CLEVELAND - The Ohio State offense made its first big showing of the season as the Buckeye defense kept a Toledo team that was averaging nearly 43 points a game out of the end zone en route to a dominating 38-0 win at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor showed off his most complete game of his collegiate career with a four touchdown outing. Pryor passed for 262 yards (career best ) and ran for 110 yards(tied career best) and helped pace an offensive effort that put up 522 yards on the day. But on the flipside Pryor had two terrible interceptions that critics will focus in on rather than looking at what he did well.
"I thought Terrelle made a couple of key plays," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said. "He made very good decisions. (Toledo) was a hard team to read, they were blitzing nearly every down from all over the place."
Receiver Dane Sanzenbacher made his hometown team pay with five receptions going for 126 yards and two touchdowns including the first score of the game, a 76-yard TD strike from Pryor.
"It feels good to be able to come out there after the whole week and having to talk about (me) being from Toledo and everything for me to be able to go out there and perform." Sanzenbacher said.
The Ohio State defense turned in its second straight stellar defense in a row taking the Rockets out of all offensive rhythm holding Tim Beckman's team to 210 yards of total offense and zero points.
"Give a lot of credit to their defense," Toledo quarterback Aaron Opelt said. "They played a really good game. We've got to get back to the drawing boards and get things clicking again."
Opelt was held way below his averages in completing 22 of 45 passes for 197 yards and no touchdowns. The Ohio State defense got to Opelt for a pair of sacks but the Buckeye DL was in the Toledo backfield most of the afternoon.
"We wanted to try to get after them because they had only allowed one sack in the first two games," Ohio State defensive lineman Thad Gibson said. "If was something we worked on in practice all week. But we knew they were going to give everything they had so we tried to keep after them the whole game."
Apparently it worked with the Buckeyes putting up double digit QB pressures and hurries unofficially.
"I thought their defense as a whole played well today," Toledo head coach Tim Beckman said. "I give them full credit for stopping our offense."
The big win against Toledo will not help fans erase the memory of one that got away against USC but it will help fans look forward with hope that this team has a lot left in the tank and plenty to prove as the Big Ten season opens with Illinois next week at home.
"I think any defense wants to get the goose egg," defensive end Cameron Heyward said. "And when you can get that it is a great feeling but you have got to get back to next week and get ready."