Oct. 3, 2005
Transcript of Press Luncheon
Top 25 Polls
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THE PENN STATE GAME
Sixth-ranked Ohio State takes to the road for the first time this season Saturday, traveling to Penn State to play the Nittany Lions in a primetime game that will be televised nationally by ESPN. Starting time is 7:45 p.m. EDT in Beaver Stadium, where a sellout crowd of 107,282 will be on hand for the 21st meeting between the schools. The capacity crowd will include more than 4,000 Ohio State fans that will make the trek from Columbus to University Park.
Coach Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes, idle last week, are 3-1 on the year and 1-0 in the Big Ten. They opened league play Sept. 24 with a 31-6 dismantling of then 21st-ranked Iowa. In that game, the Buckeyes rolled up a season-high 530 yards in total offense and held the Hawkeyes to 137 total yards, including a minus-9 yards rushing.
Penn State is 5-0 on the year and ranked 18th in the coaches poll. Coach Joe Paterno’s squad is 2-0 in Big Ten play, opening the season with a 34-29 come-from-behind win at Northwestern and then blasting visiting Minnesota, 44-14, this past week. In the latter, the Nittany Lions outgained the Gophers 539 to 287 in total yards. Dating back to last year, Penn State has won seven in a row, including four Big Ten games.
WBNS Radio, the flagship station of the 73-station Ohio State radio network, will begin its network programming 30 minutes before kickoff with the Jim Tressel pregame show.
OSU TRAVEL PLANS
The team and official traveling party will depart Rickenbacker Airport at about 5 p.m. Friday via private charter for University Park, Pa. Upon landing they will go directly to the Ramada Inn. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel will be available to meet briefly with the media while the team is checking in at the hotel. There is a walkthrough scheduled for Saturday morning in Beaver Stadium. The team will return home as soon as possible after the game and is scheduled to arrive back at Rickenbacker at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
THE BUCKEYES AT NIGHT
The game at Penn State will be the second night game of the year for the Buckeyes, who have an all-time record of 25-9 in primetime appearances, including bowl games.
Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel meets with the media each Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletics 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.
To accommodate the large number of requests from the Penn State media, Coach Jim Tressel will be available via teleconference at noon EDT Wednesday. Media wishing to access that session should contact Ohio State Associate SID Dan Wallenberg for further details.
THIS WEEK’S EXPERTS
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. This week’s experts are passing game coordinator Joe Daniels and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.
A LOOK AT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are off to a 3-1 start for all games and are 1-0 in conference play. Coach Jim Tressel’s squad is coming off its best performance of the year, outgaining Iowa 530 to 137 in total yards and completely dominating the conference’s defending co-champion. The Buckeyes, who were as high as No. 4 in the polls before losing to Texas, now hold down the No. 6 spot in all three polls. In each of their last two games (San Diego State and Iowa), the Buckeyes have run more than 80 offensive plays. The yardage total against Iowa was Ohio State’s highest offensive output since the 2002 season. The Ohio State defense, meanwhile, held San Diego State to 179 total yards, including 44 in the second half, and Iowa to 137. San Diego State managed 13 yards rushing. Iowa finished with minus-9. The Buckeye offense put together drives of 81, 79 and 78 yards against Iowa and is averaging more than 34 minutes per game in time of possession.
The multi-faceted Ohio State defense is the stingiest team in college football against the run, allowing its first four opponents an average of 41 yards per game on the ground. The Buckeye defense also leads the Big Ten in total defense, scoring defense, sacks, opponents first downs, opponents third-down conversions and opponents fourth-down conversions.
TRESSEL VS. RANKED TEAMS
Eighteenth-ranked Penn State will be the third Top 25 team Ohio State has faced this year. The Buckeyes are 1-1 this year and 17-6 overall under Coach Jim Tressel when playing ranked teams. That includes a 5-2 record against teams in the Top 10.
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.
OHIO STATE ENJOYS BIG TEN SUCCESS
Since beginning league play in 1913, Ohio State has compiled an all-time Big Ten record of 419-161-24 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 43-12 and his career record is 178-69-2 (.719). 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 following the season. 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 16-8 in games decided by a touchdown or less and 4-1 in overtime games.
He is at his best against the best with a 17-6 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.
The Buckeyes are now 4-1 in Big Ten openers under Coach Jim Tressel, the lone loss coming last year in overtime at Northwestern.
The Buckeyes’ overall record in Big Ten openers stands at 61-29-3.
Ohio State now has an all-time record of 768-299-53
The Buckeyes are outscoring their opponents 43-3 in the second quarter and 23-3 in the third.
In the five years Jim Tressel has been at the Ohio State helm, the Buckeyes have compiled an overall record of 16-2 during the month of September.
Ohio State has won 24 of its last 26 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 105,225 vs. Iowa was the 23rd-consecutive Ohio Stadium sellout and the fifth largest in Stadium history.
The Buckeyes have scored at least one touchdown in 105-consecutive games.
The Buckeyes have run 82 and 81 plays in the last two games, respectively.
Ohio State had the ball for 38:14 against San Diego State and 39:23 against Iowa
Junior quarterback Troy Smith is now 6-1 as a starter for the Buckeyes.
Antonio Pittman’s 29-yard run at Iowa was the longest run from scrimmage of the year for the Buckeyes
Smith (127) and Pittman (171) both rushed for over 100 yards against Iowa, marking the first time since 1976 that the Buckeyes have had a quarterback and a tailback top the 100-yard mark in the same game
Quarterback Rod Gerald (104 yards) and tailback Jeff Logan (117 yards) accomplished the feat against Michigan State in 1976.
With the win over Iowa, the Buckeyes’ record as a Top 10 team (eighth at the time of the game) is 281-67-9.
TRESSEL ON THE IOWA GAME
“I think we came out really ready to play and had a good game plan. Some good things happened for us early and we were able to get on a little bit of a roll. We wanted to establish the run early and did, and that opened some other things up. It was our most balanced offensive effort of the year, but I am still not pleased by our turnovers (six fumbles). We have to eliminate those if we are going to be a good team. Defensively, I thought we never let them get in to any kind of a rhythm and when they got behind it probably got them out of their game plan a little bit.
“It was a good win against a good team, but we still have a long way to go to be the team we want to be,” said the Buckeye coach.
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).
This will be the 21st meeting between the schools. The series, which began in 1912 with a 4-0 Penn State winning streak, is deadlocked at 10-all. The Buckeyes have won the last three meetings between the two teams, including a 21-10 verdict last year in Columbus. Penn State, however, has won four of the seven games played in Beaver Stadium. The Buckeyes’ last loss to the Nittany Lions was a 29-27 setback in 2001 in University Park, Jim Tressel’s first year at the Ohio State helm. OSU was a 21-20 victor in 2003 in University Park.
PSU COMPARING THE TEAMS OSU 5-0 Records 3-1 36.6 Points Per Game 28.5 16.6 Opp. Points Per Game 12.8 224.6 Avg. Rushing Yards 191.0 232.4 Avg. Passing Yards 194.5 457.0 Avg. Total Offense 385.5 90.6 Opp. Avg. Rushing Yards 41.0 218.0 Opp. Avg. Passing Yards 208.0 308.6 Opp. Avg. Total Offense 249.0 31/62 Third Down Conversions 33/62 21/173 Pen./Yards 23/228 27:17 Avg. Time of Poss. 34:23 15 Sacks By 16 8 Sacks Allowed 5 6-4, 307 Avg. Ht./Wgt. Off Ln 6-5, 305 6-4, 276 Avg. Ht./Wt. Def Ln 6-3, 284
RECAPPING LAST YEAR vs. PSU
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a 67-yard punt return by Ted Ginn and a 24-yard interception runback by safety Tyler Everett and went on to record a 21-10 victory in Columbus. Fullback Branden Joe scored his first career touchdown on a 4-yard run to put the Buckeyes ahead 21-7 at the half. Joe’s score was set up by a 65-yard kick return by Maurice Hall. A.J. Hawk had 13 tackles and Anthony Schlegel added 11.
CARPENTER, WHITNER LEAD BIG TEN
Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter leads the Big Ten in sacks with four in as many games. Teammates A. J. Hawk (LB) and Mike Kudla (DE) are tied for fourth place with 3.5 sacks. Carpenter is also second in tackles-for-loss with six, one behind Wisconsin’s Mark Zalewski.
Safety Donte Whitner picked off his second interception of the year against Iowa and currently shares the Big Ten lead with his two picks. Whitner’s first theft came against Miami (Ohio) and resulted in a 26-yard touchdown return.
RIGHT BETWEEN THE UPRIGHTS
Senior kicker Josh Huston continues to shine for the Buckeyes. Huston leads the Buckeyes in scoring with 42 points and has hit 10 of his 11 field goal attempts and all 12 of his extra point tries. He leads the Big Ten in kick scoring. Additionally, 14 of his 25 kickoffs have been touchbacks.
JENKINS FIRST TO GET NOD
Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins became the first true OSU freshman to start this year, getting the nod against San Diego State when the Buckeyes opened the game with five defensive backs. Jenkins, a native of Piscataway, N.J., is listed as a back-up cornerback in the two deep. He has played in all four games thus far and has nine tackles and a pass broken up. He had a season-high three tackles against San Diego State.
THE RETURN GAME
Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr., give the Buckeyes one of the most explosive return tandems in college football. Holmes is averaging 28.4 yards per kick return on five attempts with a long of 47 yards, while Ginn has a 46-yard return and is averaging 21.1 yards per try on seven runbacks. Additionally, Holmes is averaging 13.2 yards per punt return on five attempts and Ginn has an average of 8.9 yards per return on his eight chances.
With 10 tackles in the win over Iowa, senior linebacker A.J. Hawk now has 313 career tackles, a total that places him 13th on the OSU career list, one behind Aaron “Chunky” Brown (1974-77). Next in line are Kelton Dansler (316, 1975-78), Randy Gradishar (320, 1971-73) and Mike Doss (331, 1999-2002).
In the receiving department, junior Santonio Holmes has 105 career receptions, a total that puts him in 11th place on the all-time OSU list. Doug Donley (1977-80) and Ken-Yon Rambo (1997-00) are tied for ninth at 106, two behind Billy Anders (1965-67) and Joey Galloway (1991-94).
Holmes also has 1,602 receiving yards to rank 12th on the all-time Ohio State list in that category.
HOLMES’ STREAK NOW AT 22
Split end Santonio Holmes has caught two or more passes in 22-consecutive games. The fleet-footed junior had five receptions for 95 yards against Iowa. Holmes has 18 catches in the Buckeyes’ first four games and is averaging 15.8 yards per reception and 71 yards per game.
SMITH GOES FOR 300+ TWICE
Buckeye quarterback Troy Smith ran (127 yards) and threw (191 yards) his way for 318 yards and four touchdowns (two rushing and two passing) in Ohio State’s 31-6 win over Iowa. It was the second best total offense day of Smith’s career, topped only by his 386-yard showing against Michigan last year. Smith, who is now 6-1 as a starter, has topped the 200-yard mark in total offense in four of his seven starts.
BUCKEYE SACK PACK
The Ohio State defense has recorded 16 sacks through the first four games to lead the Big Ten in that statistic this year. The Buckeyes totaled 24 sacks all of last year. Individually, Bobby Carpenter has a Big Ten best four sacks, followed by A. J. Hawk and Mike Kudla with three apiece.
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.
ROBISKIE CRACKS TWO DEEP
True freshman Brian Robiskie (the son of Cleveland Browns assistant coach Terry Robiskie) turned heads early in fall camp with his athletic ability and grasp of the game and has gradually played himself into the rotation at wide receiver. Heading into this week’s game at Penn State, the 6-3, 190-pound rookie is listed in the two-deep, behind Anthony Gonzalez, at the slot position. “Brian is going to be a good football player,” predicts OSU Coach Jim Tressel. “Not only is he physically talented and intelligent, he seems to have a special instinct for the game.”
Defensive end Vernon Gholston returned last week after missing the first three games of the season because of a broken finger. The Detroit native played in six games last year as a backup to Mike Kudla. Offensive tackle Steve Rehring is out indefinitely after contracting pneumonia and being hospitalized for nearly a week. Rehring is currently at home in West Chester, Ohio. He had played in three games before becoming ill. Linebackers Mike D’Andrea and Marcus Freeman and tight end Rory Nicol remain sidelined with injuries. None of the latter three has played this year.
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.
HAWK NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Linebacker A.J. Hawk was selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following the Texas game. Hawk had 12 tackles against the Longhorns, including three tackles-for-loss and two sacks. He also had an interception return of 24 yards and recovered a fumble
POSITION CHANGES TO NOTE
Brandon Smith, a redshirt freshman from Euclid, Ohio, has moved from linebacker to tight end and has switched from No. 54 to No. 87. Smith’s move was necessitated by the loss of Rory Nicol, who is out with a foot injury. The 6-3, 240-pound Smith currently is listed behind starter Ryan Hamby. Additionally, a slimmer and trimmer Brandon Schnittker (250 down to 235) has moved from fullback to tailback, and redshirt-freshman Shaun Lane from cornerback to tailback. Senior Robbie Sims, the Buckeyes starting left tackle the past two years, has moved to left guard.
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 the game against Penn State this week with an all-time record of 768-299-53 since first fielding a football team in 1890. That includes a Big Ten record of 419-161-24 since 1913, an Ohio Stadium slate of 358-102-20 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 IN OPENER
Seven true freshmen made their collegiate debuts for the Buckeyes against Miami. 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 all saw action in the season opener.
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.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS Penn State improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1999 with a 44-14 home victory over Minnesota last Saturday in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions have beaten South Florida (23-13), Cincinnati (42-24), Central Michigan (40-3) and opened Big Ten play with a 34-29 victory at Northwestern Sept. 24.
The Nittany Lions are averaging 36.6 points and 457.0 yards of offense through five games. It has been a balanced offensive attack with an average of 224.6 yards rushing and an average of 232.4 yards passing. Twelve of the team’s 22 touchdowns have come on the ground. Tony Hunt is averaging 95.0 rushing yards per game and has scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Michael Robinson has four rushing TDs and has completed 64-of-123 passes for 1,030 yards and nine TDs. He is averaging 206.0 passing yards per game. Deon Butler, who has caught four TD passes, has 17 receptions for 325 yards, an average of 65.0 yards per game. Kevin Kelly has made 8-of-10 field goals, including three in the win over Minnesota.
Defensively, Penn State is limiting opponents to 16.6 points and 308.6 yards per game. The Nittany Lions have limited opponents to 90.6 rushing yards and 218.0 passing yards. Paul Posluszny leads Penn State with 47 tackles, including 33 solo stops. He has 4.5 tackles-for-losses for 11 yards and one sack. Tim Shaw has 44 tackles and also has 4.5 tackles-for-losses of 19 yards. He has three of the team’s 15 sacks. Matthew Rice leads the team with 5.5 tackles-for-losses of 32 yards, while Tamba Hali paces the defense with 3.5 sacks for 26 yards. The unit also has five interceptions and has recovered five fumbles.
PENN STATE”S LAST GAME Receiver Derrick Williams ran for two early scores and Tony Hunt rushed for two third-quarter touchdowns to lead Penn State to a 44-14 victory over previously unbeaten Minnesota Saturday at Beaver Stadium. Hunt rushed for 114 of Penn State’s season-high 364 rushing yards. Quarterback Michael Robinson added 112 yards on the ground. Robinson completed 13-of-32 passes for 175 yards as the Nittany Lions accounted for 539 total yards. Penn State, which led 20-7 at halftime, had 35 first downs to Minnesota’s 13 and held onto the ball for 35:18 to 24:42 by the Gophers. Williams had six carries for 40 yards and caught four passes for 32 yards. Kevin Kelly kicked three field goals and Rodney Kinlaw added a 10-yard run touchdown in the fourth quarter. Minnesota was held to 113 yards rushing and had 174 yards passing. Golden Gopher Laurence Maroney was held to a season-low 48 yards.
PENN STATE COACH JOE PATERNO
Joe Paterno (Brown, 1950) is coaching his 40th season at Penn State and holds a 348-116-3 record, a win total which ranks second among major college coaches. This season, he joins Amos Alonzo Stagg as the only major college coaches to have served 40 years as a head coach at a single institution. Stagg was a head coach for 57 years, including 41 at the University of Chicago. Paterno has been at Penn State for 55 years, including the first 16 as an assistant coach. Paterno has led Nittany Lion teams to 20 bowl victories and is the only coach to win the four traditional New Year’s Day games – the Rose, Sugar, Cotton and Orange Bowls – as well as the Fiesta Bowl. His teams have won two national championships in 1982 and 1986, but also have finished undefeated in 1968, 1969, 1973 and 1994. The AFCA has tabbed Paterno its coach of the year four times. More than 250 of his former players have played in the NFL.
Ohio State returns home for its annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is shortly after noon in Ohio Stadium vs. the high-scoring Michigan State Spartans. The 1975 Ohio State football team, which posted an 11-1 record and made Big Ten history by becoming the first Big Ten team to play in four-consecutive Rose Bowls, will hold its 30-year reunion during the weekend.