Ohio State scored 14 points in a 39-second span in the third quarter, moving from 7-3 behind to 17-7 ahead, and no one denied how important that sequence was.
First, quarterback Todd Boeckman hit receiver Brian Robiskie open down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown. It was the longest pass of Boeckman's career and the longest reception of Robiskie's. Then, after UW fumbled the ensuing kickoff return, tailback Chris Wells darted 14 yards for another score.
However, UW got outplayed in several other key ways. They lost four turnovers, while the Buckeyes had none. Also, they really had no answer for the OSU size and strength advantages along both lines. The Buckeyes outrushed the Huskies 263 yards to 162.
Finally, both coaches stressed that they neither intended nor took offense by Ohio State scoring on the final play, when, reserve Buckeyes tailback Brandon Saine broke outside and raced down the sidelines 37 yards for a score.
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"That was an off-tackle play where I thought we'd get 2 yards and call it a day," OSU coach Jim Tressel said. "... I wish that didn't happen. I think (UW coach Tyrone Willingham) knows that."
Willingham seemed to.
"They ran the football to … run time out, and we didn't leverage it the right way," he said. "All of a sudden, it bounced outside. That's the issue. That's it."
Some other notes:
Player of the game
Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, a retuning All-American and Nagurski Award-winner, tied for his team's game-high with eight tackles and came up with two highlight-reel interceptions.
Husky of the game
Washington linebacker Donald Butler recorded a game-high 11 tackles, including one behind the line. He also broke up two passes.
For the second consecutive week, a Ryan Perkins' field goal attempt was blocked. While the Husky's kick last week against Boise State seemed low, this one was attributed to a blocking error on the line.
Also for the second week, UW senior defensive lineman Jordan Reffett blocked a field goal.
Linebacker Dan Howell was a late scratch with a knee injury and was replaced with Kyle Trew. In his first career start, Trew made three tackles.
"I was excited," he said. "My nerves got going. I was jacked up. I can't lie about that. I was excited. I was just ready to go, ready to see another jersey; hit somebody and have a good time."
Willingham reported no serious injuries suffered during the game. Receiver Anthony Russo reinjured a finger, but worked through it. Similarly, tailback Louis Rankin was hobbled by various injuries, including a sore ankle, but remained on the field.
"That was growing pains, and some of the guys that we're playing with right now – including the quarterback – that's part of the growing pains that we're going to be living with for a little bit." – UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano.
The crowd of 74,927 was the third-largest in Husky Stadium history, training only the 76,125 that attended the Army game in 1995 and 74,986 vs. Arizona State in 1997. Saturday attendance was boosted by about 2,500 high school band members attending annual Band Day. … Washington had only one first-quarter possession, a drive that took 6:12 minutes between two OSU possessions. … Washington had scored on all eight trips into the red zone this season until Laurinaitis' interception of a Jake Locker shovel pass from the 5-yard line in the second quarter. … Locker's second-quarter 23-yard pass to Anthony Russo was the first touchdown Ohio State had allowed this season. … With 102 yards rushing and 153 passing, Locker became the first Husky to top 100 yards in both categories since Isaiah Stanback did it in the 2006 opener vs. San Jose State.
… OSU leads its series with UW, 8-3. … UW game captains were Juan Garcia, Roy Lewis, Chad Macklin and Caesar Rayford.
Washington will play UCLA at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The Bruins were ranked No. 11 last week, but will tumble after losing to Utah, 44-6. Yes, 44-6.