Oct. 10, 2011

Ohio State Game Notes | Big Ten Football Weekly Release | Illinois Game Notes

Ohio State (3-3, 0-2) at #16/15 Illinois (6-0, 2-0)
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011
2:30/3:30 p.m. ET
Memorial Stadium (70,904) – Champaign, Ill.

The Broadcasts
Television: ABC will televise the game with Bob Wischusen, Bob Davie and Heather Cox (sideline) on the call.

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.

First and 10

Ohio State is 0-2 in the Big Ten for just the second time since1993. Ohio State lost back-to-back games for the first time in 88games (2004), snapping the nation’s longest streak withoutconsecutive losses. The Buckeyes rank sixth in the NCAA with 27.4yards per kickoff return. Ohio State is tied for 17th nationally infewest points allowed at 17.8 ppg. Freshman QB Braxton Miller racked up 186 yards of total offense in histhird career start at Nebraska in two and a half quarters of play.Sophomore RB Carlos Hyde recorded the first 100-yard rushing game of hiscareer and the first for the Buckeyes this season with 104 yardsand two TDs at Nebraska. In his first game back from injury, WRCorey Brown caught three passes for 61 yards. No. 16/15Illinois is the third of four straight ranked opponents for theBuckeyes in October. Kicker Drew Basil has connected on seven consecutive field goalattempts. Senior LB Andrew Sweat leads the Buckeyes with 43 tackles.

About the Illini
At 6-0, The Fighting Illini are off to their best start under head coach Ron Zook and their best since 1951 when the Illini started the season 7-0. Illinois has now won seven in a row dating back to its Texas Bowl victory to end 2010.

Offensively, Illinois is led by quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase who is fifth nationally and second in the Big Ten in passer efficiency (175.83).

Biletnikoff Award candidate A.J. Jenkins is fifth in the nation with 135.8 yards receiving per game. He caught six passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns Saturday at IU, marking his fourth 100-yard receiving game this season and the seventh of his career. Jenkins has 450 yards over the past two games, the most by an Illinois receiver in consecutive games.

Defensively, Illinois ranks first in the Big Ten and sixth nationally in sacks with 3.67 per game, with Whitney Mercilus second in the NCAA with 1.42 sacks per game. Tavon Wilson was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week after Saturday’s win over Indiana. Wilson returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown to give the Illini a lead they would not relinquish in the 21-point win. Wilson also recorded a team-high 11 tackles, including nine solos, a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one pass break-up in the game.

Head coach Ron Zook is in his seventh season in Champaign with a record of 34-45 and his 10th overall (57-59) as a head coach. Prior to Illinois Zook spent three seasons at the University of Florida from 2002-04 where he went 23-14. Zook was named the 2007 National and Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading the Illini to the 2008 Rose Bowl.

Series History
Ohio State and Illinois will be meeting for the 97th time since the series was inaugurated in 1902. Until the series was interrupted in 2003, the two teams had played every year from 1914 to 2002.

Ohio State leads the series 62-30-4 and has a 33-12 advantage in Champaign. Between 1968 and 1982, the Buckeyes put together a 15-game winning streak against the Illini, the longest streak in the series by either team. Illinois won five in a row between 1988 and 1992.

Ohio State has won five of the last six meetings, but Illinois was a 28-21 winner in 2007 in Columbus. (Note: the 2010 season was vacated by The Ohio State University)

Illibuck Trophy
Illibuck is a wooden replica of a turtle presented to the winner of the Ohio State-Illinois football game. The tradition began with a live turtle in 1925. Illibuck is the second oldest trophy exchanged in the Big Ten, behind the Little Brown Jug between Minnesota and Michigan.

Not Since 2004
This week against unbeaten Illinois Ohio State will seek to stop a two-game Big Ten losing streak. The Buckeyes have not lost three games consecutively nor started 0-3 in the Big Ten since 2004. Both occurred concurrently. Ohio State finished 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten (T4th) that season.

Five Consecutive Leaders Games
The game this week against the Illini will start a stretch of five consecutive games against Leaders Division opponents for the Buckeyes before closing out with the traditional season-ender vs. Michigan, which is situated in the Legends Division.

It’s the Overall Record
The winner of the respective Legends Division and Leaders Division will be the team with the best overall record in all Big Ten games, and not the team with the best divisional record. Leaders Division leaders are Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State and Purdue, which are all unbeaten through the first two weeks of Big Ten play.

Braxton’s Finest Hour Cut Short
Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller was enjoying his finest game as a Buckeye through two-and-a-half quarters vs. Nebraska. His rushing – career-high 91 yards – and passing – 5 of 8 for 95 yards with one touchdown – had staked the Buckeyes to a 27-6 lead against No. 14 Nebraska in wet and louder than loud Memorial Stadium. His third quarter fumble just inside of the 8 minute mark led to a quick Cornhusker score and he left the game for good on his next series with a sprained ankle. The Cornhuskers eventually rallied with 28 consecutive points to claim a 34-27 victory.

Miller is expected to start this weekend vs. Illinois.

No. 2 This Year in Total Offense
Ohio State’s 351 yards of offense vs. the `Huskers was a five-game high and was topped only by a 517-yard effort in the opening game of the season vs. Akron. Nebraska was held to 117 yards in the first half as the Buckeyes built a 20-6 lead, but the Cornhuskers had 306 after intermission to finish with an Ohio State opponents’ season-high of 423 yards.

Hyde Was Hot, Too
No, that wasn’t current NFL running back Beanie Wells scooting wide right to score on a thrilling 60-plus yard touchdown, as he did vs. LSU in the 2008 national championship game. That was another fast, bruising running back, 6-2, 235-pound sophomore Carlos Hyde, whose career-long 63-yard touchdown run gave the Buckeyes a 17-3 lead. Tight end Reid Fragel had the key block and right tackle J.B. Shugarts helped seal off the edge for Hyde’s huge burst.

Rush Key’s 100-Yard Game
Carlos Hyde’s 63-yard touchdown run was one of two touchdowns against Nebraska for the sophomore. His one-yard bull into the end zone on Ohio State’s first series of the third quarter extended Ohio State’s lead to 27-6. Hyde finished with his first 100-yard rushing game – 104 yards – and his TDs increased his rushing total to a team-high five this season. Hyde also leads the team with 400 rushing yards and a 5.3 per carry average.

Solid One-Two
Ohio State’s top-two tailback tandem of Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde are combining for 132.9 yards per game. Hyde just barely has the edge with 66.7 yards per game while Hall, who had 49 hard-earned yards against the Cornhuskers, averages 66.2 yards per game.

Stoneburner’s Seven Equals Seventh
Jake Stoneburner has moved into sole possession of seventh place among Ohio State tight ends with seven career touchdown receptions. The junior caught his fifth touchdown this season – a 32-yard screen pass from Braxton Miller with blocking assistance from Mike Brewster and Mike Adams – in the first quarter against Nebraska. It was Stoneburner’s first TD reception since catching two vs. Toledo. He also caught two vs. Akron.

Tight End Touchdowns
10 – John Lumpkin (1996-98)
9 – Rickey Dudley (1994-95)
9 – Charles Bryant (1959-61)
9 – Darnell Sanders (1999-01)
8 – Jan White (1968-70)
8 – Robert Grimes (1950-52)
7 – Jake Stoneburner (2009-present)

Speaking of Sevens
Kicker Drew Basil, after missing the first four attempts of his career (including two from over 50 yards last year), has now made seven consecutive field goals. His latest makes came against Nebraska from 41 and 35 yards out. He is 7 of 9 in field goals this season plus 17 for 17 on extra points.

Another Career-High for Bryant
Christian Bryant is averaging better than eight tackles per game in the last three games since he became a starter in the secondary. Included was a career-best 10-tackle game vs. Nebraska. His six solos vs. the Huskers was also a career high. His 10 topped the nine he recorded vs. Michigan State.

Sweat Still Leads
Nine more tackles by senior linebacker Andrew Sweat has increased his team-leading total to 43 on the season. He ranks 14th in the Big Ten with his average of 7.2 tackles per game. Christian Bryant’s 28 stops is next. Johnathan Hankins leads all down linemen with 27, including six vs. the Cornhuskers.

Bucks Add Six To Big Play Total
Six rushes and receptions over 20 yards vs. Nebraska was the most since the team had seven vs. Akron. The six big plays last week included 27- and 21-yard receptions by Philly Brown, 29- and 24-yard rushes by Braxton Miller, a 32-yard Jake Stoneburner reception and a 63-yard Carlos Hyde run. Each of the big plays either went for a touchdown (Hyde and Stoneburner) or led to a field goal or a touchdown.

Building Blocks
A new-look offensive line paved the way for a season-high 243 yards rushing by the Buckeyes against the Cornhuskers. Mike Adams came off his five-game suspension to start and play well alongside senior All-America center Mike Brewster, fellow senior tackle J.B. Shugarts and a pair of sophomore guards, Jack Mewhort and Andrew Norwell. Mewhort played at right guard after starting the first five games to Brewster’s left. Norwell moved from left tackle, where he made his first five career starts this season, to left guard. The season-high total came after an atypical 35-yard rushing game vs. Michigan State.

Hall Set to Return
Marcus Hall, a starter at right guard for the first five games of the season, can return to action this weekend against Illinois after sitting out the Nebraska game because of an NCAA suspension. The red-shirt sophomore has started six times in his career, including once in 2009 as a freshman, and will back up Andrew Norwell at left guard.

Couple More Notes from Lincoln
A couple of young defensive linemen – sophomore Johnathan Hankins and freshman Michael Bennett – each recorded sacks of Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez. The sacks were the second for each player, respectively, and each is now tied with Etienne Sabino for the team lead with two … The last time two rushers topped 100 yards vs. Ohio State in the same game – Rex Burkhead and Taylor Martinez netted 119 and 102, respectively – was the 1988 season when Michigan’s Leroy Hoard (158) and Tony Boles (103) each went over 100 … that No. 13 making a couple of special teams plays was Jeremy Cash, who had been wearing No. 17 through the first five games.

C.J. 2nd in B1G PDs
Sophomore safety C.J. Barnett ranks second in the Big Ten conference with six passes defensed, trailing only Iowa’s Micah Hyde, who has seven. Barnett has four pass break-ups and two interceptions. Freshman cornerback Bradley Roby is also among the Big Ten’s Top 20 in passes defensed with four (two PBUs and two INTs).

Welcome Back
Receiver Corey “Philly” Brown and fullback Adam Homan returned to action against the Cornhuskers. Brown was a spark at receiver, catching three passes for 61 yards after missing the previous three games with an ankle injury. Homan played on special teams and backed up Zach Boren after also missing three games due to a knee issue.

Boom’s Back
Dan “Boom” Herron will be active this week vs. the Illini after missing the first six games of the season while serving an NCAA suspension. Herron was a first-team all-Big Ten running back last year after rushing for 1,155 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns. The senior has 2,194 career rushing yards – 17th at Ohio State – and 29 rushing touchdowns.

Herron had three 100-yard performances in the final five games of last season. He had 114 at Minnesota, a career-high 190 at Penn State and 175 in the win over Michigan, including a penalty-shortened 89-yard run that was the longest play from scrimmage in school history. Herron rushed for at least one touchdown in each of the final 12 games of the 2010 season.

More on Boom …

Ohio State is 20-3 in the 23 games in which Dan Herron has scored a rushing touchdown. The Buckeyes are18-1 in Herron’s career when he has rushed for at least 55 yards.He totaled 91 yards on 19 carries in the loss on Oct. 16, 2010 atWisconsin. Coming into the season Herron led all active Big Tenplayers with 2,104 rush yards and 29 rushing touchdowns.

Buchanan Now at 15 I20
Another fine punting game by Ben Buchanan in the rain at Nebraska – 42.3 net average – included two more punts inside the 20. Buchanan ranks fourth nationally and leads the Big Ten with 15 punts inside the 20. He also leads with 35 punts. His 41.6 yard average ranks sixth in the Big Ten.

In October
The Buckeyes boast an all-time record of 360-128-28 in October games. Ohio State is 247-64-20 in October home games and 114-64-8 on the road that month.

Miller Solid in Starting Debut
Braxton Miller, just the third freshman to start at quarterback for Ohio State, rushed for 83 yards, passed for 83 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Devin Smith to lead Ohio State to a 37-17 win over Colorado Sept. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Miller and Smith hooked up on a 32-yard score in the second quarter to increase the lead to 17-0 and a 17-yard TD connection in the third to extend the lead to 27-7. Miller was 5 of 13 passing and he gained all of his rushing yards in the first half as he staked the Buckeyes to a 20-7 halftime lead. He did not have any turnovers despite constant blitzing from the Colorado defenders.

Miller has played in five games thus far in his Buckeye career, completing 25 of 47 passes for 386 yards with four TDs and one INT. He also has carried 49 times for 209 yards. He totaled a season-high 186 yards of total offense at No. 14 Nebraska through two and a half quarters before leaving the game with an ankle injury.

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.

Brewster Reaches 42 Straight
All-American center Mike Brewster started his 42nd consecutive game Saturday at Nebraska. The senior from Orlando, Fla. made his first start in Game 4 of the 2008 season vs. Troy and started the final 10 games of the season. He started all 13 games in 2009 and 2010, respectively, in addition to the first six games this year.

Only two other active players have at least 20 starts to their credit: senior RT J.B. Shugarts has made 29 career starts and junior FB Zach Boren has started 25 times.

Red Zone Efficiency
Ohio State has scored 16 of 19 times (84.2 percent) this season inside the 20 with 11 touchdowns and five field goals. The only three times the Buckeyes have failed to score came on a fumble and on two end-of-game possessions against Akron and Colorado while running out the clock.

Since Rod Smith’s fumble in the first quarter against Akron, Ohio State has scored on 15 consecutive red zone possessions if you don’t count the two possessions in which the Buckeyes took a knee to run out the clock.

Noting the Buckeyes

After the loss to Miami in week 3 the Buckeyes fell out of theAP Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 20, 2004 — nearly 7 yearsand ending the nation’s longest current streak of appearances inthe Top 25 (103 straight weeks). Tight end Jake Stoneburner set a modern day Ohio State record for tightends by catching three touchdown passes vs. Akron Sept. 3, from 28,11 and 2 yards out with Bauserman throwing all three. Stoneburner,who came into the game with two career touchdowns, finished withfour catches for 50 yards. The Ohio State record for careertouchdowns by a tight end: 10 by John Lumpkin from 1996-98. SeniorAll-America center Mike Brewster is regarded by some as the bestcenter in college football. He is a four-year starter with 42career starts. In 2010 he was the only junior to rank amongfinalists for the Rimington Trophy, was a first team all-Big Tenselection and a FWAA and Phil Steele first team All-American. Thisseason Brewster was named to the preseason Playboy All-Americateam, the Rimington and Outland Trophy watch lists and was votedone of 12 “players to watch” by a Big Ten media panel. Juniordefensive lineman John Simon was named one of 12 “players to watch” at the BigTen media days in July. Simon has 75 career tackles and 15.5 TFL. Apromising defensive star with power and strength, Simon was anhonorable mention all-Big Ten selection and Lott Trophy nominee in2010 as a true sophomore. Senior linebacker Andrew Sweat leads the Buckeyes with 43 tackles this season. Herecorded a team-high six tackles, including 2.0 TFL, a forcedfumble and an interception against Akron in the season opener andhad five and 1.0 TFL against Toledo. He is coming off a 9 tackleperformance at Nebraska and a 10-tackle, 1.5 TFL performanceagainst Michigan State. He now has a team-best 104 career tackles,9.0 TFL and three INTs.

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 and rank in the top 25 nationally in several defensive categories in 2011. Here are some bullets that put into perspective the Silver Bullets dominance:

Ohio State has featured a Top 20 scoring defense in each of thelast 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

Since the beginning of the 2005 season, the Ohio Statedefense has allowed only 13 100-yard rushers during a span of 84games and only nine since the start of the 2007 season. Both ofthose marks are the third best among FBS schools during thosespans.

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

1. Boston College 9
  Alabama 9
3. Ohio State 13
4. Florida 16
  TCU 16

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

1. Alabama 4
2. Boston College 7
3. Ohio State 9
  Pittsburgh 9
5. Brigham Young 10

Last Nine players to rush for 100 yards since 2007:

Date Player Team Att.-Yards
10/8/11 Taylor Martinez at Nebraska 17-102
10/8/11 Rex Burkhead at Nebraska 26-119
9/17/11 Lamar Miller at Miami 26-184
1/4/11 Knile Davis Arkansas 26-139
11/27/10 D. Robinson Michigan 18 -105
10/16/10 John Clay at Wisconsin 21-104
9/13/08 Joe McKnight at USC 12-105
11/10/07 Daniel Dufrene Illinois 8-106
9/15/07 Jake Locker at Washington 14-102

Ohio State has allowed just one 100-yard rusher in the past26 games at Ohio Stadium. Since the 2005 season, Ohio State hasfinished either first or second in scoring defense among Big Tenteams all six years. The Buckeyes were first in 2010, 2007 and 2005and second in 2009, 2008 and 2006. Among FBS teams in 2010, OhioState ranked fourth in total defense (262.2 ypg), third in rushingdefense (96.7 ypg), eighth in pass defense (165.5 ypg), fifth inscoring defense (14.3 ppg) and fourth in TO margin (+1.15). OhioState has held 65 opponents to 21 points or fewer since the startof the 2005 season, the most among FBS teams with TCU. Ohio Statehas allowed 123 touchdowns from scrimmage since the start of the2005 season, the fewest by any FBS team in this span. Ohio Statehas surrendered 52 rushing touchdowns since the start of the 2005season. That mark is second fewest behind Alabama (49) for thefewest among FBS teams during that span. Ohio State has allowedfewer than 10 points 30 times since the start of the 2006 season.Ohio State has allowed an average of 13.6 points over the last sixfull seasons. That is the best scoring defense among FBS teams inthis span. TCU is second at 14.2 points per game. Ohio State had 30takeaways last season. It was the second straight season that theBuckeyes forced at least 30 turnovers. The Buckeyes forced 35 in2009.

Head Coach Luke Fickell

Head coach Luke Fickell is backed by nine assistant coaches who have 184years combined working as college assistant coaches or staffassistants in their careers. Fickell is among four first-year headcoaches in the Big Ten. The last time the Big Ten featured fourfirst-year coaches: 1997. Illinois (Ron Turner), Indiana (CamCameron), Minnesota (Glen Mason) and Purdue (Joe Tiller) were hiredthat season. Fickell was the first Ohio State coach to face adefending Big Ten champion in his conference opener (MichiganState) since the Buckeyes began Big Ten competition in 1913. Since1913, Ohio State coaches are 6-5-1 in their Big Ten debuts. Inguiding OSU to a season-opening win in his first game as coach,Fickell joins 20 other Buckeye coaches with a first-game win. OSUhas had only 23 head coaches in 122 years of football and thatgroup is 21-1-1 in first games.

Team/Miscellaneous Notes

Ohio State is tied with Oklahoma with eight BCS bowlappearances. USC is third with seven. Ohio State is 1-2 in nationaltitle games since the inception of the BCS in 1998. The threenational title game appearances match Florida State for thesecond-most all-time. Only Oklahoma has more with four. Ohio Stateis 5-3 in BCS bowls, tied for second with Florida (5-1) for themost BCS Bowl wins all-time. USC is first at 6-1. Ohio State hasnot finished with a losing record since finishing 4-6-1 in 1988(John Cooper’s first season leading the Buckeyes). Ohio State’s runof 21 straight seasons without a losing record is the third-longestamong active FBS teams. Florida State has gone 34 straight seasonssince finishing 5-6 in 1976 and Florida has gone 31 seasons sincegoing 0-10-1 in 1979. Virginia Tech and Texas Tech have thefourth-longest runs at 18 seasons each. In Ohio State’s eight BCSbowl appearances, they have only been the Big Ten’s automatic BCSbowl qualifier four times (2002, 2006, 2007, 2009). They havereceived an at-large berth three times (1998, 2003, 2008) and werean automatic participant by the `3-4 rule’ in 2005. Ohio State haswon the Fiesta Bowl three times, the Sugar Bowl once and the RoseBowl once in the BCS era. The Buckeyes join Oklahoma (Orange, Roseand Fiesta), Florida (Orange, Sugar and BCS title game) and Miami(Sugar, Rose and Orange) as the only teams to win three differentBCS bowls. Ohio State is among three different programs to haveappeared in at least four different BCS bowls, joining Oklahoma andMiami. The Buckeyes only need to play in the Orange Bowl to joinOklahoma as the only program to appear in five different BCS bowls.While Miami has won the BCS title (2001 season), they have notplayed in a bowl game specifically called the BCS title game. OhioState has appeared in a bowl game in 15 of the last 17 seasons.Fourteen of those bowl appearances have taken place in January(2004 Alamo Bowl). Ohio State has appeared in a January bowl infive of the past six seasons. Ohio State (19) is tied with Michigan(19) for the most bowl wins all-time by a Big Ten team. Nebraska is24-23 in bowl games, but has not represented the Big Ten in thepostseason. Ohio State has won 34 Big Ten titles. Only Michigan hasmore with 42. Ohio State has 822 wins all-time, the fifth-mostamong FBS teams.

Michigan 890
Texas 853
Notre Dame 849
Nebraska 842
Ohio State 822
Penn State 823
Oklahoma 816
Alabama 808

Ohio State has featured 14 NFL Draft first-round pickssince 2004. That is the most by any college team in this span. OhioState has had 67 consecutive crowds of more than 100,000 at OhioStadium. Ohio State has not lost a home opener in 34 years – Sept.16, 1978 to be exact when No. 6 Ohio State suffered a 19-0 loss toNo. 5 Penn State in Woody Hayes’ final season. Ohio State has anall-time opening game record of 105-12-4. The Buckeyes’ lastopening day loss away from Columbus was to Miami in the 1999Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J. All-time, the Buckeyes are109-8-4 in home openers since 1890. The largest opening day crowdat Ohio Stadium was 105,092 in the 2009 opener vs. Navy.

Not Since 1922-24
Ohio State ranks second among all NCAA Div. I programs with 85 consecutive seasons since last posting back-to-back losing records. The Buckeyes have not been under .500 for two or more consecutive seasons since 1922-24, which trails only Tennessee; the Vols have not had back-to-back losing seasons since 1909-11, a span of 98 consecutive seasons.

Ohio State to Wear Advanced Nike Uniforms for Wisconsin Game
Ohio State will be one of nine college football programs donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike uniforms for at least one game during the 2011-12 season.

The teams selected to sport the 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniforms include the United States Military Academy (Army), Boise State University, University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, the United States Naval Academy, The Ohio State University, University of Oregon, and Stanford University.

The uniforms will hit the field on opening day of the 2011-12 college football season and throughout the year during some of fiercest rivalries in college football. Dates include Oregon vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium (9/3), Boise State vs. Georgia at the Georgia Dome (9/3), Michigan State vs. Michigan (10/15), LSU vs. Auburn (10/22), Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (10/29), Stanford vs. Notre Dame (11/27) and the annual service academy bragging rights matchup between two of the nation’s most prestigious football programs – Army vs. Navy (12/10).

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Ohio State University’s undefeated 1961 championship season — a distinctive milestone that provides a source of inspiration for a program steeped in tradition and rooted in pride. The 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress design for the Buckeyes harkens back to that team, whose offensive power lived in its backfield, led by the 6’0, 227 pound All-American fullback, Bob Ferguson. The Heisman runner-up was a power runner and contributed immensely to the team’s noteworthy speed, aggression and smarts. This uniform acknowledges the dominance of the 1961 team and will deliver an undeniable motivation for the current Buckeyes when they face off against Wisconsin on October 29.

Distinctive white block lettering on Ohio State’s bold scarlet jersey is accompanied by gray sleeve and collar accents that provide a retro look high in contrast. An inscription of the year “1961” on the inner neckline, socks and sleeves act as a silent reminder of the indisputable determination of that year’s lineup. A steel gray baselayer and matching arm sleeves feature a print reminiscent of a buckeye tree. These two pieces are patterned after Buckeye Grove – home to a collection of buckeye trees planted in honor of each first team All-American player, like Ferguson, whose presence always commanded respect. Dark gray pants complement the baselayer design, emblazoned with a prominent block `O’ on the hip alongside a scarlet streak on the pant leg.

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.

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.