Last Time Out...

Ohio State has faced the University of Toledo only once on the gridiron. The Buckeyes opened the home portion of their 1998 schedule by blasting the Rockets in Ohio Stadium. Look back at the Buckeyes' 49-0 rout of Toledo in this edition of "Last Time Out…"

A week following a complete dismantling of No. 11 West Virginia in its opener, the 1998 Ohio State football team continued its impressive start to the season with a 49-0 rout of the University of Toledo in OSU's home opener.

Toledo was the defending Mid-American Conference West Division champion, but the Rockets were completely overmatched in the first meeting between the two schools. Ohio State gave the Ohio Stadium crowd of 93,149 plenty to cheer about in building a 42-0 lead by halftime.

"If I was going to script the ballgame the way I wanted it to go, I would have scripted it like that," Cooper said. "We wanted to jump on them early. The offense came out and made some big plays. It was important for us to score early and take them out of the game. You let a team like that get a little confidence early and you've got a dogfight on your hands."

Ohio State's defense held the Rockets to a three-and-out to start the game, and the Buckeye offense then took little time scoring the game's first points. Michael Wiley cut to his left and weaved his way through the Toledo defense on his way to a 76-yard touchdown just more than three minutes into the game.

The Buckeyes built their lead to 21-0 by the end of the first quarter. After another Toledo three-and-out, Ohio State quarterback Joe Germaine found a wide open Dee Miller for a touchdown. The Rockets then set up OSU's next scoring drive when Damon Moore picked off a Chris Wallace pass at the Toledo 19-yard line. It only took the Buckeyes two plays to reach the end zone again, this time when Germaine connected with David Boston on a fade pattern.

Joe Germaine added an 11-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and the lead increased with two more scores. A Na'il Diggs intercept set up a Reggie Germany 6-yard TD reception. Germany reached the end zone again by intermission on a 47-yard touchdown bomb from backup quarterback Mark Garcia.

The Buckeyes substituted liberally in the second half. The final score of the game came from Wiley, who scored on a 4-yard scamper early in the third quarter.

Ohio State used 11 different ball carriers and nine different receivers in the rout. Meanwhile, the OSU defense did a number on the Rockets. Toledo had only one first down in the first half and only 32 yards of offense. Five defenders nabbed interceptions against an overmatched Toledo offense. OSU finished with a 538-197 advantage in total yards.

"We think we have a good, quick defensive team," said Cooper. "Anytime your corners can take their wide receivers out of the ballgame, the other nine guys can go out and play football."

Wiley finished with a then-career high 151 yards on 13 carries. Germaine completed 13 of 21 passes for 150 yards.

The Ohio State defense dominated despite only two tackles from linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer and none from cornerback Antoine Winfield.

Most of Ohio State's roster played in the game, including backup quarterbacks Garcia, Austin Moherman and Steve Bellisari. Moherman and Bellisari made their collegiate debuts.


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