.
More NFF Honorees
A number of past and present Buckeyes have been recently recognized by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. In July, quarterback Rex Kern (1968-70) took part in the College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement festival in South Bend, Ind.
In December, former head coach John Cooper (1988-2000) will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of its newest class, along with former OSU assistant coach Lou Holtz (1968). At that same gala at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria, Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith will receive the John L. Toner Award for superior athletics administration, and Ohio senator John Glenn will receive the Foundation’s highest honor, its Gold Medal.
Laurinaitis Finalist For Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
The inaugural Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has been pared down to an elite group of 10 NCAA Division I finalists in football, including Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition. Buckeye seniors Marcus Freeman and Brian Robiskie were among 30 players selected as initial candidates.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence. This prestigious awards program was launched during the 2001-02 basketball season, added six additional sports in 2007, and has now expanded this year to include NCAA football.
Tyson Gentry FWAA Courage Nominee
Ohio State’s Tyson Gentry is the Oct. 22 nominee for the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season.
Gentry, a senior from Sandusky, Ohio, suffered partial paralysis after he was injured during a spring practice in April 2006, but has remained a valued member of the team.
The walk-on punter was asked to help out as a receiver on the scout team. During a scrimmage, he suffered a broken C-4 vertebrae in his neck after catching a pass. After several surgeries, Gentry has movement in his head and shoulders, and partial movement in his arms. He continues a rigorous therapy regimen – and has seen progress, regaining some feeling in different areas. Using a motorized wheelchair, Gentry continues as a member of the team, attending meetings, practices and games.
Gentry will be honored along with other Buckeyes seniors at the final home game vs. Michigan. He is on track to graduate with a degree in speech and hearing science next spring. His goal is to earn a master’s degree and become a speech therapist.
For the third straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the FedEx Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the winner from all of the nominees. The winner of the FedEx Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy.
The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine’s senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, an FWAA member. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.
Not Since 1922-24 Ohio State ranks second among all NCAA Division I programs with 83 consecutive seasons since last posting back-to-back losing records. The Buckeyes have not been under .500 for two or more consecutive seasons since 1922-24, which trails only Tennessee; the Vols have not had back-to-back losing seasons since 1909-11, a span of 96 consecutive seasons.
Where They Go Next
The Buckeyes visit Illinois for another Big Ten matchup on Saturday, Nov. 15. Northwestern is at Michigan that day.