Buckeyes pull away in 4th

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, September 20, 2008

COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Troy Trojans held No. 13 Ohio State in check most of the game, but allowed the Buckeyes to pull away in the fourth quarter for a 28-10 victory Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. OSU (3-1) led by just four points, 14-10, at the end of the third quarter, but tallied two touchdown passes in the final 15 minutes.

The announced crowd of 102,989 was the largest-ever to see a Troy football game. The Trojans (2-1) held a one-yard advantage in total offense, 315-309, but could not overcome two turnovers and a couple untimely penalties.

Ohio State wasted no time in showing its offensive game plan. The Buckeyes opened with freshman Terrelle Pryor at quarterback and ran the ball on their first eight plays, moving from their own 40 to the Troy 13. Pryor then went to the play-action pass, finding a wide-open tight end Rory Nicol for a touchdown with 10:14 left in the opening quarter.

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After the teams exchanged punts on the next four possessions, the Trojans closed the first quarter on the move, facing a second and goal from the OSU 14 after Hampton was sacked by OSU linebacker James Laurinaitis on the final play of the quarter.

The Trojans made up the yardage from the sack, but wound up settling for a 22-yard Sam Glusman field goal with 13:35 remaining in the half.

Troy made the first major mistake of the game on its next possession when Hampton was intercepted by Kurt Coleman at the Trojans’ 37. The pass was intended for Gerald Tate on a crossing pattern, but was bobbled just enough for Coleman to steal it away.

After backing the Buckeyes up on a 15-yard penalty, Pryor struck again, avoiding a strong rush to find receiver Brian Hartline open at the Troy five. Hartline fought off Troy’s Tavares Williams and lunged into the end zone with 9:08 to play. The PAT gave Ohio State a 14-3 lead.

Troy showed that it was not going to go without a fight late in the half, using just five plays to cover 80 yards, with the final 45 coming on a Hampton pass and run to Jerrel Jernigan with 1:49 left in the half, cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to 14-10.

Ohio State threatened late in the half, but Kenny Mainor sacked Pryor to knock the Buckeyes out of field goal range. Ohio State tried a “Hail Mary” pass on the final play of the half, but Williams came down with it in the end zone for Troy for his second career interception.

The Trojans took the second half kickoff and drove deep into Ohio State territory before Hampton was picked off by Coleman for the second time in the game, giving the Buckeyes possession at their own seven.

The two teams traded possessions through the rest of the quarter, with neither threatening to score.

The quarter ended on 60-yard punt by Ohio State, which gave the Trojans the ball at their own two to start the fourth quarter.

After Troy failed to make any headway and was forced to punt, the Buckeyes got the ball at the Trojans 37-yard line. When a draw play lost one yard, OSU went back to the air, and Pryor connected with Brian Robiskie on a 38-yard touchdown pass, giving the Buckeyes a 21-10 lead with 13:28 to play.

Ohio State put the game totally out of reach after a stalled Troy drive on four plays capped off with a 16-yard pass from Pryor to Hartline for the 28-10 final.

The Trojans will be back on the road next week when they travel to Stillwater, Okla., to face Oklahoma State.

Kickoff for that game is set for 6:05 p.m. CDT and there will be no television for the game.