The offense was the story for the Buckeyes in today's 35-6 win against Indiana, but the defense put on quite a showing as well.
"I thought the defense did a great job of controlling the tempo," said Jim Tressel after the game. "They gave us great field position all day. That gave us great opportunities on offense."
Still, about the last thing that was expected this week was the biggest OSU
offensive output since 1986, and a huge reason was Lydell Ross.
"Lydell, when he's healthy, like any great back, wants the ball a lot," said Tressel. "He believes he can do something with it."
Ross says that the team will build off this performance.
"We can definitely build off a game like this," Ross said. "Anytime you get yards and touchdowns like this, a running back can build off a game like this. We had 600 yards total offense. It felt
"I was feeling the holes and seeing them. The offensive line did an outstanding job today. I had my choice of where I wanted to go."
The emergence of the running game was a huge positive, but the Buckeye offensive balance was equally impressive. In the first half, Ohio State ran 40 total plays, with twenty plays being rushes and twenty plays being passing plays.
"On the first drive, we ran the ball the length of the field," quarterback Craig Krenzel said. "On the next drive, we threw the ball down the field. Those two drives established that we were going to do both."
Today's win was very costly though as the Buckeyes lost Drew Carter to injury. Carter will undergo an MRI, but the ESPN broadcast reported that Carter, who had emerged as one of Ohio State's primary offensive weapons, said he had torn his ACL.
"That just breaks your heart for a guy like Drew Carter who has worked so hard and has waited so long," said Coach Tressel. "He has stepped up for this football team. I don't think it's great for us."
With Carter out, Chris Gamble, who caught a pass in today's game, may now see more time on offense.
"That might happen," Tressel said. "Probably."
Meanwhile, Santonio Holmes filled in well. Despite a fumble, Holmes had a big day as he caught six passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Holmes's first TD came at the end of the first half when OSU was trying to get in for a score before time expired.
"The clock was a big factor," Holmes said. "My first instinct was to score or get tackled. My thinking was just to get it into the end zone."
Things suddenly look promising for OSU in the Big Ten. With Wisconsin getting upset by Northwestern, the Buckeyes control their own destiny. Craig Krenzel knows that things must be taken one game at a time though.
"That's fine," Krenzel said, "but we know we have four tough games left, and we have to take care of our own business."