Nov. 14, 2011
Ohio State and Penn State meet Saturday in a 3:30 p.m. game at Ohio Stadium that will be televised by ABC. Both teams are coming off losses. The Buckeyes, 6-4 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten Leaders Division, dropped a 26-23 overtime decision at Purdue while Penn Stae, 8-2 and 5-1, had its seven-game winning streak snapped by Nebraska, 17-14, on its Senior Day at Beaver Stadium.
Ramifications off Last Week
Ohio State no longer controls its chances at a Leaders Division title - as it would have with a win over Purdue Saturday - and subsequent entry into the Big Ten championship game Dec. 3 in Indianapolis. Ohio State now needs wins over Penn State and Michigan in its final two games coupled with a Wisconsin loss at Illinois this week and a Wisconsin win against Penn State in two weeks to climb into a championship game tie-breaker scenario.
Penn State, meanwhile, can clinch a share of first place in the Leaders Division with a win this week, although a share of first place won't secure a Nittany Lion trip to Indianapolis. It would, however, set the Nittany Lions up for a winner-goes-to-Indy game Nov. 26 at Wisconsin.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State by the slimmest of margins: 13-12. Ohio State has won six of the last eight games in the series. (Note: Ohio State's 2010 victory at Ohio Stadium was vacated. All series records, streaks, etc. in this release do not include the result of the 2010 game.)
Seven Pick-Sixes; Five Wins
Seven times since 2002 Ohio State players have intercepted a pass vs. Penn State and returned it for a touchdown. The Buckeyes have won all five of those games that the pick-sixes occurred.
2010 - Devon Torrence and Travis Howard had fourth quarter returns for scores to clinch Ohio State's comeback, 38-14 victory.
2007 - Malcolm Jenkins extended a 27-10 Ohio State lead with his fourth-quarter interception return as the Buckeyes prevailed, 37-17.
2006 - Jenkins and Antonio Smith returned two interceptions a total of 116 yards for fourth quarter touchdowns in Ohio State's 28-6 win.
2004 - Tyler Everett had a first-quarter pick-six in the Buckeyes' 21-10 victory.
2002 - Trailing 7-3 in the second half, Chris Gamble's touchdown return was the game-deciding play in Ohio State's 13-7 win.
OSU vs. PSU in Columbus
Ohio State has won eight of the 14 games played in Columbus. Penn State won the first four games played in the series - all in Columbus - in 1912, 1956, 1963 and 1964, respectively, but has only two wins in the last 10 games in Columbus (19-0 in 1978 and 13-6 in 2008).
And in Those Two Wins...
Ohio State has started a freshman quarterback in Penn State's only two wins in Ohio Stadium in its last 10 tries. In 1978 Art Schlichter started in the first game of his freshman campaign. And in 2008 freshman Terrelle Pryor was making only the fifth start of his career. Freshman Braxton Miller will make his eighth start on Saturday.
Luke Fickell, in his 10th-year on the staff, was named the team's interim head coach on May 30 of this year and was later given a contract to serve, at least through this season, as head coach. Penn State named its 33-year assistant Tom Bradley to be its interim head coach last week.
Twenty-four Ohio State seniors will be in Ohio Stadium one last time as Buckeyes Saturday. The traditional senior salute will include each of these players making a solo entrance onto the field to be greeted by parents and/or family members: Mike Adams, Dionte Allen, Dan Bain, Joe Bauserman, Evan Blankenship, Mike Brewster, Bo DeLande, Garrett Dornbrook, Nate Ebner, Derek Erwin, Donnie Evege, Dan Herron, Tony Jackson, Don Matheney, Chris Maxwell, Tyler Moeller, Nate Oliver, DeVier Posey, Chris Roark, Donald Senegal, J.B. Shugarts, Spencer Smith, Andrew Sweat and Solomon Thomas.
Only Nine Seniors Have Starts
This year's senior class has only nine seniors who have started games for the Buckeyes. Mike Brewster leads the way with 46 consecutive starts and, unless the Buckeyes win out and get helped into the Big Ten Conference championship game, Brewster will fall one-start short of tying Luke Fickell's school record of 50 consecutive starts. Note: a ninth senior starter - 13-game starter at DE Nathan Williams - had season ending knee surgery after having played in just one game this season. He will not take part in Senior Day this year.
OC Mike Brewster - 46
OT J.B. Shugarts - 32
WR DeVier Posey - 25
OT Mike Adams - 22
RB Boom Herron - 21
LB Andrew Sweat - 18
DB Tyler Moeller - 11
QB Joe Bauserman - 3
DE Solomon Thomas - 3
Last Time for Three Managers, Too
Three young men who have been an integral part of the Ohio State football program for a number of years and who have logged literally hundreds of hours at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center will also be recognized at the game Saturday: head manager and fifth-year member of the staff Tim Weirich, from Massillon, Ohio; fourth-year manager Robbie Maylor, from Canton, Ohio; and fourth-year manager John Streicher, from Cincinnati.
The 2011 senior class has never not won a Big Ten championship...and it has never experienced a loss to Michigan. Some members of this class were red-shirt freshmen on the 2007 Big Ten championship team that played in the national championship game - Boom Herron, Tyler Moeller, Joe Bauserman, Nate Oliver, Solomon Thomas, Evan Blankenship, Bo DeLande, Tony Jackson - and the group as a whole extended that run of Big Ten titles to the current run of five consecutive, which ties the all-time Big Ten record. The class has also helped the Buckeyes into the Fiesta Bowl and to a Rose Bowl win over Oregon, and it is a part of a streak of victories over Michigan that started in 2004 and is ongoing.
Buckeyes Derailed at Purdue
Ohio State dropped a 26-23 overtime decision to Purdue Saturday in West Lafayette - a place that has been a most-difficult environment of late for the Buckeyes - after Braxton Miller had engineered a 66-yard TD drive in the last six minutes of the game to tie the score at 20-all on a 13-yard pass to Jordan Hall. The extra point that could have won the game for the Buckeyes was blocked. In the extra session, Drew Basil kicked a 33-yard field goal to give Ohio State its first lead of the game. But Robert Marve converted on two third-down plays to keep Purdue's initial possession in OT alive, and then Marve scored on a 1-yard keeper to give the Boilermakers their fourth win over the Buckeyes in the last six games at Ross-Ade Stadium dating back to the 2000 season.
2 of 3 November Losses to Purdue
The loss to Purdue was only the second loss in the month of November for Ohio State since the 2005 season. The team entered the game with a record of 15-1 in November games since 2005 with the last loss being to Illinois, 28-21, at Ohio Stadium in 2008. Dating back to the 2004 season, Purdue owns two of the last three November losses Ohio State has had in November. The Boilermakers defeated Ohio State, 24-17, in 2004 in November.
Another Dramatic TD
Two weeks ago Braxton Miller helped Ohio State defeat No. 12 Wisconsin with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 40 seconds to go in the game. Saturday he engineered a 66-yard scoring drive vs. Purdue, hitting Jordan Hall on fourth-and-3 from the Purdue 13 for a game-tying touchdown with 55 seconds left to play. On the play Miller, a dynamic runner, scrambled out of trouble just before he was about to be tackled, lofted a perfect pass across the field that Hall leapt for and pulled in for the tying score. It was Miller's second touchdown pass of the day. He also scored on a six-yard rush and was a part of all three Ohio State scores.
Multi-Threat & Multi-TDs
Jordan Hall re-emerged as an offensive threat Saturday with two touchdowns against the Boilermakers. Hall, who came into the game with two receptions on the season, had three against Purdue, including a 38-yard catch and run for a score (helped along by a fine block from freshman Evan Spencer) and the 13-yard touchdown catch with 55 seconds left in the game to tie it. Hall also had 46 rushing yards, including a 25-yard gain.
5-2 In OT
Ohio State is now 5-2 in overtime games (OT was instituted into college football in 1996). The Buckeyes are 3-2 in overtime games against Big Ten opponents.
Ohio State in Overtime
Nov. 16, 2001 - won at Illinois, 23-16
Jan. 3, 2002 - def. Miami, 31-24 (2OT)
Sept. 13, 2003 - def. N.C. State, 44-38 (3OT)
Nov. 15, 2003 - def. Purdue, 16-13
Oct. 2, 2004 - lost at Northwestern, 33-27
Nov. 14, 2009 - def. Iowa, 27-24
Nov. 12, 2011 - lost at Purdue, 26-23
Posey Expected Back
With sophomore Corey Brown missing the Purdue game Saturday - his fourth game missed this season because of injury - and Verlon Reed out for the season, the Buckeyes had just four scholarship receivers available against the Boilermakers. The expected return of DeVier Posey this week will add not only another receiver to the mix, but it will add one who has 25 starts behind him already.
Posey's Career Stats (OSU Rank)
Receptions - 124 (T9th)
Yards - 1,793 (13th)
Touchdowns - 16 (T8th)
Yards per Catch - 14.5 (25th)
Boom Climbs into Top 10
Dan "Boom" Herron had his streak of 100-yard rushing games this season end at three Saturday - and his per-game average dropped from 138 per game to 119 per game - when he netted 65 yards against Purdue. The effort moved Herron into Ohio State's all-time Top 10 rushers with 2,674 yards. He needs 272 yards to move into ninth place (passing Antonio Pittman), 278 yards for eighth place (passing Michael Wiley) and with 326 yards he would hit 3,000 career yards and top Carlos Snow for seventh place.
Orhian Johnson's second interception of the season and the third of his career was a big one: it forced the overtime Saturday. The Boilermakers had a first-and-10 at the Ohio State 46 with 37 seconds left to play when Johnson picked off Robert Marve at the 12 yard line on the OSU side.
Active Career Leaders - Interceptions
Shugarts Start Streak Snapped
J.B. Shugarts had started 24 consecutive games at right tackle before missing the Purdue game with a leg issue. Antonio Underwood started in Shugarts' place and Corey Linsley also spent considerable time at the position. Ohio State had started the same offensive line crew of LT Mike Adams, LG Andrew Norwell, C Mike Brewster, RG Jack Mewhort and LG Shugarts four consecutive games - since Adams' return - and had averaged 267.0 rushing yards per game in that stretch. Ohio State had just 163 yards vs. Purdue.
Six Frosh Have Now Started
With T.Y. Williams making his first career start at receiver and Antonio Underwood doing the same at right tackle, Ohio State has now had six different freshmen start a game this season. RS frosh Bradley Roby leads all with nine starts at CB. He is followed by QB Braxton Miller (seven starts), WR Verlon Reed (five before season-ending knee surgery), DE J.T. Moore (three) and then Williams and Underwood.
Shazier Could Make it Seven
Andrew Sweat is not on Ohio State's depth chart this week, so look for freshman linebacker Ryan Shazier to become the seventh freshman to start a game this year for the Buckeyes. He was terrific in relief of Sweat on Saturday with career highs in solo tackles (six) and total tackles (seven) plus he had a quarterback sack and a forced fumble.
A Mountain of Youth
All those freshmen starters only begin to tell the story of the number of young Buckeyes seeing playing time in 2011. So far 14 true freshmen have played in at least one game (10th-most nationally) and seven red-shirt freshmen have played for a mountain of youth totaling 21 freshmen (19th nationally) who have played this season.
True Frosh on the Field:
Michael Bennett, Brian Bobek, Jeremy Cash, Curtis Grant, Doran Grant, Joel Hale, Jeff Heuerman, Braxton Miller, Steve Miller, Ryan Shazier, Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, DerJuan Gambrell and Antonio Underwood.
News, Notes and Quotes ...
Braxton Miller set a season's best with 132 yards passing vs. Purdue and his eight completions tied his season's best (Akron)...freshmen receivers T.Y. Williams (2-28), Devin Smith (1-14) and Evan Spencer (1-12) combined for four catches for 56 yards and three first downs (one apiece) ... Five of Miller's eight completions went for first downs...The blocked extra point attempt was the first against the Buckeyes since the first game of the 2009 season vs. Navy, snapping a string of 130 consecutive made extra points...the last one-point game Ohio State was in: Sept. 5, 1992 vs. Louisville, a 20-19 Ohio State win...Braxton Miller has a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games and he has accounted for eight touchdowns (rushing and throwing) during that time.
More Notes from West Lafayette
15-Year Best 346-Yards Rushing
Two weeks ago Dan Herron (141), Braxton Miller (105) and Carlos Hyde (105) each ran for 100 yards against Indiana and the end result was a 15-year best 346-yard rushing game by the Buckeyes. The last time an Ohio State team rushed for more was Nov. 9, 1996 at Illinois when Pepe Pearson, no doubt running behind Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winner Orlando Pace all day, led a 348-yard team effort with 165 rushing yards.
Seventh-Best Per Carry Avg. Ever!
Ohio State averaged 7.52 yards per carry vs. the Hoosiers (46-346), a figure that ranks seventh-best all-time for a single game.
Miller Big Ten Freshman of the Week Oct. 31
The best game of Braxton Miller's collegiate career vs. Wisconsin - three TDs accounted for including a game-winning TD pass with 20 seconds to play - earned the quarterback from Huber Heights, Ohio, the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week honor Oct. 31. Ohio State defeated No. 15 Wisconsin, 33-29. Miller scored the first two touchdowns of his career before capping the game with his most important TD pass to date. He coasted in from the 1 yard line in the third quarter for his first collegiate score to give Ohio State a 10-7 lead. Then he burst off the left edge for a 44-yard sprint in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 26-14. And then after Wisconsin scored two touchdowns inside of the final four minutes to take a 29-26 lead, Miller threw his sixth touchdown pass of the season, a 40-yarder to fellow freshman Devin Smith with 20 seconds to play to give Ohio State the come-from-behind victory. For the game, Miller rushed for a career high 99 yards and passed for 89 on 7 for 12 passing for a career high total offense day of 188 yards.
Simon Named Big Ten Defensive POW Oct. 17
John Simon's aggressive, relentless pursuit of all things Blue and Orange Oct. 15 in Champaign, Ill., earned the junior defensive tackle from Youngstown, Ohio, with the Defensive Player of the Week Award from the Big Ten Conference. The Big Ten award, the first by a Buckeye this season, was one of numerous awards for Simon last week. On a national scale, Simon was named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week and the College Football Performance Award's National Defensive Lineman of the Week. Simon spearheaded an Ohio State defense with a career-high eight tackles, including a career-high four tackles-for-loss, in the team's 17-7 road win over 16th-ranked and previously unbeaten Illinois. Simon's TFLs included two quarterback sacks and totaled 16 yards in losses. The TFL total was one off the school record of five held by Andy Katzenmoyer (vs. Arizona State in 1996), Jayson Gwinn (vs. Indiana in 1993) and Judah Herman (vs. Iowa in 1991).
Stoneburner's Fifth in Career TDs
Jake Stoneburner is tied for fifth place among Ohio State tight ends with eight career touchdown receptions. The junior caught his fifth touchdown this season - a 32-yard screen pass from Braxton Miller with blocking assistance from Mike Brewster and Mike Adams - in the first quarter against Nebraska and his sixth with a 17-yarder from Miller at Illinois.
Tight End Touchdowns
10 - John Lumpkin (1996-98)
9 - John Frank (1980-83)
9 - Rickey Dudley (1994-95)
9 - Charles Bryant (1959-61)
9 - Darnell Sanders (1999-01)
8 - Jan White (1968-70)
8 - Robert Grimes (1950-52)
8 - Jake Stoneburner (2009-present)
Five Consecutive Leaders Games
The game this week vs. Penn State is the fifth during a stretch of five consecutive games against Leaders Division opponents for the Buckeyes before closing out with the traditional season-ender vs. Michigan, which is situated in the Legends Division.
Brewster Reaches 46 Straight
All-American center Mike Brewster started his 46th consecutive game Saturday at Purdue. 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.
Red Zone Efficiency
Officially, Ohio State has scored 28 of 32 times (87.5 percent) this season inside the 20 with 20 touchdowns and eight field goals. The only four times the Buckeyes have failed to score came on a fumble and on three end-of-game possessions against Akron, Colorado and Indiana while running out the clock. So if you take out those three instances, Ohio State is really 28 of 29 (96.5 percent).
Since Rod Smith's fumble in the first quarter against Akron, Ohio State has scored on 27 consecutive red zone possessions if you don't count the three possessions in which the Buckeyes took a knee to run out the clock.
Buchanan a Wuerffel Award Finalist
Junior punter Ben Buchanan, a strategic communications major from Westerville, Ohio, has been named a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is presented by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The award is presented to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
Simon a Lott IMPACT Trophy Semifinalist
Junior defensive lineman John Simon is among eight semifinalists for the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, which was announced by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.
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. 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 2005)
Fewest 100-yd rushers allowed (FBS Teams Since 2007)
Last nine opponents to rush for 100 yards since 2007:
|10/8/11||Taylor Martinez||at Nebraska||17-102|
|10/8/11||Rex Burkhead||at Nebraska||26-119|
|9/17/11||Lamar Miller||at Miami||26-184|
|1/4/11||Knile Davis||vs. Arkansas||26-139|
|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.