(Note: everything in this article is based off simulating events on NCAA Football 2007. The game does not assign players, so I came up with names myself.)
Columbus, Ohio – The Buckeyes scored fast, scored often and outscored the visiting Cincinnati Bearcats by a wide margin, 42-7 on Hall of Fame day at Ohio Stadium.
With Heisman trophy-winning running back Eddie George on hand to be enshrined in the OSU hall of fame along with 11 other former Buckeyes, OSU fans were treated to two possible Heisman candidates playing at the top of their games.
Quarterback Troy Smith completed just five passes, but those five went for 146 yards and a touchdown. Behind him, tailback Antonio Pittman rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries.
It all added up to a resounding Ohio State victory, as the Buckeyes(3-0) held a 28-0 halftime lead over Cincinnati (0-3) and never looked back.
With OSU up 7-0 after a four-yard touchdown run by Pittman – his fifth of the season – Smith connected with wideout Ted Ginn, Jr. for a 57-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the second quarter.
Ginn finished the afternoon with five catches for 125 yards to lead all receivers. Senior Roy Hall had three catches in short-yardage situations for 17 yards while Anthony Gonzalez added two catches for 11 yards.
Enjoying a four-possession lead at the half, the OSU coaching staff handed out playing time to much of the team's second-string players. Senior quarterback Justin Zwick played the entire second half in his longest stretch of playing time since Ohio State's home loss to Texas in week two of the 2005 season.
Zwick performed admirably, completing 7 of 14 passes for just 60 yards but two touchdowns. Cleveland St. Ignatius product Anthony Gonzalez hauled in a 6-yard touchdown with 10:18 remaining in the fourth quarter to push OSU's lead to 35-7 and freshman wideout Brian Hartline scored his first career touchdown on a 29-yard pass from Zwick with 1:48 remaining, capping a drive that lasted 5:18.
The lone Bearcat touchdown came on the opening drive of the second half. Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza found wideout Antwuan Giddens for a 10-yard touchdown to pull the Bearcats within 21 points with 12:45 remaining in the third quarter.
The Buckeyes were able to stymie the Cincinnati running attack, holding the Bearcats to 20 carries for 35 yards. Leading rusher Bradley Glatthaar was limited to 23 yards on nine carries. OSU, in comparison, rushed for 235 yards and out-gained Cincinnati with 441 yards of offense compared to 163 for the Bearcats.
With such a disparity in total yardage, the Buckeyes were also able to dominate the clock, holding onto the ball for 34:02.
The OSU coaches made good on their promise to get the ball to freshman Chris Wells more often. "Beanie" carried the ball eight times for 61 yards.
Several OSU defenders played key roles in keeping the Cincinnati offense from clicking. Senior Joel Penton recorded six tackles – four for loss – and two sacks, while sophomore Lawrence Wilson recorded five tackles – two for loss – and a sack.
Even sophomore defensive tackle Alex Barrow got into the act in the first game he's seen significant playing time, recording four tackles, three for loss, and his first career sack.
The Buckeyes remained at the top of the coaches' poll and were at the top of the first media poll released Sunday night. The top 10 schools are as follows(first-place votes are in parentheses, followed by overall record):
1. Ohio State (33) (3-0)
2. LSU (22) (3-0)
3. USC (2) (2-0)
4. Oklahoma (3) (3-0)
5. Texas (2-1)
6. West Virginia (1) (3-0)
7. Penn State (3-0)
8. Miami (3-0)
9. Michigan (3-0)
10. Auburn (2-1)
Iowa is ranked No. 13 while Notre Dame fell to 16th following its overtime loss to Michigan.
1. Ohio State (38) (3-0)
2. USC (25) (2-0)
3. LSU (1) (3-0)
4. Penn State (1) (3-0)
5. West Virginia (3-0)
6. Tennessee (3-0)
7. Texas (2-1)
8. Oklahoma (3-0)
9. Michigan (3-0)
10. Miami (3-0)
Little changed in the Big Ten with seven teams tied for first with perfect 3-0 records.
1. (tie) Wisconsin 3-0
Ohio State 3-0
Penn State 3-0
8. (tie) Indiana 2-1
Michigan State 2-1
11. Purdue 0-2
News & Notes
-Troy Smith continued to make waves in Heisman balloting after leading the Buckeyes to victory over the Longhorns, but his name was joined by that of teammate Antonio Pittman, who has began to make a name for himself this season. The OSU duo are among the top five candidates in the country, joining Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson and Auburn wideout Courtney Taylor who is new to the list this week.
-The Big Ten announced its players of the week: Penn State tailback Tony Hunt earned the honors for the second time this season, while Iowa linebacker Mike Klinkenborg earned the honors on defense.
-Michigan narrowly knocked off the Fighting Irish in a nailbiter: a 23-20 overtime showdown.
Ohio State's forthcoming matchup with unbeaten Penn State is being anxiously awaited by two major players in the recruiting world. Mark McMillan, the country's top wideout who has the Buckeyes at the top of his list, said "all eyes are on Ohio State" as the game approaches. A similar sentiment was expressed by guard Joel Keyes, who said he is expecting OSU to "play well" against the Nittany Lions. Kane has OSU listed seventh on his list with Notre Dame at the top.
-Three recruits were reportedly less-than-amazed by their unofficial visits to Columbus last weekend. Linebacker Johnnie Lester said he "had an ok time" on his unofficial visit, while cornerback Derrick Kane said he "was not blown away" on his unofficial. Lester has OSU sixth on his list, while Kane has the Buckeyes seventh. Four-star tackle Reggie Tidwell said he has an "average time."
-Two recruits had exceptional high school games last week. Quarterback Paul Barrow scored six touchdowns and accumulated 412 all-purpose yards while center Cameron Houston enjoyed a rare privilege: he played on both sides of the ball and recorded three sacks. Both Buckeyes have OSU fourth on their lists.
The Big Ten title will again hang in the balance when the Buckeyes take on the (3-0) Nittany Lions one year after Penn State handed OSU its only conference loss of the season.
Penn State is led by junior quarterback Anthony Morelli, who has filled in admirably for the departed Michael Robinson. Morelli has completed 60 of 95 passes for 545 yards and six touchdowns against just two interceptions. His primary target has been sophomore wideout Derrick Williams, who has 21 catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns this season. Two-time Big Ten Player of the Week Hunt has carried the ball 69 times for 451 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Nittany Lions, coming off a 62-3 thumping of I-AA Youngstown State, have two defensive standouts: senior linebacker Tim Shaw and sophomore cornerback Justin King both have interceptions on the season.
Check out the previous results: