COLUMBUS — The roar was mighty and it lasted for several moments.
No, it wasn’t the 105,038 fans who attended Ohio State’s 38-6 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday in Ohio Stadium greeting their team for the first time this season. It was the reporters and Buckeye players as they watched the stunning end of Appalachian State’s upset of rival Michigan.
Being true to the greatest rivalry in college football, many Ohio State players — none more harshly than starting offensive tackle Alex Boone — were eager to pile on the Wolverines for losing to a I-AA team .
“I don’t know what to say,” he said.
But then the 6-foot-8, 313-pound junior managed to find the words.
“I can’t believe it,” Boone said. “How the hell are you going to come back and call everybody out and then all of a sudden you can’t even beat Appalachian State? That takes some (guts), man.
“Everyone’s coming back because they want to win the (national) title and they want to beat us, and they can’t even win their first game. What else can you say?”
Boone said plenty, but everyone — reporters and players alike — wanted to talk about the shocking result.
“We were just watching that down in the locker room and everyone went crazy,” free safety Anderson Russell said. “We watched Appalachian State (on tape) when they played Youngstown State and we knew they had a good team, but I don’t think anyone expected them to beat Michigan.”
Buckeyes suffer big loss in win
Ranking right behind the No. 1 goal of a win against the Penguins had to be the idea of getting to Game 2 without any significant injuries for the Buckeyes.
That wasn’t the case, however, as junior defensive end Lawrence Wilson went down with 8:21 remaining in the second quarter and needed a cart to help him off the field.
An announcement in the press box shortly after said Wilson had suffered a broken right leg.
“I’ve heard six to eight weeks,” Tressel said when asked how long Wilson would be gone. “But I don’t know if there’s any validity to that. I really haven’t talked to any doctors. It was kind of a locker room rumor I heard.”
Wilson was one of the many experienced defensive players the Buckeyes were counting on to pull them through some tough games this season.
“(Wilson’s) a high-energy guy, someone who can really fly to the ball,” defensive end Vernon Gholston said. “He’s a great leader and we’ll definitely miss him.”
Luckily for Ohio State, the defensive line is an area where they have some depth. Several young players rotated in during Saturday’s game to help out and gain valuable playing time.
Wilson’s two backups — redshirt freshman Rob Rose and freshman Cameron Heyward — split time at the spot during the second half.
“We were all cheering for each other,” said Heyward, son of former NFL star Craig “Ironhead” Heyward. “We are all here for each other and willing to help each other out.”
Talk about a family affair
The family ties for Ohio State with Youngstown State run pretty deep.
Jon Heacock took over the Penguin reins when Tressel left for Ohio State in 2001. He was on Tressel’s staff at YSU for seven seasons prior to that. Of course, Jim Heacock is in his 12th year as an assistant coach at Ohio State.
In addition, Ohio State junior cornerback Shaun Lane is the older brother of YSU fullback Ben Lane. Their father, Garcia Lane, lettered for the Buckeyes from 1981-83 and is the only Buckeye to return two punts for touchdowns in the same game.
Pioneer dresses, doesn’t play
Elyria High grad Brett Daly was dressed and ready for battle Saturday against Youngstown State but the 6-foot-6, 255-pound defensive end didn’t see action.
Daly was originally a walk-on at Ohio State but was awarded a scholarship this season and hopes to contribute somewhere down the line.
Heat is on … the field
Heat is on … the field
Saturday’s game was the first played on Ohio State’s new synthetic surface called FieldTurf.
It was announced in the press box that the temperature on the field reached 140 degrees at one point.
Tim Gebhardt contributed to this report.
Todd Boeckman, Ohio State QB
The redshirt junior, who has been waiting for years to finally get on the field, made the most of his chance, hitting freshman receiver Dane Sanzenbacher for the Buckeyes’ first touchdown of the season, then adding another to Trever Robinson in the fourth quarter. He finished with 225 yards on 17-for-23 passing.
“It was definitely worth the wait,” Boeckman said. “I’ve been waiting for this moment since I got to Ohio State, and when I woke up this morning, I realized what I now had to do.”
Anderson Russell, Ohio State FS
The Penguins were facing a third-and-7 at the Ohio State 24, when Tom Zetts’ pass ended up in the chest of Russell, who promptly dropped the ball on the turf. The “sure” interception would have been the Buckeyes’ only takeaway of the game, and the drop allowed Stephen Blose to hit a 44-yard field goal to trim Ohio State’s lead to 24-6.
“My teammates will not let me live that one down,” Russell said. “I really wanted that one back. I hope that I’m given another opportunity. Next time, I’ll get it.”
THE TURNING POINT
Youngstown State was looking to make some headlines in today’s papers when the Penguins, trailing 14-0, earned a first-and-goal at the Ohio State 4 late in the second quarter. But the Buckeyes held on three straight plays, surrendering only a Brian Palmer field goal. OSU then scored a touchdown in the final minute to take a 21-3 lead at the half.
— Shaun Bennett
OSU 7, YSU 0. Dane Sanzenbacher 3 pass from Todd Boeckman (Ryan Pretorius kick), 9:36. DRIVE: 9 plays, 70 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 3:53. KEY PLAYS: Boeckman passes of 16 and 41 to Brian Robiskie.
OSU 14, YSU 0. Chris Wells 1 run (Pretorius kick), 14:57. DRIVE: 6 plays, 27 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 3:11. KEY PLAYS: Partially blocked punt by Tyler Moeller started possession at YSU 27.
OSU 14, YSU 3. FG Brian Palmer 21, 4:34. DRIVE: 14 plays, 81 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 5:24. KEY PLAYS: 18-yard screen pass from Tom Zetts to Jordan Edwards to YSU 37. Zetts sideline pass to Da’Michael Horne for 25 yards to OSU 34. Edwards rush for 9 yards to OSU 4.
OSU 21, YSU 3. Brandon Saine 1 run (Pretorius kick), 0:34. DRIVE:10 plays, 75 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 3:55. KEY PLAYS: Boeckman passes of 28 and 12 yards to Robiskie and 20 to Maurice Wells to the YSU 1-yard line.
OSU 24, YSU 3. FG Pretorius 24, 9:41. DRIVE: 11 plays, 56 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 5:14. KEY PLAYS: Robiskie receptions of 10 and 24 yards. Chris Wells 20-yard run.
OSU 24, YSU 6. FG Stephen Blose 41, 6:44. DRIVE: 4 plays, 3 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 1:05. KEY PLAY: Boeckman fumble recovered by Jon Penick at OSU 27.
OSU 31, YSU 6. Trevor Robinson 1 pass from Boeckman (Pretorius kick), 14:11. DRIVE: 14 plays, 65 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 7:33. KEY PLAYS: YSU hit with interference call while defending Robiskie for first down at YSU 16. Boeckman sideline pass to Brian Hartline to YSU 8.
OSU 38, YSU 6. Taurian Washington 37 pass from Antonio Henton (Pretorius kick), 7:44. DRIVE: 5 plays, 88 yards. TIME OF POSSESSION: 1:08. KEY PLAYS: Maurice Wells rush for 26 yards and personal foul penalty on YSU gave OSU first down at YSU 47.
First downs 11 25
Rushes-yards 34-85 41-147
Passing 91 270
Comp-Att-Int 11-19-0 21-31-0
Return Yards 2 31
Punts-Avg. 7-34.7 2-46.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 4-43 9-47
Time of Possession 27:08 32:52
RUSHING—Youngstown St., J.Edwards 9-28, Scott 9-26, B.Nicholson 6-21, F.Williams 7-12, Horne 1-2, Zetts 2-(minus 4). Ohio St., C.Wells 16-46, M.Wells 8-45, Saine 10-42, Schoenhoft 3-27, Boeckman 4-(minus 13).
PASSING—Youngstown St., Zetts 10-18-0-86, F.Williams 1-1-0-5. Ohio St., Boeckman 17-23-0-225, Schoenhoft 3-6-0-8, Henton 1-2-0-37.
RECEIVING—Youngstown St., Irizarry 4-19, Horne 3-37, Bush 2-12, J.Edwards 1-18, Pitts 1-5. Ohio St., Robiskie 9-153, M.Wells 3-23, Hartline 2-22, Sanzenbacher 2-8, T.Washington 1-37, Ballard 1-11, Nicol 1-10, Torrence 1-5, Robinson 1-1.