COLUMBUS – Ohio State has not lost in football to another Ohio school since a 7-6 loss to Oberlin in 1921 going into its game against Toledo on Saturday night at Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes are 49-0-1 against Ohio teams since that loss to Oberlin. The tie came against Wooster in 1924.
OSU beat Toledo 49-0 in 1998 the first time the two schools played each other in football and won 38-0 in 2009. But its 27-22 win in 2011 was among its closest calls against another Ohio school.
Toledo led much of the first half and was ahead early in the third quarter. Ohio State appeared to be in position to run out the clock with a five-point lead with three minutes to play, but a fumble at its own 28-yard line gave Toledo a chance.
The Rockets got one first down but couldn’t get beyond the Buckeyes’ 16-yard line.
The 2011 season was possibly the most tumultuous in Ohio State history. OSU played Toledo without several players because of NCAA violations related issues, including No. 1 receiver DeVier Posey, No. 1 tailback Dan Herron and All-Big Ten offensive lineman Mike Adams. And quarterback Terrelle Pryor had entered the NFL a year earlier than expected instead of dealing with an NCAA probe.
– HALL IMPRESSES KNOWLES: Like head coach Ryan Day, Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles saw redshirt freshman defensive tackle Mike Hall’s potential early.
“We’ve been talking about Mike Hall since I got here. When it happens in a game you’re not surprised by it because that’s just the way he practices and plays,” Knowles said on Tuesday.
“I thought it the first time I saw him go full speed against talented offensive linemen. It is rare. That first step is very rare. There are a lot of talented guys, a lot of strong guys, a lot of athletic guys. But the ability to get off the ball, it’s a split second thing that some guys have and he has it.
“Mike has tremendous potential. He earns everything he gets. I think the sky is the limit of where he can end up,” he said.
—TALKING TURNOVERS: Ohio State’s defense has allowed only one touchdown this season but has not gotten a turnover in wins over Notre Dame and Arkansas State.
Knowles said he is concerned but turnovers are just one way to evaluate a defense.
“Turnovers and takeaways are one part of the metric of being successful on defense. I think they come as guys get more comfortable in the system,” he said.
“Am I concerned? I’m concerned about everything all the time. Takeways are one part of the metric. Takeaways is one metric. We want that to be better,” he said.
– TO THE POINT: OSU linebacker Tommy Eichenberg is a man of few words and Knowles needed only three to describe him: “Tough, focused, driven,” Knowles said.