Nov. 11, 2006
Attendance: 47,130 (sell out)
Ohio State extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 18games. The current streak, which began last year against MichiganState, ranks third all-time at Ohio State.
Ohio State’s longest win streaks
No. – Year(s)
22 – 1967-69
19 – 2002-03
18 – 2005-06
14 – 1899-00
Ohio State now is 62-8-1 when ranked as the nation’s No. 1team. Overall, the Buckeyes are 294-68-9 when carrying a Top 10ranking and 401-123-14 as a Top 25 team.
Jim Tressel’s record with the Buckeyes now is 61-13 and hiscareer record is 196-70-2.
Under Tressel, the Buckeyes now are 46-3 when leading at thehalf (33-10 Saturday at Northwestern) and 49-3 (47-10) when aheadafter three quarters.
Ohio State now is 786-300-53 in 116 seasons.
Ohio State has 27 takeaways this season which has led to 127points for the Buckeyes in 11 games. Opponents have forced 12miscues but have yet to score off an OSU turnover.
The Buckeyes have scored at least one touchdown in124-consecutive games.
Five Ohio State teams have started a season 11-0. The last OSUteam to start 11-0 was the 2002 National Championship unit thatfinished 14-0. Other teams to start 11-0 are 1995, 1979 and 1975.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Northwestern,57-14-1, including a 25-6-1 record in Evanston. Ohio State leads31-8 in Columbus and is 1-0-0 at neutral sites. This was the firstwin at Northwestern since a 27-16 triumph in 2002. Northwesternupset the Buckeyes 33-27 in overtime in 2004. Ohio State coach JimTressel is 5-1 all-time against the Wildcats.
Ohio State’s 54 points against Northwestern are a season high.The Buckeyes had twice score 44 points in back-to-back wins againstIndiana (44-3) and Minnesota (44-0). The points are the most in aBig Ten game since a 56-35 win vs. Iowa in 1995 and the most in anygame since a 72-0 victory vs. Pittsburgh in 1996.
Offensive Player Notes
Freshman receiver Brian Hartline caught a 14-yard TD pass fromTroy Smith with 11:28 to play in the first quarter. It was hisfirst career touchdown reception. Hartline also reeled in a 9-yardTD pass to give Ohio State a 27-3 lead with 4:35 to play in thesecond quarter. Hartline had three catches for a career-high 47yards, all in the first half.
Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith finished 12-of-19 for 185yards and matched a career-best with four touchdown passes. It washis third time this season he threw four TDs in a game (Iowa andIndiana). He added 15 yards on the ground to finish with 200 yardsof total offense.
Smith now has 6,554 yards in total offense for his career torank third all-time. He passed Steve Bellisari (1998-01) who had6,496 yards. Smith trails Bobby Hoying (1992-95) who had 7,151 torank second. Art Schlichter is the school’s all-time leader intotal offense with 8,850 yards.
With the win Saturday, Smith moved to 24-2 as startingquarterback. That mark includes a 9-1 record against rankedopponents.
Ohio State tailback Antonio Pittman carried the ball 19 timesfor 80 yards and a touchdown and now has 1,032 yards for theseason. Pittman rushed for 1,331 yards last year and has become thefirst running back to rush for at least 1,000 yards in back-to-backseasons since Eddie George (1994-95). He joins a list at Ohio Statethat includes Archie Griffin (1973-74), Tim Spencer (1981-82) andKeith Byars (1983-84) who also have rushed for consecutive1,000-yard seasons.
Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. (2 rec. for 40 yards) has caught at leastone pass in 30-consecutive games (beginning with Iowa in 2004) andhas multiple catches in 28-consecutive games.
Ginn is seventh all-time on the OSU receiving list with 127 receptions. The No. 6 spot belongs to receiver Dee Miller (1995-98) with 132 receptions.
Anthony Gonzalez caught two balls Saturday for 34 yards. He nowhas 45 catches on the year with 39 of those resulting in firstdowns.
Antonio Pittman has scored a touchdown in 15 of his last 16games after a 1-yard score with 9:25 to play in the first quarter.Pittman finished with 19 carries for 80 yards.
Chris Wells gave the Buckeyes a 47-10 lead with 15 seconds toplay in the third quarter with a 1-yard run. It was his sixthtouchdown of the season. He has scored one touchdown in his lastfive games. Wells had 11 carries for 99 yards as the game’s leadingrusher.
Ohio State quarterback Todd Boeckman carried the ball 4 yardsfor a touchdown with 2:29 to play in the game. The rushing TD wasthe first of his career.
The Buckeyes have forced 27 turnovers (21 interceptions and sixfumble recoveries) this season. Ohio State has turned those 27turnovers into 127 points this season, including five turnovers for34 points Saturday vs. Northwestern. Ohio State recovered threefumbles in the first half and interceptions in the first and thirdquarters.
Brandon Mitchell’s 46-yard interception return for a touchdown was the Buckeyes’ third defensive touchdown this season. Ohio State had two interception returns in the fourth quarter vs. Penn State.
The Buckeyes have intercepted at least one opponent pass in all11 games this season. The Buckeyes now have 20 interceptions thisseason.
Malcolm Jenkins forced the Buckeyes third fumble of the gamewith 32 seconds remaining in the first half and it was recovered byJay Richardson. It was the first fumble recovered by Richardsonthis season and the second of his career. He also recovered afumble vs. Texas in 2005.
Ross Homan intercepted Bacher in the third quarter for hisfirst career interception.
The Ohio State defense has held nine of 11 opponents to one orfewer touchdowns this season. Ohio State has allowed just threerushing touchdowns in 2006.
Defensive Player Notes
Brandon Mitchell recovered a fumble in the first quarter. It was his second fumble recovery of the season. Mitchell also added an interception in the opening stanza and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown. It was his second interception this season and the fifth of his career. It was his second INT return for a touchdown. He had a 57-yard touchdown after an interception at Indiana.
Later in the first quarter, Antonio Smith recovered a fumble. It was his first recovered fumble of the year.
Former Buckeye Brian Baschnagel (1972-75) served as thehonorary captain Saturday.
The blocked punt by Larry Grant was the first blocked punt bythe Buckeyes since Quinn Pitcock blocked a punt last year againstNorthwestern (Nov. 12). Ohio State scored a touchdown after theblocked punt Saturday, but the PAT was blocked.
The 10 points Northwestern scored against the Buckeyes in thefirst half tied Iowa for the season high.