Sept. 15, 2007
SEATTLE -- Chris Wells ran for 135 yards and a touchdown and No. 10 Ohio State scored 24 consecutive points in the second half to beat Washington 33-14 on Saturday.
Linebacker James Laurinaitis intercepted Washington's Jake Locker twice deep in Buckeyes territory. Last season's Nagurski Award winner as the nation's best defensive player also had a key sack of the Huskies' redshirt freshman star during the decisive sequence of the third quarter.
Ohio State (3-0) tied their school record for consecutive wins in the regular season with 21, matching a mark set from 1967-69.
As Ohio State's Brandon Saine ran 37 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play, Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel was getting a bucket of ice water dumped on his head to celebrate his 200th career victory.
Todd Boeckman, making his first career road start, threw for two touchdowns as the Buckeyes won for the 22nd time in 23 games overall -- the only loss coming when Florida ran over them in last January's national championship game.
Washington (2-1) was inside Ohio State territory six times against the nation's top-ranked defense. The Huskies got 102 yards rushing and 153 yards passing from Locker.
But key mistakes -- including Locker's three interceptions -- doomed them in their sixth consecutive loss to a Top 10 opponent.
Washington was poised to increase its 7-3 lead on the opening drive of the second half, moving to OSU's 19 on a personal-foul penalty. But three consecutive plays lost yardage -- the last a sack by Laurinaitis at the 29.
Kurt Coleman then blocked a 46-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Perkins. Tressel, usually stoic, almost jumped out of his sweater vest on the sidelines while leaping up and down, trying to jump-start his team.
Two plays later, Boeckman found Brian Robiskie running past freshman cornerback Vonzell McDowell on a fly pattern. Robiskie caught the perfect throw in stride at the 40 and cruised in for a 68-yard touchdown and a 10-7 lead for the Buckeyes 5 1/2 minutes into the third quarter. Tressel ran down the sidelines behind Robiskie with both arms raised triumphantly.
Boeckman was 14-for-25 for 218 yards passing.
On the ensuing kickoff, Devon Torrence caused Curtis Shaw, another Huskies freshman, to fumble. James Scott recovered at the Washington 25.
Wells ran for 11 yards, then romped through an arm tackle try by McDowell for a 14-yard touchdown run. In just 39 seconds, Ohio State had seized a 17-7 lead with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
But Locker kept running. His 16-yard run, on his 14th carry, put him over 100 yards and got Washington to the Buckeyes 28 late in the period. But on third-and-5, Laurinaitis dropped away from the line to intercept Locker's pass.
Ohio State turned that into a 20-7 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Ryan Pretorius. Boeckman added a 36-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hartline with 3:30 left.
Washington took a 7-3 on the penultimate play of the first half when Anthony Russo made a twisting catch at the goal line of a 23-yard pass. The 74,927 in Husky Stadium -- the third-largest crowd in the 87-year-old stadium's history -- rocked as it hadn't in four years.
It was the first touchdown the Buckeyes' defense had allowed this season, after 149 minutes of game time.
Ohio State was on Washington's turf three times in the opening half, yet got only a 28-yard field goal by Pretorius early in the second quarter.
Washington then drove to Ohio State's 5, but on third-and-goal Laurinaitis reached back with his left hand and deflected a shovel pass to himself. The interception at the 13 kept Ohio State ahead 3-0 lead midway through the second quarter.