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Oct. 23, 2004

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Transcript of Ohio State Post Game Press Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith threw for two touchdowns, Antonio Pittman rushed for one touchdown and kicker Mike Nugent converted three field goal tries to lead the Buckeyes to a 30-7 victory over Indiana Saturday in front of 104,538 fans at Ohio Stadium. The win snapped a three-game losing streak by Ohio State (4-3 overall, 1-3 Big Ten).

The Buckeyes rushed for 282 yards compared to 53 yards by Indiana. Pittman, the rookie tailback, led Ohio State with 20 rushes for 144 yards and one touchdown. The 282 total team yards is the most for an OSU team since the Buckeyes rushed for 285 yards in a 27-16 win at Northwestern in 2002. Pittman’s 144 yards marked his first game with more than 100 rushing yards.

Smith, who was making his first career start in place of an injured Justin Zwick, was 12-of-24 with 161 yards passing and two touchdowns. Smith, who completed passes to six different receivers, also rushed for 58 yards on 11 carries. Freshman Ted Ginn Jr. scored Ohio State’s first touchdown in the early minutes of the game with a 59-yard reception. Ginn’s 59 yards receiving led the Buckeyes, followed by Santonio Holmes, with 42 yards and four receptions, and Roy Hall, who tallied three receptions for 39 yards.

Six different Buckeyes had a sack against Indiana. Ohio State entered the game with 10 total sacks all season. Bobby Carpenter led the team with 11 tackles and had one of the six sacks, one interception and two tackles-for-loss. Anthony Schlegel had 10 tackles and one sack.

Ginn caught a ball tipped by Indiana cornerback Buster Larkins and raced 59 yards to the south end zone to give Ohio State the early 7-0 lead just 1 minute, 54 seconds into the game. The pass from Smith came one play following a play that was reversed by replay. Pittman lost control of the ball, but replay showed he was down before the fumble.

Smith hit split end Santonio Holmes for a five-yard score to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead with 6:02 to play in the first quarter. Smith’s second scoring strike of the game capped a 10-play, 85-yard drive in which Pittman had three carries for 45 yards, including a 28 yard run down the right sideline on the second play of the drive.

Indiana made the score 14-7 just before the end of the first quarter on a 1-yard keeper by IU quarterback Matt LoVecchio. The scoring play ended an 11-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 4:32 off the clock. LoVecchio hit receiver Courtney Roby for a 47-yard completion on the third play of the drive.

Nugent lifted the Buckeyes to a 17-7 lead with 11:08 to play in the first half with a 29-yard field goal. Ohio State marched 64 yards on 12 plays as tailback Maurice Hall rumbled for 21 yards, Smith 11 and Pittman 15. Receiver Anthony Gonzalez picked up the fourth first down of the drive with an 11-yard reception, moving the ball to the IU 17-yard line before the Nugent kick on fourth-and-four from the 11.

Nugent connected from 52 yards out to give Ohio State a 20-7 lead with 7:42 to play before halftime. Nugent is now 7-of-8 from beyond 50 yards in his career and has hit from 50, 52, and two times from 55 yards, this season. Indiana missed a field goal with less than four minutes to play in the half.

Ohio State out-gained Indiana 270 yards to 162 yards in the first half with Smith completing 7-of-14 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Four players rushed the ball for 141 yards, led by Pittman’s 11 carries for 79 yards. Holmes had three catches for 37 yards and a score, while Ginn had his lone catch for a 59-yard score. LoVecchio completed 9-of-16 passes for 116 yards and ran for the Hoosiers lone score.

Nugent provided another score with 1:45 to play in the third quarter, hitting from 35 yards to give the Buckeyes a 23-7 lead. Nugent’s third field goal of the day topped a nine-play, 44-yard drive that moved Ohio State inside the IU 20-yard line. It was the ninth game of his career in which he has hit at least three field goals and his 18th game with at least two.

In the remaining minutes of the game, the Buckeye defense stopped Indiana on its own 4-yard line. Holmes caught the 46-yard punt at the 50-yard line and returned it 22 yards. On the next play, Pittman rushed for 28 yards to score Ohio State’s third touchdown of the game and Nugent connected on the PAT to put the Buckeyes up, 30-7 with 4:52 to play.

The Buckeye defense limited Indiana to 242 total yards, including 189 yards through the air. Roby finished the game with five catches for 79 yards as the Hoosiers fell to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State continues its home stand next week against Penn State. The game will kickoff at 12:10 p.m.