12:00 PM ET, October 25, 2003
Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, IN), Bloomington, IN
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Ohio State found its second home Saturday.
It has not been a pleasant week for Lydell Ross.
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'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."