OSU’s James Laurinaitis set the tone in Evanston, Illinois, when he forced a fumble on the opening possession, Heisman candidate Troy Smith threw four touchdown passes, and the top-ranked Buckeyes tuned up for their showdown against No. 2 Michigan with a 54-10 victory over Northwestern last Saturday, Nov. 11.
Now, finally, the Buckeyes can turn their attention to the Wolverines and a game that’ll determine who plays for the Bowl Championship Series title in January.
The 54 points were the most for Ohio State since a 72-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Sept. 21, 1996, and the defense played a major role in that.
The Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) turned four turnovers and a blocked punt into touchdowns en route to a 33-10 halftime lead and their 18th consecutive victory—the nation’s longest winning streak.
Smith matched a season-high with his TD passes and threw for 185 yards while completing 12-of-19 with one interception. Antonio Pittman ran for 80 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, and freshman Chris Wells ran for a season-high 99 and a touchdown. Brian Hartline caught two touchdown passes. Anthony González also scored a touchdown.