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Nov. 15, 2003

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Transcript of Ohio State Post Game Press Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State special teams and defense once again played key roles as another drama played out in Ohio Stadium during a 16-13 overtime win for the Buckeyes over Purdue Saturday.

Ohio State’s win on senior day in front of 105,286 fans, the second-largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history, was not secured until Ben Jones’ 37-yard field goal attempt floated just wide left. The game-winning points came during OSU’s overtime possession when Mike Nugent converted a 36-yard field goal, despite the Boilermaker defense getting a piece of the ball.

Ohio State had a chance to win the game in regulation following Tim Anderson’s fumble recovery at the Purdue 29 yard-line with 3:38 left in the fourth quarter. However, Nugent’s 41-yard attempt was blocked as time expired, sending the Buckeyes into their second overtime game of the season. Ohio State topped North Carolina State 44-38 in three overtimes Sept. 13.

On the day Nugent converted three-of-four field goal attempts, making kicks of 26 and 52 yards prior to the game-winning points.

With the score tied at 6-all, the Buckeyes defense made a big play with 11:23 remaining in the game as defensive tackle Tim Anderson and defensive end Will Smith converged on Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton. Smith knocked the ball out of Orton’s grasp and defensive end Mike Kudla pounced on the ball in the end zone for the only Ohio State touchdown of the game, giving the Buckeyes a 13-6 lead. Purdue was not finished as they produced an eight-play, 92-yard drive that ended with Jerod Void’s 11 yard run with 4:36 remaining. Jones’ extra-point kick tied the score at 13-all.

Purdue opened the scoring after holding Ohio State to three-and-out, on its first possession. The Boilermakers then marched 53 yards in 12 plays in 5:49 in a drive that was capped by a 45-yard Jones field goal to give Purdue an early 3-0 lead with 7:29 to play in the first quarter.

Nugent’s first kick from 26-yards out tied the game at 3-each with 14:50 to go in the first half. The big play of the drive was a 60-yard Craig Krenzel-to-Michael Jenkins completion to the Purdue 13-yard line.

Purdue’s Jerod Void took the ensuing kick and returned it 41 yards to the OSU 49. The Boilermakers picked up 19 yards in five plays before Jones added his second field goal of the game, this time from 47 yards, to give them a 6-3 lead with 13:01 to play in the first half.

Nugent tied the game with 2:42 to play in the first half on a 52-yard kick that capped a five-play, 2-yard drive. Ohio State started the drive at the Purdue 37 and moved as close as the 19-yard line, but two penalties backed up the Buckeyes to the 35 before Nugent evened the score 6-all. The make was 1-yard shy of Nugent’s career long against Iowa this season.

The game’s statistics were as close as the outcome. Ohio State’s offense produced 351 yards on the day, compared to 355 by the Boilermakers. Leading OSU was Jenkins, who had 123 receiving yards on six catches. Krenzel completed 15-or-29 passes for 226 yards, and Lydell Ross ran for 79 yards on 23 carries. The Buckeyes did not turn the ball over on the day against Purdue, who had led the Big Ten in turnover margin entering the game.

The Boilermakers (8-3, 5-2 in the Big 10) were led by quarterback Kyle Orton, who completed 27-of-47 passes for 249 yards. Taylor Stubblefield had eight receptions for 78 yards, while John Standeford also had eight receptions for 56 yards. Void led the Purdue rushing attack with 60 yards on 22 attempts and his team’s lone touchdown.

The kicking game again came up big for Ohio State. In addition to Nugents big kicks, punter B.J. Sander averaged 41.3 yards on 10 kicks, and pinned Purdue inside its own 20-yard line seven times.

Ohio State (10-1, 6-1 in the Big 10) closes out the regular season next Saturday at Michigan (9-2, 6-1). The game, the 100th of the series, will kickoff at 12:10 p.m. and be televised by ABC.