Ohio State Football 2011
Ohio State Survives Scare from Toledo
The last time Ohio State lost to an interstate opponent the year was 1921.
On Saturday in Columbus, the Toledo Rockets had an opportunity to end that streak with the ball deep in the Buckeyes territory, threatening to take the lead in the final seconds.
Fortunately for OSU, Toledo backup quarterback, Terrance Owens' pass attempt on fourth down with 48 seconds left fell incomplete as the No. 15 ranked Buckeyes held on for a 27-22 victory.
Even though the Buckeyes came away with the victory, it was the Rockets game to lose. Toledo threw one pick, missed a 45-yard field goal, botched the hold on a 50-yard field-goal attempt, had 102 yards in penalties, gave up a touchdown on special-teams and continually made mistakes that saved Ohio State drives or stifled their own.
Ohio State (2-0) only had to run out the clock on their last possession, but freshman Rod Smith lost a fumble to give the Rockets one last shot.
The Rockets then marched right down the field from their own 28-yard line despite pressure from the Buckeye defensive front. Owens barely got off a couple pass completions before getting smacked by Buckeye defenders, led by John Simon. Simon, who went to the locker room earlier in the game with leg cramps, provided the final blow as his pressure caused the final incompletion.
"That was huge. We knew we had to stop them or they were going to win the game," Simon said of his late pressure. "It was a big play for us. The secondary did a great job covering and giving me extra time to get back there."
Simon wasn't the only Buckeye to make big plays. Chris Fields returned a punt 69 yards and Hyde ran for two scores for OSU, a team still feeling the ill-affects of NCAA suspensions to seven of their top players.
"I think and I hope that this is what's going to make us better, all the adversity," interim head coach Luke Fickell said following his second career victory.
Starting OSU quarterback, Joe Bauserman, went 16-of-30 for 189 yards in a surprising solo performance as co-starter, freshman Braxton Miller, never left the sideline. Bauserman would find his favorite target, tight end Jake Stoneburner, on a 26-yard scoring strike for his only passing touchdown of the game.
Overall, the Buckeyes were out-gained 338 to 301 in total yards as the Rockets passed for 292 yards. The 22 points scored by Toledo were the most by an Ohio school against Ohio State since 1909.
Toledo has made it a habit of upsetting teams on the road in recent history as they have knocked off the likes of Michigan, Purdue and Pitt. So, the Buckeyes shouldn’t feel discouraged by narrowly escaping with a victory. As the saying goes, “A win, is a win“.
OSU will look for their third win of the season as they travel to South Beach to take on the Miami Hurricanes this coming Saturday.
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