Sept. 26, 2011
Ohio State (3-1, 0-0) vs. #25 Michigan State (3-1, 0-0)
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011
3:30 p.m. ET
Ohio Stadium (102,329) - Columbus, Ohio
Television: ABC will televise the game with Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Heather Cox (sideline) on the call.
Radio: WBNS (FM 97.1 The Fan) is the flagship station for the 73-station Ohio State radio network. The Luke Fickell 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 satellite radio channel 91 and also XM 91.
First and 10
Game Sponsored By Travel Partners in Dublin
The 2012 Buckeye Cruise for Cancer is February 23-27, 2012 and sets sail from Tampa, Florida on Royal Carribbean's Jewel of the Seas. Buckeye greats Archie Griffin, Chris Spielman, A.J. Hawk , Kirk Herbstreit and many more will cruise together to support the fight against cancer. Proceeds from the cruise benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and the James Cancer Hospital. Call Travel Partners in Dublin to book your cruise today at 614-792-6204 or logo on to www.buckeyecruise.com.
Did you Know?
Luke Fickell will be the first Ohio State coach to face a defending Big Ten champion in his conference opener (Michigan State) since the Buckeyes began Big Ten competition in 1913.
About the Spartans
Michigan State is 3-1 on the season and ranked No. 25 in this week's USA Today/Coaches poll. The Spartans opened the season with wins over Youngstown State (28-6) and Florida Atlantic (44-0) at home before suffering their first loss of the season in week 3 at Notre Dame (31-13). Last week they rebounded against in-state foe Central Michigan, 45-7, in East Lansing.
The Spartans lead the nation in total and pass defense, giving up just 172.2 yards per game and 101.0 yards through the air. They also rank third in pass efficiency defense (79.25) and eighth in fewest points allowed (11.0) and have picked off a Big Ten-best six passes in four games.
Senior quarterback Kirk Cousins is third in the Big Ten in passing yards per game (236.8) and fourth in passer efficiency (147.9). His favorite target is senior wide receiver and Biletnikoff candidate B.J Cunningham, who leads the Big Ten with 29 catches while averaging 107.0 yards per game and 14.8 yards per catch. Le'Veon Bell (217 yards, 6 TDs) and Edwin Baker (216 yards, 1 TD) are the leading men on the ground.
Mark Dantonio, Ohio State's defensive coordinator from 2001-03, is in his fifth season in East Lansing after spending the previous three at Cincinnati. He is 54-37 in his career as a head coach and 36-20 at Michigan State, leading the Spartans to a Big Ten co-championship and Capital One bowl appearance in 2011.
The Buckeyes lead the series with Michigan State 27-12, with a 14-7 advantage in Columbus. Ohio State has won the last seven games in the series overall. Michigan State will be returning to Columbus for the first time since 2007 when Ohio State held off a late Spartan rally, 24-17. Complete series information can be found on page 16.
Legends. Leaders. Now!
This weekend kicks off the initial weekend of Big Ten action in its new Legends and Leaders divisional alignment. The Ohio State/Michigan State game is one of three intra-divisional games on the Big Ten schedule this week. The others: Nebraska at Wisconsin and Northwestern at Illinois. The first two games pitting divisional foes is Minnesota at Michigan and Penn State at Indiana.
Week 4 Recap
Braxton Miller, just the third freshman to start at quarterback for Ohio State, threw two touchdown passes to freshman Devin Smith and Jordan Hall accounted for 231 all-purpose yards, including a 90-yard kickoff return and a rushing touchdown, to lead Ohio State to a 37-17 win over Colorado last Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Miller and Smith hooked up on a 32-yard score in the second quarter and a 17-yard TD connection in the third. Smith finished with three receptions for 64 yards while Miller was 5 of 13 passing for 83 yards and gained 83 yards rushing, all in the first half. The duo has now teamed up three times for TD passes this season. Sparked by Hall's 145 return yards that directly led to 14 Ohio State points, the Ohio State special teams had a superb game against the Buffaloes. Ben Buchanan dropped three punts inside of the 15 -- 13, 5 and 9 -- and had a fourth muffed at the 11. Kicker Drew Basil, who has now hit five FGs in a row, hit all three of his field goal attempts, including a career-long 47-yarder. Hall led the team in rushing for the second consecutive game with 84 yards. Carlos Hyde had 40 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown run, and the Buckeyes outgained the Buffaloes on the ground by a 226-76 margin. Sophomore safety Christian Bryant, making his first career start, led the Buckeyes with six tackles. CB Travis Howard and DT John Simon had two pass break-ups apiece. The Ohio State defense did not allow a Colorado first down until the 6:55 mark of the second quarter.
Big Ten Openers
Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 1913, Ohio State is 70-23-4 in conference openers.
The Buckeyes boast an all-time record of 360-126-28 in October games. Ohio State is 247-63-20 in October home games and 114-63-8 on the road that month.
First of Four vs. Ranked Foes
Michigan State, 25th in this week's USA Today Coaches poll, represents the first of potentially four consecutive games for Ohio State against ranked opponents. In two weeks Ohio State plays at No. 8 Nebraska and follows that game at No. 22 Illinois before hosting No. 7 Wisconsin.
Been Done Three Times Previously
Ohio State has played four consecutive ranked opponents three times before, most recently in 2003 when it defeated No. 14 Michigan State, defeated No. 11 Purdue, lost to No. 5 Michigan and defeated No. 8 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State also played four consecutive games against Top 25 teams in 1958 (Wisconsin, Northwestern, Purdue and Iowa) and in 1959 (USC, Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin).
Last Game Without ...
The services of four key senior performers who have been sitting out a five-game NCAA suspension: LT Mike Adams, RB Dan Herron, WR DeVier Posey and DE Solomon Thomas. Adams has 17 career starts and was first-team all-Big Ten by both the coaches and media in 2010. Herron was also all-Big Ten in 2010 after rushing for 1,155 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns. Posey has 124 career receptions for 1,793 yards. Thomas has played in 25 games and made three starts.
Miller Solid in Starting Debut
Braxton Miller, just the third freshman to start at quarterback for Ohio State, rushed for 83 yards, passed for 83 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Devin Smith to lead Ohio State to a 37-17 win over Colorado Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Miller and Smith hooked up on a 32-yard score in the second quarter to increase the lead to 17-0 and a 17-yard TD connection in the third to extend the lead to 27-7. Miller was 5 of 13 passing and he gained all of his rushing yards in the first half as he staked the Buckeyes to a 20-7 halftime lead. He did not have any turnovers despite constant blitzing from the Colorado defenders.
Miller has played in three games thus far in his Buckeye career, completing 15 of 29 passes for 235 yards with three TDs and one INT. He also has carried 30 times for 145 yards.
Miller led Wayne High School to the Division I state title game in 2010 while passing for 2,167 yards and 17 TDs while rushing for 658 yards and 17 TDs as a senior. He had a career record of 31-7 over three seasons and was a finalist for Ohio's Mr. Football. A first team all-state selection, he also played in the 2010 Under Armour All-American Game.
Special Teams' Shine
Sparked by Jordan Hall's 145 return yards that directly led to 14 Ohio State points, the Ohio State special teams had a superb game against the Buffaloes. Punt returner Chris Fields alertly pounced on a loose ball near midfield that had hit teammate Bradley Roby in the back. Zach Domicone rooted through a maze of bodies to recover a muffed punt at the CU 11. Ben Buchanan dropped three punts inside of the 15 yard line - 13, 5 and 9 - and had a fourth muffed at the 11. And kicker Drew Basil hit all three of his field goal attempts, including a career-long 47-yarder.
Just for Kicks
Ben Buchanan has nearly doubled the competition in the Big Ten in number of kicks dropped inside the 20 yard line with 11. The next closest competitors have done so six times. What's even more impressive is seven of Buchanan's 11 I20 punts are actually inside the 10. He has had three inside the 10 in each of the past two weeks, vs. Miami and Colorado.
Zach's Big Three
Zach Domicone is one of a number of Buckeyes who make a special contribution on special teams. Saturday vs. Colorado he rooted through a maze of bodies to recover a muffed punt at the CU 11. The recovery led to a field goal. Last year vs. Minnesota he recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown, and two years ago as a redshirt freshman he recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half vs. Minnesota.
A Special Kind of Havoc
Senior Nate Ebner and freshman Ryan Shazier each had two assisted tackles and one solo tackle on special teams Saturday. Also wrecking special havoc were Zach Domicone, who had an assist and a fumble recovery, and Christian Bryant, who had a solo tackle and an assist. Jamie Wood, Orhian Johnson and Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown also were in on special teams tackles.
Ohio State's pass efficiency rating (132.7) is better than Big Ten foes Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State. Ohio State leads the league in fewest interceptions (tied with three other teams with one) and the Buckeyes are third in touchdowns passing (seven; trailing only Wisconsin and Iowa with 11 and 10, respectively).
Hall Returns Big
Jordan accounted for 147 return yards in the Buckeyes 37-17 win over Colorado. He opened the game with a 45-yard kickoff return. His 12-yard punt return in the second quarter gave Ohio State possession at the CU 46 and six plays later an OSU touchdown made the score 17-0. After a third-quarter field goal cut the Ohio State lead to 27-10, Hall returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to the CU 5. One play later Ohio State scored for a 34-10 lead.
Hall racked up 231 all-purpose yards overall and is averaging 177.0 all-purpose yards per game, best in the Big Ten.
Brewster Reaches 40
All-American center Mike Brewster started his 40th consecutive game Saturday vs. Colorado. The senior from Orlando, Fla. made his first start in Game 4 of the 2008 season vs. Troy and started the final 10 games of the season. He started all 13 games in 2009 and 2010, respectively, in addition to the first four games this year.
Red Zone Efficiency
Ohio State has scored 14 of 17 times (82.3 percent) this season inside the 20 with 10 touchdowns and four field goals. The only three times the Buckeyes have failed to score came on a fumble and on two end-of-game possession against Akron and Colorado while running out the clock.
Noting the Buckeyes
The Silver Bullet Defense
The Buckeyes have a long-standing tradition of producing the best defenses in the Big Ten and the nation year in, year out and rank in the top 25 nationally in several defensive categories in 2011. Here are some bullets that put into perspective the Silver Bullets dominance:
|Year||PPG Allowed||FBS Rank|
Fewest 100-yd rushers allowed (FBS Teams Since 2007)
Last seven players to rush for 100 yards since 2007:
|9/17/11||Lamar Miller||at Miami||26-184|
|11/27/10||D. Robinson||Michigan||18 -105|
|10/16/10||John Clay||at Wisconsin||21-104|
|9/13/08||Joe McKnight||at USC||12-105|
|9/15/07||Jake Locker||at Washington||14-102|
Head Coach Luke Fickell
Not Since 1922-24
Ohio State ranks second among all NCAA Div. I programs with 85 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, which trails only Tennessee; the Vols have not had back-to-back losing seasons since 1909-11, a span of 98 consecutive seasons.
Ohio State to Wear Advanced Nike Uniforms for Wisconsin Game
Ohio State will be one of nine college football programs donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike uniforms for at least one game during the 2011-12 season.
The teams selected to sport the 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniforms include the United States Military Academy (Army), Boise State University, University of Georgia, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, the United States Naval Academy, The Ohio State University, University of Oregon, and Stanford University.
The uniforms will hit the field on opening day of the 2011-12 college football season and throughout the year during some of fiercest rivalries in college football. Dates include Oregon vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium (9/3), Boise State vs. Georgia at the Georgia Dome (9/3), Michigan State vs. Michigan (10/15), LSU vs. Auburn (10/22), Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (10/29), Stanford vs. Notre Dame (11/27) and the annual service academy bragging rights matchup between two of the nation's most prestigious football programs - Army vs. Navy (12/10).
This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Ohio State University's undefeated 1961 championship season -- a distinctive milestone that provides a source of inspiration for a program steeped in tradition and rooted in pride. The 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress design for the Buckeyes harkens back to that team, whose offensive power lived in its backfield, led by the 6'0, 227 pound All-American fullback, Bob Ferguson. The Heisman runner-up was a power runner and contributed immensely to the team's noteworthy speed, aggression and smarts. This uniform acknowledges the dominance of the 1961 team and will deliver an undeniable motivation for the current Buckeyes when they face off against Wisconsin on October 29.
Distinctive white block lettering on Ohio State's bold scarlet jersey is accompanied by gray sleeve and collar accents that provide a retro look high in contrast. An inscription of the year "1961" on the inner neckline, socks and sleeves act as a silent reminder of the indisputable determination of that year's lineup. A steel gray baselayer and matching arm sleeves feature a print reminiscent of a buckeye tree. These two pieces are patterned after Buckeye Grove - home to a collection of buckeye trees planted in honor of each first team All-American player, like Ferguson, whose presence always commanded respect. Dark gray pants complement the baselayer design, emblazoned with a prominent block `O' on the hip alongside a scarlet streak on the pant leg.
Buckeyes vs. the State of Ohio
Ohio State is 178-48-15 in its history against opponents from the state of Ohio; that list includes Akron, Bowling Green, Case, Cincinnati, Denison, Heidelberg, Kent State, Kenyon, Marietta, Miami, Mount Union, Muskingum, Oberlin, Ohio Medical, Ohio, Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein, Toledo, Western Reserve, Wilmington, Wittenberg, Wooster and Youngstown State.
The Buckeyes have played at least one team from Ohio each season since 1997. Ohio State has not lost to an Ohio opponent since 1921, falling to Oberlin 7-6; the Buckeyes tied Wooster 7-7 in 1924 in Columbus.
Big Ten Announces 2013-14 Football Schedule
The Big Ten Conference has announced its 2013 and 2014 conference football schedules. Ohio State, a member of the Leaders division, will play four home and four away league contests in each of those seasons.
In 2013, OSU opens Big Ten play hosting Wisconsin Sept. 28. Other Big Ten games in 2013: Oct. 5 at Northwestern; Oct. 19 vs. Iowa; Oct. 26 vs. Penn State; Nov. 2 at Purdue; Nov. 16 at Illinois; Nov. 23 vs. Indiana; Nov. 30 at Michigan.
Ohio State has two non-conference dates confirmed for the 2013 season: Aug. 31 vs. Vanderbilt at Ohio Stadium; and Sept. 14 at California.
In 2014, Ohio State begins Big Ten action hosting Purdue Oct. 4. Other Big Ten contests in 2014: Oct. 18 at Iowa; Oct. 25 vs. Northwestern; Nov. 1 at Wisconsin; Nov. 8 vs. Illinois; Nov. 15 at Penn State; Nov. 22 at Indiana; Nov. 29 vs. Michigan.
The Buckeyes' non-conference games for 2014 are Aug. 30 vs. Navy in Baltimore; followed by three games at Ohio Stadium: Sept. 6 vs. Cincinnati; Sept. 13 vs. Kent State; and Sept. 20 vs. Virginia Tech.
The champions of the Legends Division and the Leaders Division will meet in the Big Ten Football Championship Game on the first Saturday of December, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game. The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played in prime time on December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, while the second Big Ten Football Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2012, at a site TBD.
Big Ten to Play Nine Conference Games Beginning with 2017 Season
The Big Ten will move to a nine-game conference schedule beginning with the 2017 season.
Three teams each from the Legends Division and Leaders Division will feature five conference home games during odd-numbered years, while the other three schools from each division will host five conference contests during even-numbered years. The 2017 schedule will include five conference home outings for Iowa, Michigan State and Nebraska from the Legends Division and Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State from the Leaders Division. The 2018 schedule will feature five Big Ten home games for Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern of the Legends Division and Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin of the Leaders Division. The Big Ten will return to a full nine-game conference schedule for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Eight of 10 conference schools played nine-game schedules during the 1981 and 1982 seasons, while two of 10 teams featured nine-game schedules from 1971-72 and 1977-80.
Ohio State will hit the road to face No. 8 Nebraska in the Cornhuskers' first Big Ten home game Oct. 8 in Lincoln, Neb. The game will kick at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.