No. 1 Ohio St. Rolls Over Bowling Green
Saturday, October 7, 2006; 8:33 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr., it was just like those autumn days in middle school when they used to play catch at the park.
Smith tossed three touchdown passes _ including a 57-yard lightning strike to high school teammate Ginn_ to lead No. 1 Ohio State to a 35-7 victory over Bowling Green on Saturday.
"There's always something special about playing with a childhood friend," said Smith, who didn't do anything to hurt his Heisman Trophy candidacy by completing 17-of-20 passes for 191 yards with no interceptions. "Especially here at this level."
The Buckeyes (6-0) toyed with the Falcons (3-3), tacking on two touchdowns in the final quarter to turn a surprisingly close 21-7 game into a rout. Ohio State stretched the nation's longest winning streak to 13 in a row.
The game was the first of six against teams who have each lost at least twice. The Buckeyes, who play at disappointing Michigan State next week, were a prohibitive favorite.
"When there's 105,000 out there, it doesn't matter who the opponent is," said defensive lineman Joel Penton, talking about packed Ohio Stadium.
Smith's touchdowns covered 3 yards to Rory Nichol and 11 to Ray Small in addition to the long one to Ginn. His 85-percent completion rate was the third best ever for an Ohio State quarterback.
Antonio Pittman carried 13 times for 61 yards, scoring on two 8-yard runs.
Early in the fourth quarter, Ginn got a rare chance to return a punt _ the Falcons punted out of bounds rather than give up a big return _ and brought it back 21 yards to the Ohio State 43. On the next play, Smith dropped back in the pocket and fired to Ginn, who had streaked past defender Antonio Smith to catch the ball at the 7, racing in the rest of the way untouched.
"I saw the guy playing off me. He had been playing off me all night," the speedy Ginn said.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said the bomb should serve as a warning to future opponents.
"We had a couple of home run opportunities in the last couple games and didn't connect," he said. "People need to know that we're going to go deep."