Buckeyes Remain Undefeated, Down Penn State 35-23Sunday, October 28th 2012 @ 12:26 AM
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Braxton Miller was his usual self, running for 134 yards and accounting for three touchdowns a week after getting knocked out of a game, leading No. 9 Ohio State to a 35-23 victory against Penn State on Saturday.
Ryan Shazier returned an interception 17 yards for a score early in the third quarter that gave the Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) the lead for good, and the Nittany Lions (5-3, 3-1) and coach Bill O'Brien had their five-game winning streak snapped in a matchup of the Big Ten's bowl-banned perennial powers.
Miller missed the fourth quarter against Purdue after a hard tackle sent him to the hospital with a case of whiplash. He declared himself good to go by the midweek.
Was he ever. The Heisman campaign can resume.
The sophomore quarterback reached 100 yards rushing for the sixth time this season, carrying 25 times, and only avoiding contact when it was convenient. He also passed for 143 yards.
Matt McGloin and the Nittany Lions had turned an 0-2 start into a reason for Nittany Lions fans to get excited about football again.
It felt like a big game in Happy Valley, something many thought wouldn't happen this year after Penn State was hit with crippling NCAA sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.
But the Nittany Lions weren't quite ready to step up in competition.
Miller's second 1-yard touchdown run in the final 3:40 of the third quarter put Ohio State up 28-10.
McGloin and Penn State then rolled to an 18-play touchdown drive that he finished with a 2-yard pass to Matt Lehman to make it 28-16 with 9:49 left in the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion try was stopped.
McGloin finished 27 for 45 for a career-high 327 yards.
With plenty of time to pull off a comeback, the Penn State crowd roared and waved pom-poms as Ohio State started its next drive backed up to its 8.
A couple of tough runs by Miller got the Buckeyes off the goal line. Then on third-and-3 from the 28, Miller hit Jake Stoneburner in stride over the middle, and the wide receiver was gone. The 72-yard touchdown made it 35-16.
The Nittany Lions added one more touchdown, almost as a thank you to all of the fans - and there were plenty in the crowd of 107,818 - who stayed to the end.
Ohio State's season of what-could-have-been rolls on, back home to play Illinois next week. After that the Buckeyes take a week off, and then finish the season at Wisconsin and home for Michigan.
The Buckeyes could have been thinking Big Ten championship, even BCS title.
But Ohio State's decision not to impose a bowl ban last season, when the Buckeyes went 6-6 and lost in the Gator Bowl, before the NCAA weighed in on the tattoo-for-memorabilia scandal, led to Urban Meyer's first team in Columbus, Ohio, being left out of the postseason.
The Big Ten will give the Buckeyes a trophy if they win the Leaders Division, a race which they have firmly under control.
Other than that, all Ohio State can do is win'em all and hope for the best when the final AP poll of the season comes out in January. Though an idle December would make it easier for Miller to get to the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Dec. 8
He added to his highlight reel with his first touchdown run.
Miller pulled the ball back just as teammate Carlos Hyde was engulfed by Penn State's Sean Stanley, did a two-step - one forward and jump back - to allude a defender, and then dived past another into the end zone. Officially, the play covered a yard, and it made the score 21-10 Ohio State with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
Before that, two of the better offenses in the Big Ten traded punts for most of the first half.
Penn State finally turned one of those punts into points.
Mike Hull cut through the Ohio State protection and blocked Ben Buchanan's punt a couple of yards away from the goal line. Hull tried to grab the ball that bounced on onto his chest as he lay on the ground, instead knocking it into the end zone where Michael Yancich recovered for a 7-0 lead with 6:15 left in the half.
Penn State forced another punt, but a holding penalty on the Nittany Lions converted the fourth down for Ohio State and Miller took advantage. His 33-yard keeper got the Buckeyes a first-and-goal at the 6. Three runs by Hyde made it 7-7 with 34 seconds left in the half.
OSU's Kenny Guiton leads OSU to victory over Purdue in overtimeSaturday, October 20th 2012 @ 11:06 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Many in a crowd of 105,290 thought No. 7 Ohio State had no chance of winning after star quarterback Braxton Miller went out with an injury late in the third quarter.
Backup Kenny Guiton had other ideas.
Guiton came off the bench in relief to lead touchdown drives in the final minute of regulation and in overtime, with Carlos Hyde scoring on a 1-yard run to clinch No. 7 Ohio State's 29-22 victory over Purdue on Saturday.
Purdue (3-4, 0-3 Big Ten) led 22-14 when Ohio State got the ball with just 47 seconds left in regulation. Guiton, inserted when Miller went out with an undisclosed injury, hit Chris Fields on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 3 seconds remaining. Guiton then found freshman Jeff Heuerman on the conversion pass to tie it at 22.
Hyde scored on a short plunge for Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) before Purdue's Caleb TerBush, who had two TD passes, misfired on four passes in the overtime.
Purdue had earlier scored on TerBush TD passes of 83 yards to Akeem Shavers - on the first offensive play of the game - and 31 yards to Gary Bush in the third quarter, along with Akeem Hunt's 100-yard kickoff return. The Boilermakers also picked up a safety when Ohio State was called for an illegal block in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Miller completed 9 of 20 passes for 113 yards with an interception and ran for 47 yards on 12 carries before leaving the game on the next-to-last play of the third quarter.
After Ohio State got the ball on Bradley Roby's blocked field goal, Miller took the ball on first down from the 24, stiff-armed a defender and sped around right end before being caught by cornerback Josh Johnson, who threw him hard to the turf on his left shoulder.
Miller didn't get up for several minutes - he was in obvious pain - while he was attended by several doctors and trainers. Eventually he sat up, then stood on shaky legs for at least 60 seconds before he was led to the sidelines. He was later taken to the locker room by cart.
Guiton, in coach Urban Meyer's doghouse this spring, came in to replace him.
The teams had traded touchdowns in the third quarter, with Ohio State taking a 14-13 lead on Hyde's 2-yard run, set up by a 35-yard Miller-to-Chris Fields pass on which the Boilermakers blew the coverage.
Purdue answered by retaking the lead on TerBush's quick pass to the right flank where Bush picked up a key block from Crosby Wright while racing untouched 31 yards for the score and a 20-14 lead.
The Buckeyes drove to a fourth down at the Purdue 33, where Drew Basil's 50-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright flush and bounced away on the third play of the fourth quarter.
Ohio State took over at its own 39 with 47 seconds left in regulation. On first down, Guiton - who almost quit the team earlier this year - threw a long pass to a wide-open Devin Smith for a 39-yard gain on first down.
Battling the clock, the Buckeyes eventually faced a first and goal at the Purdue 2 with 3 seconds left. Guiton rolled to his left and fired a low pass to Fields. The play was reviewed but was allowed to stand.
Now down by two points, the Buckeyes set up for the conversion. Guiton lofted a soft toss over the linebackers to Heuerman to tie it.
After smothering the Boilermakers on the ensuing kickoff, the overtime was decided early.
Guiton led the Buckeyes steadily and Hyde gave them their biggest lead of the game on a 1-yard burst.
TerBush, who finished 19 of 30 passing for 230 yards with one interception, had a pass dropped to start the overtime and then threw three incompletions. Fans flooded on the field in celebration after his fourth-down pass hit the ground.
Guiton hit on 6 of 11 passes for 77 yards and the one touchdown with one interception. Hyde ended up with 91 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns.
Purdue led 13-7 at the half on the strength of two huge, end-to-end plays.
On the first snap of the game, TerBush floated a pass into the left flat to Shavers who had slipped behind the coverage of linebacker Storm Klein. Shavers had to wait for the pass, caught it, then left Klein grasping at air as he completed the play untouched.
The Buckeyes, who have gotten off to slow starts all season on offense, did so again. They punted after each of their first two possessions before mounting a drive to take the lead.
On fourth and 2 at the Purdue 46, Hyde bounced off a teammate and cut off left tackle for a 21-yard gain and a first down. On third and 10 at the 25, Miller then hit Corey Brown on a crossing pattern for 17 yards. On the next play, Miller used a nifty fake on a handoff to Hyde and skirted right end for the 8-yard touchdown.
The Buckeyes held the lead for exactly 12 seconds.
Hunt took the ensuing kickoff 2 yards deep in the end zone and appeared to slightly hesitate before cutting to the right sideline while picking up blocks. He cut back to the right hash, then outran two defenders thanks to another slick cut to the right sideline to complete the 100-yard return for the 13-7 lead.
The Boilermakers defense had been ravaged in its last two outings, both at home: a 44-13 loss to Michigan and a 38-14 defeat to Wisconsin. It surrendered an incredible 82 points, 771 rushing yards and 1,054 yards.
But the Buckeyes, with one of the most volatile offenses in the nation, were held to 342 yards.
Ohio State Hosts Nebraska In PrimetimeFriday, October 5th 2012 @ 10:10 AM
12 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0) vs. #21/20 Nebraska (4-1, 1-0)
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 - 8 p.m. ET
Ohio Stadium (102,329)
Television: ABC will televise the game with Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge in the booth and Holly Rowe on the sidelines.
Radio: WBNS (FM 97.1 The Fan) is the fl agship station for the 73-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 live on Sirius channel 113, XM 191 and Dial Global Sports (formerly Westwood One).
FIRST AND 10
- The game will be the first time Ohio State and Nebraska will meet as ranked teams.
- Both teams are coming off comeback wins over last year's Big Ten championship game teams.
- Nebraska came back from 21 points down in the second half to defeat Ohio State, 34-27, last year in Lincoln, Neb.
- Carlos Hyde had two touchdowns, including a career-long 63-yarder, and 104 yards rushing last year against Nebraska.
- Ohio State is 4-0 at Ohio Stadium this year.
- Ohio State defeated Nebraska, 34-7, to open the 1956 season before an Ohio Stadium record crowd of 82,153.
- Ohio State is playing its 100th season in the Big Ten Conference, having joined the league in 1912 and playing its first season of Big Ten football in 1913.
- Nebraska is in its second season of Big Ten play.
- Nebraska is the first ranked opponent in Ohio Stadium since No. 21 Penn State was here on Nov. 19 of last year.
- Both Ohio State and Nebraska are playing their 123rd season of intercollegiate football.
Unbeaten and 12th ranked Ohio State, 5-0 and coming off its biggest win under Coach Urban Meyer, hosts No. 21/20 and 4-1 Nebraska in a huge, Leaders vs. Legends matchup in the Big Ten Conference. ABC will carry the 8 p.m. game to a national television audience.
GAME DAY IS GAME NIGHT
The game will be the 11th night game in Ohio Stadium history. Ohio State is 7-3 all-time in home night games, including a 33-29 win over Wisconsin last year in a game where 31 fourth quarter points were scored.
Ohio Stadium night games:
1. Sept. 14, 1985 - 10-7 win over Pitt
2. Sept. 11, 1993 - 21-12 win over Washington
3. Aug. 28, 1997 - 24-10 win over Wyoming
4. Sept. 11, 1999 - 42-20 win over UCLA
5. Oct. 6, 2001 - 38-20 win over Northwestern
6. Aug. 30, 2003 - 28-9 win over Washington
7. Sept. 10, 2005 - 25-22 loss to Texas
8. Oct. 25, 2008 - 13-6 loss to Penn State
9. Sept. 12, 2009 - 18-15 loss to USC
10. Oct. 29, 2011 - 33-27 win over Wisconsin
1972 TEAM TO BE RECOGNIZED
Members of the 1972 Ohio State team will be recognized during the Nebraska game. The 1972 Buckeyes went 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten Conference to earn a share of the championship. It would be the first of a Big Ten-record six consecutive Big Ten titles (outright and shared). Captains were Richard Galbos and George Hasenohrl. LB Randy Gradishar and OT John Hicks were named all Americans while OG Charles Bonica and DT Hasenohrl joined them as all-Big Ten selections. This was the first year freshmen are eligible to play, signaling the start of the Archie Griffin era at Ohio State.
AND IT'S HOMECOMING, TOO
Ohio Stadium, celebrating its 90th season and where the Buckeyes won their 400th game two weeks ago (400-109-20) over UAB, will play host to the 91st Homecoming game in school history this week with the Cornhuskers in town. Ohio State is officially 65-19-5 in Homecoming games.
OHIO STATE/NEBRASKA SERIES HISTORY
The game Saturday represents the fourth in the series between the Buckeyes and the Cornhuskers and the second Big Ten contest. Ohio State, under coach Woody Hayes, won both previous meetings in Columbus: 28-20 in its 1955 season opener and 34-7 in 1956 in front of a record Ohio Stadium crowd of 82,153. Last year in Lincoln, and in the first Big Ten game at Memorial Stadium, Ohio State led 27-6 in the third quarter but gave up the final 28 points and lost, 34-27. The 21-point lead was the largest ever surrendered by a Buckeye team in a loss. A few more 2011 game notes:
Braxton Miller had rushed for 91 yards and passed for 95 with one score before a third-quarter ankle sprain ended his night.
Carlos Hyde had his first 100-yard rushing game with 104 yards, including TDs of 63 and one yard.
Jake Stoneburner scored on a 32-yard pass play.
C.J. Barnett set a then-career best with 10 tackles.
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez and RB Rex Burkhead rushed for 102 and 119 yards, respectively.
BIG TEN SEASON OPENERS
In a game coach Urban Meyer referenced as "two sledgehammers going at each other," Ohio State topped Michigan State, 17-16, in East Lansing. The go-ahead score coming with 3:05 to go in the third quarter on a Braxton Miller-to-Devin Smith 63-yard touchdown pass play. Nebraska trailed Wisconsin by 17 points, but four consecutive second-half scoring drives propelled the Huskers past the Badgers, 30-27, in Lincoln.
FIRST TIME IN 56 YEARS IN OHIO STADIUM
Nebraska is making its first visit to Ohio Stadium in 56 years, or since the Cornhuskers came to Columbus consecutively in 1955 and 1956. Way back then ...
The games vs. Nebraska were the season openers in both years;
Jim Parker was starring for the Buckeyes; he was named All-American in 1955 and 1956 and he won the 1956 Outland Trophy;
Ohio State would set a Big Ten record in 1956 with its 17th consecutive league win; and
Hopalong Cassady scored three touchdowns in the 1955 game when the defending national champion Buckeyes won, 28-20.
URBAN, BO and OHIO
The game will be the first against each other as head coaches for Urban Meyer and Mark "Bo" Pelini, a couple of northeast Ohio natives who were raised in Ashtabula and Youngstown, respectively. Meyer is 109-23 in his 11th season as a head coach and Pelini is 43-17 in his fifth season as a collegiate head coach.
GRADUATES OF "THE"
Urban Meyer, a 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a degree in psychology, has his master's degree (sports administration) from Ohio State ('88). Pelini is a 1990 graduate of Ohio State with a degree in business marketing. He was twice named academic all-Big Ten.
BUCKEYE BO - 1987-90
Bo Pelini is a four-year Ohio State Varsity O letterwinner. His first season with Ohio State was in 1987, the final year for coach Earle Bruce, and he would start at safety in the secondary for the 1989 and 1990 Buckeye teams coached by John Cooper. He was team captain in 1990 along with Jeff Graham, Dan Beatty, Vinnie Clark and Greg Frey.
SO WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE ... IN 1956
The last time Nebraska played a game in Ohio Stadium (all info gleaned off the World Wide Web):
- The first portable black and white television sets were just hitting the market;
- The average cost of monthly rent was $88;
- One gallon of gas cost 22 cents;
- A new car cost, on average, about $2 grand;
- Yankee Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history nine days after the Ohio State/Nebraska game;
- These people were born in `56: Larry Bird, Bjorn Borg, Kenny G, Tom Hanks, La Toya Jackson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Barry Melrose, Joe Montana and Ron White.
- Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time, and he released the first of his 170 hit songs: "Heartbreak Hotel."
A PAIR OF TOP 5 PROGRAMS
Ohio State and Nebraska are two of the Top 5 winningest teams in college football history. Ohio State is fifth all-time with 830 victories. Nebraska is in fourth place all-time with 845 wins.
LOTS OF HARDWARE
Ohio State, behind its seven Heisman Trophy winners, has won 36 major national awards. Nebraska players have won three Heisman Trophies and 23 major awards. In terms of Consensus All-Americans, Ohio State has produced a Big Ten-best 78 such honorees while Nebraska has had 55. Here are each school's last...
Heisman Trophy Winner
- Ohio State - Troy Smith (2006)
- Nebraska - Eric Crouch (2001)
Outland Trophy Winner
- Ohio State - Orlando Pace (1995)
- Nebraska - Ndamukong Suh (2009)
Lombardi Trophy Winner
- Ohio State - Orlando Pace (1996)
- Nebraska - Ndamukong Suh (2009)
- Ohio State - Eddie George (1995)
- Nebraska - Mike Rozier (1983)
Walter Camp Player of the Year
- Ohio State - Troy Smith (2006)
- Nebraska - Eric Crouch (2001)
Major Award Winner
- Ohio State - James Laurinaitis (2008 Lott Trophy and Lowe's Senior Class Award) and Malcolm Jenkins (2008 Thorpe Award)
- Nebraska - Ndamukong Suh (2009 Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award)
FIRST IN NFF SCHOLAR-ATHLETES
Ohio State and Nebraska are tied for first nationally in number of National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes with 20 apiece.
BUCHANAN NFF S-A SEMIFINALIST
Senior punter Ben Buchanan is a candidate for the 2012 NFF Scholar-Athlete Award and by virtue, a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Buchanan graduated cum laude and with a 3.53 GPA in June with a degree in strategic communications. His resume is full of community service activities and accomplishments and he is a nominee for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. He was a finalist for the 2011 Weurffel Trophy which goes to the player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
BUCKEYES TOP SPARTANS
Ohio State's defense held No. 20 Michigan State to 32 yards rushing and to one field goal in its last three possessions and the Buckeyes left East Lansing with a 17-16 win to remain unbeaten under Urban Meyer. Braxton Miller had 315 total yards, including a game-winning 63-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith late in the third quarter, that helped offset two fumbles and one interception. Corey Brown had 12 receptions for 84 yards while Miller rushed for 136. Bradley Roby blocked a punt and led the defense with nine tackles. Jordan Hall scored on a one-yard touchdown - he later would leave the game with a knee injury - and Drew Basil was good on a 26-yard field goal attempt. Andrew Maxwell threw for 269 yards and one touchdown to lead the Spartans offensively.
BELL RINGING GOOD DEFENSE
Le'Veon Bell came into the game averaging 152.5 yards rushing per game. Ohio State's defense kept him from going north-south by bouncing him around early and often while limiting him to 45 yards off 17 carries with a long gain of just eight yards. Michigan State managed just 34 net rushing yards for the game and did not have a first down rushing.
11 DIFFERENT BUCKEYES TACKLE BELL
A whole defensive unit was in on stopping Le'Veon Bell as 11 different defenders were credited with a tackle or assisted tackle on him. Etienne Sabino and John Simon each had two solo stops of Bell with Sabino in on two assists as well. Bradley Roby had a solo and two assists. Ryan Shazier had three assists.
A TEAM EFFORT ON DEFENSE
The Ohio State defenders set a season high with 48 assisted tackles on defense vs. the Spartans.
Clinging to leads of 17-13 and then 17-16 in the fourth quarter, Ohio State's defense delivered the fourth consecutive win in Spartan Stadium for the Buckeyes with these efforts on MSU's final drives:
- Etienne Sabino sacked Andrew Maxwell (-7) on 3-7 from the OSU 47 on the last play of the third quarter.
- Nathan Williams sacked Maxwell on 3-4 from the OSU 28, setting up a 48-yard field goal to make the score 17-16.
- Sabino pressured Maxwell into an incompletion, forcing an MSU punt.
POWER RUSH GAME GRINDS OUT THE WIN
The Buckeyes turned to their power rushing game to run the final 4:10 off the clock. Six consecutive carries moved the ball from the OSU 18 to the MSU 44, drained MSU of timeouts and set up three victory formation plays to end the game. Carlos Hyde, returning to action after missing two games with a knee sprain, had two first down carries on the drive and 18 of his 49 yards on the day. The Buckeyes netted 202 yards rushing.
CHAMPIONS vs. MSU: OL PoW
The starting offensive line - LT Jack Mewhort, LG Andrew Norwell, C Corey Linsley, RG Marcus Hall and RT Reid Fragel - earned champion distinction vs. MSU and was collectively named the offensive player of the week. In addition to grinding the final 4:10 off the clock, the unit paved the way for 202 rushing yards and had 15 knockdown blocks.
MORE CHAMPIONS vs. MSU
Fullback Zach Boren and TE Jeff Heuerman were also named offensive champions vs. the Spartans. Defensively: Etienne Sabino was the player of the week and was joined in the champions club by DL Johnathan Hankins, CB Bradley Roby, CB Travis Howard, LB Ryan Shazier and DL John Simon. Roby was named special teams player of the week.
BRAXTON CLIMBS TOTAL OFFENSE CHARTS
Braxton Miller's 315 yards of offense vs. Michigan State - 136 rushing and 179 passing - was his third such game this season and the fourth of his career, moving him into a tie for third on the school career mark. Miller now has 3,384 total offensive yards, good for 15th place on Ohio State's all-time charts. He is averaging 302.0 yards per game this season and 191.8 for his career. School records for season and career are 270.6 by Joe Germaine in 1998 and 185.2 by Terrelle Pryor, respectively.
Nearing these career total offense totals:
13. 4,158 by Rex Kern, 1968-70
14. 3,768 by Eddie George, 1992-95
15. 3,553 by Tim Spencer, 1979-82
Corey Brown SETS 15-YEAR BEST
Corey Brown tied the fourth-best game in Ohio State history with 12 receptions vs. Michigan State. The total was the most in a game for an Ohio State receiver in 15 years, or since David Boston set the school record with 14 vs. Penn State in 1997. Four of Brown's catches went for drive-extending first downs. Last year he tied for the team lead with 14 catches. This year he is tied for the Big Ten lead with 32 receptions and his 6.4 receptions per game rank second in the league.
Top 5 Receiving Games by a Buckeye:
14 - David Boston at Penn State, 1997
13 - David Boston at Indiana, 1996
13 - Gary Williams vs. Florida State, 1981
12 - Corey Brown at Michigan State, 2012
12 - Billy Anders vs. Washington, 1966
12 - Bob Grimes vs. Pitt, 1952
32 RECEPTIONS: TIES ALL-TIME BEST
Corey Brown's 32 receptions through the first five games of the season ties Terry Glenn's total in 1995 as the most catches through the first five games of a season. Some notable five-game receiving runs:
- Santonio Holmes had 29 through five in 2004 and Brian Robiskie had 25 through five in 2007;
- David Boston, who owns school records for career (191) and season (85) receptions, had 28 through five games in 1998 and 25 through five in 1997;
- Cris Carter caught 32 passes in the last five regular season games in 1986 (for 538 yards and seven touchdowns); and
- Boston had one five-game stretch in 1997, starting with Penn State and ending with Minnesota, where he caught 39 passes.
ANOTHER CLUTCH CATCH FOR SMITH
Devin Smith has caught yet another huge pass: this time it was a 63-yard laser from Braxton Miller that turned into the go-ahead/winning score against the Spartans. It came with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Smith's other great grabs include:
- A one-handed touchdown catch vs. Miami that was the ESPN play of the day;
- A game-winning, 72-yard touchdown reception with 3:26 to play vs. California; and
- Calmly hauling in Braxton Miller's 40-yard touchdown for the game-winner with 20 seconds to play against Wisconsin last year.
MORE ON THE RECEIVING END OF THINGS
Devin Smith is sixth in the Big Ten with an average of 70.2 receiving yards per game and his 351 yards are fourth-most in the league. Smith (19 receptions) and Corey Brown (32-317) have combined for 51 receptions for 668 yards already. The top four receivers on the team last year combined for 53 catches for 854 yards.
FIFTH 5-0 START FOR Urban Meyer
Ohio State's 5-0 start represents the fifth 5-0 start for an Urban Meyer team. His others: 2002 Bowling Green, 2004 Utah, 2006 Florida and 2009 Florida.
ONLY TWO WITH BETTER STARTS
Only two first-year Ohio State coaches have started a season better than 5-0: Carol Widdoes went 9-0 in 1944 and eventually won his first 12 games before his first loss; and Earle Bruce opened 11-0 in 1979.
MEYER TEAMS: 54 BLOCKED KICKS
Urban Meyer-coached teams, from 2001 to the present, have now blocked 54 kicks in 131 games. Three of those have come this year as Orhian Johnson and Adolphus Washington have blocked extra point attempts and Bradley Roby blocked a punt - assist to the bull rush up the middle by Steve Miller - last week vs. Michigan State. (Source for the first 51 blocks: University of Florida stats)
SINCE 2005: 17-0 WHEN BLOCKING A PUNT
Urban Meyer's six Florida teams blocked a total of 21 punts, and they were 16-0 in those games. His teams are now 17-0 when blocking a punt since the start of the 2005 season.
KENNY G: NOTHING BUT COOL
Despite not taking a snap from center in the past two games, and only nine total for the season, Kenny Guiton was calm and collected when he had to replace an injured Braxton Miller on the first drive of the game vs. the Spartans. On first down from the MSU 14, he got smacked but made a nice option pitch to Jordan Hall for an 11-yard pickup. Two handoffs later and Hall was in the end zone and the Buckeyes had their first score on what would be a tough day for touchdowns.
NICE GAME FOR KICKERS
Ohio State's kickers had a fine game vs. the Spartans. On a day when points were at a premium, Drew Basil kicked a 26-yard field goal and two extra points. He also was in on two tackles on kickoffs. Ben Buchanan answered his counterpart's fine 55.4-yard average with a season's-best 44.0 average. That average is fourth-best for Buchanan, after a 50.0 average in 2010 vs. Indiana, 47.2 vs. Florida in the 2012 Gator Bowl, 46.5 vs. Miami in 2011 and 44.5 vs. Michigan in 2010.
BUCKS DRIVING 70 IS A GOOD THING
Ohio State had two scoring drives of 70 or more yards vs. Michigan State and now has 12 drives this season of 70 or more yards. Last year, Ohio State had nine drives of 70 or more yards. In 2010, the Buckeyes had 20 such drives. All 12 over-70 yard drives this season have resulted in touchdowns.
Driving 70 (or more) for scores in 2012:
Miami - 83 and 73 yards
Central Florida - 71 and 76 yards
California - 75, 75 and 75 yards
UAB - 75, 75 and 71 yards
MSU - 75 and 74 yards
15 CONSECUTIVE RED ZONE SCORES
Ohio State has scored on 15 consecutive trips inside the opponent's red zone (13 TDs; 2 FGs), dating back to the fourth quarter of the Miami game. Ohio State was five-of-seven against the Redhawks, including three-of-three in red zone opportunities in the fourth quarter. Ohio State is a perfect 12-for-12 in its last four games.
In the Zone (15 consecutive scores):
Miami - Hyde 8 run, Boren 2 run, Dunn 4 run
UCF - Basil 24 FG, Miller 6 run, Stoneburner 12 pass from Miller, Miller 8 run
Cal - Stoneburner 1 pass from Miller, Stoneburner 3 pass from Miller
UAB - Smith 1 run, Miller 12 run, Boren 2 run, Miller 1 run
MSU - Hall 1 run, Basil 26 FG
IN LINE FOR A 100-YARD DAY?
Ohio State has four 100-yard rushing games this season, three by Braxton Miller (161 vs. Miami; 141 vs. UCF; and 136 vs. MSU) and one by Jordan Hall (105 vs. UAB).
Nebraska, meanwhile, leads the Big Ten with six 100-yard rushing games: two by Abdullah Ameer (167 vs. Ark.State and 119 vs. UCLA), and Taylor Martinez (112 vs. UCLA and 107 vs. Wisconsin) and one each by Rex Burkhead (119 vs. Idaho State) and Imani Cross (100 vs. Idaho State).
ODDS & END ZONES...
- Three turnovers dropped Ohio State to fifth in the Big Ten with a plus two margin (9 takes and 7 gives). Ohio State is still plus-32 on points off turnovers, though.
- A 20-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage vs. Michigan State gave Braxton Miller seven rushes of 20-or-more yards this year and 18 for his career. Braxton's top five gainers:
1. 81-yard touchdown vs. Indiana (2011)
2. 65-yard touchdown vs. Miami (2012)
3. 55-yard touchdown vs. California (2012)
4. 44-yard touchdown vs. Wisconsin (2011)
5. 35-yard gain vs. Illinois (2011)
- Ohio State defenders have come up with three fourth quarter interceptions this season. Travis Howard vs. Miami; Christian Bryant vs. Cal (with 1:09 to play); and Doran Grant's first career interception came inside of five minutes to play against UAB.
- Urban Meyer's teams are 66-14 when ranked.
- Meyer's record against ranked teams is now 22-10, including a 6-6 mark on the road.
- The defense limited Michigan State to 4 of 15 on third down opportunities.
- Ohio State is getting close to having three players with 1,000 career rush yards. Braxton Miller (1,292) and Jordan Hall (1,032) are there; Carlos Hyde has 865 rushing yards.
- Miller is 19th on the school charts with 2,092 yards passing (161-278; 7 Ints; 21 TDs).
- Miller ranks 15th nationally in rushing (115.4 yards per game) and Travis Howard ranks T15 with .40 interceptions per game.
- Devin Smith has scored eight touchdowns. The Buckeyes are 7-0 in games he scores.
- Entering the Michigan State game, DB Orhian Johnson led all players with 78 snaps on special teams. He was followed by Adam Griffin (60), Taylor Rice (49), C.J. Barnett (44) and Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (42).
- Michael Bennett, projected as a starter on the defensive line, made his first appearance of the season vs. Michigan State after missing four with a lower body issue.
- C.J. Barnett missed his second consecutive game last week with a lower leg issue.
- Ohio State ranks third in the Big Ten in rushing offense, rushing defense and scoring defense, and fifth in scoring offense and total offense.
- Ohio State is 21st nationally in rushing offense (224.2 ypg) and 19th against the run (100.8).
- The Buckeyes' 12 sacks are third-most in the league. Nebraska leads with 19.
- In the red zone: Ohio State's offense is T2nd in the Big Ten (17 of 19; 89.5 pct.) and its defense is 3rd (8 of 12; 66.7 pct.).