This Date In Buckeye History

Every day in the late summer and fall has its moments in Ohio State football history, and Sept. 2 is no different. There have actually only been two games on this date, both within the last decade. Take a trip back through the Buckeye Sports Bulletin archives in this edition of "This Date In Buckeye History."

2006: No. 1 Ohio State 35, Northern Illinois 12 – The tone for the 2006 Ohio State offense was set by its first play.

The top-ranked Buckeyes started on offense with a bullet from quarterback Troy Smith to redshirt freshman receiver Brian Hartline for a 32-yard gain.

"Before I could even think, the ball was right at me," Hartline said in the Sept. 9, 2006, edition of BSB. "I caught it, they caught me, end of play."

That quick-hitting tone continued as the Buckeyes scored touchdowns on their first four drives, three of the four coming in the first quarter with the fourth coming on the first play of the second, pleasing a crowd of 103,896 that packed Ohio Stadium

"It was shocking to come out and score two straight touchdowns back-to-back," said Ginn, who caught the first two TDs. "That's always shocking, but you've got to be able to do that in the third quarter and fourth quarter, too."

Ginn caught scores of 5 and 58 yards to start the offensive output. Anthony Gonzalez added a 15-yard score to give Ohio State a 21-0 after the first quarter, and the lead was 28-3 at halftime. The final first-half score was an 8-yard touchdown run by redshirt freshman Chris "Beanie" Wells, his first as a Buckeye.

Tailback Antonio Pittman capped Ohio State's scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Arguably the offensive star of the game was not a Buckeye, however. Northern Illinois tailback Garrett Wolfe rushed for 171 yards on 26 carries, compiling nearly half of the Huskies' 343 yards of total offense. He also scored his team's lone touchdown when he caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Phil Horvath in the fourth quarter.

Even so, the game pretty much went exactly how Ohio State had hoped. The game was never in doubt and plenty of underclassmen saw playing time.

"I think a lot of this ball game was what we expected," Tressel said. "Sometimes, you get in these types of games and when you get an early lead, you get a little bit sloppy.

"Despite how good Garrett Wolfe is, there are some guys we play in the next 11 weeks that are pretty darn good as well. (But) lots of guys got lots of snaps … and I think we took a step forward today."

Smith threw for 297 yards on 18-of-25 passing. Ginn caught four passes for 123 yards, and Pittman led Ohio State's rushing attack with 111 yards on 19 carries. Brandon Mitchell was the long Buckeye defender to reach double figures in tackles with 10.

2000: No. 16 Ohio State 43, Fresno State 10 – In front of the then-largest crowd in Ohio State history, the Buckeyes routed the Bulldogs.

A record crowd of 96,583 saw history as the Buckeye defense scored a school-record four defensive touchdowns en route to an easy victory.

"We talked to our defense all summer and all fall that the No. 1 thing we're trying to do defensively is score," Ohio State head coach John Cooper said in the Sept. 9, 2000, edition of BSB. "There are more ways to score on defense than there are on offense, and obviously we took advantage of that today."

Senior cornerback David Mitchell scored two of those touchdowns, returning a fumble 34 yards for a score in the first quarter and bringing back an interception for a 51-yard score early in the second half.

"It was a great atmosphere in here today," Mitchell said. "We had a lot of fun."

Sophomore safety Mike Doss recovered a Fresno State fumble in the end zone to open the scoring, and linebacker Matt Wilhelm returned another interception 25 yards for a score late in the game.

The Buckeyes took advantage of a disastrous first collegiate start by Fresno State junior quarterback David Carr. Carr was intercepted four times and the Bulldogs committed six turnovers.

The Buckeyes led 20-0 at halftime, thanks to a pair of defense touchdowns and a 23-yard touchdown pass by Steve Bellsari to Chad Cacchio. The only other offensive touchdown scored on the afternoon was thrown by backup quarterback Scott McMullen, who threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Bryant on the last play of the game.

Derek Combs led the Buckeye rushing game with 88 yards on 14 carries. Bellisari completed 8 of 14 passes for 95 yards, and Ken-Yon Rambo was his leading target, catching five passes for 55 yards.

Nate Clements led the defense with 10 tackles.

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