SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Even with its second-string quarterback in
charge, Ohio State had an easy time of it in the Alamo Bowl.
Justin Zwick, replacing the suspended Troy Smith, threw for 189
yards and a touchdown, and Ted Ginn Jr. and Lydell Ross each
scored, leading Ohio State (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today; No. 24 AP) to a 33-7 win over
on Wednesday night.
"Justin did an excellent job and did what was asked of him,"
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "I told someone that Justin was
playing as best as he's ever played."
Ginn, a freshman with dazzling speed, caught six passes for
78 yards and rushed for another 51 yards and a touchdown.
Zwick, who lost the starting job to Smith after hurting his
shoulder in the sixth game, completed 17 of 27 passes despite a
mild hamstring pull.
Ross rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries, and Mike Nugent kicked
four field goals for the Buckeyes (8-4) to become the school's
career scoring leader.
Smith, who led Ohio State to victories in four of its last five
games, was suspended by the team last week. University officials
said he accepted an unspecified gift from a team booster in
violation of NCAA rules.
The Buckeyes took advantage of two early turnovers, and never
let the Cowboys (7-5) get anything going offensively.
Oklahoma State quarterback Donovan Woods completed 15 of 34
passes for 137 yards and rushed for another 80 yards. Vernand
Morency, one of the nation's top rushers this season, was limited
to 24 yards on eight carries.
On the first series, Woods underthrew receiver Chijuan Mack and
the pass was picked off by Ohio State linebacker Bobby Carpenter.
Three plays later, Zwick hit a diving Anthony Gonzalez with a
23-yard touchdown pass.
After a 37-yard field goal by Nugent, the Cowboys were driving
when Woods lost his grip on the ball near midfield while trying to
run up the middle. Defensive lineman Joel Penton recovered and
Nugent capped the drive with a 35-yard field goal to give Ohio
State a 13-0 lead with nearly six minutes remaining in the first
"We were slugging along -- it wasn't like we were moving the
ball," Cowboys coach Les Miles said of his team's early
performance. "And when you give away the ball on a short field, it
In the second, with the Buckeyes at midfield, Zwick threw to a
screen pass to Ginn on the left side and the Cowboys cornered him
for what looked like a modest gain.
But Ginn eluded three tacklers and broke back to the right
sideline for a 42-yard pickup to the Oklahoma State 9. Ross capped
the 78-yard drive by scoring from the 1, making it 20-0.
"I try to make something out of nothing if I get trapped,"
Ginn said. "You always got to keep your feet moving. You're always
moving forward -- that's what we've been taught."
When Nugent made the extra point following Ross' touchdown, he
passed Pete Johnson as the Buckeyes' career scoring leader with 356
On its next series, starting at their own 43 after another
Cowboys punt, Ohio State advanced 34 yards in six plays and Nugent
booted a 41-yard field goal.
Oklahoma State got into Ohio State territory for the first time
on their final series of the half, but the drive ended with Jason
Ricks missing a 42-yard field goal try.
Early in the third, Cowboys safety Jamie Thompson recovered a
fumble by fullback Branden Joe at the Ohio State 34. A 17-yard run
by Prentiss Elliott moved the ball to the 9, but the Buckeyes
On fourth-and-long, Oklahoma State tried a fake field goal, but
the play was stopped six yards short.
The Buckeyes then marched 94 yards. Ross rushed for 45 yards on
the drive, and Ginn had a 28-yard run before he took the snap in
the shotgun and ran it in from the 5, making it 30-0.
Nugent kicked his fourth field goal, from 36 yards, before
Oklahoma State put up its only points on a 4-yard touchdown run by
Shawn Willis that capped an 80-yard drive midway through the