No. 15/15 Buckeyes Hold On to Beat Toledo, 27-22
Sept. 10, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In a back-and-forth battle between in-state rivals, No. 15/15 Ohio State came from behind to down Toledo, 27-22, in front of a crowd of 105,016 at Ohio Stadium.
Generating 301 offensive yards to Toledo's 338, a slew of Rocket penalties made the difference for the young Buckeyes. Toledo, who looked to give Ohio State its first in-state loss in 90 years, gave up 102 yards over 14 penalties.
"First thing for us was to be fundamentally sound and physical," Luke Fickell, head coach, said. "They did a good job of challenging us with those things. We tried to make them one dimensional and with tackling we knew we had to do a great job. Those were the biggest areas that stood out to me. We're excited about how the guys fought and kept their chins up, but that's how you challenge yourself to get better."
In his second career start, Joe Bauserman completed 16 of 30 attempts for 189 yards, with three Buckeyes scoring.
Ohio State would strike first and early, making good on a 7-play, 67-yard opening drive at the 11:45 mark of the first quarter. Connecting up the middle, Bauserman found tight end Jake Stoneburner for a 26-yard touchdown pass to put the Buckeyes on the board at 7-0.
With cornerback Kishon Wilcher blocking a Buckeye punt at the 23, defensive end T.J. Fatinikun recovered and ran the ball 22 yards to the Rocket 1-yardline, swinging momentum in Toledo's favor. A middle pass from Austin Dantin to receiver Eric Page and a successful two-point conversion would put the Rockets on the board and leave Ohio State trailing for the first time this season.
Still firing offensively, Toledo struck again when quarterback Terrance Owens found Page along the sideline. Running 66 yards into the endzone, Page helped to close the first quarter at 15-7 in the Rockets' favor.
At a critical time for the Scarlet and Gray, sophomore Carlos Hyde elected to have his first career touchdown. Bringing the Buckeye deficit to one, the tailback from Naples, Fla., rushed for 36 yards to score. With the Rockets forced to punt at the one-minute mark heading into halftime, wideout Chris Fields was the next Buckeye to shine, helping Ohio State regain the lead with a 69-yard return.
But Toledo would not go quietly. Rushing up the middle on a 4-yard play, running back Adonis Thomas put the Rockets back on top, 22-21, at 12:56 in the third quarter.
Ohio State still had an answer, though. Completing a pass to freshman receiver Devin Smith for 36 yards to enter the redzone, Bauserman fed the ball to Hyde, a favorite target of the day, who rushed it in for his second touchdown. However, a missed two-point attempt left the Buckeyes with a slim 5-point lead at 27-22.
Forcing an Ohio State fumble to regain possession, Toledo threatened in the final minutes with the ball on the Ohio State 16, but came up short on fourth down and turned the ball over to the Buckeyes who let the clock tick down.
With the win, Ohio State moves to 2-0 on the season while the Rockets fall to 1-1.