Ginn Touchdown Reception Sparks Buckeye Offense

It was close to being a touchdown the other way, but OSU freshman Ted Ginn grabbed a deflected Troy Smith pass and turned it into a terrific catch and run for OSU's first touchdown of the day against Indiana. Click on the link for a look inside the touchdown play.

Ted Ginn makes it sound as easy it looks.

On the game's very first drive, he turned a short pass from Troy Smith, that was nearly intercepted, and zig-zagged his way through the Indiana defense for a 59-yard touchdown.

"I thought it was going to get picked but when I saw it tipped, I just went out and got it and just turned on the burners and tried to make something happen. That's all I could do," Ginn said. "I tried to find some open field, break tackles and just go."

His God-given instincts just take over and everything comes natural to him.

"As I'm running, I'm looking side to side just to see who's around me, see if I have block somewhere because actually I'm in trouble if you really look at it," he said. "So I'm just looking around, make a little cut here, a little cut there, pick up a block and then once I see end zone I'm there. I got to get there."

Although the play turned out to be spectacular and it gave the Buckeyes an early lead, it was dangerously close to being an interception returned for a touchdown in the other direction.

"It was probably 14 points important. Instead of seven that way it went seven (our) way. That was a huge play," Jim Tressel said. "The corner played soft and Troy felt as if, after seeing the first couple plays, that the corner was going to bail even softer. That was huge. That's what players like Ted Ginn and Santonio Holmes do. That was electrifying. That's what big-time guys do and Teddy is going to be, I think, one of those extraordinary players."

Smith, making his first career start at quarterback, looked at the soft coverage by the Indiana defense as a way to give Ginn a chance to make a big play with the ball on a simple hitch pattern.

"The guy from Indiana did a great job breaking on it when he did," Smith said. "But Ted's concentration came through, he grabbed that ball, and as you could see, he made a couple of defenders miss on his way to get to the end zone. I thought (the defender) was just going to bat it down, but Ted made a great play. Ted has that ability anytime you get him the ball."

Santonio Holmes, who had four catches for 42 yards and one touchdown, said he was impressed by the concentration it took for Ginn to make a play like that.

"He bobbled the ball, he caught it, got up the field and made something happen with it," Holmes said. "That's exactly what us receivers have been talking to each other about all year long. Who's going to be that third guy or the next guy to step up and make a play?"

On the season however, Ginn now has only five receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown as a receiver. The 59-yard grab that started the scoring off for the Buckeyes against Indiana was his only reception of the day.

Does he ever suggest to the coaches that maybe his number should be called upon more often during the game?

"I suggest it, but if somebody else is getting off and something else is working, I don't want to take away from the team. I'm not selfish at all," Ginn said. "When it's time for me to get the ball, give me the ball. If it's not time for me to get the ball, I just run my route and block and do what I can do for the team."

Like he did at home against Wisconsin on his long punt return for a score, Ginn provided an early spark for the team that the Buckeyes were able to capitalize on this time and earn a victory.

"Where I come from it starts with you. If you have yourself together, your team will follow you," he said. "And (if by) me going out there and scoring the first touchdown brings a spark to the team, and we go out and we just have fun and win a ball game (so be it)."

Ginn was a young sophomore at Glenville when he was last catching passes from Smith, who only played for the Tarblooders in his senior year. Ginn said he was glad that Smith played well against Indiana and had a hand in him scoring his first touchdown in the air of his career.

"It brought back a lot of memories but it's a different level, a different school," Ginn said. "I think he did excellent I'm very happy (for Smith). He's like my big brother. Just looking at him going out and having fun and being comfortable was great. I think he had a great experience, I know I did."

It might have been the first big aerial connection between the two former prep teammates that the Buckeye fans got to experience, but it certainly won't be the last.

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