(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.)
Iowa City, Iowa – Ohio State slugged it out with an undefeated team in the Big Ten for the second week in a row, and for the second week in a row the Buckeyes came out on top.
The Buckeyes (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) scored enough early to withstand a late Iowa (4-1, 1-1) charge and won by a final score of 38-33. And in the end, it was again senior quarterback Troy Smith who made the big play when it counted for the Buckeyes.
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After seeing a 31-14 lead after three quarters nearly evaporate after Iowa scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions to pull within four points, Smith scrambled 63 yards down the field for a back-breaking touchdown that sealed the victory for the Buckeyes.
The run was the longest of Smith's career and capped a day during which he completed 16 of 25 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Despite Smith's run putting OSU up 38-27 with 8:15 left, the Buckeyes' defense would allow one more score – a 4-yard run by junior tailback Damian Sims with 31 seconds remaining – but the two-point conversion failed and OSU recovered the ensuing onsides kick.
The Hawkeyes failed on two two-point conversion attempts during the game.
Statistically, both teams were nearly identical. The Buckeyes held the slightest edge possible in total offense, outgaining the Hawkeyes 409-408 largely due to a difference in each team's ground attack. OSU carried the ball 40 times for 299 yards while Iowa had 18 carries for 87 yards, led by junior tailback Albert Young's 15 carries for 80 yards and one touchdown.
Iowa drew first blood with a 10 yard touchdown run by Young on the first drive of the game that put the Hawkeyes up 7-0 with 12:44 left in the first quarter. OSU countered on its next possession with an epic 7:42 drive capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Antonio Pittman.
Pittman finished the day with 23 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Iowa stayed in the game thanks to a potent passing attack. Senior quarterback Drew Tate completed 19 of 31 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. Two of those scores went for 60-plus yards.
With OSU leading 21-7 in the second quarter, Tate hooked up with senior wideout Calvin Davis for a 61-yard touchdown pass with 1:50 remaining in the half. The second long score pulled the Hawkeyes to within four points with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter and came on a 70-yard bomb to junior wideout Herb Grigsby.
While those two passes went for a combined 131 yards, Tate's other 17 completions went for just 190 yards.
Smith had a much more modest passing day but made plays when it mattered. Wideout Ted Ginn, Jr. had eight catches for 44 yards and a touchdown – a 13-yarder with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter to push OSU's lead to 31-14. Junior Anthony Gonzalez had the other receiving touchdown for the Buckeyes; a three-yard grab at the 13:31 mark of the second quarter.
Ginn also came close to breaking free for his first kickoff return touchdown of the season. He took a kick to near midfield for a 41-yard gain but was pushed out of bounds.
Defensively, OSU was led by junior linebacker Marcus Freeman, who had six tackles. Senior John Kerr had five tackles, while senior Jay Richardson had four tackles – two for loss – and the lone sack of the game.
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 (35) 5-0
2. LSU (25) 5-0
3. USC (1) 4-0
4. Oklahoma 4-0
5. Texas 4-1
6. West Virginia 4-0
7. Miami 4-0
8. Auburn 4-1
9. Florida 4-1
10. Arizona State 5-0
Penn State is No. 11, while Iowa fell to No. 13 following its loss to OSU. Michigan fell to No. 14 following its upset loss to Minnesota and Notre Dame is No. 16.
1. Ohio State (43) 5-0
2. USC (21) 4-0
3. LSU (1) 5-0
4. Oklahoma 4-0
5. West Virginia 4-0
6. Texas 4-1
7. Miami 4-0
8. Florida 4-1
9. Auburn 4-1
10. Penn State (4-1)
Michigan is No. 12, Notre Dame is No. 13, Iowa is No. 15 and Minnesota jumped to No. 16.
Just three Big Ten teams are left undefeated in conference play. Conference records are first, followed by overall records.
1. (tie) Minnesota 2-0, 5-0
3. Michigan State 1-0, 3-2
4. (tie) Michigan 1-1, 4-1
8. Indiana 0-1, 2-3
9. Northwestern 0-1, 3-2
10. Purdue 0-1, 0-4
11. Illinois 0-2, 3-2
Week five scores:
Minnesota 26, No. 8 Michigan 21
Michigan State 35, Illinois 13
No. 1 OSU 38, No. 10 Iowa 33
No. 11 Penn State 27, Northwestern 10
Wisconsin 34, Indiana 7
No. 16 Notre Dame 24, Purdue 13.
News & Notes
-His performance against the Hawkeyes has put Troy Smith back near the top of the Heisman Trophy balloting. Arizona State wideout Rudy Burgess, Georgia Tech wideout Calvin Johnson, Texas Tech wideout Robert Johnson and LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell fill out of the top candidates. Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, however, has dropped out of the top five.
-The Big Ten announced its players of the week: Wisconsin tailback Jamil Walker was the offensive player after carrying the ball 36 times for 333 yards and three touchdowns in the Badgers' 34-7 win over Indiana. Illinois linebacker Sam Carson III earned defensive honors after practically doing it all in his team's 35-13 loss to Michigan State: 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception.
-OSU ranks fifth in the country in rush defense, allowing 229.6 yards per game on the ground. The Buckeyes are also 14th in points per game (37.2), sixth in rushing touchdowns (13) and fifth in sacks allowed (4).
-Things continue to look rosy for OSU prospect Slade Bobo, who has had the Buckeyes at the top of his list for a few weeks now. Bobo told BuckeyeSports.com that he plans to take an official visit to Columbus to check out the OSU/Michigan game Nov. 18. He's narrowed down his final list to three schools (in order): OSU, Michigan and Notre Dame.
-Wideout Mark McMillan still has Notre Dame at the top of his list and OSU second, but things could be changing. McMillan was reportedly "not blown away" by an unofficial visit to South Bend last weekend and could be scheduling an OSU official visit soon.
-The same sentiment was expressed by center Cameron Houston, who was also unimpressed with his unofficial visit to Notre Dame. Houston has the Buckeyes second on his list behind the Fighting Irish.
-The Buckeyes were dropped from the list of cornerback prospect Jason Mitchell, who trimmed his list to five. "Other schools were recruiting me a lot harder," Mitchell told BuckeyeSports.com.
-OSU did make the cut for defensive tackle Patrick Anderson, who has narrowed his down to five teams. The Buckeyes are fifth while Georgia is No. 1.
The Buckeyes will take on their second team from the Mid-American Conference this season when they face in-state foe Bowling Green in their last non-conference matchup of the season.
The Falcons (1-4, 1-2 MAC) lost to Ohio last weekend by a score of 35-28. They are led by freshman quarterback Freddie Barnes, who took over for the injured Anthony Turner. Barnes has completed 62 of 130 passes for 607 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions this season. In addition. Barnes has the only rushing touchdown for the Falcons this season.
Junior tailback Dan Macon leads the BGSU ground attack, having rushed for 293 yards on 57 carries. Senior wideout Ruben Ruiz has caught 28 passes for 283 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Erique Dozier leads the team with 30 tackles while sophomore John Haneline is out for the next two months with an undisclosed injury.
Check out the previous results: