IN REVIEW: Ohio State in 2007 - Game by Game

This is a game by game perspective of the Big Ten Champion LSU Tigers as they compiled an 11-1 record and qualified for an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.

No. 11 Ohio State 38,

Youngstown St.

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007

Ohio Stadium

Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Buckeyes kicked off their 118th season of football with a 38-6 victory over Youngstown State Saturday afternoon before 105,038 sun-drenched fans in Ohio Stadium.

Quarterback Todd Boeckman, a junior making his first start, looked comfortable in the pocket all day as he led the offense to 417 total yards. Boeckman found seven different receivers as he completed 17-of-23 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was Brian Robiskie, who had a terrific day with nine receptions for 153 yards.

Boeckman, Robby Schoenhoft and Antonio Henton all played at quarterback for Ohio State. The trio combined for 31 pass attempts. Henton connected with freshman Taurian Washington on a 37-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter for Ohio State's final points.

The Buckeyes gained 147 rushing yards. There were some highlight runs for the Buckeyes: Maurice Wells had a 26-yarder; Beanie Wells ripped off a 20-yarder that included two 360-degree spins; and Brandon Saine had an 18-yard burst between the tackles on his first collegiate carry.

No. 12 Ohio State 20, Akron 2

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007

Ohio Stadium

Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS - Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio State Buckeyes used a smothering defensive performance and two second-half touchdowns to defeat Akron, 20-2, Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

The win was the 31st-consecutive for Ohio State over a school from Ohio, dating back to a seven-all tie with Wooster in 1924. Ohio State's last loss to an Ohio school came in 1921 to Oberlin, 7-6.

It was an atypical win, with Ohio State (2-0) committing five turnovers to Akron's one, but the discrepancy did not hurt the Buckeyes because their defense was terrific. After allowing 34 yards and two first downs on the initial series of the game, the Buckeyes held the Zips without a first down for 13-consecutive series. Akron (1-1) finished with only three first downs, 3 yards rushing and 69 total yards and for the second-consecutive game OSU did not allow a touchdown.

Offensively, Chris "Beanie" Wells looked powerful while leading Ohio State with a career-high 143 yards rushing. Quarterback Todd Boeckman shook off two interceptions by finding Brandon Saine and Brian Robiskie for second-half touchdowns. He finished 14-for-23 for 131 yards.

No. 10 Ohio State 33, Washington 14

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007

Husky Stadium

Seattle, Washington

SEATTLE - Chris Wells ran for 135 yards and a touchdown, Boeckman threw for two more scores and No. 10 Ohio State scored 24 consecutive points in the second half to beat Washington 33-14 on Saturday.

Ohio State (3-0) tied a school record for consecutive wins in the regular season with 21, matching a mark set from 1967-69.

Boeckman was 14-for-25 for 218 yards. He just laughed when asked about his outbursts, after the Buckeyes won for the 22nd time in 23 games overall - the only loss coming when Florida ran over them in last January's national championship game.

Linebacker James Laurinaitis intercepted Washington's Jake Locker twice deep in Buckeyes territory. Last season's Nagurski Award winner as the nation's best defensive player also had a key sack of the Huskies' redshirt freshman star during the decisive sequence of the third quarter, when Ohio State turned a 7-3 deficit into a 17-7 lead.

As Brandon Saine ran 37 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play, Tressel was getting a bucket of ice water dumped on his head to celebrate his 200th career victory.

No. 8 Ohio State 58, Northwestern 7

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007

Ohio Stadium

Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS - Todd Boeckman connected with Brian Robiskie on three touchdown plays in the first 16 minutes of the game, the Ohio State defense was fierce and unrelenting and the end result was a dominant, 58-7 win over Northwestern in the 500th game in Ohio Stadium.

Chris Wells rushed for 100 yards for the third-consecutive game, including a 36-yard touchdown carry, and Vernon Gholston led another imposing defensive effort with two sacks and a 25-yard fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

Ohio State led 45-0 at halftime and had out-gained Northwestern, 262-20, in total yards, but this game was over well before that point because Ohio State was dominant in all phases from the start. Not even four minutes into the game Ohio State already led 14-0, and halfway through the first quarter it was 21-0 with the Buckeyes holding a 131-6 advantage in total yards.

Boeckman and Robiskie, reading each other perfectly, hooked up on a 42-yard touchdown play to cap a three-play, 64-yard drive on Ohio State's first possession, using just 1:10 to score.

No. 5 Ohio State 30, Minnesota 7

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007


Minneapolis, Minn.

MINNEAPOLIS - Chris Wells rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ohio State defense didn't budge in a 30-7 win at Minnesota.

Boeckman delivered when the Buckeyes needed him to, throwing a perfect pass to Brian Robiskie for a 52-yard touchdown with 57 seconds left in the first half that stretched the lead to 20-7. Boeckman went 18-for-29 for 209 yards.

Even punter A.J. Trapasso contributed for the Buckeyes. He pinned Minnesota inside the 20 four times and also ran 28 yards for a first down after dropping the ball at the beginning of an apparent first-quarter fake. That extended a 12-play, 74-yard touchdown drive on their first possession.

Adam Weber tossed freshman Ralph Spry his first career touchdown reception on a 4-yard corner route that cut the Ohio State lead to 14-7. The Gophers forced a punt and put together another productive drive, only to have it thwarted when Weber's bad throw on third down was intercepted by Malcolm Jenkins right in front of the goal line.

Wells ran for 33 yards on third-and-6 at the Buckeyes 6, and Jamal Harris gave away 15 more yards with a late hit. On the next play, Robiskie raced up the seam and catapulted himself above Harris to make an acrobatic catch in the end zone for a 20-7 lead. The extra point was blocked.

No. 4 Ohio State 23, No. 20 Purdue 7

Saturday, Oct. 7, 2007

Ross-Ade Stadium

West Lafayette, Ind.

WEST LAFAYETTE - -Todd Boeckman passed for 200 yards and two touchdowns as No. 4 Ohio State beat No. 23 Purdue 23-7 on Saturday night.

Chris Wells ran for 85 yards on 18 carries and Ryan Pretorius made all three of his field goal attempts for Ohio State.

Purdue had averaged 45 points and 496 yards per game, but Ohio State held the Boilermakers to 272 total yards. Purdue ran for just 4 yards on 17 attempts, and Jared Armstrong tied a school record with 12 punts.

Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter, who had averaged more than 300 passing yards in his first five games, finished with 268. Much of that was gained in the fourth quarter against Buckeye reserves.

Purdue tight end Dustin Keller caught seven passes for 101 yards and Greg Orton caught 10 passes for 91 yards for the Boilermakers.

Ohio State stopped Purdue to start the game, then scored on its first possession. Boeckman threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Ray Small to finish a nine-play, 87-yard drive that gave the Buckeyes a 7-0 lead.

The Buckeyes forced a three-and-out, then took over at the Purdue 43 after a poor punt. Five plays later, Boeckman threw his second touchdown pass, a 6-yarder to Brian Hartline.

No. 3 Ohio State 48, Kent State 3

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007

Ohio Stadium

Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS – Ohio State didn't bully Kent State around like it has every other team in Ohio Stadium this season, but one would not know it by the score: a 48-3 Buckeye win sparked by two return touchdowns, 263 passing yards and a defense that still has not surrendered a touchdown in Ohio Stadium this year.

Todd Boeckman threw two touchdowns in a little over two quarters of work and was on target with 13 completions in 16 attempts for 184 yards. He threw touchdown passes to Brian Hartline and Maurice Wells. Robby Schoenhoft, in his most extended playing time, was equally accurate, completing 7-of-9 passes for 79 yards. Ten different receivers had receptions on a day that the Ohio State running game netted just 130 yards.

Freshman Brandon Saine was the team leader in rushing – 69 yards – and receiving – 5 receptions for 76 yards.

Hartline produced the most electrifying play of the day. He took a second-quarter punt 90 yards for a touchdown, eclipsing Robert Demmel's 57-year-old punt return record of 87 yards vs. Iowa in 1950 in the process.

Cornerback Donald Washington had a big play for the defense, returning an interception 70 yards for a score late in the first half. Vernon Gholston had two quarterback sacks and the Buckeyes had five on the afternoon, including Washington's first career sack.

No. 1 Ohio State 24, Michigan State 17

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007

Ohio Stadium

Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS - No. 1 Ohio State held off a late Michigan State rally – sparked by two defensive touchdowns – to win, 24-17, in front of 105,287 fans at Ohio Stadium.

Sophomore Chris "Beanie" Wells rushed for a career-high 221 yards and Todd Boeckman threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Ohio State offense.

Meanwhile, Ohio State's best-in-the-nation defense limited the explosive Spartan offense, which came into the game leading the Big Ten in total offense (467.0), scoring offense (36.9) and second in rushing (242.7), to only three points and 185 total yards. James Laurinaitis led the charge with 12 tackles.

"Our defense held them to under 200 yards of offense, which is extraordinary for the college game," Jim Tressel, Ohio State head coach, said.

Ohio State led 17-0 at halftime behind the passing of Boeckman, who was 12-for-16 for 125 yards and one touchdown, and 109 yards rushing by Wells. Included in the team's three first-half scoring drives was an opening-series touchdown for the fourth-consecutive game.

No. 1 Ohio State 37, No. 25 Penn State 17

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007

Beaver Stadium

State College, Penn.

STATE COLLEGE - Happy Valley belonged to the top-ranked Buckeyes, who cruised to a 37-17 victory over No. 24 Penn State on Saturday night.

Todd Boeckman threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns and Chris Wells ran for 133 yards to lead Ohio State to another easy win in its toughest test of the season so far.

Penn State, seventh in the nation in total defense coming in, had breakdowns on numerous third-down plays. Ohio State was 7-of-8 alone in the first half on third-down conversions and finished with 453 yards.

Buckeyes cornerback Malcolm Jenkins intercepted a wobbly pass by quarterback Anthony Morelli and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead to 34-10 with 9:36 left in the game. Morelli was 12-for-21 for 111 yards and sacked twice.

A.J. Wallace's 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter provided one of the few bright spots for the Nittany Lions.

No. 1 Ohio State 38, Wisconsin 17

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007

Ohio Stadium

Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS - In a back-and-forth slugfest between two Big Ten teams known for their muscle, No. 1 Ohio State came from behind to defeat No. 19 Wisconsin, 31-17, before 105,449 sun-drenched and relieved fans in Ohio Stadium.

Chris Wells – "Beanie" – rushed for 169 yards and scored the tying, go-ahead and game-clinching touchdowns in the second half to lead Ohio State's offense. Todd Boeckman and Brian Robiskie teamed for two touchdown pass plays and James Laurinaitis and Vernon Gholston led the defense that allowed just 281 yards. Laurinaitis recorded a career-high 19 tackles and a key fourth-down stop in the second half while Gholston tied a school record with four quarterback sacks.

The Badgers were led by quarterback Tyler Donovan, who passed for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Travis Beckum caught nine passes for 140 yards and one touchdown. The duo sparked the Badgers back from a 10-3 halftime deficit and into the lead before Ohio State charged back.

Illinois 28, No. 1 Ohio State 21

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007

Ohio Stadium

Columbus, Ohio

COLUMBUS - Illinois came into Ohio Stadium and did what no other team has been able to do all season: run its offense to perfection, limit Ohio State's chances and capitalize on turnovers which all led to a 28-21 upset win over No. 1 Ohio State.

Quarterback Isiah "Juice" Williams led a 400-yard effort by the Illini with four touchdown passes – each one to a different receiver – and the Illini ground game struck for a season-high 260 yards against a defense that was allowing just 65 rushing yards per game.

Ohio State managed just 336 total yards. Todd Boeckman threw for 156 yards and three interceptions and the rushing attack scored three times, but was limited to 180 yards by an Illinois defense that was led by James Laurinaitis-like J Leman's 17 tackles.

Trailing 28-14, Ohio State went back to Beanie Wells and the sophomore delivered. He capped a 76-yard touchdown drive with a 17-yard touchdown run to bring Ohio State to within 7. He would finish with 76 yards rushing.

Illinois ran 6:11 off the clock on its next series before finally punting.

Ohio Sate took over with 9:23 to play, but a third Boeckman interception gave the ball back to Illinois at its own 24 with 8:09 to play. The Illini held the ball for the rest of the game, running 16 plays and converting four third down plays and one fourth down conversion to run the clock out.

No. 7 Ohio State 14, No. 23 Michigan 3

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007

Michigan Stadium

Ann Arbor, Mich.

ANN ARBOR - Chris Wells ran for a career-high 222 yards and two touchdowns and Vernon Gholston and the Buckeyes' defense dominated Michigan's banged-up offense for a 14-3 victory in the Big House.

Michigan led 3-0 after the first quarter, but the Buckeyes controlled the game by stopping a one-dimensional offense and handing the ball off to Wells early and often.

Wells put Ohio State ahead with a 1-yard run early in the second quarter and a 62-yard score made it 14-3 on its first snap after halftime. He had a career-high 39 carries, the most by a Buckeye against Michigan, and he ran for more yards than anybody had for them in the history of the storied series.

The Wolverines struggled on offense in part because Henne was ineffective with shoulder injury and Hart was unable to find room to run against a defense that didn't have to respect the pass and could concentrate on stopping the trash-talking running back.

Henne, whose throws were usually high or wide, left the field for one series in the third quarter and returned in the fourth. When he made accurate passes, star receiver Mario Manningham and teammates dropped some of them.

Henne finished 11 of 34 for 68 yards.

Hart had 18 carries for just 44 yards rushing, his first game this year under the 100-yard mark.

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