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Nov. 8, 2003

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With the win over Michigan State Saturday, Ohio State now haswon 23 of 24 games, including 13 of its last 14 in Big Ten play.Ohio State extended its winning streak at home to 15 games with thewin over Michigan State Saturday, improving to 7-0 this season atOhio Stadium. The win also marks Ohio State’s seventh-straight winat home vs. Big Ten opponents. The Buckeyes last dropped a contestat home Nov. 17, 2001, a 34-22 loss to eventual Big Ten championIllinois.

Overall this season, Ohio State has extended its current winning streak to four games.

Since Ohio State first fielded a team in 1890, the squad is755-293-53 overall. Ohio State now posts a 413-156-24 all-timerecord in the Big Ten. Overall, when OSU is ranked in the AP Top10, the squad is now 273-64-9. Ohio State’s mark when ranked in theAP improves to 372-117-14.

With the win over the No. 14/15 Spartans, Ohio State moved to 4-1 vs. ranked foes this season.

With the 33-23 victory, Ohio State improves to 13-1 in its last14 games decided by 10 points or less. Seven of Ohio State’s 10games this season have been decided by 10 points or less. OhioState head coach Jim Tressel improves to 12-3 against the Top 25and has won 18 of 22 in Big Ten play. Tressel also upped his recordto 19-2 at Ohio Stadium. The meeting between the Buckeyes andSpartans served as the first in Tressel’s three-year stint at OhioState, while also serving as the first game Michigan State headcoach John L. Smith has coached against Ohio State in his career.

The game served as the second meeting between Smith and Tressel, who coached on opposite sidelines in a 1993 contest between Youngstown State and Idaho. Tressel’s YSU squad advanced in the Division I-AA semifinal game by a 35-16 score. With the win Saturday, Tressel moved to 2-0 all-time vs. Smith.

Tressel improved his career mark to 165-63-2, including a 30-6 mark at Ohio State

Ohio State held a 17-10 halftime advantage against MichiganState. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 8-0 when holding alead at intermission. The 17-yard touchdown catch by senior tightend Ben Hartsock in the second quarter extended the Buckeyes’streak to 87 games scoring at least one touchdown. The last time anOhio State team was held without a touchdown was a 13-9 loss toMichigan in the 1996 season.

The Hartsock score followed a 66-yard interception return by sophomore defensive back Tyler Everett to the Michigan State 28-yard line. The touchdown boosts Ohio State’s total points to 57 off opponent turnovers.

Ohio State – Michigan State Series

The meeting Saturday between Ohio State and Michigan State wasthe 34th in the series. With the win, the Buckeyes now hold a 22-12advantage in the series, including a 12-7 mark at Ohio Stadium.Saturday’s meeting counts as the 11th between Ohio State andMichigan State when each is ranked among the Top 25. With the win,the Buckeyes improve to 7-4 in those games.

As a ranked team, Ohio State now moves to 18-8 vs. the Spartans and 11-5 in games vs. a ranked Spartan club playing in Ohio Stadium. Michigan State is 6-7 as a ranked team vs. Ohio State.

With the 33 points scored Saturday by Ohio State, the Buckeyesimprove to 9-0 when scoring 30 or more points in the series. Withthe win Saturday, the Buckeyes handed MSU its first loss in fourroad games this season.

Ohio State Offensive Team Notes

The 395 total yards by the Ohio State offensive unit are themost this season at Ohio Stadium, topping the 345 total yardsagainst Washington (Aug. 30) in the season opener. The 395 totalyards are the second most by Ohio State, falling shy of the 603amassed at Indiana Oct. 25.

The 395-yard total is the most at Ohio Stadium since the Buckeyes tallied 567 yards against San Jose State last season.

Ohio State scored a touchdown on an 8-play, 80-yard openingdrive in the second half. The scoring drive is the fourth time thisseason that Ohio State has opened the second half with a score. TheBuckeyes previously scored touchdowns on 80-yard drives to open thesecond half vs. Northwestern and at Penn State. The Buckeyes addeda field goal in their first second half drive against Iowa. The44-yard field goal by Ohio State place kicker Mike Nugent in thefirst quarter served as the first points scored by a Big Tenopponent vs. the Spartans in the opening period this season.

Ohio State Offensive Player Notes

Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel accounted for threetouchdown passes in Saturday’s game. It is the third time in hiscareer Krenzel has thrown for at leas three touchdowns in a game.The last time Krenzel passed for at least three touchdowns wasagainst N.C. State Sept. 13, when he recorded his first career fourtouchdown game. Krenzel’s other three touchdown passing game cameagainst San Jose State in the 2002 season.

With the win Saturday, Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel improved to 22-2 as a starter.

Krenzel completed 12-23 pass attempts for 213 yards, marking the fifth time this season Krenzel has totaled 200 yards passing.

Krenzel, who also rushed for 33 yards on 14 carries, totaled 246 yards of offense moved him to 4,382 for his career, passing former Ohio State quarterback Rex Kern (1968-70) – 4,158 for his career – in the all-time career total offense charts into 10th place.

Ohio State tailback Lydell Ross rushed for 125 yards on 24carries against the Spartans. He has rushed for 100 or more yardsin three-straight games with 167 against Indiana, 110 at Penn Stateand 125 against MSU Saturday for a total of 402 yards on the groundin 71 carries for an average of 5.7 yards per carry.

Ross burst off-tackle for a 35-yard gain in the fourth quarter, eclipsing two 33-yard runs by Ross and fellow running back Maurice Hall as the season longs for Ohio State.

Freshman wide receiver Santonio Holmes caught his fourth passof more than 30 yards in the last three games with a 37-yardtouchdown grab in the second quarter. Holmes finished the game withtwo receptions for 51 yards. Since taking over at flanker for theinjured Drew Carter at Indiana, Holmes has 282 yards on 13receptions. Ohio State sophomore tight end Ryan Hamby hauled in a29-yard pass from Krenzel in the first quarter. The 29-yard play isthe second-longest of Hamby’s career, falling just two-yards shy ofhis 31-yard catch earlier this season against San Diego State(Sept. 6). The 29-yard connection by Krenzel to Hamby and the37-yard touchdown play to Holmes are the 20th and 21st completionsby the Ohio State offense to cover 20-plus yards. Senior tight endBen Hartsock caught a 17-yard touchdown pass in the second quarterto put Ohio State ahead 10-7. The touchdown is Hartsock’s second ofthe season and fifth of his career. Hartsock’s previous touchdowncatch this season came in overtime against N.C. State (Sept. 13).Senior quarterback Scott McMullen entered the game in the fourthquarter and was 0-1 passing, snapping a streak of seven-straightcompletions set in the final game-winning drive at Penn State. Withhis 21-yard catch in the second quarter, Ohio State split endMichael Jenkins – two receptions, 50 yards – has now caught atleast one pass in 36-consecutive games.

Ohio State Defensive Team Notes

Ohio State has held it’s last two Big Ten opponents, Indiana(-12) and Penn State (33), to 21 yards rushing coming intoSaturday’s game. Today, Ohio State limited Michigan State to fiveyards on 17 rushing attempts, which served as a season low and thethird lowest in MSU history. The 17 rushing attempts are the lowestin Michigan State history.

Over its last four contests, including Iowa, the OSU defense has held its opponents to its season-low output in rushing. During that span, Ohio State has limited Iowa, Indiana, Penn State and Michigan State to 96 yards rushing on 118 attempts, a 0.81 yards per carry average.

In the first half, Ohio State limited Michigan State to zero yards rushing on 10 carries, marking the fourth time this season the Buckeyes have held their opponent to zero of minus yards rushing in the first half. Ohio State held Washington to zero yards rushing in the season opener before keeping N.C. State to -16 Sept. 13 and Indiana to -13 in the opening half Oct. 25.

Overall, the Buckeyes have not allowed an opposing player to rush for 100 or more yards at home in 15 consecutive games, dating back to San Diego State’s Larry Ned’s 112-yard performance Oct. 20, 2001 at Ohio Stadium.

Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker finished the day with 35completions in 55 attempts for 351 yards. All figures serve asseason highs against the Ohio State defense. Smoker’s 55 attemptstopped Bowling Green quarterback Josh Harris and his 54 attemptsagainst the Buckeyes.

For the game, Michigan State totaled 56 pass attempts, which tied the season-high set by Bowling Green Sept. 20.

For the season, opponents have attempted 50 passes on threeoccasions (N.C. State – 52, Bowling Green – 56, Michigan State -56). Washington totaled 49 attempts in the season opener. Smoker’s35 completions are the most in MSU history, snapping a record heshared with former Spartan quarterback John Leister with 32 in1982. Smoker also topped the MSU record for attempts in a game with55, also snapping a record held by Leister at 54. Ohio State forcedMichigan State to turn the ball over on two occasions (twointerceptions) Saturday, marking a season-high for turnovers by theSpartans in a Big Ten game. MSU had just one turnover in five BigTen contests coming into Saturday. The 95-yard first quartertouchdown drive by Michigan State is the longest scoring driveallowed by the Buckeye defense this season and just the fourthtouchdown allowed in the first quarter this season.

The 7-0 first quarter advantage by the Spartans was the second time this season Ohio State has trailed in a game in Ohio Stadium, the first since trailing San Diego State 7-0 in the first quarter Sept. 6.

The 48-yard field goal made by Michigan State place kicker DaveRayner in the second quarter ties the longest field goal allowed bythe Buckeye defense this season. Last week, Penn State connected ona 48-yarder in the fourth quarter by place kicker David Kimball.

Ohio State Defensive Player Notes

Senior defensive tackle Darrion Scott recorded a sack in thesecond quarter to give him three for the season. The sack is hisfirst this year since registering two sacks in the N.C. State gameSept. 13. Sophomore defensive back Tyler Everett intercepted a JeffSmoker pass in the second quarter and returned the turnover 66yards to the Michigan State 28-yard line. The interception is thefirst this season for Everett and the second of his career.Everett’s first career interception came last season againstWashington State (Sept. 14, 2002).

Everett also established a career-high with five tackles, topping his previous best of three vs. Indiana and Washington State last season. Everett had a total of just six tackles entering the game today.

Freshman Donte Whitner recorded his second career interceptionin the fourth quarter. He also totaled five tackles, which was acareer high, and forced a fumble. Ohio State defensive back ChrisGamble equaled his career-high with six tackles in the game. Hetied the six tackles made against Minnesota last season.

Ohio State Special Teams Notes

The 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Michigan State’sDeAndra Cobb in the third quarter is the first kickoff returned fora touchdown since Oct. 20, 1984 when Michigan State returned akickoff 93-yards for a touchdown against the Buckeyes in EastLansing, Mich.

Ohio State Special Teams Player Notes

Ohio State junior place kicker Mike Nugent connected on acareer-best four field goals Saturday at distances of 44, 24, 42and 18 yards. He is the first kicker to convert on four attempts ina single game since former Buckeye Dan Stultz hit four field goalsof his own vs. Illinois Nov. 11, 2000.

Nugent’s four field goals boosts his career total to 45, moving into sole possession of third place in the Ohio State charts for all-time field goals made. Former Buckeye Tim Williams stands in second place with 49 career field goals.

With his three extra points in Saturday’s game, Nugent passed the 100 mark in career extra point conversions. Nugent has 101 total extra points.

With his 15 points in Saturday’s game, Nugent moved into ninth place on Ohio State’s all-time chart for points scored with 235. Nugent jumped former Ohio State running back Tim Spencer (1979-82), the current running backs coach at Ohio State, and Howard Cassady (1952-55), the 1955 Heisman Trophy winner. Spencer finished his career with 224 points, while Cassady totaled 222 for his career. Former Ohio State kicker Josh Jackson (1993-96) stands in eighth place with 254 points.

Ohio State punter B.J. Sander pinned Michigan State inside itsown 5-yard line in the first half. It is the 25th time this seasonSander has downed a punt inside the opponent 20-yard line.

Miscellaneous

Saturday’s attendance of 105,194 is the second largest thisseason and Ohio Stadium history, falling shy of the 105,539 markset against Michigan last season.