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Published: Thursday, 11/13/2008

The End Zone: Buckeyes hope to avoid scary repeat


Some of the scariest scenes from recent Ohio State history are captured in the film from last year s 28-21 loss to Illinois. The No. 1 Buckeyes vaunted defense gave up an 80-yard run on Illinois second play, and Todd Boeckman threw three lethal interceptions. A mandatory review of that footage would be as painful as watching a Michael Moore movie of course, minus the complete absence of directorial personal hygiene.

When the Illini attacked, it was reminiscent of a previous production Florida s defensive linemen coming over the ramparts like the Huns minus Attila, then chasing down and sacking Troy Smith in the 2006 title game. Against Illinois it was evident Boeckman had absolutely no escape clause. He has since been replaced by freshman Terrelle Pryor, who has David Blaine-d his way out of peril numerous times.

Boeckman hasn t received the Old Order Amish shun, but he is now essentially set dressing on the OSU sideline. Boeckman used up all three of his strikes in that game, and he broke the Tressel dictum if you are the quarterback for the Buckeyes, you can grow a beard, sell Amway, or even forward nonsense emails, but don t turn the ball over. The penalty is a clean jersey and pants for the post-game handshake.

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