Ross Enjoys (Second) Big Day At Indiana

OSU tailback Lydell Ross enjoyed another career performance as the Buckeyes went to Indiana, his father's alma mater, and cruised to a 35-6 win.

It's possible that if OSU tailback Lydell Ross played all of his games at Indiana's Memorial Stadium he would be an All-American.

After Saturday's 35-6 shellacking of the homestanding Hoosiers, Ross now has two of his three career 100-yard rushing games against IU in Bloomington. Two years ago, he had 124 yards in OSU's 27-14 win over Indiana.

On Saturday, the Buckeyes went to Ross -- who may be healthy for the first time all season -- early and often. He ended up with a career-high 167 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. That total was just the second 100-yard game by an OSU back this season and eclipsed Ross' previous single-game high of 130 yards last year at Cincinnati.

With the OSU running game ranked 10th in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes needed a big day offensively. OSU amassed 603 yards total offense -- more than double of its Big Ten-worst 278.3 yards per game coming in. The Buckeyes got 216 yards on the ground.

"I feel like we made a statement here today," Ross said. "I think we showed we can run the ball. Now we have some confidence and we have to build off of this. We need to keep doing the right things, like we did today."

With rain falling at Memorial Stadium, OSU went to the ground game early. Ross accumulated 69 yards on OSU's initial eight-play, 79-yard scoring march. After OSU had a long rush of 9 yards last week against stingy Iowa, Ross had, in succession, runs of 13, 25, 4, 9, 5 and the touchdown of 11 yards as the Buckeyes jumped to a quick 7-0 lead.

"I think it always helps to come out early in the game and break a couple nice runs," Ross said. "That just motivated us to keep going. It definitely feels good from a personal standpoint. I'm just playing football. I like getting the ball. It was great that they kept feeding me the ball.

"We felt we could build off that drive. It was a great drive and we just tried to build off that the rest of the day."

While Indiana, ranked 10th in the Big Ten in total defense, did not figure to put up a huge fight, nobody saw this kind of offensive explosion coming.

"We were doing things right," Ross said. "It felt like everybody was on point. I was reading the holes and it seemed like the offensive line was doing a great job. I had choices out there today. The offensive line was doing a great job of not letting those guys penetrate. They gave me choices from tackle to tackle. I was able to bounce it outside a lot."

About the only mark against Ross -- who did not play in the fourth quarter -- was his first-quarter fumble on IU's 10-yard line, potentially denying the Buckeyes another touchdown.

"The ball wasn't tucked," Ross admitted. "I had it hanging out there loose. Coach Spencer always tells us to tuck that ball."

Earlier in the week, Ross told the media he craved a chance to be OSU's feature back. His wish came true and then some.

"No, I didn't approach Coach Tressel at all," Ross said. "I went through this game like usual and we were doing what was working."

"He didn't come to me," Tressel confirmed. "I think it helped that we were getting first downs and holding the ball longer. He was rolling."

Playing at Indiana has special significance for Ross and his family as his father Melvin played for the Hoosiers.

"This is my dad's alma mater," Ross said. "I've joked around with him a lot since my freshman year about getting back at his alma mater."


Buckeye Sports Top Stories