Sept. 24, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Troy Smith threw two touchdown passes to Anthony Gonzalez and ran for another score and No. 8 Ohio State’s defense shut down No. 21 Iowa in a 31-6 victory Saturday.
Iowa (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) finished with 18 rushes for minus 9 yards as A.J. Hawk and Mike Kudla each were credited with 1 1/2 sacks for 15 yards in losses. The Buckeyes harassed Iowa quarterback Drew Tate all day, sacking him five times for minus 43 yards.
The Hawkeyes, averaging 428 yards per game, mustered just 70 through the first three quarters and ended up with 137. They were forced to punt on their first seven possessions, running one play in Ohio State territory – by that time the Buckeyes were in control 24-0.
Antonio Pittman rushed for 171 yards on 28 carries for the Buckeyes (3-1, 1-0), with Smith adding 127 yards on 18 carries. They became the first Ohio State quarterback-tailback tandem to top 100 yards in the same game since 1976 when Jeff Logan had 112 yards rushing and quarterback Rod Gerald added 104 in a 49-21 over Michigan State.
Smith also completed 13-of-19 passes for 191 yards without an interception, although he did fumble three times and had another erased by a penalty.
Gonzalez, considered Ohio State’s No. 3 target behind Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr., had a career-high six receptions for 90 yards. His TD catches covered 8 and 29 yards, opening and closing the scoring.
Tate came in second in the conference in pass efficiency but hit for just 146 yards on 22-of-39 passing with one interception.
Ohio State outgained the Hawkeyes 331-13 in the opening half, driving at will while Iowa struggled with the ball. Still, the Buckeyes could have led by far more than 17-0.
On their first possession of the game, they drove 81 yards in 12 plays, capped by Smith’s 8-yard scoring pass to Gonzalez. Pittman, who gained only 58 yards a week earlier in a win over San Diego State, had 46 yards on seven carries in the drive.
The Buckeyes made it 14-0 on the second play of the second quarter, Smith skirting right end and cutting inside while his blockers were stringing out the line on a 16-yard run. The score was set up by Holmes’ 46-yard run-and-catch with a short Smith pass.
That was about the extent of the good news for the Buckeyes offense.
Smith lost one of his three fumbles – at the Iowa 4. Brandon Schnittker, who lost a fumble at the 1 a week earlier, coughed up the ball at the Iowa 2 this time. The Buckeyes wasted lots of time in the final minute of the half before settling for Josh Huston’s 47-yard field goal.
When Smith called timeout with 4 seconds on the clock after waiting behind center for several seconds, boos cascaded down onto the field from a crowd of 105,225.
Iowa’s points came on second-half field goals of 52 and 37 yards by Kyle Schlicher.
On those two possessions, the Hawkeyes drove to first downs at the Ohio State 23 and 8 but each time Tate was sacked. After he was tackled by Buckeyes linebacker Bobby Carpenter, Tate spiked the ball in frustration and was assessed a penalty.