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Ross runs for 167 yards, 3 TDs

10/26/2003

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Ohio State found its second home
Saturday.

The Buckeyes' beleaguered offense ran the ball like a defending
national champ, made big plays in the passing game and even had the
Bloomington crowd on its side.

Lydell Ross rushed for a career-high 167 yards and scored three
touchdowns, backup receiver Santonio Holmes caught two more
touchdowns and Craig Krenzel just missed his career high with 272
yards passing as the No. 8 Buckeyes routed Indiana 35-6.

"That's a special feeling for our players to come out and there
is as much noise for us as for the opponent," Buckeyes coach Jim
Tressel said. "When we have that following, it's great."

For Indiana (1-7, 0-4) it was easily the bleakest day of what is
becoming an increasingly frustrating season. The Hoosiers lost
their fifth straight game, their 10th in a row against a Big Ten
opponent and their 11th straight to Ohio State.

Ohio State (7-1, 3-1) also won its first road game of the season
-- if it could be called that. The scene in the stands was downright
embarrassing.

With more than half the sold-out crowd wearing scarlet and gray,
Buckeye chants resounded throughout rain-soaked Memorial Stadium
all day while boos reverberated the few times Ohio State fans
didn't like a call.

Indiana fans hardly made a peep and with good reason -- there was
nothing to cheer.

Ohio State's offense entered the game ranked 114th out of 117
Division I-A schools but produced a season-high 603 total yards --
its highest total since 1986 when it had 715 against Utah.

"We had the guys who could make plays and got the ball in their
hands," said Krenzel, who finished one yard short of a
career-high. "That's the kind of stuff we need to keep doing."

The Hoosiers, predictably, struggled against one of the nation's
best defenses.

Indiana had 131 yards, its lowest total since a 190-yard
performance against Michigan on Oct. 14, 2000, and 80 of that came
in the final quarter when the outcome had already been determined.

It ran for minus-12 yards and continued a miserable record of
ineptitude against the Buckeyes who have lost in Bloomington only
once since 1913.

"We knew there was going to be more of them in the stands than
us," coach Gerry DiNardo said. "We knew it would be difficult
circumstances. ... We had an opportunity to change the way people
thought about us and we didn't take advantage of it."

The Buckeyes pounced quickly and never relented.

After one quarter, Ross had 113 yards rushing -- four more than
the Buckeyes averaged in their first seven games and just 17 off
his career-best.

It was that kind of day.

About the only thing that went wrong for Ohio State was an
injury to starting wide receiver Drew Carter midway through the
second quarter. Carter landed awkwardly on his right knee following
a 17-yard reception and was carried off the field by offensive
linemen Shane Olivea and Adrien Clarke.

Carter did not return and Ohio State spokesman Steve Snapp said
he would be evaluated when the Buckeyes returned home.

Holmes, Carter's replacement, filled in admirably.

He caught six passes for 153 yards, his best day as a collegian,
and helped the Buckeyes break open the game with a 15-yard
touchdown catch-and-run. Holmes dove for the final two yards just
before halftime to make it 21-0.

Krenzel was 19-for-26 with one interception and was pulled after
three quarters.

But it was Ross who got the Buckeyes started -- and the fans
revved up -- by breaking off huge chunks of yardage on Ohio State's
first series. He finished it with an 11-yard TD run.

Ross made it 14-0 with a 2-yard run and after his third
touchdown, a 1-yard run midway through the third quarter, many of
the remaining Hoosier fans left. Ross averaged 7.3 yards on 23
carries.

"I was reading the holes and I had choices," Ross said. "I
was cutting and I could have cut a second time, too, sometimes. I
could have had 200 yards today."

Holmes finished it off with a 47-yard TD reception in the game's
final minutes.

Indiana averted a shutout when Chris Taylor caught a 17-yard
pass from backup quarterback Graeme McFarland with 3:28 to go.

Indiana's Matt LoVecchio was 11-for-20 for 89 yards with one
interception before being replaced late.

"The plan was to make a statement, come out and win the game
and try to get people to respect us," DiNardo said. "But we'll
have another opportunity and we'll get it done."