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Buckeyes tabbed to defuse UT

September 9, 2011
By RICH GIBSON - Times Leader Sports Writer ( , Times Leader

Toledo vs. Ohio State matchups have not exactly made for must-see TV.

Both instances in which the schools have met, OSU has posted decisive victories - by a combined 87-0 count.

So why should Saturday's third go-round be any different?

For what it's worth, Tim Beckman's Rockets recorded a Big Ten road conquest a year ago at Purdue. And since 2000, Toledo owns three additional triumphs over Big Ten competition. They include Penn State (2000); Minnesota (2008) and Michigan (2009).

Toledo has also knocked off a trio of Big 12 opponents over the past five seasons: Kansas (2006); Iowa State (2007) and Colorado (2009).

An unexpected UT victory Saturday would certainly rock the house despite the fact Ohio State is still operating without a full complement of players.

Thus, here's our take on Saturday's outcome and also for the Big Ten's remaining 11 members who see action this weekend.

TOLEDO AT OHIO STATE. Hard to imagine the Scarlet & Gray struggling to defuse UT, though we agree the Rockets are a definitive upgrade over Akron. Buckeyes, 30-13.

NOTRE DAME AT MICHIGAN. Irish received a rude wake-up call last week when South Florida invaded South Bend and shocked Brian Kelly and company. Expect a get-well performance in the Big House. Irish, 27-21.

ALABAMA AT PENN STATE. These storied programs met a year ago at Tuscaloosa with the Crimson Tide rolling past Joe Pa. Different setting, different result. Nittany Lions, 20-17.

OREGON STATE AT WISCONSIN. These teams haven't played since 1961 when UW was a 23-20 victor. Bret Bielema's club has designs on a big-time BCS assignment in January. Badgers, 33-13.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE AT ILLINOIS. First-ever meeting between IU and Missouri Valley Conference member. Illini, 42-14.

IOWA AT IOWA STATE. Also known as the 'Corndog Bowl,' Iowa leads the all-time series, 39-19. Make it 40 wins. Hawkeyes, 28-20.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT MICHIGAN STATE. MSU was not overwhelming in a 30-17 victory over the Sun Belt Conference foe last year. Spartans, 38-14.

NEW MEXICO STATE AT MINNESOTA. A rather impressive debut for Minnesota's first-year coach Jerry Kill last week whose club fell by 19-17 at Southern California. Gophers, 31-10.

EASTERN ILLINOIS AT NORTHWESTERN. Pat Fitzgerald's Cats were 24-17 road victors last week at Boston College. That momentum should carry over. Wildcats, 30-20.

FRESNO STATE AT NEBRASKA. Bo Pelini's Big Red are a welcome addition to the Big Ten and figure to make an immediate impact. Cornhuskers, 37-13.

PURDUE AT RICE. It should be noted Rich Rodriguez will be in the booth for CBS. And rightfully so. Boilermakers, 24-17.

VIRGINIA AT INDIANA. Considering Hoosiers managed a season-opening loss to Ball State doesn't bode particularly well against this ACC visitor. Cavaliers, 26-17.

WELCOME BACK. Three Buckeyes suspended for last week's opener will be in uniform Saturday and expected to see playing time. They are junior running back Jordan Hall; junior defensive back Travis Howard; and sophomore defensive back Corey Brown....

FORMER Buckeyes currently playing in the National Football League will number at least 37 as the NFL begins regular season play in 2011. The list includes seven players off OSU's 2010 team, including Terrelle Pryor and Chimdi Chekwa (Raiders); Jermale Hines and Jake McQuaide (Rams); Dane Sanzenbacher (Bears); Brian Rolle (Eagles) and Cam Heyward (Steelers)...

Gibson may be reached at



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