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Sept. 4, 2004

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Attendance: 104, 604

Ohio State Notes

The Buckeyes have an all-time opening day record of 99-12-4.The squad has won its last 26 home openers, dating back to 1978.Ohio State’s last opening-day loss to a non-conference foe was a19-0 setback at the hands of No. 5 Penn State in 1978. The Buckeyesfirst fielded a football team in 1890. With the 27-6 win Saturday,Ohio State now owns an all-time record of 758-294-53 in its 115thseason. The win Saturday ups Ohio State’s all-time record to351-101-25 in Ohio Stadium (opened in 1922). With the win Saturday,the Buckeyes now are 17-0 at home the past two years and 21-2 inthree years under head coach Jim Tressel.

Ohio State’s last loss at home was Nov. 17, 2001, a 34-22 loss to eventual Big Ten champion Illinois.

Ohio State has now won 27 of its last 29 games overall.

For the 91st consecutive game, Ohio State scored at least atouchdown. The last time a Buckeye team was held without atouchdown was a 13-9 loss to Michigan in the 1996 season.

Overall, when Ohio State is ranked in the AP Top 10, the squad now is 276-65-9. Ohio State’s mark when ranked by the AP is 375-118-14.

Tressel’s career mark now stands at 168-64-2, including a 33-7 mark at Ohio State and a 21-2 record in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State now is 11-1 under Tressel in games played in September.

With the win Saturday, Ohio State improved to 172-48-17all-time against opponents from the state of Ohio, including a151-27-14 mark vs. intrastate foes in Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State’s last loss to an opponent from Ohio was Oct. 8, 1921, a 7-6 loss to Oberlin in Columbus.

In Ohio Stadium, Ohio State has won 36 consecutivenon-conference games. The last home loss to a non-conference foewas USC in 1990. Saturday, the Buckeyes only committed twopenalties for 20 yards.

Ohio State – Cincinnati Series

The game Saturday marked the 14th meeting in the all-timeseries between Ohio State and Cincinnati. The win now gives theBuckeyes victories in 12 of the 14 games and now are 7-0 inColumbus. Cincinnati won consecutive games in 1896 (8-6) and 1897(24-0) for its only wins in the series. Ohio State now has wonnine-consecutive games vs. the Bearcats.

The two teams are scheduled to play again in 2006 in Columbus.

The Bearcats took a 3-0 first-quarter lead, but Ohio Staterallied for the 27-6 win. Each of Ohio State’s last three wins inthe series with Cincinnati has been a come-from-behind victory. UCheld a 12-7 advantage in 2002 and a 17-3 lead in 1999 before OSUcame back to win 34-20 and 23-19, respectively. With the winSaturday, the Buckeyes now have a 19-3-1 record against teamscurrently in Conference USA – 12-2 vs. Cincinnati, 4-1-1 vs. TexasChristian, 2-1 vs. Louisville and 1-0 vs. Houston.

Ohio State Offense Notes

Split end Roy Hall, offensive linemen Doug Datish and TimSchafer and quarterback Justin Zwick all made their first careerstarts Saturday. The Buckeyes converted on all four opportunitiesin the red zone Saturday with two touchdowns and two field goals.Ohio State’s 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter is thelongest since a 93-yard scoring drive last season at Michigan (Nov.22). Ohio State gained 220 yards rushing Saturday, the first timeOSU has eclipsed 200 yards rushing since racking up 216 at Indianalast season. The Buckeyes ran for 109 of the 220 yards in thefourth quarter vs. the Bearcats.

Ohio State has won its last 12 games when out-rushing its opponents, including a 10-0 mark in 2003.

Ohio State Offensive Player Notes

Quarterback Justin Zwick became the first sophomore to start atquarterback in a season opener since Austin Mohermancalled signals in the 1999 Kickoff Classic vs. Miami Aug. 29. Miamidefeated the Buckeyes 23-12. Zwick also is the first sophomorequarterback to start in a home opener since Moherman started in the1999 home opener vs. UCLA, a 42-21 OSU win. Zwick is the firstsophomore to start at quarterback in Ohio Stadium since ScottMcMullen against Illinois in 2001.

Zwick is the first sophomore quarterback to start a game since Craig Krenzel led the Buckeyes to a 26-20 victory at Michigan Nov. 24, 2001.

Zwick’s 213 yards passing Saturday are the most in a starting debut since Craig Krenzel threw for 118 yards in the 2001 win at Michigan. Zwick also is the first Buckeye to go over 200 yards passing since Krenzel fired for 221 at Michigan last season.

Zwick tallied his first career touchdown pass, a 17-yard connection to junior tight end Ryan Hamby in the second quarter.

Zwick spread his 14 completions to seven receivers.

Troy Smith replaced Zwick in Ohio State’s first drive of thesecond quarter and threw an incomplete pass on his first play fromscrimmage.

Smith recorded his first career completion with a 23-yard touchdown strike to Santonio Holmes in the fourth quarter. Smith finished 2-for-3 for 29 yards, establishing career highs in both categories.

Senior tailback Lydell Ross ripped off a 68-yard run in thesecond quarter, eclipsing his previous career long gain of 51 yardsagainst San Diego State in Ohio Stadium in 2002.

The 68-yard gain helped Ross, with 17 total carries for 141 yards, eclipse the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in his career. He is the first Buckeye to reach the century mark since he rushed for 125 yards against Michigan State in Ohio Stadium last season.

In two career games against the Bearcats, Ross has 271 yards on 40 attempts. He ran for 130 yards on 23 carries in the win at Paul Brown Stadium in 2002.

Ross scored his 23rd career touchdown in the third quarter on a 1-yard plunge.

Junior tight end Ryan Hamby hauled in a 29-yard reception inthe second quarter, marking his longest grab since a 31-yard catchagainst San Diego State last season. He added a 14-yard catch laterin the second to top his previous career best for yardage in agame, which was 37 yards vs. Bowling Green in 2003. Hamby finishedthe game with four catches for 75 yards and his fifth careertouchdown. Sophomore flanker Santonio Holmes pulled in a 53-yardreception to open the third quarter. The play topped his previouscareer long of 47 yards against Indiana last season. Holmesfinished the day with four grabs for 91 yards. His all-time best is153 yards at Indiana. Senior slot receiver Bam Childress set a newcareer yardage standard Saturday with 67 yards on four catches,also a career best. Freshman Ted Ginn, Jr. caught his firstreception as a Buckeye in the first quarter and finished the daywith two catches. Freshman Antonio Pittman marked his first rush asa Buckeye in the second quarter. He also ran for two runs of20-plus yards in the fourth quarter, including a 38-yard gain. Hefinished the day with seven carries for 66 yards.

Ohio State Defense Notes

Linebacker Mike D’Andrea and defensive linemen Jay Richardsoneach made their first career starts Saturday. Linebacker AnthonySchlegel made his first start as a Buckeye. The Buckeyes held theBearcats without a touchdown Saturday, marking the first time OhioState has held an opponent out of the end zone since shutting outNorthwestern, 20-0, in Ohio Stadium last season. Ohio State heldCincinnati to its lowest point total in 46 games, when the Bearcatsdropped a 42-6 contest at Indiana Sept. 23, 2000. In the game, 21Buckeye defenders recorded at least one tackle. The Ohio Statedefense broke up eight passes with seven players accounting for theeight. Cincinnati quarterback Gino Guidugli played brilliantly forthe Bearcats in the 2002 game vs. OSU, completing 26 of 52 passesfor 324 yards. Saturday, Ohio State held the UC senior to just 162yards on 17-of-36 passing, which is exactly half of his total inthe 2002 meeting with OSU. Cincinnati’s leading rusher, RichardHall, was limited to 40 yards on 14 rushes. The Buckeyes now havenot allowed an opposing player to rush for 100 or more yards athome in 19 consecutive games, dating back to San Diego State’sLarry Ned’s 112-yard performance Oct. 20, 2001 at Ohio Stadium.

Under Tressel, Ohio State has held its opponents to less than 100 yards rushing in 21 games.

Ohio State Defensive Player Notes

Sophomore defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock set a career high fortotal tackles with seven. His previous high of six came againstIowa in 2003. Junior linebacker Bobby Carpenter established acareer best in tackles with nine, topping the six stops he hadagainst Bowling Green in 2003. Carpenter also set a career bestwith five solo stops. Junior A.J. Hawk tied Carpenter for the teamlead for tackles with nine. He now has led or tied for an OSUgame-high in tackles in eight games in his career. Defensive backE.J. Underwood matched a career high with five tackles. He also hadfive against UC in 2002.

Ohio State Special Teams Notes

Ohio State linebackers Marcus Freeman and Anthony Schlegel madetheir Ohio State debuts on the opening kickoff. Schlegel made hisdebut at linebacker in the second series of the game. Senior KyleTurano debuted at punter Saturday and booted a 57-yarder in hisfirst attempt as a Buckeye in the first quarter. Senior MauriceHall returned a kickoff 43 yards in the second quarter, marking thesecond longest of his career. Hall’s longest return came againstCincinnati in 2002, a 45-yard return. Hall added a 41-yard returnin the third quarter. Place-kicker Mike Nugent attempted his firstfield goal try in three games, converting a 27-yard attempt in thesecond quarter. It was his first attempt since his game-winningmake in the 16-13 win over Purdue in Ohio Stadium Nov. 15, 2004.

Nugent missed a 53-yard attempt in the second quarter, which would have equaled his career long set against Iowa last season.

Nugent tallied nine points Saturday, upping his career pointtotal to 263 and leaving him 85 points shy of the school record(354) that currently belongs to fullback Pete Johnson (1973-76).Nugent now holds sole possession of seventh place among OSU careerscoring leaders.

Ohio State Player Debuts

In the game, 12 Buckeyes made their first appearance for OhioState. Kirk Barton, Marcus Freeman, Ted Ginn, Jr., Antony Gonzalez.Vernon Gholston, Matt Johnson, David Lisko, Devon Lyons, CurtisTerry, Antonio Pittman, Kyle Turana, Sirjo Welch all made theirfirst appearances as Buckeyes.

Miscellaneous

Former Ohio State coach John Cooper was in thetelevision booth this week as the analyst for ESPN Plus. “Coop”spent 13 years as the Buckeyes’ head coach, compiling an overallrecord of 111-43-4 from 1988 to 2000. Former Buckeye safety WilliamWhite served as the honorary captain for Ohio State Saturday. The104, 604 in attendance was the 11th largest in Ohio Stadiumhistory.