Saturday, September 09, 2006

Buckeyes Return the Favor

#2 Texas vs. #1 Ohio State

A fourth-quarter touchdown run by Antonio Pittman sealed the 24-7 victory for the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, who defeated the defending National Champion Texas Longhorns. By winning in Austin, Ohio State flipped the script from last year, when Texas beat the Buckeyes in Columbus.

Troy Smith was the player of the game. He was cool, calm and collected from beginning to end, completing 16 of 27 passes for 269 yards and two scores, a performance which vaunted him to the top of the Heisman watchlist. Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn Jr. each caught a touchdown. Both were wide-open the entire night against the depleted Texas secondary and combined for 239 receiving yards.

Colt McCoy, the man with the unenviable task of replacing Vince Young, did not play well in his first true test as a college QB. He connected with Billy Pittman for a score, but not much else. McCoy threw a bad interception to start the second half and finished with only 181 throwing yards against a Buckeye defense that replaced nine starters from a year ago.

Bright spots for Texas were the offensive line and the running game. McCoy was rarely pressured inside the pocket, and Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles combined for 164 rushing yards on 27 carries.

Ohio State now controls its own destiny, while Texas will need a little help to have a chance to repeat as national champions, although a Big 12 Title and BCS berth still remain very possible.

Other Notes on the Game

* Texas had its 21-game winning streak snapped. TCU now has the nation's longest-winning streak at 11.

* A Buckeye booster paid $225,000 to bring the Ohio State band to play at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

Notes on Other Games

#15 Oklahoma vs. Washington

The game was still in the balance at halftime until the Sooners pulled away for a 37-20 win. Isaiah Stanbeck is an outstanding athlete, but he's an average quarterback. His superior arm strength, awesome agility and blazing speed were all on display at times, but as the saying goes, the parts are greater than the whole. Isaiah completes only 51% of his passes, making him only sort of a dual-threat quarterback. Oklahoma's arsenal is loaded. Besides Adrian Peterson, the Sooners have all-around threat Reggie Smith and a go-to-guy in the receiving corps with Malcolm Kelly. Paul Thompson threw a couple terrific floaters today and showed much improvement from last week. OU's run defense, however, continues to get bum rushed.

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