COLUMBUS - Bam Childress insists this is the year he is finally going to make some noise.
"It has to be," Childress said. "I've worked too hard for it not to be. When I catch the ball, I am trying to make something happen every time."
Childress had four catches for 67 yards - both career highs - yesterday as No. 9 Ohio State bounced Cincinnati 27-6 in its opener before 104,604 at Ohio Stadium.
"I thought Bam did a good job," coach Jim Tressel said. "He came up with plays when we needed them. He's the kind of guy that can do that.
"He runs well after the catch, but he makes me nervous swinging the ball around like he does. But he makes plays and it's exciting and he keeps getting better."
Childress, OSU's No. 3 receiver, had a 46-yard touchdown reception called back on the second series of the game because of an offensive pass interference call.
"Each day is just a process," said Childress, who began his OSU career as a defensive back in 2000, but was moved to receiver in the spring of his freshman season.
"I want to try and be the best receiver I can be. There are things I can do better, but today was a good start."
Childress, a fifth-year senior who beat out Findlay High's Ben Roethlisberger for Ohio's Mr. Football in 1999, had just 16 career catches for 187 yards entering yesterday's opener.
Eleven of those receptions came last season, when he made three starts for the Buckeyes.
"I thought the last three games last year, plus [Fiesta] bowl practice, and then on into this spring and preseason, you could see Bam just growing," Tressel said. "And I hope he keeps doing it."
Sophomore flanker Santonio Holmes also had a big day, with four receptions for 91 yards. He caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Troy Smith in the fourth quarter, and pulled in a 53-yard reception from Justin Zwick in the third.
"It was a big day for the receivers," Childress said. "Next week we want to be even better."
ROSS ROLLS: Lydell Ross eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in his career, finishing with 141 yards on 17 carries.
He ripped off a career-long 68-yard gain in the second quarter. It topped his previous long gain of 51 yards, set against San Diego State two years ago.
"I have to give credit to the offensive line," Ross said. "They played very well and they opened up some big holes."
Ross scored his 23rd career touchdown in the third quarter on a one-yard run
In two career games against the Bearcats, he has 271 yards on 40 carries.
"Coming into the season, I had a lot of big goals," he said. "This is a good start, but there are things I can do better."
QUICK HITS: Much ballyhooed freshman Ted Ginn finished the day with two catches. ... Freshman Antonio Pittman had seven carries for 66 yards. ... Maurice Hall had kickoff returns of 43 and 41 yards. ... Mike Nugent kicked field goals of 27 and 23 yards, but missed a 53-yarder. ... Junior linebacker Bobby Carpenter had a career-high nine tackles and tied A.J. Hawk for the team lead. ... Kyle Turano punted just once, delivering a 57-yarder in his OSU debut. ... Former Buckeyes coach John Cooper was in the television both, working as an analyst for ESPN Plus.39.96196 -83.00298