There's no such thing as a bad win .... there's no such thing as a bad win .... there's no such thing as a bad win....
1. With the 24-20 win today, Ohio State improves to 61-14-1 (.809 winning percentage) all-time against Northwestern. The Buckeyes have won six in a row and 30 of the last 31 in the series, with the only loss during that span coming in 2004 (a 33-27 loss in overtime).
2. With 223 yards passing today, J.T. Barrett now has 1,675 yards on the season and 5,501 yards for his career. He surpassed Braxton Miller (5,292 yards) for 8th place on Ohio State's list of career passing leaders. Barrett needs 69 yards to surpass Mike Tomczak (5,569 yards) for 7th place and 220 yards to surpass Troy Smith (5,720 yards) for 6th place.
3. Barrett had no touchdowns passing or rushing today, the first time in 25 career starts that he did not have a touchdown.
4. Curtis Samuel had 7 rushes for 31 yards and a touchdown, and 7 receptions for 68 yards. Samuel had a 23-yard run today, his 14th play from scrimmage of 20+ yards (7 runs, 7 receptions) this season. Samuel continues to be the Buckeyes leader in receptions (44), receiving yards (539), longest run (74 yards), longest reception (79 yards), and touchdowns (8), and he is second in rushing yards (558).
5. Mike Weber rebounded somewhat after three tough weeks in a row, with 14 rushes for 87 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 23-yarder that seemingly gave the Buckeyes a commanding 10-point lead midway through the second quarter. For some reason, Weber got only six carries after that play, and the Buckeye offense sputtered without him involved in the running game.
6. Defensive back Damon Arnette had his first career interception on a tipped ball in the first quarter.
7. Safety Malik Hooker had a career-best 14 tackles, with 6 solos and 8 assists.
8. For the second straight week, Cameron Johnston had a punt partially blocked. Overall, Johnston had five punts for a 36.6 yard average, with two downed inside the 20-yard line and one touchback (which would have been downed at the one-yard line but for some sloppy play by the coverage unit).
9. Place kicker Tyler Durbin connected on a 35-yard field goal midway through the first quarter. For the season, Durbin remains a perfect 11 for 11 on field goal attempts, but with a long of just 40 yards. Durbin's blocked field goal last week was credited to (more correctly, blamed on) the "team".
10. The Buckeye defense held Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson to 22 of 42 passing (52.4%) for 256 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. But Thorson was accurate when he had to be, completing 9 of 13 on 3rd and 4th downs for 87 yards and 7 first downs. Thorson also had an 18-yard scramble on a 3rd-and-7 play.
11. Overall, Northwestern was 8 for 16 on 3rd down conversions and 2 for 2 on 4th down conversions (55.5% on 3rd and 4th downs combined). Ohio State was even better, going 10 for 17 (58.8%) on third down conversions, and not attempting a 4th down conversion.
12. Thorson had 300 total yards (256 passing, 44 rushing), while his counterpart Barrett had 294 total yards (223 passing, 71 rushing).
13. Thorson's main target was senior wide receiver, and former walk-on, Austin Carr who had 8 receptions for 158 yards (19.75 average), with long receptions of 27, 30, and 35 yards. Carr's performance was reminiscent of that of another senior former walk-on wide receiver, namely Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis who in 2013 had 10 receptions for 207 yards, with long receptions of 23, 33, 36, and 64 yards.
14. The rest of the Northwestern receiving corps had 15 receptions for 100 yards with a long reception of just 16 yards.
15. The Buckeyes held Big Ten rushing leader Justin Jackson (716 yards, 102.3 ypg entering today's game) to just 76 yards on 17 carries (4.5 ypc) and no touchdowns.
16. The Buckeyes contained dangerous return man Solomon Vault (four career kick returns for touchdowns including a 95-yarder earlier this year), holding him to one return for just 12 yards.
17. Each team ran 73 plays from scrimmage, but Ohio State won the time of possession battle by a rather large margin, 32:40 to 27:20. This was due to several factors: (a) Ohio State running out the clock at the end of the game; (b) Northwestern throwing ten more incomplete passes than Ohio State; and (c) the Buckeyes continuing their season-long trend of taking an inordinate amount of time getting plays called from the sidelines.
18. The Buckeyes played a fairly clean game today, with no turnovers, allowing only one sack, and committing just two penalties for ten yards.
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