Football

No. 14 Ohio State Travels To No. 20 Michigan State

Jordan Hall rushed for a career-high 105 yards on 17 carries in the win over UAB.
Jordan Hall rushed for a career-high 105 yards on 17 carries in the win over UAB.

Sept. 24, 2012

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The Last Meeting
Michigan State10
Ohio State7
October 1, 2011
Columbus, Ohio
No. 25 Michigan State Edges Ohio State, 10-7, in Big Ten Opener
No. 25 Michigan State withstood a late rally from the Buckeyes to escape Ohio Stadium with a 10-7 win Saturday in the conference opener for both teams.

#14 Ohio State (4-0, 0-0) at #20 Michigan State (3-1, 0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 - 3:30 p.m. ET
Spartan Stadium (75,005)
East Lansing, Mich.

THE BROADCASTS
Television: ABC will televise the game with Brent Musburger and former Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit in the booth and Heather Cox 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 137, XM 85 and Dial Global Sports (formerly Westwood One).

FIRST AND 10

  • Ohio State and Michigan State are meeting for the 41s time on the gridiron since the first meeting in 1912.
  • Ohio State is playing its first game in Spartan Stadium in four years, or since the 2008 season.
  • Ohio State won the last meeting in East Lansing, 45-7 in 2008.
  • Urban Meyer and Mark Dantonio are each the 24th head coaches in their respective school's history.
  • This is Ohio State's first game on grass this year.
  • Ohio State was 0-3 on grass fields in 2011 (losses at Miami, Purdue and Florida at the Gator Bowl)
  • Ohio State is playing its 100th season in the Big Ten Conference this season, having joined the league in 1912 and playing its first season of Big Ten football in 1913.
  • This year is Michigan State's 60th season of Big Ten football after joining the league in 1949 and playing its first season in 1953.
  • The game will be the Big Ten opener for each school. Ohio State is 70-24-4 in Big Ten openers.
  • QB Braxton Miller is averaging 110.2 rushing yards per game and is seventh in the NCAA in scoring at 11.5 points per game.

GAME ON
No. 14 Ohio State, unbeaten and 4-0 after four consecutive home games at Ohio Stadium to open the 2012 season, travels to East Lansing, Mich., for a 3:30 p.m., nationally televised game against the No. 20 Michigan State Spartans. ABC will televise the game. ESPN College Gameday will be on site, the 30th time the Buckeyes will be a featured team at a GameDay site.

FIRST GAME IN EAST LANSING SINCE 2008
Ohio State hasn't played at Spartan Stadium since the 2008 season. The teams did not play in either 2009 or 2010. Last year Michigan State snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 10-7 win in Ohio Stadium.

FIRST VISIT FOR VIRTUALLY EVERY BUCKEYE
Not only will the game be the first road test of the season for Urban Meyer's Ohio State team, it will also be the first visit to Michigan State for virtually every player on the team with these two exceptions: Sr. DE Nathan Williams played as a true freshman in the 2008 game and made one tackle; Sr. LB Etienne Sabino also played in that 2008 game on special teams as a true freshman.

COACH vs. COACH
Ashtabula, Ohio, native Urban Meyer (Cincinnati, '86; Ohio State, '88) and Zanesville, Ohio, native Mark Dantonio (South Carolina, '79; Ohio, '80) will coach on opposite sidelines as head coaches for the first time. Meyer is 108-23 in 11 seasons as a head coach and Dantonio is 65-40 in his ninth season as a collegiate head coach.

OHIO STATE vs. MICHIGAN STATE IN 2012
The game will match a Spartan defense that ranks first in the Big Ten Conference in scoring (11.8 points allowed), rushing (69.2 yards allowed), total defense (233.5 yards allowed) and is second against the pass (164.2 yards allowed) against an Ohio State offense that ranks third in scoring (37.8 points per game), second in rushing (229.2 yards per game) and fourth in total offense (427.0 yards per game). The Buckeyes are 10th in passing offense with an average of 197.8 yards per game.

STATE SNAPS BUCKS' DEFENSIVE RUN
Michigan State led the Big Ten (all games) in 2011 in rushing defense and total defense to interrupt a run of defensive dominance the Ohio State "silver bullets" have worked for the past 10 years. Ohio State's defense was No. 1 in the Big Ten in 2010 in total defense and against the run, pass and scoring. And over the last 10 years, between 2002 and 2011, Ohio State led the conference in those four categories a total of 16 times.

OHIO STATE LEADS SERIES, 27-13
Ohio State leads in the all-time series against Michigan State with 27 wins against 13 losses. The Buckeyes own a 14 to eight edge in wins in Columbus and a 13 to five edge in wins in East Lansing. Ohio State has won three consecutive games in Spartan Stadium, and six of the last seven there dating back to the 1988 season.

    Last 7 at Spartan Stadium ...
    Oct. 18, 2008 - Ohio State 45, Michigan State 7
    Oct. 14, 2006 - Ohio State 38, Michigan State 7
    Nov. 6, 2004 - Ohio State 32, Michigan State 19
    Nov. 6, 1999 - Michigan State 23, Ohio State 7
    Nov. 1, 1997 - Ohio State 37, Michigan State 13
    Oc. 15, 1994 - Ohio State 23, Michigan State 7
    Oct. 24, 1992 - Ohio State 27, Michigan State 17

MORE SERIES NOTES...
A huge Spartan victory over Ohio State came in 1998 at Ohio Stadium; a stunning and numbing - for Buckeye fans - 28-24 victory over the 8-0 and No. 1 ranked Buckeyes. The 5-3 Spartans came back from a 24-9 deficit in the third quarter and won on the strength of five field goals by Paul Edinger and a relentless defensive scheme ... Ohio State's longest win streak in the series is eight games between 1975-84 ... Michigan State's longest win streak is three games; the first three times the teams played (1912, 1951 and 1953) ... the last shutout in the series came in 1979, a 42-0 Buckeye win ... Michigan State owns three of the top four sack games against Ohio State, with a record-tying nine (Penn State, 1999) last season, eight in 1999 and seven in 1987.

GOOD WITH GAMEDAY
Ohio State has a 19-10 record in games that ESPN's College GameDay is on site. The Buckeyes are 10-3 when Gameday is in Columbus, 6-5 on the road and 3-2 at neutral sites. Some GameDay tidbits:

  • Ohio State's first GameDay game was the Sept. 28, 1996 game at Notre Dame (a 29-16 victory);
  • GameDay, not an every week spectacle in its infancy, featured Ohio State on three consecutive productions in 1996: the Notre Dame game; the Oct. 5 Penn State at Ohio State game; and the Oct. 26 Ohio State at Iowa game; and
  • Ohio State won its first four games with GameDay on site and 10 of its first 11.

COACHES ON CAMPUS
Six Ohio State coaches have coached along the Spartan Stadium sidelines before, including one assistant coach - Ed Warinner - who spent two seasons coaching in East Lansing.

  • Coach Urban Meyer coached games at Spartan Stadium as Notre Dame's wide receivers coach in 1998 and 2000;
  • Coaches Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel played there once; they were sophomore starters on the Ohio State defensive line when Ohio State defeated Michigan State, 23-7, in 1994;
  • Fickell has been on Ohio State's sidelines as a coach vs. Michigan State in Spartan Stadium four times: in 1999 (23-7 loss), 2004 (32-19 win), 2006 (38-7 win) and 2008 (45-7 win);
  • Assistant coach Ed Warinner was a Spartan assistant coach (LBs/secondary) for two seasons - 1985-86 - under George Perles;
  • Warinner and assistant Tim Hinton coached in Spartan Stadium in 2010 as Notre Dame assistants: a 34-31 Spartan win in overtime;
  • Assistant coach Everett Withers was on Louisville's sidelines in 1996 when the Cardinals defeated Michigan State, 30-20.

DANTONIO: THREE YEARS AT OHIO STATE
Mark Dantonio has a national championship ring from his three seasons in Columbus as defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Jim Tressel (2001-03). He took over as Cincinnati coach in 2004 and spent three seasons there - 2004-06 - before being hired at Michigan State in 2007. Eight of his UC assistants joined him at Michigan State and seven are still on his staff. A few more staffing notes:

  • Prior to his second season at UC, Dantonio hired Tim Hinton as his running backs coach. Hinton was pulled from the high school ranks after 11 successful years as coach at Marion Harding.
  • Hinton stayed on the UC staff when Brian Kelly came on board and three years later he went with Kelly to Notre Dame.
  • The seven assistants who have been with Dantonio for six years at MSU are OC/TE coach Dan Roushar, DC Pat Narduzzi, DB coach Harlan Barnett, DL coach Ted Gill, OL coach Mark Staten, LB/ST coach Mike Tressell and QB coach Dave Warner.
  • Staten and Tressel were each GAs at Ohio State during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
  • Dantonio was a GA on Earle Bruce's Ohio State staff in 1983 and 1984.

EIGHTH 4-0 START FOR Urban Meyer
It should not be surprising that the nation's second-winningest active coach (his 108-23 record is an .824 winning percentage to trail only Boise State coach Chris Peterson's .914 pct.) has a bunch of 4-0 starts to his credit, and that's what Ohio State's Urban Meyer has. Eight of them, to be exact. Only his 2001 Bowling Green, 2003 Utah and 2008 Florida teams did not open a season 4-0. Four of his teams - 2002 Bowling Green, 2004 Utah, 2006 Florida and 2009 Florida - opened a season 5-0.

ONLY TWO WITH BETTER STARTS
Only two first-year Ohio State coaches have ever started a season 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. Perry Hale (1902), E.R. Sweetland (1904) and Howard Jones (1910) were the only other Ohio State coaches to win at least their first four games.

TEXT C-U-R-E TO 90999
This weekend American Football Coaches Association members, including those from both Ohio State and Michigan State's staff, will support the Coach to Cure MD program by wearing logo patches on the sidelines. This annual effort has raised more than a million dollars to battle Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Fans can donate to Duchenne muscular dystrophy research online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or by texting the word CURE to 90999.

LAST YEAR: MSU 10, OSU 7
Michigan State snapped a seven-game losing streak - dating to 1998 - with its 10-7 win over Ohio State last year in Ohio Stadium. The Spartans tied an all-time record by an Ohio State opponent with nine quarterback sacks and its aggressive defense limited the Buckeyes to 178 total yards of offense, including just 35 rush yards off 39 attempts. Ohio State averted getting shut out - the Buckeyes have played 220 games without being shut out - when Joe Bauserman hit Evan Spencer with a 33-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds to play.

LAST WEEK: OHIO STATE 29, UAB 15
For the second consecutive week, Ohio State not only trailed in a non-conference game but was in a "one-play" game deep into the contest. Braxton Miller directed a 71-yard scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter to give the home team a cushion at 29-15 and the Buckeyes went on to defeat Alabama Birmingham by that score to improve to 4-0 on the season. The Blazers had first-half leads of 9-0 and 12-7, but Ohio State scored three second-quarter touchdowns in just over six minutes to seemingly have control at halftime. Ohio State managed just 124 yards in the second half, though, and didn't see the end zone until Miller's one-yard run - his second TD of the day - capped the scoring.

DEFENSE DOESN'T ALLOW A TD
Ohio State's defense kept the Blazers out of the end zone all game. The UAB touchdown was scored on a blocked punt by Calvin Jones that Nick Adams scooped and scored from 20 yards out. Orhian Johnson blocked the extra point. UAB got nine points from kicker Ty Long, who converted on field goals from 47, 54 and 34 yards out.

Jordan Hall SPARKS RUSHING GAME
Senior Jordan Hall led a 204-yard ground effort by the Buckeyes vs. the Blazers with 105 yards rushing and a 6.2 yards-per-carry average. This was Hall's first 100-yard effort after coming close on four occasions. A seven-yard carry in the fourth quarter behind left tackle Jack Mewhort put the senior over 100 yards for the game.

Jordan Hall's Top Rushing Games:
105 yards vs. Alabama Birmingham, 2012
90 yards vs. New Mexico, 2010
87 yards vs. California, 2011
87 yards at Miami, 2011
84 yards vs. Colordao, 2011

A FOUR-TD RUSHING GAME
Ohio State rushed for four touchdowns against the Blazers (and didn't throw for a score for the first time since the Indiana game last year). Rod Smith enjoyed back-up running back status for the game and carried six times for 24 yards with a one-yard touchdown run to open Ohio State's scoring. Braxton Miller had 12- and one-yard touchdown runs among his 64 yards rushing. And Zach Boren scored on a two-yard run to put give Ohio State a lead - 14-12 - that it would not relinquish.

BRAXTON, BUCKEYES FINISHING
A big reason Ohio State is one of only three unbeaten Big Ten teams is because it has scored touchdowns when touchdowns have been needed most. Consider:

    In Week 2 vs. Central Florida:
  • After a confident Central Florida had tied the score at 10-all in the second quarter, Travis Howard intercepted a pass on UCF's next possession and Miller drove the team 48 yards in six plays for a touchdown with 21 seconds to play in the half.
  • Ohio State then went 76 yards for a touchdown on the first series of the second half to build a 24-10 lead over UCF in a game the Buckeyes would win, 31-16.

    Week 3 vs. California:

  • The Buckeyes lost a 20-7 lead and trailed Cal, 21-20, in the fourth quarter, but an 11-play, 75-yard drive ensued for Ohio State with Miller hitting Jake Stoneburner for a TD. Miller's two-point conversion run gave Ohio State a 28-21 lead.
  • After Cal tied it at 28 apiece and then missed a field goal to take the lead, another 75-yard drive gave Ohio State it's winning margin - 35-28 - with Miller and Devin Smith hooking up on a 72-yard touchdown with 3:26 left to play.

    Last week vs. UAB:

  • Trailing UAB, 9-0, Miller directed a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by Rod Smith's one-yard touchdown run;
  • And then trailing UAB, 12-7, Ohio State went 75 yards again for a touchdown with Miller finishing the drive off with a 12-yard run that included a 360-degree spin move and a dive into the end zone.
  • With the score 21-15 in the fourth quarter, UAB missed a field goal to close to within three points. Ohio State responded with a 10-play, 71-yard drive capped by a Miller score from the 1 to increase the lead to the final score of 29-15.

4TH QUARTER PICKS HELP, TOO
Ohio State defenders have come up with fourth quarter interceptions in three of four games this season. Travis Howard had his second interception of the game vs. Miami in the fourth quarter. Christian Bryant ended Cal hopes for a tying score with an interception with 1:09 to play. And Doran Grant's first career interception came inside of five minutes to play against UAB.

FINE FIRST START FOR Doran Grant
Sophomore Doran Grant made his first career start when Bradley Roby was ruled out at game time (shoulder). Grant came through with a huge game, including recording his first career fumble recovery, quarterback sack and interception, and contributing on a career-high five solo tackles and seven total tackles. His fumble recovery just before halftime led to a an Ohio State touchdown and a 21-12 halftime lead. His interception came with five minutes to play in a 29-15 game.

POINTS OFF TOs: ADVANTAGE OHIO STATE
Ohio State has a plus-five turnover advantage this season (nine takeaways vs. four turnovers) and is tied with unbeaten Minnesota for the Big Ten Conference lead in the category. Ohio State has scored 35 points off opponent turnovers (14 against Miami and UCF; seven vs. UAB) and Ohio State's defense has yet to allow a point after a Buckeye turnover.

BUCKS DRIVING 70 IS A GOOD THING
Ohio State had three scoring drives of 70 or more yards vs. UAB and now has 10 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 10 of the team's 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

13 CONSECUTIVE RED ZONE SCORES
Ohio State has scored on 13 consecutive trips inside the opponent's red zone, 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 of the game (all touchdowns) and is a perfect 10-for-10 in the zone against Central Florida, California and Alabama Birmingham. The Buckeyes have scored touchdowns on nine consecutive red zone trips.

    In the Zone (13 consec. 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

DOUBLE THE TD FUN
Speaking of touchdowns, an Ohio State player has scored two touchdowns in all four games this season (and in one game, two scored two): Carlos Hyde scored two rushing touchdowns vs. Miami; Braxton Miller scored three rushing touchdowns vs. UCF; Devin Smith and Jake Stoneburner each caught two touchdown passes against California; and Miller scored two rushing touchdowns vs. UAB.

BIG HANK LEADS BIG TEN D-LINEMEN
Johnathan Hankins leads all defensive linemen in the Big Ten Conference with 25 total tackles and 6.5 tackles per game. Hankins has had a career high 10 tackles in each of Ohio State's last two games, efforts that have boosted his career total to 108 tackles, second among active Buckeyes to John Simon's 122.

BUCKEYES ALL OVER BIG TEN STATS
Buckeye cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Travis Howard each lead the Big Ten in a defensive stat: Roby is first with 2.0 passes defensed per game and Howard is first with .75 interceptions per game. Team tackling leader Ryan Shazier (40 total tackles) is third in the Big Ten with 10.0 tackles per game and Etienne Sabino is among the Top 15 with 7.0 stops per game. Some offensive players are ranked, too:

  • Braxton Miller leads the Big Ten in scoring (11.5 points per game) and touchdowns (seven);
  • Miller is tied for second in rushing and in total offense with 110.2 and 298.8 yards per game, respectively;
  • Miller is fifth in pass efficiency and sixth with 188.5 yards per game;
  • Corey Brown is tied for sixth with 5.0 receptions per game; and
  • Devin Smith is seventh with 68.0 receiving yards per game.

FIRSTS AND MORE FIRSTS
Redshirt freshman Nick Vannett made his first career start Saturday when the Buckeyes opened with a two-tight end alignment against UAB (Jeff Heuerman started for the second time at TE). Sophomore cornerback Doran Grant also made his first career start. Defenders Orhian Johnson, Nathan Williams and Storm Klein, with 15, 12 and 11 career starts entering the 2012 season, respectively, each made his first starts of the season against the Blazers.

MILLER CLIMBS IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Braxton Miller has topped 3,000 career yards of total offense (3,069) in just 16 games played and is now 21st in Ohio State history. He is averaging 298.8 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.

Near these career total offense totals:
16. 3,382 by Chris Wells, 2006-08
17. 3,235 by Keith Byars, 1982-85
18. 3,193 by Stanley Jackson, 1994-97
19. 3,176 by Michael Wiley, 1996-99
20. 3,170 by Todd Boeckman, 2005-08

OPENING OUTBURSTS
The 46-point margin of victory by Ohio State in Urban Meyer's debut game as coach represented the fourth-largest victory margin in an opening game for an Ohio State coach. Meyer is the 24th head coach in school history and only three enjoyed a larger winning margin.

Top 5 Margins of Victory (Coaches' First Game)
58 - Ohio State 58, Ohio Wesleyan 0 (John Wilce)
55 - Ohio State 55, Otterbein 0 (John R. Richards)
54 - Ohio State 54, Missouri 0 (Carroll Widdoes)
46 - Ohio State 56, Miami 10 (Urban Meyer)
42 - Ohio State 42, Akron 0 (Luke Fickell)

CHAMPIONS CLUB - vs. UAB
Jordan Hall, Christian Bryant and Bryce Haynes earned offensive, defensive and special teams player of the week awards, respectively, for their efforts in the win over Alabama Birmingham. Hall was joined on offense by Braxton Miller, Corey Brown, Jake Stoneburner, Evan Spencer and Reid Fragel. Johnathan Hankins, the first defensive player to earn champions club honors three times this season, and Doran Grant joined Bryant on the defensive honor roll. Ron Tanner was named scout team player of the week.

2012 Champions:

3Devin Smith (Miami, UCF, *California)
 Johnathan Hankins (*UCF, *California, UAB)
 
2Andrew Norwell (Miami, UCF)
 Zach Boren (Miami, California)
 Corey Brown (Miami, *UCF)
 Bradley Roby (*Miami, California)
 Christian Bryant (Miami, *UAB)
 Evan Spencer (UCF, UAB)
 Jordan Hall (California, *UAB)
 Braxton Miller (Miami, UAB)
 
1Travis Howard (Miami)
 Adam Griffin (ST Miami)
 John Simon (UCF)
 Aldolphus Washington (ST UCF)
 David Perkins (ST UCF)
 Nagee Murray (ST UCF)
 Jamal Marcus (ST UCF)
 Taylor Rice (ST UCF)
 Jack Mewhort (Miami)
 Carlos Hyde (Miami)
 Jeff Heuerman (California)
 Ryan Shazier (California)
 Jake Stoneburner (UAB)
 Reid Fragel (UAB)
 Doran Grant (UAB)
*Player of the Week; ST = Special Teams

BUCKS LEAD B1G IN INTERCEPTIONS
Led by Travis Howard's three interceptions, Ohio State leads the Big Ten Conference with seven interceptions this season.

17 RUSHES OF PLUS-20 YARDS; 6 IN 2012
Braxton Miller has six rushes this season of over 20 yards, including long touchdown runs of 65 (vs. Miami) and 55 (vs. California). Miller now has 17 rushes of 20-or-more yards in just 16 games played. His 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).

"MAKE THE GREAT STATE OF OHIO PROUD"
Back home in Ohio to live for the first time in nine years, Urban Meyer addressed publicly early in his tenure that his goal was for his coaches and players and program to "make the great state of Ohio proud."

EIGHT ASSISTANTS WITH OHIO TIES
Meyer's coaching staff includes eight assistants who were either born, raised and/or schooled in the great football state of Ohio. Like Meyer, seven of his assistants grew up in the state.

  • CB coach Kerry Coombs is from Colerain, graduated from the University of Dayton and has coached in the state for 30 years; 24 years in the high school ranks and five years collegiately.
  • RB coach Stan Drayton is from Cleveland, graduated from Allegheny College and is in his fourth year coaching in the state.
  • Def. coord./LB coach Luke Fickell is from Columbus, graduated from Ohio State and has been a college coach in the state for 14 years.
  • Off. coord/QB coach Tom Herman was born in Cincinnati.
  • FB/TE coach Tim Hinton is from Amanda, graduated from Wilmington College and has coached collegiately or in the high school ranks in the state for 28 years.
  • WR coach Zach Smith, the grandson of Earle Bruce, grew up in the Columbus suburb of Dublin.
  • DL coach Mike Vrabel is from Akron, graduated from Ohio State and is in his second year coaching at his alma mater.
  • Co-off. coord/OL coach Ed Warinner is from Strasburg and graduated from Mount Union.

199 YEARS OF COACHING EXPERIENCE
Meyer's Ohio State coaching staff has 199 combined years of NFL, college and high school coaching experience. The total includes three coaches on staff with college head coaching experience (Meyer, Luke Fickell and Everett Withers), two with a combined 32 years of high school head coaching experience (Kerry Coombs and Tim Hinton), two with 12 years of offensive coordinator experience on the collegiate level (Tom Herman and Ed Warinner) and two with 15 years of collegiate defensive coordinator or co-defensive coordinator experience (Withers and Fickell).

LUKE: FOURTH DC RETAINED BY MEYER
Urban Meyer has held four head coaching positions and at each school he has retained the previous staff's defensive coordinator. It's an impressive list that now includes Luke Fickell, co-defensive coordinator for six years previously at Ohio State. The others: Tim Beckman at Bowling Green (Beckman is now head coach at Illinois); Kyle Whittingham at Utah (he is entering his seventh season as Utah head coach); and Charlie Strong at Florida (Strong is in his third season as head coach at Louisville).

123RD FOOTBALL SEASON
The 2012 football season will be the 123rd season for the Ohio State football program. Football became a varsity sport at Ohio State in 1890. Ohio State ranks fifth all-time in NCAA Division I history with 826 wins. Ohio State's all-time record is 827-315-53.

100TH BIG TEN SEASON
The 2012 season will be Ohio State's 100th season of play in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State joined the former Western Conference during the 1912-13 academic year, but it could not compete in the conference in football until 1913. Ohio State ranks second in all-time Big Ten wins with a record of 457-171-24. Ohio State also ranks second with 34 outright or shared Big Ten championships.

90TH YEAR IN OHIO STADIUM
Ohio Stadium, grand and venerable and registered on the National Register of Historic Places, will host its 90th football season in 2012. Ohio Stadium is endearingly nicknamed the "Horeshoe" or the "Shoe" because of its open south end. It is also referred to as the "House that Harley Built" after Chic Harley, Ohio State's first three-time All-American who fans flocked to see at Ohio Field in 1916-17-19. Just one year after Harley's career at Ohio State was over, things were in motion for a new stadium for the Buckeyes.

From authors Marv Homan, a former Ohio State radio announcer and sports information director, and reporter Paul Hornung, who co-wrote "Ohio State - 100 Years of Football," the stadium took shape this way:

1919 - Led by Harley, Ohio State recorded its first win over Michigan, 13-3, and the program was becoming a major force in the Western Conference. Ohio Field could not support the legions of fans that wanted to see the team play.
1920 - Professor and athletic board member Paul French, and Director of Athletics Lynn St. John, started an extensive stadium fund raising campaign while interest was soaring. The goal was to raise the "unrealistic" amount of $600,000 for the stadium campaign. Five weeks later more than $900,000 had been pledged. Ohio State went undefeated that season and received its first invitation to the Rose Bowl, further raising interest in the program.
1921 - A ground-breaking ceremony was held Aug. 3 with Ohio Governor Harry Davis part of a crowd of over 2,500 at the event. It was speculated the stadium would hold 35,000 fans. Upon completion, it would seat over 60,000.
1922 - The $1.5 million dollar stadium, of which more than $1.0 million was donated by proud and dedicated Ohio State football fans, was christened when Ohio State defeated Ohio Wesleyan, 5-0, in front of a crowd of 25,000. Ohio Stadium was dedicated prior to the Oct. 21 game against Michigan. With temporary stands in the south end of the stadium, a crowd of 72,500 was on hand.
1928 - L.W. St. John announces that all stadium debt has been paid, a remarkable achievement considering Ohio Stadium had only been standing for eight years.

OHIO STADIUM STATS
Ohio State has an all-time record of 399-109-20 in Ohio Stadium and the stadium has an official capacity of 102,329. The Buckeyes have not played before fewer than 100,000 fans in the last 72 games, or since the completion of a three-year renovation project in 2001 that restored and improved the stadium but also boosted attendance from an 88,000-plus capacity to over 100,000. Ohio State has played before more than 105,000 fans 43 times with a record crowd of 106,033 vs. USC on Sept. 12, 2009.

OHIO STADIUM SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
A $7 million improvements project this summer replaced the 11-year-old Ohio Stadium scoreboard and audio system with a larger, high definition screen flanked by two clusters of speakers with new LED ribbon boards running the length of the south stands. The new Panasonic scoreboard is 42-feet-by-124-feet. The improvements project also included the conversion of 223 standard televisions in the stadium to HD sets.

FIVE CAPTAINS
Captaining the Buckeyes in 2012 will be a handful of seniors: FB Zach Boren; DL Garrett Goebel; RB Jordan Hall; LB Etienne Sabino; and DL John Simon.

SIMON 8TH TWO-TIME CAPTAIN
John Simon is just the seventh two-time captain in Ohio State history and the first since All-American linebacker and St. Louis Ram James Laurinaitis was so honored in 2007 and 2008.

Ohio State Two-Time Captains
John Simon - 2011-12
James Laurinaitis - 2007-08
Joe Cooper - 2000-01
Steve Belisari - 2000-01
Pepper Johnson - 1984-85
Glen Cobb - 1981-82
Archie Griffin - 1974-75
Richard Ellis - 1891-92

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TEAM STATS
Urban Meyer's 10 previous collegiate teams have been extremely balanced in all phases of the game. His teams have led their respective conference in a statistical category 43 times, including in 17 offensive categories, 12 defensive, nine special teams and five times in turnover margin. Some highlights:

  • His team's have led in total offense four times, including three times by Florida;
  • Four times his teams have led in scoring offense and passing efficiency;
  • His defenses have led a league three time against the rush and twice in scoring;
  • His return teams - punt and kickoff - have led a total of five times; and
  • His teams have led in net punting three times.

Meyer's teams have been ranked among the nation's Top 10 in team statistical categories 49 times, including NCAA statistical champions in passing efficiency (Florida; 2009) and kickoff returns (Utah; 2003).

LOGOS
The FieldTurf at Ohio Stadium will wear the logo of the Big Ten Conference this season. B1G logos will be at both ends of the field between the 20 and 30 yard lines and facing the press box. This year the team's jerseys will also sport the B1G logo on the front right chest.

100
In honor of the 2012 season being Ohio State's 100th season playing football in the Big Ten Conference, team members will be sporting a decal on the back of their helmets with the number 100 on it.

NO B1G CHAMPIONSHIP OR BOWL IN 2012
Due to an NCAA major infraction, the Ohio State University football program is ineligible for post-season play during the 2012 season. This penalty was imposed by the NCAA Committee on Infractions in response to extra benefits and preferential treatment violations involving institutional memorabilia and apparel. Additional penalties for the football program include the imposition of a three year probationary period from December 20, 2011 to December 19, 2014; the reduction of scholarships from 85 to 82 during the 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15 academic years; and the vacation of all wins from the 2010 season.

In response to the major infraction, the institution has increased its compliance educational and monitoring efforts regarding preferential treatment, extra benefits, institutional memorabilia and apparel. Further, a greater emphasis has been placed on the education of the Columbus community, local businesses, boosters and other constituents to ensure knowledge of NCAA, Big Ten, and institutional regulations. The Ohio State University continues to strive to create a compliance conscience within the university and throughout Buckeye Nation.

NOT SINCE 1922-24
Ohio State ranks first among all NCAA Div. I programs with 86 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. Tennessee had been first until last season; the Vols hadn't had back-to-back losing seasons since 1909-11, a span of 98 consecutive seasons, until going 6-7 and 5-7 in 2010 and 2011, respectively.


 

 

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