Nov. 11, 2006
Attendance: 47,130 (sell out) Ohio State extended the nation’slongest winning streak to 18 games. The current streak, which beganlast year against Michigan State, ranks third all-time at OhioState.
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 withthe Buckeyes now is 61-13 and his career record is 196-70-2. UnderTressel, the Buckeyes now are 46-3 when leading at the half (33-10Saturday at Northwestern) and 49-3 (47-10) when ahead after threequarters. Ohio State now is 786-300-53 in 116 seasons. Ohio Statehas 27 takeaways this season which has led to 127 points for theBuckeyes in 11 games. Opponents have forced 12 miscues but have yetto score off an OSU turnover. The Buckeyes have scored at least onetouchdown in 124-consecutive games. Five Ohio State teams havestarted a season 11-0. The last OSU team to start 11-0 was the 2002National Championship unit that finished 14-0. Other teams to start11-0 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 Smithfinished 12-of-19 for 185 yards and matched a career-best with fourtouchdown passes. It was his third time this season he threw fourTDs in a game (Iowa and Indiana). He added 15 yards on the groundto finish with 200 yards of total offense. Smith now has 6,554yards in total offense for his career to rank third all-time. Hepassed Steve Bellisari (1998-01) who had 6,496 yards. Smith trailsBobby Hoying (1992-95) who had 7,151 to rank second. Art Schlichteris the school’s all-time leader in total offense with 8,850 yards.With the win Saturday, Smith moved to 24-2 as starting quarterback.That mark includes a 9-1 record against ranked opponents. OhioState tailback Antonio Pittman carried the ball 19 times for 80yards and a touchdown and now has 1,032 yards for the season.Pittman rushed for 1,331 yards last year and has become the firstrunning 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) hascaught at least one pass in 30-consecutive games (beginning withIowa in 2004) and has 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 theBuckeyes a 47-10 lead with 15 seconds to play in the third quarterwith a 1-yard run. It was his sixth touchdown of the season. He hasscored one touchdown in his last five games. Wells had 11 carriesfor 99 yards as the game’s leading rusher. Ohio State quarterbackTodd Boeckman carried the ball 4 yards for a touchdown with 2:29 toplay in the game. The rushing TD was the 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 thegame with 32 seconds remaining in the first half and it wasrecovered by Jay Richardson. It was the first fumble recovered byRichardson this season and the second of his career. He alsorecovered a fumble vs. Texas in 2005. Ross Homan intercepted Bacherin the third quarter for his first career interception. The OhioState defense has held nine of 11 opponents to one or fewertouchdowns this season. Ohio State has allowed just three rushingtouchdowns 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 thefirst blocked punt by the Buckeyes since Quinn Pitcock blocked apunt last year against Northwestern (Nov. 12). Ohio State scored atouchdown after the blocked punt Saturday, but the PAT was blocked.The 10 points Northwestern scored against the Buckeyes in the firsthalf tied Iowa for the season high.