Aug. 29, 2011

Ohio State Game Notes | Akron Game Notes | A Message to Buckeye Nation

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Akron (0-0) at #18/16 Ohio State (0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011 – Noon ET
Ohio Stadium (102,329)
Columbus, Ohio

The Broadcasts
Television: ESPN will televise the game with Dave Pasch, Urban Meyer and Chris Spielman in the booth and Quint Kessenich on the sidelines.

Radio: WBNS (FM 97.1 The Fan) is the flagship station for the 73-station Ohio State radio network. The Luke Fickell 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 live on Sirius XM satellite radio (check listings).

First and 10
• Ohio State is 6-1 all-time against Akron.

• Ohio State won the last meeting with the Zips, 20-2 on Sept. 8, 2007 at Ohio Stadium.

Luke Fickell is the sixth former OSU assistant to assume the school’s head coaching position.

• The last 20 Ohio State coaches are 19-0-1 in their debuts. The last Ohio State coach to lose his debut was Jack Ryder, who suffered a 40-4 loss at Oberlin in 1892.

• Ohio State returns seven starters on offense and four on defense, including two special teamers.

• Ohio State led the Big Ten in every defensive category in 2010.

• Ohio State finished No. 5 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls for the second straight season in 2010.

• Ohio State is 52-5 at Ohio Stadium since the start of the 2002 season.

• Ohio State has won 54 consecutive regular-season non-conference home games against teams not ranked in the AP Top 25.

• Ohio State has 34 Big Ten championships, second-most all time (Michigan, 42).

Did You Know?
• Ohio State has not lost a home opener in 33 years – Sept. 16, 1978 to be exact when No. 6 Ohio State suffered a 19-0 loss to No. 5 Penn State in Woody Hayes’ final season as head coach.

• Ohio State has an all-time opening game record of 104-12-4. The Buckeyes’ last opening day loss away from Columbus was to Miami in the 1999 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J.

• All-time, the Buckeyes are 108-8-4 in home openers since 1890. The largest opening day crowd at Ohio Stadium was 105,092 in the 2009 opener vs. Navy.

About Akron
The Zips finished last season 1-11, but feature 13 returning starters on offense and defense and 35 letterwinners.

Sophomore transfrer Clayton Moore was named the Zips starting quaterback ahead of junior Patrick Nicely, a preseason all-MAC selection, who started all 12 games in 2010. Moore, who originally signed with Ole Miss, arrives from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC where he completed 155-of-257 passes for 2,395 yards and 23 touchdowns last season while leading the Bulldogs to the JUCO state championship and earned MVP honors at the Mississippi Bowl.

Defensively, junior linebacker Brian Wagner, a preseason all-MAC selection, returns after leading the team with 130 tackles.

Rob Ianello is in his second year as head coach after serving as an assistant at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Arizona and Alabama.

OSU-Akron Series History
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with Akron 6-1 overall.

1891: Ohio State 6, at Akron 0
1892: Ohio State 62, at Akron 0
1893: at Ohio State 32, Akron 18
1894: Akron 12, at Ohio State 6 (at OSU Fair)
1895: at Ohio State 14, Akron 6
2001: at Ohio State 28, Arkon 14
2007: at Ohio State 20, Akron 2

Young Bucks
The Buckeyes will feature one of the youngest starting lineups in recent history with just six seniors listed as a starter or potential starter on the depth chart on offense and defense (Joe Bauserman, Mike Brewster, J.B. Shugarts, Nathan Williams, Andrew Sweat and Tyler Moeller).

Noting the Buckeyes
• The last 20 Ohio State coaches are 19-0-1 in their debuts. The last Ohio State coach to lose his debut was Jack Ryder, who suffered a 40-4 loss at Oberlin.

• The last 21 Ohio State coaches are 20-0-1 in their home debuts. The last Buckeye coach to lose his home opener was Alexander Lilley in 1890.

• Ohio State has started 1-0 every year since 2000. The Buckeyes last lost an opener when they suffered a 23-12 defeat to Miami (FL) in the 1999 Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium.

• Ohio State is 30-2 in its last 32 season-openers. Both of those 0-1 starts took place in the Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium – 1999 to Miami and 1986 to Alabama.

Noting the Buckeyes
• Senior QB Joe Bauserman, who has been Ohio State’s primary back up the past two seasons, has played in 24 career games, completing 53.2 percent of his passes (25-47) with two touchdowns and one interception.

• Bauserman completed 72.7 percent of his passes in 2010 by connecting on 16 of 22 attempts. That was fifth among all FBS players with a minimum of 20 attempts in 2010, trailing Oregon’s Nate Costa (75.8 pct), Houston’s Cotton Turner (74.2 pct), Northwestern’s Dan Persa (73.5 pct) and Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien (72.9 pct).

• Bauserman joined Ohio State as a walk-on in 2007. This was after he spent three seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He has not started a game his senior season in 2003 at Lincoln High School in Virginia.

• Junior fullback Zach Boren has 18 career starts entering the season. A powerful blocker with soft hands, he recorded 10 catches for 68 yards last season, including a 22-yard reception vs. Eastern Michigan and a 15-yard and leaping run in Indiana win.

• Senior All-America center Mike Brewster is regarded by some as the best center in college football. He is a four-year starter with 36 career starts entering this season. In 2010 he was the only junior to rank among finalists for the Rimington Trophy, was a first team all-Big Ten selection and a FWAA and Phil Steele first team All-American. This season Brewster was namded to the preseason Playboy All-America team, the Rimington and Outland Trophy watch lists and was voted one of 12 “players to watch” by a Big Ten media panel.

• Junior running back/kick returner Jordan Hall can contribute in a number of different ways for the Buckeyes. In addition to his experience as a running back, Hall also has returned kicks and punts the last two seasons and has been working some in the slot during fall camp. Last year he averaged 9.9 yards on punt returns (second in the Big Ten) and 27.94 yards on kick returns (16th in NCAA). He carried the ball 37 times for 161 yards and two TDs while also throwing a 20-yard pass for a score in the win over EMU (he also caught a TD from Joe Bauserman in that victory). Late in the season he ripped off a 70-yard punt return at Minnesota before taking a kickoff back 85 yards for a touchdown against Michigan.

• Redshirt junior Travis Howard, who will wear jersey No. 7 this season on defense, is an up-and-coming talent at corner. He used this offseason to add a little more muscle and made significant strides during spring and fall workouts. His playing time increased last season as he recorded 13 tackles. A 30-yard fourth-quarter interception for a score in the win over Penn State highlighted his 2010 campaign before grabbing another interception and a fumble recovery in the win over the Wolverines.

• True Freshman Braxton Miller led Wayne High School to the Division I state title game in 2010 while passing for 2,167 yards and 17 TDs while rushing for 658 yards and 17 TDs as a senior. He had a career record of 31-7 over three seasons and was a finalist for Ohio’s Mr. Football. A first team all-state selection, he also played in the 2010 Under Armour All-American Game.

• Ohio State has only started two true freshmen at quarterback in program history: Art Schlichter in 1978 and Terrelle Pryor in 2008. Art Schlichter is the only Ohio State freshman to start a season opener in 1978. That was the last time the Buckeyes started 0-1 at home.

• Junior defensive lineman John Simon was named one of 12 “players to watch” at the Big Ten media days in July. Simon has 55 career tackles and 12 TFL in his first two years as a Buckeye. A promising defensive star with power and strength, Simon was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection and Lott Trophy nominee in 2010 as a true sophomore.

• Junior tight end Jake Stoneburner is one of the most experienced receiving threats on the Buckeye roster and figures to be a key component in the Ohio State passing game. He was the fourth-leading receiver on the team last season with 21 catches for 222 yards and two TDs. He caught five passes for 61 yards and a TD in the Ohio win. Over the final three games, he caught nine passes for 98 yards.

• Senior linebacker Andrew Sweat is the returning starter at will linebacker. He has 54 career tackles and began to make a name for himself last season filling in for the injured Ross Homan. Last season he recorded an 18-yard interception at Wisconsin and led the team with 8 tackles and 2.5 TFL against Purdue before recording eight stops in the win at Iowa.

• Senior defensive end Nathan Williams was named to the Ted Hendricks preseason watch list. Williams has recorded 89 career tackles and 20.5 TFL. Last season he recorded 46 tackles, which included 9.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks. He had a 22-yard interception against Miami on the Hurricanes’ first possession and a team-best 6 tackles against Eastern Michigan. He enjoyed his best game with 9 tackles, 2 TFL and a sack at Illinois before recording 6 tackles and 2.5 TFL against the Wolverines.

The Silver Bullet Defense
The Buckeyes have a long-standing tradition of producing the best defenses in the Big Ten and the nation year in, year out. Here are some bullets that put into perspective the Silver Bullets dominance.

• Since the 2005 season, Ohio State has finished either first or second in scoring defense among Big Ten teams all six years. The Buckeyes were first in 2010, 2007 and 2005 and second in 2009, 2008 and 2006.

• Among FBS teams in 2010, Ohio State ranked fourth in total defense (262.2 ypg), third in rushing defense (96.7 ypg), eighth in pass defense (165.5 ypg), fifth in scoring defense (14.3 ppg) and fourth in TO margin (+1.15).

• Ohio State has held 62 opponents to 21 points or fewer since the start of the 2005 season, the most among FBS teams. TCU (61) is second.

• Since the beginning of the 2005 season, the Ohio State defense has allowed only 10 100-yard rushers during a span of 78 games and only six since the start of the 2007 season. Both of those marks are the third best among FBS schools during those spans.

Fewest 100-yd rushers allowed (FBS Teams Since 2005)

1. Boston College 8
2. Alabama 9
3. Ohio State 10
4. Florida 14
5. TCU 14

Fewest 100-yd rushers allowed (FBS Teams Since 2007)

1. Alabama 4
2. Boston College 6
3. Ohio State 6
4. Brigham Young 8
5. Pittsburgh 8

• Ohio State has surrendered 122 touchdowns in 77 games since 2005. That is the fewest in the FBS in this span. TCU is second with 130 allowed in this span.

• Ohio State has allowed 110 touchdowns from scrimmage since the start of the 2005 season, the fewest by any FBS team in this span. TCU is second at 121.

• Ohio State has surrendered 48 rushing touchdowns since the start of the 2005 season. That mark is tied with Alabama for the fewest among FBS teams during that span.

• Ohio State has surrendered 62 passing touchdowns since the start of the 2005 season, the second-fewest among FBS teams.

• Ohio State allowed fewer than 10 points four times in 2010 and 29 times since the start of the 2006 season.

• It had been 29 games since the Buckeye defense had allowed a 100-yard individual rushing performance until John Clay ran for 104 yards Oct. 16, 2010 in Madison. The previous was USC’s Joe McKnight, who gained 105 yards on 12 carries in the 2008 meeting. That streak was second-longest in the nation at the time.

• In 2010, Ohio State ranked first in the Big Ten in scoring defense, total defense, pass defense, pass efficiency defense and TO margin and allowed the fewest number of opponent first downs (188).

• Ohio State’s defense gave up just 18 touchdowns in 2010 and recorded 30 turnovers in 13 games.

• Ohio State and Iowa led the Big Ten with 19 interceptions in 2010.

• The Ohio State defense averaged 5.69 three-and-outs per contest in 2010, second best among FBS teams behind TCU (6.0 per game). The game-by-game totals in that statistic: vs. Eastern Michigan (10); Ohio (8); Illinois (6); Marshall, Indiana (5); Miami (3); Wisconsin (1); Purdue (9); Minnesota (6); Penn State (7); Iowa (4); Michigan (5); Arkansas (5). Ohio State was third in the nation in 2009 behind TCU and Alabama, averaging 5.61 three-and-outs per game.

• Ohio State has allowed an average of 13.6 points over the last six seasons. That is the best scoring defense among FBS teams in this span. TCU is second at 14.2 points per game.

• Ohio State has featured a Top 20 scoring defense in each of the last nine seasons, including a top 6 in each of the last six.

Year PPG Allowed FBS Rank
2010 14.3 5th
2009 12.5 5th
2008 13.9 6th
2007 12.8 1st
2006 12.8 5th
2005 15.3 5th
2004 18.3 19th
2003 17.6 16th
2002 13.1 2nd

• Ohio State had 30 takeaways last season. It was the second straight season that the Buckeyes forced at least 30 turnovers. The Buckeyes forced 35 in 2009.

Head Coch Luke Fickell
• New head coach Luke Fickell is backed by nine assistant coaches who have 184 years combined working as college assistant coaches or staff assistants in their careers.

• Fickell is among four first-year head coaches in the Big Ten. The last time the Big Ten featured four first-year coaches: 1997. Illinois (Ron Turner), Indiana (Cam Cameron), Minnesota (Glen Mason) and Purdue (Joe Tiller) were hired that season.

• Fickell will be the first Ohio State coach to face a defending Big Ten champion in his conference opener since the Buckeyes began Big Ten competition in 1913.

• Since 1913, Ohio State coaches are 6-4-1 in their Big Ten debuts. The last six Ohio State coaches are 2-3-1 in their Big Ten debuts.

Team/Miscellaneous Notes
• Ohio State is tied with Oklahoma with eight BCS bowl appearances. USC is third with seven.

• Ohio State is 1-2 in national title games since the inception of the BCS in 1998. The three national title game appearances match Florida State for the second-most all-time. Only Oklahoma has more with four.

• Ohio State is 5-3 in BCS bowls, tied for second with Florida (5-1) for the most BCS Bowl wins all-time. USC is first at 6-1.

• Ohio State has not finished with a losing record since finishing 4-6-1 in 1988 (John Cooper’s first season leading the Buckeyes). Ohio State’s run of 21 straight seasons without a losing record is the third-longest among active FBS teams. Florida State has gone 34 straight seasons since finishing 5-6 in 1976 and Florida has gone 31 seasons since going 0-10-1 in 1979. Virginia Tech and Texas Tech have the fourth-longest runs at 18 seasons each.

• In Ohio State’s eight BCS bowl appearances, they have only been the Big Ten’s automatic BCS bowl qualifier four times (2002, 2006, 2007, 2009). They have received an at-large berth three times (1998, 2003, 2008) and were an automatic participant by the `3-4 rule’ in 2005.

• Ohio State has won the Fiesta Bowl three times, the Sugar Bowl once and the Rose Bowl once in the BCS era. The Buckeyes join Oklahoma (Orange, Rose and Fiesta), Florida (Orange, Sugar and BCS title game) and Miami (Sugar, Rose and Orange) as the only teams to win three different BCS bowls.

• Ohio State is among three different programs who have appeared in at least four different BCS bowls, joining Oklahoma and Miami. The Buckeyes only need to play in the Orange Bowl to join Oklahoma as the only program to appear in five different BCS bowls. While Miami has won the BCS title (2001 season), they have not played in a bowl game specifically called the BCS title game.

• Ohio State (19-22) is tied with Michigan (19-21) for the most bowl wins all-time by a Big Ten team. Nebraska is 24-23 in bowl games, but has not represented the Big Ten in the postseason.

• Ohio State has won 34 Big Ten titles. Only Michigan has more with 42.

• Ohio State has 819 wins all-time, the fifth-most among FBS teams.

Michigan 884
Texas 850
Notre Dame 845
Nebraska 837
Ohio State 819
Penn State 818
Oklahoma 811
Alabama 802

• Ohio State has appeared in a bowl game in 15 of the last 17 seasons (1999, 2010). Fourteen of those bowl appearances have taken place in January (2004 Alamo Bowl). Ohio State has appeared in a January bowl in five of the past six seasons.

• Ohio State has featured 14 NFL Draft first-round picks since 2004. That is the most by any college team in this span.

Big Ten Announces 2013-14 Football Schedule
The Big Ten Conference has announced its 2013 and 2014 conference football schedules. Ohio State, a member of the Leaders division, will play four home and four away league contests in each of those seasons.

In 2013, OSU opens Big Ten play hosting Wisconsin Sept. 28. Other Big Ten games in 2013: Oct. 5 at Northwestern; Oct. 19 vs. Iowa; Oct. 26 vs. Penn State; Nov. 2 at Purdue; Nov. 16 at Illinois; Nov. 23 vs. Indiana; Nov. 30 at Michigan.

Ohio State has two non-conference dates confirmed for the 2013 season: Aug. 31 vs. Vanderbilt at Ohio Stadium; and Sept. 14 at California.

In 2014, Ohio State begins Big Ten action hosting Purdue Oct. 4. Other Big Ten contests in 2014: Oct. 18 at Iowa; Oct. 25 vs. Northwestern; Nov. 1 at Wisconsin; Nov. 8 vs. Illinois; Nov. 15 at Penn State; Nov. 22 at Indiana; Nov. 29 vs. Michigan.

The Buckeyes’ non-conference games for 2014 are Aug. 30 vs. Navy in Baltimore; followed by three games at Ohio Stadium: Sept. 6 vs. Cincinnati; Sept. 13 vs. Kent State; and Sept. 20 vs. Virginia Tech.

The champions of the Legends Division and the Leaders Division will meet in the Big Ten Football Championship Game on the first Saturday of December, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game. The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played in prime time on December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, while the second Big Ten Football Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2012, at a site to be determined. FOX Sports will serve as the official broadcast partner of the 2011-16 Big Ten Football Championship Games.

Big Ten to Play Nine Conference Games Beginning with 2017 Season
The Big Ten will move to a nine-game conference schedule beginning with the 2017 season.

Three teams each from the Legends Division and Leaders Division will feature five conference home games during odd-numbered years, while the other three schools from each division will host five conference contests during even-numbered years. The 2017 schedule will include five conference home outings for Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska from the Legends Division and Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State from the Leaders Division. The 2018 schedule will feature five Big Ten home games for Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern of the Legends Division and Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin of the Leaders Division. The Big Ten will return to a full nine-game conference schedule for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Eight of 10 conference schools played nine-game schedules during the 1981 and 1982 seasons, while two of 10 teams featured nine-game schedules from 1971-72 and 1977-80.

Up Next
Ohio State will host its second MAC opponent in as many weeks when it welcomes Toledo to Ohio Stadium Sept. 10 while Akron hosts Temple.