IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Good thing Woody Hayes wasn't around to
see this one. It just keeps getting worse for Ohio State's bumbling
Ohio State (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) continued its inept play on offense and got
carved up on defense by Drew Tate, who passed for three touchdowns
and ran for another as Iowa handed the Buckeyes their third
straight loss, 33-7 on Saturday.
"If don't know if they dominated, but they kicked our butts,"
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.
The numbers made a strong case for domination.
Ohio State ran 29 times for 27 net yards in falling to 0-3 in
the Big Ten for the first time since 1988. The Buckeyes (3-3
overall) finished with 177 total yards, 73 coming on a late
touchdown drive that prevented them from being shut out for the
first time since 1993.
When Iowa defensive end Matt Roth looked at the scoreboard in
the fourth quarter and saw 33-0, he shook his head in amazement.
"If you would have said that four or five weeks ago, I think I
would have looked at you like you were crazy," Roth said. "I
think we just got it clicking."
That went for the offense, too.
The Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-1) were down to their fifth- and
sixth-string running backs but still punctured Ohio State's defense
for 448 yards. Tate finished 26 of 39 for 331 yards and no
interceptions, with touchdown passes of 11 and 36 yards to Clinton
Solomon and 8 yards to Scott Chandler.
"I think maybe the secondary got confused on some of the routes
we were doing," Tate said. "Probably because they weren't
expecting us to do some of that stuff."
Tate became just the third Iowa quarterback to top 300 yards in
consecutive games. He threw for 340 against Michigan State.
Ohio State, meanwhile, ran only six plays in Iowa territory in
the first three quarters and one of those ended with an
interception. The Buckeyes also lost two fumbles and the Hawkeyes
scored after both in sending Ohio State to its worst loss since a
46-20 setback to Illinois in 1999.
"We just have not shown what we are capable of," OSU
linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "We just aren't taking care of the
little things, like making a tackle on third down. I don't think
they wanted it more. It just seems like everyone is executing a
little better than us."
It was only the fourth Iowa victory over Ohio State in 42 years
and the widest margin of victory for the Hawkeyes, who have won 16
straight at home.
"When you don't run the football, it affects everything,"
Tressel said. "A good football team can usually hang in there if
you can run the football and right now, we can't."
Justin Zwick again was ineffective at quarterback for Ohio State
and fans who had been clamoring for Smith to get a chance finally
got their wish.
Smith finished the game after Zwick fumbled on the second play
of the second half, but did nothing to distinguish himself until
throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Rory Nicol with 2:19 left.
Tate, on the other hand, was sharp from the start.
With Ohio State's cornerbacks playing 8 to 10 yards off the
receivers, Tate completed numerous passes on underneath routes and
usually scrambled out of trouble when pressured. And he capitalized
on the Buckeyes' numerous defensive mistakes.
Midway through the third quarter, Solomon ran uncovered into the
secondary and Tate hit him with an easy pitch-and-catch touchdown
pass of 36 yards to make it 24-0.
On Iowa's next possession, Ashton Youboty's missed tackle
enabled Solomon to turn what would have been a short gain deep in
his own territory into a 40-yard reception to the Buckeyes' 42.
Iowa kept going after that and Tate finished the 83-yard drive with
1-yard TD run to make it 30-0.
Two defenders hit Tate short of the goal line, but he fought his
way into the end zone.
"Drew Tate is a great quarterback and a great leader," said
Solomon, who had seven catches for 131 yards. "He put the ball in
places where we could take it and make plays."
Ohio State was outgained 151-13 in the first quarter and the
Buckeyes managed only 23 yards and one first down in their first
four possessions. By that time, Iowa was leading 10-0.
Ohio State's only good drive in the first half ended when Zwick
threw into double coverage in the corner of the end zone and Iowa's
Marcus Pascal picked it off.
Zwick finished 6-for-14 for 74 yards. Smith was 8-of-12 for 76
And so the decline continues for the Buckeyes. Only two years
after going 14-0 and winning the national championship, they're now
scrambling to find a way just to squeeze out one victory.
"There is not going to be any finger-pointing on this team,
I'll promise you that," linebacker Anthony Schlegel said. "We
just need to get better and that starts tomorrow."