Nov. 10, 2014
|J.T. Barrett leads the B1G in total offense (304.2) and pass efficiency (172.9). He also leads the NCAA in passing TD percentage (26 TDs on 233 att.; 11.2%).|
| Ohio State Notes | Minnesota Notes | Big Ten Notes
Press Conference Transcript
Coach Meyer Press Conference (w/ Coach Warinner & Coach Ash)
Facebook.com/Buckeyes | @OhioStAthletics | @Brutus_Buckeye
#14 Ohio State at Minnesota
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, 11 a.m./Noon ET
TCF Bank Stadium (50,805), Minneapolis, Minn.
TV: ABC – Dave Pasch (Play-by-Play), Brian Griese (Analyst), Tom Luginbill (Sideline)
Radio: WBNS FM (97.1 The Fan) is the flagship station for the 64-station Ohio State Radio Network. The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the play-by-play with former Buckeye Jim Lachey in the booth and Marty Bannister on the sidelines. The game can also be heard nationally on Sirius-XM satellite radio channels 84.
FIRST AND 10
OHIO STATE TRAVELS NORTH
Ohio State, 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten Conference East Division, travels north to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 7-2 and 4-1 in the Big Ten West Division, in a 12 noon EST game from TCF Bank Stadium (52,525) on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Ohio State controls its fate in the Big Ten East with a one-game lead over Michigan State, a two-game lead over Maryland and with victories over both. Minnesota is in a tie for first in the Big Ten West with Nebraska and Wisconsin and with games in Lincoln and in Madison looming in the next two weeks. Ohio State closes out its regular season schedule with home games against Indiana and Michigan.
FIRST MEETING IN FOUR YEARS
Neither Urban Meyer nor Minnesota coach Jerry Kill were in their present positions when the Buckeyes and the Golden Gophers last met: four years ago on Oct. 30, 2010 in Minneapolis. Meyer was in his sixth season at Florida in 2010 while Kill was in his third and ultimately final season at Northern Illinois.
BUCKEYES HAVE WON 23 OF LAST 24
Ohio State holds an all-time advantage of 42 wins against just seven losses vs. Minnesota. Ohio State has officially won seven consecutive games in this series and 23 of the previous 24 games, dating back to the 1981 season. Ohio State graduate and former assistant coach Glen Mason directed his fifth Minnesota team – he coached the Golden Gophers for 10 years, through the 2006 season – to a 29-17 upset of the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium during the 2001 season for the last Minnesota win in the series.
SECOND TIME AT TCF BANK STADIUM
It was a cold night in 2010 – kickoff temps were in the low 40s – when Ohio State played its first and so far only game in TCF Bank Stadium. The Buckeyes rolled to a 52-10 victory that night but the win was later vacated. This is the first meeting of the two on the gridiron since and the 51st meeting all-time.
A LOOK AT THE GOPHERS
Minnesota is enjoying a fine season at 7-2 overall and in a three-way tie for first place with Nebraska and Wisconsin in the Big Ten West at 4-1. Minnesota’s only two losses this season have come on the road at TCU (30-7) Sept. 13 and three weeks ago at Illinois Oct. 25. They are coming off an impressive 51-14 home win over Iowa last Saturday.
The Gophers are led offensively by senior running back David Cobb, who ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 133.9 yards per game on the ground with eight TDs. Sophomore QB Mitch Leidner is fourth in the Big Ten in passer efficiency (134.8) while TE Maxx Williams leads the Gophers with 22 catches for 326 yards and seven TDs.
Defensively, the Gophers are second in the Big Ten with 12 interceptions and are second in turnover margin (+8). Their leading tackler is Damien Wilson, who is second in the Big Ten with 88 tackles. He also has 8.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks and one INT on the year.
Jerry Kill is in his fourth season in Minneapolis with a 24-23 record. The past two seasons he has led the Gophers to the Texas Bowl. Before arriving at Minnesota, Kill had coaching stops at NIU (2008-10), Southern Illinois (2001-2007), Emporia State (1999-2000) and Saginaw Valley State (1994-1998).
HOME AND AWAY
Ohio State has a 20-4 record vs. Minnesota in games played in Minneapolis and a 22-3 mark in Columbus. Ohio State has won 11 consecutive games at Minnesota, dating to a 35-31 Golden Gopher win in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1991.
FIRST COACHING MEETING
Minnesota’s Jerry Kill will represent the 96th different head coach that Urban Meyer has game-planned against. Meyer is 80-15 in first-time coaching matchups.
Minnesota and Ohio State will meet in the regular season twice in the next four years with both games at Ohio Stadium: Nov. 7 next season and Oct. 13, 2018.
BIG TEN RECORD STREAK
Ohio State’s 49-37 victory over No. 8 Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday established a Big Ten Conference record for regular season wins for the Scarlet and Gray with 21. Ohio State’s last conference loss – regular season games only – was at Michigan on Nov. 26, 2011, 40-34. Michigan State was on a 13-game Big Ten streak prior to Saturday night.
Conference Games Win Streaks
|21||—||Ohio State, 2012-current|
|20||—||Ohio State, 2005-07|
|17||—||Ohio State, 1974-76|
|Ohio State, 1967-69|
|Ohio State, 1954-56|
|16||—||Michigan State, 1965-67|
|Ohio State, 1979-80|
All-Time Big Ten Win Streaks
|24||—||Ohio State, 2012-13|
ROAD WINS TOPS IN THE NCAA
Ohio State has won 12 consecutive games on the road, the longest such streak in the nation. Florida State has won 11 consecutive road games with Missouri (8) next and three teams – Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA – having won seven consecutive road games.
CURRENT WIN STREAK NO. 5
Ohio State’s current seven-game winning streak is the fifth-longest winning streak in the nation. The only schools ahead of Ohio State with longer winning streaks are Florida State (25), Mississippi State (12), Marshall (10) and Colorado State (eight).
No. 14 OHIO STATE 49, No. 8 MICHIGAN ST. 37
Led by the leadership of J.T. Barrett, the running of Ezekiel Elliott, the blocking of an improving, albeit young, offensive line, the athleticism of a handful of receivers and a defense that is good and getting better every game, Ohio State went into East Lansing and defeated the defending Big Ten champions, 49-37, for a seventh consecutive win. Ohio State had 568 yards against one of the nation’s No. 5 defenses, a total that was nearly 300 more yards than what the Spartans had been allowing per game (279.4). Ohio State’s defense did not allow back-to-back scoring drives by a fine Spartan offense until the OSU offense had pulled out to a 42-24 lead. And by then, it was too late to mount a serious comeback. The game marked the first time Ohio State had players with at least 300 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game in nearly eight years — Nov. 18, 2006 vs. Michigan.
J.T. WAS JUST TERRIFIC
J.T. Barrett was just terrific against the nation’s fifth-rated total defense. He completed 16 of 26 passing attempts for 300 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, plus he rushed for 86 yards and two more touchdowns. Down 14-7 and after an exchange of punts, Barrett directed the Buckeyes on six consecutive touchdown drives, including throwing TD passes of 79 yards to Michael Thomas, 44 yards to Devin Smith and 7 yards to Dontre Wilson. Barrett had scored the Buckeyes first two touchdowns on 5- and 1-yard runs. He also had a huge, 55-yard run in the fourth quarter that led to an Ezekiel Elliott TD from 17-yards out that gave the Buckeyes an insurmountable 49-31 advantage.
12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS
J.T. Barrett’s efforts vs. the Spartans has earned him four awards … so far: Athlon’s has named him its national player of the week and its national freshman of the week, and the Big Ten Conference honored Barrett as its offensive and freshman player of the week awards. Barrett has now been honored for a weekly award by the Big Ten or nationally after six of his nine starts this season. He has been the Big Ten’s freshman of the week five times; its offensive player of the week three times. And he has been a national freshman of the week twice and a national player of the week twice.
LOTS OF HELP
J.T. Barrett had lots of offensive help vs. Michigan State. Ezekiel Elliott did his share of heavy lifting with 154-yards rushing and two scores against the nation’s sixth-rated run defense. The Spartans were allowing just 95 rushing yards per game, but Ohio State powered, bulled and sped to 268 rushing yards and a 6.5 yards per carry average. Devin Smith (six receptions for 139 yards) and Michael Thomas (three for 91, respectively) had huge days and spectacular receiving plays. Smith had an over-the-shoulder reception for 43 yards on a third-and-23 play, setting up a TD that tied the score at 14-all. Smith also burst by a defender for a sweet 44-yard touchdown catch. Thomas, who simply refuses to be tackled by one man, had a 79-yard catch-and-run to tie the score at 21-all, part of his three-catch, 91-yard evening.
MORE & MORE THAN OREGON
Two rather compelling notes from the game: 1) Ohio State’s offense did not have a three-and-out (the team punted only twice); and 2) the yards and points scored totals were more than Oregon managed against MSU in Week 2 at Oregon’s Autzen Stadium (491 and 46, respectively).
Doran Grant: TEAM’S DEFENSIVE PoG
Doran Grant was a standout with six tackles vs. Michigan State all the while shadowing the Big Ten’s number one receiver in terms of yards per game – Tony Lippett – and holding him to 5 catches for 64 yards (47 yards below his average). Grant also had two pass break-ups and was named the team’s defensive player of the game.
BIG GAME FOR BENNETT
Michael Bennett was a physical force from his defensive tackle position against an outstanding Michigan State offense. He totalled four unassisted tackles, including one sack of Connor Cook for a loss of six yards and an additional TFL for minus-5 yards, giving him two TFLs for minus-11 yards. Bennett also forced a fumble and had a pass break-up in the Buckeyes big win. Joshua Perry (nine tackles) and Vonn Bell (seven) led the team in stops. Adolphus Washington tied his personal best with six tackles, including a TFL, plus he had a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
FOUR OFFENSIVE PoGs
Ohio State coaches awarded four with “players of the game” honors after the Michigan State game: center Jacoby Boren, quarterback J.T. Barnett, running back Ezekiel Elliott and receiver Devin Smith. Receiver Evan Spencer was perfect on special teams, including making a tackle on a kickoff and forcing a penalty on a kickoff, and he earned the special team’s player of the game honor.
No. 1 IN FIELD POSITION
Ohio State continues to lead the nation in average starting field position. The team is No. 1 in its own starting field position (39 yard line), No. 2 nationally in opponents’ starting position (25) and No. 1 in the difference (14 yards). No other team has even a 10-yard difference.
THE PLAN IS TO WIN
Ohio State has better than a 90-percent winning rate under Urban Meyer. Only one school – Florida State – has a better winning percentage than Ohio State since the start of the 2012 season.
Best Records – 2012-2014
Since Coach Meyer’s arrival in 2012, Ohio State’s offense has been one of the most potent in the country. The Buckeyes are one of just five FBS teams from a Power 5 conference to average at least 40 points per game since the start of the 2012 season and are one of four teams to average at least 45 points since the start of last season.
FBS Scoring – Since 2012
FBS Scoring – Since 2013
A QUICK LOOK AT THE OSU OFFENSE
Ohio State’s offense is averaging 512.1 yards per game to rank 10th nationally and second in the Big Ten Conference. The offense is also second nationally – to Oregon – in passing efficiency, fourth in scoring at 46.0 points per game and 13th in rushing at 260.2 yards per game.
BUCKS’ DEFENSE CONTINUES ITS CLIMB
Ohio State is 17th nationally in total defense with 326.2 yards per game allowed. The Buckeyes are 24th in pass efficiency, 21st in rushing defense (125.2) and 25th in scoring defense (21.8).
BIG TEN DEFENSES RANK
Eight Big Ten Conference teams are among the nation’s Top 25 in terms of total defense, including four teams in the Top 10. The Buckeyes own road wins over top defensive teams Penn State and Michigan State, teams that are ranked in the Top 10, and up next is a game – also on the road – vs. the nation’s No. 21-ranked defense: Minnesota.
Total Defense – National Rankings
No. 1 – Wisconsin / 251.1 ypg
No. 3 – Penn State / 267.6 ypg
No. 7 – Michigan / 300.8 ypg
No. 10 – Michigan State / 311.4 ypg
No. 17 – Ohio State / 326.2 ypg
No. 19 – Iowa / 334.6 ypg
No. 21 – Minnesota / 335.3 ypg
No. 25 – Nebraska / 339.8 ypg
BARRETT A NATIONAL LEADER
J.T. Barrett, one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, remains among the national leaders in a handful of key statistical categories this week, including:
BARRETT RECORDS WATCH
J.T. Barrett is nearing three significant Ohio State single season records: Troy Smith’s mark for touchdown passes in a season of 30, set in 2006 (Barrett has 26), Braxton Miller’s two-year-old mark for total offense of 3,310 yards (Barrett has 2,738 yards) and Miller’s 36 TDs accounted for last season (Barrett has 34). Barrett’s season to date has also included these memorable notes and statistics:
BOSA: 14.5 TFLs, 10.0 QB SACKS
Joey Bosa continues to lead the Big Ten Conference in tackles-for-loss (14.5) and quarterback sacks (10.0) and he ranks sixth and fifth in those categories, respectively, in the nation. He also leads the Big Ten and is 16th nationally with three forced fumbles. Bosa had his school-record-tying streak of games with at least one tackle-for-loss – 14 – end against Michigan State. Bosa has played in 23 games and he has totaled 28 career TFLs and 17.5 quarterback sacks.
Consecutive Games with a TFL
Andy Katzenmoyer, 14 (1996-97)
Ryan Shazier, 14 (2012-13)
Joey Bosa, 14 (2013-14)
Will Smith, 12 (2002-03)
Mike Vrabel, 11 (1994-95)
Matt Wilhelm, 10 (2000)
ELLIOTT NEARS 1,000 YARDS
Ezekiel Elliott has had two of his best games against two of the best rush defenses in the country. Saturday against Penn State he averaged 6.5 yards per carry in an impressive 154-yard game against Michigan State that included two touchdown runs. Michigan State came into the game No. 6 nationally in rush defense. This comes two weeks after a 109-yard game against Penn State’s No. 1-ranked run defense. He averaged 4.2 per carry and scored the first touchdown of the game from 10-yards out. Elliott now has four 100-yard rushing games this season, five for his 20-game career and he is only 137 yards away from a 1,000-yard season.
Ezekiel Elliott 100-Yard Games
2014 – 154 off 23 carries vs. Michigan State
2014 – 109 off 26 car. vs. Penn State
2014 – 139 off 24 car. vs. Maryland
2014 – 182 off 28 car. vs. Cincinnati
2013 – 162 off 14 car. vs. Florida A&M
Devin Smith NEARS CARTER & No. 2
Devin Smith now has 26 career touchdown receptions after his 44-yard grab against Michigan State to move into sole possession of third-place at Ohio State in all-time touchdown receptions. He is now just one away from the great Cris Carter’s total of 27 touchdown receptions and he is only eight from the school record, held by David Boston.
Ohio State Career Touchdown Receptions
SMITH’S RECEIVING NOs. IMPRESSIVE
Devin Smith, in addition to 26 touchdown passes, has caught 110 passes in his career for 2,136 yards and a 19.4 yards per reception average. He ranks 11th at Ohio State in career receptions, seventh in career yards and fourth in average yards per reception. His 26 career touchdown passes have averaged 37.1 yards per reception.
Devin Smith’s 25 TD Receptions
2011 – 14 from B. Miller vs. Akron
2011 – 32 from B. Miller vs. Colorado
2011 – 17 from B. Miller vs. Colorado
2011 – 40 from B. Miller vs. Wisconsin
2012 – 23 from B. Miller vs. Miami
2012 – 25 from B. Miller vs. Cal
2012 – 72 from B. Miller vs. Cal
2012 – 63 from B. Miller vs. Michigan State
2012 – 60 from B. Miller vs. Indiana
2012 – 46 from B. Miller vs. Indiana
2013 – 47 from B. Miller vs. Buffalo
2013 – 90 from K. Guiton vs. Cal
2013 – 47 from K. Guiton vs. Cal
2013 – 5 from K. Guiton vs. FAMU
2013 – 26 from B. Miller vs. Wisconsin
2013 – 14 from B. Miller vs. Iowa
2013 – 39 from B. Miller vs. Indiana
2013 – 53 from B. Miller vs. Michigan
2014 – 80 from J.T. Barrett vs. Navy
2014 – 50 from J.T. Barrett vs. Kent State
2014 – 19 from J.T. Barrett vs. Cincinnati
2014 – 34 from J.T. Barrett vs. Cincinnati
2014 – 30 from J.T. Barrett vs. Maryland
2014 – 32 from J.T. Barrett vs. Illinois
2014 – 8 from J.T. Barrett vs. Illinois
2014 – 44 from J.T. Barrett vs. Michigan State
SMITH SCORES. BUCKS WIN.
Devin Smith has caught a touchdown pass in 20 games during his career. Ohio State is 20-0 in those contests, including a win Saturday over No. 8 Michigan State.
NO. 1 IN BIG TEN IN INTERCEPTIONS
Nine interceptions in the last five games have the Buckeyes leading the Big Ten, and ranking eighth nationally, with 14 interceptions for the season. Nine different players have recorded interceptions for the Buckeyes including six by four freshmen (Eli Apple and Darron Lee have two apiece and Erick Smith and Raekwon McMillan each have one).
BACK-TO-BACK: 11-TFL GAMES
Ohio State had season-high totals in tackles-for-loss in consecutive games with 11 vs. Penn State and 11 vs. Illinois. Ohio State has 67 TFLs on the season to rank second in the Big Ten and 17th nationally.
Team Leaders – Tackles-for-Loss
1. Joey Bosa – 14.5 for 87 yards (10 QB sacks)
2. Darron Lee – 9.5 for 41 yards (3.5 sacks)
3. A. Washington – 6.5 for 22 yards (2 sacks)
4. Steve Miller – 5.5 for 17 yards (1 sack)
t5. Joshua Perry – 5.0 for 19 (0.5 sacks)
t5. Michael Bennett – 5.0 for 22 (2 sacks)
BOSA SACK ENDS PSU GAME
Not sure who to credit for the term “walk-off” sack, but it sure fit as Joey Bosa overpowered a Penn State blocking back on a fourth-and-5 play in the second overtime, knocking him backwards and into quarterback Christian Hackenberg for a game-ending sack to clinch Ohio State’s 31-24 double overtime victory. Bosa had 2.5 sacks on the day and six total tackles.
TWO PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
A walk-off sack, plus 1.5 additional sacks and six total tackles netted Joey Bosa the B1G defensive player of the week honor as well as Athlon’s national defensive player of the week award following the Penn State game.
18 TACKLES FOR PERRY
Joshua Perry registered a personal-best and a team-season high 18 tackles vs. the Nittany Lions. Included in his total were 12 solo tackles and two TFLs for a minus-7 yards. Perry continues to lead the Buckeyes with 70 tackles and 8.8 per game, a total that ranks ninth in the Big Ten.
MOVING THE CHAINS
Since week 2, Ohio State has the highest third-down conversion rate in the FBS at 58.1 percent (54 of 93).
FROM THE LAND DOWN UNDER
He doesn’t have enough punts to qualify for national rankings, but Australian punter Cameron Johnston has been outstanding in his limited playing time for the Buckeyes this season. Most recently, he kept Penn State backed up near its goal line with a 45-yard average off six punts with four of them dropped inside the 20 and two of those inside the 10. Penn State was forced to punt on all four of its possessions that started I20 from a Johnston punt. Johnston punted twice vs. Michigan State, with both being downed on the 7 yard line. Nine of his 22 punts this season have been downed inside the 10. He has helped Ohio State to a No. 2 ranking in the Big Ten in net punting (39.8) and he is third in the Big Ten at 43.4 yards per punt.
NUERNBERGER TOPS IN SCORING
Freshman kicker Sean Neuernberger leads the Big Ten Conference in kick scoring with 82 points and 9.1 points per game. Nuernberger is perfect on 55 extra point tries and he has connected on 9-of-14 field goal attempts.
Ohio State is now 8-2 in overtime games (4-0 at home; 3-2 away and 1-0 at neutral sites) and has won three consecutive games. Urban Meyer’s teams are 7-0 in overtime games: 1-0 at BGSU; 1-0 at Utah; 2-0 at Florida; and 3-0 at Ohio State.
OSU OT’s Under Meyer
10-26-14: 31-24 (2OT) at Penn State; 2 J.T. Barrett TD runs and a “walk-off” sack by Joey Bosa;
11-17-12: 21-14 at Wisconsin; Carlos Hyde TD; Christian Bryant PBU on 4-G-21; and
10-20-12: 29-22 vs. Purdue; Hyde TD run in “legend of Kenny G” game.
23 POINTS OFF BOSA TURNOVERS
Three forced fumbles by Joey Bosa have led to 23 Ohio State points so far this season.
Darron Lee and returned 61 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.
7 points – His sack and forced fumble of Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer was recovered by Rashad Frazier at the VT 15. Two plays later Ezekiel Elliott scored to tie the game at 21-all.
9 points – In the win over Cincinnati, Bosa delivered a devastating strip-sack to UC QB Gunner Kiel. The ball was batted out of the end zone for a safety and Ohio State scored on its possession after the free kick.
THREE 20-GAME WIN STREAKS FOR MEYER
Last season Urban Meyer became the first head coach at the highest level of the collegiate coaching ranks (major college, Division I, FBS, etc.) to have three winning streaks of at least 20 games. A total of 41 head coaches at this level have lead a team to a winning streak of at least 20 games. Nine of those coaches have had two winning streaks of at least 20 wins. Meyer is the first to add a third such winning streak to his name.
Multiple 20-Game Win Streak Coaches
24 – Florida (2010) & Ohio State (2012-13)
22 – Florida (2008-09)
20 – Utah (2003-04) & Florida (2005)
28 – Yale (1888-89)
27 – Yale (1890-92)
22 – Tennessee (1937-39)
20 – Tennessee (1950-51)
26 -Nebraska (1994-96)
22 -Nebraska (1982-83)
23 – Penn State (1968-69)
20 – Penn State (1993-95)
28 – Oklahoma (1973-75)
20 – Oklahoma (1986-87)
47 – Oklahoma (1953-57)
31 – Oklahoma (1948-50)
34 – Pennsylvania (1894-96)
31 – Pennsylvania (1896-98)
29 – Michigan (1901-03)
26 – Michigan (1903-05)
AND ONLY ONE THREE-GAME LOSING STREAK
Urban Meyer has had just one losing streak reach three games in his 161-game head coaching career: in 2010 at Florida. He has had only four multi-game losing streaks in all, with all of them two-game streaks except for the 2010 trio while at Florida. The others: in 2002 at Bowling Green; 2007 at Florida; and 2013 at OSU.
10 MEYER ASSISTANTS HEAD COACHES
Urban Meyer has had 11 of his assistant coaches move on to head coaching positions with 10 of them still a head coach. Collectively, this group has posted a fine 62-32 won/loss record this season, including unbeaten teams at Marshall and Mississippi State, for a .660 winning percentage.
Meyer Assistants Currently Head Coaches
Steve Addazio: Boston College, 2nd year
Gary Andersen: Wisconsin, 2nd year
Tim Beckman: Illinois, 4th year
Gregg Brandon: Bowling Green (2003-08)
John “Doc” Holliday: Marshall, 5th year
Dan McCarney: North Texas, 4th year
Dan Mullen: Mississippi State, 6th year
Mike Sanford: UNLV (2005-09); Indiana St, 2nd year
Charlie Strong: Louisville (2010-13); Texas, 1st year
Kyle Whittingham: Utah, 10th year
Everett Withers: James Madison, 1st year
50-POINT GAME RECORD
Ohio State set a school record this year with four consecutive 50-point games. The stretch was also a personal best for an Urban Meyer-coached team. Three times previously he had a team score 50-or-more points in three consecutive games but this is the first time his team has done so in four consecutive times.
TOTAL OFFENSE TIES SCHOOL MARK
Ohio State also tied the school record this season with four consecutive games of 500-or-more yards of total offense (628 vs. Kent State; 710 vs. Cincinnati; 533 vs. Maryland; 585 vs. Rutgers). The 1998 Ohio State team was the first to accomplish this feat.
THREE DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS
Ohio State has three defensive touchdowns this season and all are by freshmen. Darron Lee has a 61-yard fumble return vs. Navy; Raekwon McMillan has a 19-yard interception return vs. Maryland; and Eli Apple has a four-yard fumble return vs. Rutgers.
FIRST 4-INT GAME IN FOUR YEARS
Ohio State’s four interceptions against Maryland represented its first four-or-more interception game in four years (four vs. Miami, Fla., in 2010).
HEUERMAN ON MACKEY MIDSEASON LIST
Senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, who has four receptions for 66 yards the last two games, is one of 33 tight ends nationally to be on the John Mackey Award’s midseason watch list.
JOHNSTON KNOWS I20 AND I10
Punter Cameron Johnston is averaging 43.8 yards per punt for his career. He has punted long and he has punted with precision as 64.7 percent of his 71 career punts have been downed inside the opponents 20 (46 of 69) with 32.4 percent of his punts (23 of 71) downed inside the opponents’ 10.
FOURTH 300 & 300 GAME
Ohio State had 380 rushing yards and 330 passing yards vs. Cincinnati. This marked the fourth time in school history the team has topped 300 yards in both categories in the same game.
300 Rushing & 300 Passing
2014 – 380 and 330 vs. Cincinnati
2010 – 342 and 303 vs. Eastern Michigan
1996 – 317 and 315 vs. Rice
1986 – 394 and 321 vs. Utah
Ohio State has 12 different players on offense who have scored a touchdown. Last year, 14 Buckeyes finished the season with a touchdown scored and in 2012 11 Buckeyes scored touchdowns.
OHIO STADIUM NO. 1 IN ATTENDANCE
Topped by a record crowd of 108,362 fans in Ohio Stadium for the Cincinnati game, Ohio State has had five home games this season and four crowds that have topped the previous all-time record attendance entering the season. Ohio State currently leads the nation in home attendance with more than 106,000 fans attending each game on average.
|2014 Home attendance – Average|
|1.||106,808 – Ohio State (Ohio Stadium)|
|2.||105,411 – Michigan (Michigan Stadium)|
|3.||105,038 – Texas A&M (Kyle Field)|
|4.||102,257 – Penn State (Beaver Stadium)|
|5.||101,723 – LSU (Tiger Stadium)|
|Top 5 Ohio Stadium crowds|
|1.||108,362 vs. Cincinnati; Sept. 27, 2014|
|2.||107,517 vs. Virginia Tech; Sept. 6, 2014|
|3.||106,961 vs. Rutgers; Nov. 1, 2014|
|4.||106,795 vs. Rutgers; Oct. 18, 2014|
|5.||106,102 vs. Nebraska; Oct. 6, 2012|
BARRETT HITS 11 DIFFERENT RECEIVERS
Redshirt freshman QB J.T. Barrett was spreading the ball all over the field in the 66-0 win over the Golden Flashes Sept. 13, hitting 11 different receivers and tying a school record with six TD passes in the win. It marked the first time in 25 years an Ohio State QB hit 11 different receivers in a game.
BUCKEYES IN THE POLLS
Ohio State is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press and No. 7 in the Coaches Top 25 polls. They are 14th in the latest College Football Playoff poll, released each Tuesday evening.
Since the start of the 2002 season, Ohio State has been ranked in the AP Top 10 more times than any other school (152). Oklahoma (129) and LSU (128) are second and third, respectively.
The Buckeyes, who have been ranked by the AP Top 25 more times (832) than any other school, appeared in the AP preseason poll for the 26th consecutive season this year, the longest streak in the nation. It also marked the 47th consecutive season Ohio State has appeared in the AP poll, tying Alabama for the longest active streak.
YARDS TO REPLACE
With the preseason injury to senior QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State entered the 2014 season without more than 3,100 yards of total offense from its 2013 squad, on top of losing top playmakers Carlos Hyde (1,521 yards rushing) and Corey “Philly” Brown (771 yards receiving). But as the Buckeyes have shown this season, they will replace those yards by committee with several talented players to spread the ball around to.
The Buckeyes returned just 11 percent of its total offense from a year ago heading into this season, the leading men being sophomore RB Ezekiel Elliott (262 yards rushing) and sophomore H-B Dontre Wilson (250 yards rushing; 210 yards receiving). The Buckeyes did, however, return two senior wide receivers in Devin Smith and Evan Spencer and senior tight end Jeff Heuerman.
NEW ON THE SIDELINES
Coach Urban Meyer’s staff features two new assistant coaches: Chris Ash is the team’s co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach and Larry Johnson is assistant head coach and defensive line coach. Ash spent the past year at Arkansas and the previous three years at Wisconsin. Johnson has coached collegiately for the past 18 years at Penn State.
FIVE SENIORS NAMED CAPTAINS FOR 2014
Five seniors were chosen by vote of their teammates, included injured and out-for-the-year quarterback Braxton Miller, cornerback Doran Grant, linebacker Curtis Grant, defensive tackle Michael Bennett and tight end Jeff Heuerman.
THE EARLY ARRIVALS
Seven prospects from the 2014 recruiting class (of 23) enrolled in January. Those seven were:
THE EARLY TREND
The seven early arriving Buckeyes continue a trend of high school seniors electing to graduate early/complete requirements to graduate and enroll at Ohio State for a winter or spring academic session. Ohio State has a total of 21 players who have left high school early. Those players, in addition to the class of 2014 enrollees, include:
2013: CB Eli Apple, QB J.T. Barrett, CB Cam Burrows and DL Tyquan Lewis;
2012: OL Jacoby Boren, OL Taylor Decker, RB Bri’onte Dunn, QB Cardale Jones, LB Joshua Perry, DB Tyvis Powell and WR Michael Thomas; and
2011: OL Joel Hale, TE Jeff Heuerman, QB Braxton Miller.
22-0 SINCE 2005 WITH PUNT BLOCK
Urban Meyer’s teams are 22-0 since the 2005 season when blocking a punt. Last season Ohio State blocked three punts: Bradley Roby (2) vs. Indiana and at Northwestern and Doran Grant vs. FAMU. This season, Ohio State has one (Jeff Greene vs. KSU).
60 BLOCKED KICKS
Urban Meyer-coached teams, from 2001 to the present, have blocked 61 kicks. Meyer’s Buckeyes have blocked 10 kicks over the past two-plus seasons. (Source for the first 51 blocks: U of Florida stats)
Buckeyes Building Blocks:
1. Adolphus Washington (PAT vs. UCF) 2. Orhian Johnson (PAT vs. UAB) 3. Bradley Roby (Punt vs. Michigan State) 4. Travis Howard (Punt vs. Indiana) 5. Garrett Goebel (PAT vs. Purdue) 6. Johnathan Hankins (FG vs. Purdue) 2013
7. Doran Grant (Punt vs. FAMU) 8. Bradley Roby (Punt vs. Northwestern) 9. Bradley Roby (Punt vs. Indiana) 2014
10. Jeff Greene (Punt vs. KSU)
BENNETT A SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATE
Senior co-captain Michael Bennett has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award in college football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
Bennett, a Centerville, Ohio, native, is a force as an interior defensive lineman, a team-leader off the field and is the son of parents who each graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Off the field, Bennett goes above and beyond in the community, participating in a variety of community service projects. In the past year, Bennett and his teammates have volunteered their time at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and paid a visit to campers at King Arts Complex in Columbus, reading, playing and interacting with local kids. Bennett also has attended the Columbus Special Olympics, taking part in the opening ceremonies and cheering kids on during competition and has been involved with the 2nd and 7 Foundation, which promotes reading by providing free books and positive role models to kids in need. Last summer, Bennett and his teammates helped rebuild the playgrounds at Graham Expeditionary Middle School in Columbus and also visited sick kids at Columbus Children’s Hospital.
A BIGGER, BETTER, BRIGHTER OHIO STADIUM
Capacity at Ohio Stadium has risen to 104,944 from 102,329, meaning attendance figures can expect to reach over 108,000-plus this season. An $8.9 million project at Ohio Stadium added 2,615 seats near the south stands’ stadium tunnels. The project included a new players’ tunnel and it also added rows of permanent MUSCO sports lighting atop the stadium’s east wall and above the press box. Upon completion, the south stands will hold just over 19,300 students (an additional 9,000 students will continue to have seats in the north end of the stadium).
92nd YEAR IN OHIO STADIUM
Ohio Stadium, grand and venerable and registered on the National Register of Historic Places, is hosting its 92nd football season in 2014. Ohio Stadium is endearingly nicknamed the “Horseshoe” or the “Shoe” because of its open south end. It is also referred to as the “House that Harley Built” after Chic Harley, Ohio State’s first three-time All-American who fans flocked to see at Ohio Field in 1916-17-19. Just one year after Harley’s career at Ohio State was over, things were in motion for a new stadium for the Buckeyes.
91 CONSECUTIVE CROWDS OF 100,000-PLUS
Ohio State has had 91 consecutive crowds in excess of 100,000. The last time Ohio State did not have at least 100,000 at a home game in Ohio Stadium: the 2002 season vs. Kent when 98,689 were on hand for the second game of what would become a national championship-winning season.