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Published: Sunday, 10/10/2010

Tressel quickly, quietly wins 100th

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

COLUMBUS - On a day when his second-ranked Buckeyes secured their position near the top of the national polls and remained unbeaten at the midway point in the season, Ohio State's Jim Tressel achieved a personal milestone, winning his 100th game as OSU's head coach.

Tressel, who is 100-21 in his tenth season here, reached 100 wins faster than any previous Ohio State coach. John Cooper did it in 138 games, while Woody Hayes took 144 games to hit the century mark in wins.

Tressel, who received a large cutout of the number "100" from athletic director Gene Smith following Saturday's 38-10 win over the Hoosiers, said he took a moment during the second half to remember his dad Lee, who Tressel had played quarterback for at Baldwin-Wallace.

"I thought a little bit about the fact that my dad came here in 1943, and then after spring ball, chose to go serve his country," Tressel said about his dad, who passed away nearly 30 years ago. "This was always his team. No matter where he coached in high school or college, Ohio State was very special."

Tressel deflected the attention for the 100 wins, and said his only focus at this point was on getting number 101 next Saturday at Wisconsin.

"This is a place that, if they let you stay long enough, you should win 100," Tressel said.

Ohio State senior wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said the current Buckeyes were proud to be a part of the historic victory.

"I'll speak for him, since he won't take one bit of credit for it," Sanzenbacher said. "It says everything, to win 100 games here. This is a guy who is going to go down in history as one of the greatest Ohio State coaches ever."

Ohio State's Zach Boren hurdles Indiana's Adrian Burks, right, as Leon Beckum tries to bring him down in the first quarter.
Ohio State's Zach Boren hurdles Indiana's Adrian Burks, right, as Leon Beckum tries to bring him down in the first quarter.
JAY LAPRETE / AP Enlarge

Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said Tressel noted the accomplishment, but quickly turned his team's attention to the upcoming date with Wisconsin.

"I think it's pretty great, but like Tress said, he's looking forward to 101," Heyward said. "We're looking to get better every week, and being part of it is something special. Hopefully we can get a couple more for him."

AIR SAINE: After struggling and gaining just 14 yards on eight carries last weekend against Illinois, Ohio State senior running back Brandon Saine found a way out of the funk by becoming a very effective pass receiver in Saturday's 38-10 win over Indiana.

Saine did not have a single carry in the game, but caught four passes for 84 yards. He had a 60-yard reception for a touchdown, racing behind the Indiana defenders and then juggling the deep throw from quarterback Terrelle Pryor as Saine entered the end zone. Saine said he worked with OSU running backs coach Doc Tressel to look for alternative ways to contribute.

"However I can produce and help the team, its fine," Saine said about his quick transition on the offense. "Being able to get in open space and beat a linebacker down the seam is great. I definitely got frustrated the past couple games, but you have to move past that. I talked with Doc (Tressel) and we were able to come up with something that worked."

JUGGLING ACT: Attention to the ball paid off for the Buckeyes in the second quarter when Ohio State's Ross Homan jumped and tipped an Indiana pass, bobbled the ball as he went to the turf, and then saw fellow linebacker Brian Rolle gets his hands under the ball just before it touched the ground.

The interception set up a five-play Ohio State scoring drive that staked the Buckeyes to a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

"Brian came out of nowhere, and I was so glad to see him," Homan said. "I missed it, but it would have been 10 times worse to hear everyone say that I had dropped an interception. We got the ball, and that's all that mattered."

"I was just hustling to the ball, like we are coached to do on every play," Rolle said. "It was more a reaction than anything else."

CROWD COUNT: An announced crowd of 105,291 attended Saturday's game, the 15th largest crowd in Ohio Stadium history.


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