Nugent Ends Career In Fine Fashion

Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent put the finishing touches on his career by becoming the school's career scoring leader during Wednesday's Alamo Bowl win. Click this free link for more.

If there were plenty of heroes who distinguished themselves with their play for Ohio State in the Alamo Bowl – Ted Ginn Jr., Simon Fraser, Justin Zwick and many others come readily to mind – one Buckeye used that nationally televised game to put the finishing touch on a distinguished career.

Kicker Mike Nugent scored 15 points in OSU's 33-7 win over Oklahoma State to become the school's all-time leading kicker. Nugent, a two-time All-American and this year's Lou Groza Award winner from Centerville, Ohio, needed seven points to tie Pete Johnson's mark of 348 points scored.

He ended up with 22 Ohio State records. In the Alamo Bowl, he added marks for most career points (356), most career points by an OSU kicker and most field goals made in a bowl game (four).

"It hasn't set in yet," Nugent said afterwards. "I'm just excited about it."

After OSU jumped ahead 7-0, Nugent nailed field goals of 37 and 35 yards to tie Johnson's record of 348. Then, early in the second quarter, the Buckeyes moved into the red zone. Nugent began to believe he would have a chance to break the record.

"I was just thinking, `Get the ball downfield,' " Nugent said. "Really, if we had won 3-0 today I would have been happy. My teammates are so unbelievable. It felt pretty good. I was just thinking about getting as many points as possible."

When Lydell Ross scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 10:26 left in the second quarter, Nugent came on and hit the PAT kick for a 20-0 lead and the record.

Nugent celebrated with his teammates, including Fraser.

"I was on the field for all those points," Fraser said. "That's something I'm gonna take with me for the rest of my life. I will tell my grandkids I blocked for Mike Nugent. His character and consistency stand out. He's a great leader and understands what it takes to lead.

"That was something we all wanted him to do. I am so happy he got a chance to do that. It was an honor for him to come out and show he was a big part of this team because he was."

As the game wore on, Nugent hit field goals of 41 and 36 yards and also added a PAT kick.

Nugent, who ended his career 72 of 88 on field goals, broke the previous mark of three OSU field goals in a game. That was set by Rich Spangler against USC in the 1985 Rose Bowl and Vlade Janakievski against USC in the 1980 Rose Bowl.

OSU coach Jim Tressel revealed that he briefly gave thought to using Nugent as a ball carrier on a fake field goal if need be to get him the record via a touchdown.

"Going into bowl practice, we put in a field goal fake where we would flip it around to him so we could maybe assure ourselves we could get him the seven or eight points he needed," Tressel said. "But Oklahoma State is a good football team. All of our coaches voted against that idea and we didn't even have a fake in."

Tressel was asked how the Buckeyes will press on without Nugent.

"We will miss Mike Nugent a lot," the coach said. "We will miss his work ethic, his leadership, his class and, of course, his excellence. He made ‘em all tonight. He ended up 24 of 27 or something crazy for the season. But we will miss him moreso because he is such a special person."

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