INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michigan State shook up the BCS title chase again Saturday night.
Ohio State is running out of time to more favorably position itself for the national title game.While Saturday’s home contest against Indiana should provide the fourth-ranked Buckeyes with a good chance to extend the nation’s longest winning streak, defeating the overmatched Hoosiers probably won’t make a big impression.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — – Ohio State offensive lineman Jack Mewhort vividly recalls the last time the Buckeyes played at Illinois.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Unbeaten Ohio State was unblemished Saturday. Doran Grant picked off Danny Etling’s first pass, returning it for a touchdown, and Braxton Miller threw for 233 yards and four touchdowns to lead the fourth-ranked Buckeyes to a record-breaking 56-0 victory at Purdue.
(AP) — – Almost every major college football team burns with the central goal of playing for a national championship. That’s also true at Ohio State, only with a twist.
(AP) — – Fourth-ranked Ohio State’s not perfect – except for its record. “We don’t want to lose,” linebacker Ryan Shazier said after a closer-than-expected 34-24 win over Iowa last Saturday. “We know someone might make a mistake but we’ve got his back.” Mistakes were made, but the bottom line is no matter how they play or who they play, the Buckeyes just keep winning under coach Urban Meyer. They have all kinds of streaks going: three tight conference wins in a row, a 7-0 mark this season and a nation-best 19 consecutive victories. At the same time, they haven’t been overpowering in Big Ten play – their three wins are by seven points, 10 (with a last-second touchdown) and 10 – and that’s not enough to convert poll-voting doubters or the computers that analyze teams in the Bowl Championship Series. That’s the biggest reason why the Buckeyes remain No. 4 in The Associated Press media poll and the USA Today coaches poll. The latter factors into the BCS rankings, which determine the two teams who will play in the national championship game. For now, Meyer isn’t worrying about any of that. He knows that even though few have much regard for the Big Ten or Ohio State’s non-conference schedule, it’ll be hard to turn away the Buckeyes at the end of the season if they have a zero in the loss column. “I try to stay away from that,” Meyer said of all the peripheral talk. “I want us to be one step closer to where we want to go. Where we want to go is to beat Penn State.” The Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0) host the Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-1), who were idle last week, on Saturday. After that the Buckeyes have only one remaining home game, playing three of their final four on the road with another bye week thrown in. This week the coaching staff will undoubtedly be cranky about the defensive effort and another plodding start. Iowa led 10-3 after a quarter and 17-10 at the half last Saturday. By that point, the Hawkeyes had outgained the Buckeyes 222-189, had a 17-9 bulge in first downs and controlled the ball 6 minutes longer. Then came halftime. “I’m more of a yeller and screamer,” Meyer said. “(Then I) let the defensive coaches make their adjustments.” After barely slowing the Hawkeyes down in the first half, the defense did make some critical plays afterward even though it was gashed for an 85-yard touchdown from Jake Rudock to Jake Duzey that tied the game at 24 heading into the fourth quarter. Ohio State’s offense suddenly started controlling the line of scrimmage and running at will – Carlos Hyde had 106 of his 143 yards after the break and both of his touchdown runs. At the same time, the defense stiffened. Iowa’s four second-half possessions ended with two punts and Tyvis Powell’s interception in addition to Duzey’s touchdown. The Buckeyes had started extraordinarily fast in each of their four non-conference games, which, granted, were played against teams that were lopsided underdogs. Since then, however, the Buckeyes have taken a while to get going in conference games…
Urban Meyer has yet to lose since taking the job at Ohio State, and he’s beginning to sense pressure among his players to keep that streak alive. He said that’s the last thing he wants on their minds as the fourth-ranked Buckeyes go for their 19th consecutive victory when they host Iowa on Saturday.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald knows all the story lines. Ohio State has won 28 of the last 29 meetings, it’s riding a nation-best 17-game winning streak and, more personally, Fitzgerald watched his teams get outscored by 130 points in the three times he’s faced the Buckeyes. Fitzgerald, though, isn’t letting his 16th-ranked Wildcats get caught up in the past, nor in the fact that ESPN’s College GameDay will be broadcasting from Evanston prior to their highly anticipated, nationally televised showdown with No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday night. “You embrace whatever comes along with college football,” Fitzgerald said. “Nothing changes for us this week. Our routine is our routine. It’s an embrace-the-improvement mentality.” Northwestern is on the verge of starting 5-0 in two straight seasons for the first time since 1904-05. Doing so again, however, means defeating Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten), led by two-time national championship coach Urban Meyer who guided a team on a one-year postseason ban to a 12-0 mark in his first season in Columbus in 2012. The Buckeyes beat the Wildcats 54-10 in 2006, 58-7 in ’07 and 45-10 in the most recent meeting in ’08 during Fitzgerald’s tenure as coach. Ohio State started fast in a 31-24 win over then-No. 23 Wisconsin last week, and Northwestern may have to hold off another early surge in this contest. The Buckeyes have outscored opponents 216-21 in the first quarter. The Wildcats don’t sound intimidated. “This is why you come to play Big Ten football and Division I football,” defensive lineman Tyler Scott said. “This where we want our program to be at – to have this hype for this game.” Starting quarterback Kain Colter, a dual threat who will split time with pocket passer Trevor Siemian, said Northwestern also needs to control its emotions on the big stage. “At the same time, we don’t want to overhype it,” said Colter, who threw for a touchdown and ran for another in a 35-21 win over FCS opponent Maine last week. “We don’t need to play out of this world. We just need to play our game to be able to win.” Whether that will be enough to knock off the vaunted Buckeyes remains to be seen. Northwestern is averaging 249.5 rushing yards, but Ohio State ranks eighth nationally in run defense at 84.6 per game. The Buckeyes limited the Badgers, who average more then 300 yards on the ground, to a season-low 104. The Wildcats hope their solid rushing attack will get a boost from the return of Venric Mark, who has missed the last three games with a leg injury. Treyvon Green averaged 7.0 yards per carry while rushing for five touchdowns in Mark’s absence. Ohio State’s defense took a hit Saturday when star safety Christian Bryant was lost for the season with a broken ankle. Corey “Pitt” Brown, redshirt freshman Tyvis Powell and freshman Vonn Bell will be tasked with helping fill the void. “The sign of a good team is always that someone must step up in his place,” Meyer said. The Buckeyes got a lift last week from the return of quarterback Braxton Miller, who missed the previous two games with a knee sprain. He went 17 of 25 for 198 yards and four touchdowns while adding 83 yards rushing…
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Braxton Miller threw a career-high four touchdown passes in his first game in three weeks and No. 4 Ohio State ran the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games with a 31-24 victory over No. 23 Wisconsin on Saturday night. Miller was back after missing the last two games with a sprained left knee and didn’t show the slightest bit of rust. The junior threw three touchdown passes in the first half, including a 40-yarder to Corey Brown with 1 second left that put Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) up 24-14. Joel Stave and Jared Abbrederis kept the Badgers (3-2, 1-1) in it. Stave threw for 295 yards and two TDs. Abbrederis caught 10 passes for a career-best 207 yards and a score, winning most of his one-on-one matchups with star cornerback Bradley Roby. James White ran 17 yards for a touchdown with 13:47 left in the fourth quarter to cut Ohio State’s lead to 31-21. Wisconsin got within 31-24 on a 42-yard field goal by Kyle French with 2:05 left in the fourth, and got the ball back at its own 10 with 1:29 left but Ohio State didn’t even give up a first down. The Buckeyes’ first big game of the season was big enough to bring Ohio native LeBron James to the Horseshoe and turn Ohio Stadium into the most-scarlet place on earth. Just about everyone in the crowd of 105,826 – third-largest in Ohio State history – was donning the Buckeyes’ shade of red. The Buckeyes had been off the radar for the first four weeks of the season, beating up on overmatched foes and dropping a couple of spots in the polls. The only news from Columbus was Miller’s injury early in the second game of the season, though the Buckeyes didn’t miss a beat without him. Kenny Guiton stepped in, led Ohio State to three blowout victories and won consecutive Big Ten offensive player of the week honors. Guiton was so good some Buckeyes fans wondered aloud whether he should keep playing even if Miller was ready to play. No quarterback controversy here. Miller passed for 198 yards and ran for 83. He started as expected and on his first series fired a 25-yard touchdown pass to Evan Spencer, who had a step on his defender and reached high for the grab. The question for Wisconsin coming in was how well Stave could compliment the Badgers’ powerful running game. …
(AP) — – The first few moments after an Ohio State victory is usually a time for celebration and recognition. Coach Urban Meyer and his assistants mention the top players from the game. Everyone applauds and pats the backs of those who are singled out.