Pittman In No Rush For Touchdown

Antonio Pittman has had a solid season running the ball for Ohio State as he is a threat to break the 1,000-yard mark this season. However, Pittman has not yet found his way into the end zone this season. Kyle Lamb has more on Pittman's output against Michigan State on Saturday.

Following an 18-yard scamper taking Ohio State down to the 1-yard line, Antonio Pittman was feeling it. But after an unsuccessful plunge that was stood up short of the goal line, they called Troy Smith's number instead.

Still searching for his first touchdown this season, Pittman is in no rush. But the aforementioned situation late in the fourth quarter of Ohio State's 35-24 victory over Michigan State would have been icing on the cake for Pittman, who gained 101 yards on 18 carries.

But through six games, he's still searching for that first touchdown.

On first down from the one, he was so close to making it in with the insurance touchdown that Ohio State needed, but the ball was spotted just a few inches shy.

So what was he thinking after that run that came so close?

"I was hoping to get it back, they gave it back to me - then they ran Troy," Pittman said after laughing and stopping to collect his thoughts.

The Buckeyes' running game was actually doing quite well in the first half despite turnovers and a time of possession that was under 10 minutes.

Pittman had 40 yards rushing at half time and felt that he would get an opportunity to reestablish the run in the second half.

But not before it got ugly in the locker room.

"I knew that we were going to have to turn it around real quick after half," he said of his expectations heading into halftime. "I knew we were going to get cussed out."

In the third quarter, Ohio State was able to run the ball on their first possession after forcing a Michigan State punt. They started at their own 24-yard line a pair of Pittman runs took the offense to the 43.

Then lightning struck with a 57-yard slant pass to Ted Ginn for a touchdown, giving Ohio State their first lead of the game.

The second half much resembled a more even back-and-fourth game. But Ohio State was able to put its faith in a running game that totaled 86 yards in the second 30 minutes.

Much credit went to the offensive line, including freshman Alex Boone who made his first career start at right tackle for the injured Kirk Barton.

"It was a lot of fun, I want to say it was different and a lot faster," Boone said.

Pittman credited the line, including the freshman, for opening up a lot of holes.

"They all did a great job coming off the ball today," he said. "I give them a lot of credit for giving me room to run."

As for Boone, although he got his feet wet in last week's game on the road against Penn State, he said the Michigan State game was much more comfortable for him.

Boone said he started to feel right at home in the second half and felt like he was now part of the offense.

"You know, I came in and started out all right," Boone explained, "but in the second half I came in and got in a groove and felt a lot better."

Maybe it was Boone's groove that helped Ohio State run for nearly 100 yards in the second half. Maybe it was Pittman's confidence that resulted in that number.

Regardless of the reason, Pittman took the bull by the horns and made several meaningful runs in the second half.

"It felt they good they finally can put it all on me, I'm ready for it," Pittman said. "It's what I've been asking for all season and it finally came to me."

Pittman, who ran the ball like he still has something to prove, said he is motivated to keep his job. But he also has other things on his mind.

For starters, Pittman said he doesn't want a repeat of last year where no one believes they can run the ball.

"If I don't make the runs there's going to be all these articles about the lack of running game and everything else," he added if they didn't pick the slack up.

"I don't want any more of that."

Although Pittman's teammates still tease him for not yet getting into the end zone, he says his day is coming. After all, even Brandon Schnittker has two scores this year.

"Still no touchdowns," Pittman joked. "My day will come, I'll get one."

On the season, Pittman has 578 yards rushing and is averaging 5.1 yards a carry. As a team, Ohio State is averaging 165 yards a game - much better than last season when Pittman was seeing articles all over the place about Ohio State being unable to run.

But on Saturday, Pittman feels there should be a different story printed.

"We ran the ball well," he said. "We had a couple of turnovers but we stuck to the run and in the fourth quarter it paid off."

But he still has unfinished business.

"I still need a touchdown," he concluded. "We've got Indiana next week, maybe I can get a couple."


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