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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / WEEK 7 | IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Buckeyes Still Have Air About the Past

October 18, 1998

What in the name of Woody Hayes has happened to Ohio State?

The Buckeyes won 238 games, 13 Big Ten Conference championships and played in eight Rose Bowls in Hayes' 28 seasons in Columbus, grinding up opponents by grinding out yardage with running backs such as Jim Otis, Pete Johnson and Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.

This season, Coach John Cooper's top-ranked team is a veritable passing machine.

On Saturday, Joe Germaine passed for two touchdowns and 339 yards and David Boston had 10 receptions for 191 yards in a 45-15 Big Ten cakewalk at Columbus.

Minnesota hasn't won at Ohio Stadium since 1949. It has been even longer since the Golden Gophers saw that kind of Buckeye air show.

Like never.

Germaine's fifth 300-yard game set an Ohio State record, and marked the first time that a Buckeye quarterback had back-to-back 300-yard passing games. He passed for 307 yards last week in a 41-0 beating of Illinois.

"Ohio State was known as a grind-it-out team for a long time," said Germaine, who was born Nov. 16, 1975, about 1 1/2 months before UCLA upset previously unbeaten Ohio State, 23-10, in the 1976 Rose Bowl. "I'm just taking advantage of the new style of today."

At halftime of Saturday's game, Ohio State honored its 1968 national championship and 1973 Big Ten title teams, which featured Otis and Griffin, respectively.

To show how times have changed, Boston's 10 catches were one more than the Buckeyes' leading receiver, tight end Fred Pagac, had for the entire 1973 season. Pagac is now the team's defensive coordinator.

Minnesota Coach Glen Mason was a freshman at Ohio State during that 1968 season, the last time the Buckeyes finished No. 1.

SEASONED WINNERS

Linfield College of Oregon defeated Willamette, 20-19, guaranteeing the Division III school a record 43rd consecutive winning season.

Linfield (5-0), which began its streak in 1956 and plays a nine-game season, broke a tie with Notre Dame (1889-1932) and Harvard (1881-1923).

Linfield is 317-80-10 under four coaches during the streak.

Saturday's victory avenged last year's 27-0 loss to Willamette at Salem, Ore. The game's outcome was overshadowed by the two extra points kicked by Liz Heaston, a soccer player who became the first woman to play in a college football game.

Heaston, whose No. 39 jersey hangs in the college football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., is back playing soccer full-time this season, studying biology and preparing for optometry school. She has also written the introduction for a book called "Girls Who Rocked the World."

LET'S BE FRANK

Illinois Coach Ron Turner said his team had no chance of beating No. 9 Wisconsin after turning the ball over four times and being outgained, 380 yards to 194.

"We didn't block anybody. We didn't throw. We didn't catch. We didn't do a thing," Turner said. "The offense stunk. It was totally disgusting."

MAKING THEIR MARK

No. 22 Texas Tech squandered a great opportunity when it lost to No. 19 Colorado at Boulder, Colo.

And if you believe Texas Tech Coach Spike Dykes, the Red Raiders left a definite impression.

"We certainly have a hickey by our name now," he said.

WEATHER OR NOT

As if Northern Illinois didn't have to wait long enough--25 months--for its first victory in 24 games, the Huskies and their fans in Dekalb, Ill., had to wait through a 26-minute delay in the first quarter because of lightning.

"We just told the kids this week that any kind of weather is Huskie weather," Northern Illinois Coach Joe Novak said.

The Huskies were luckier than Southwest Texas State and Nicholls State, whose game at San Marcos, Texas, was postponed because of flooding.

The National Weather Service reported that by 5 p.m., 5.4 inches of rain had fallen in Austin, 30 miles away.

STILL SEARCHING

Northern Illinois, Temple, Memphis and Southwestern Louisiana all won for the first time this season, leaving four Division I-A teams without a victory.

Cincinnati, Kent and Vanderbilt are winless, as was Hawaii when the Rainbows began their Western Athletic Conference game against Brigham Young at Honolulu.

COUCH MATERIAL

Quarterback J.R. House of Nitro High (W.Va.) set national high school career records for attempts and completions Friday night.

House, a senior, completed 20 of 31 passes for 183 yards. His 1,411 attempts breaks the record of 1,401 set by former Shreveport, La., quarterback Josh Booty (1990-93).

His 897 completions breaks the record of 872 held by Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch. Couch set the record from 1992-95 playing for Leslie County (Ky.) High. House needs 405 yards to break Couch's passing yardage record of 12,104.

HEISMAN HANDICAP

1. Ricky Williams, Texas: Held to zero yards by schedule-maker. Longhorns had a bye.

2. Ricky Williams, Texas Tech: Gained 142 yards for Red Raiders in loss to Colorado.

3. Cade McNown, UCLA: Threw up some impressive numbers, completing 20 of 36 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions in victory over Oregon.

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