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No. 1 Ohio State Passes Its Latest Test

Big Ten: Germaine throws for 339 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-15 victory over Minnesota.

October 18, 1998|From Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Coach John Cooper vows that if No. 1-ranked Ohio State loses, it won't be because the Buckeyes are taking anybody lightly.

After Ohio State rode the Joe Germaine-to-David Boston passing combination to a 45-15 victory over Minnesota on Saturday, Cooper was asked if his team would have to battle overconfidence next Saturday against Northwestern.

First, Cooper harangued the media for asking such a question, then promised that his players would remain focused.

"I guarantee you we will get their attention because we're not satisfied with the way we're playing," Cooper said. "We will not be overconfident next week or the next week or the next week. And we're going to play hard. You can write that down and quote me on that today. We will not be overconfident, we will work hard in practice and we will get after Northwestern up there next week. Mark that down."

Germaine passed for two touchdowns and 339 yards and David Boston had 10 receptions for 191 yards as the Buckeyes gave the other teams--including the five unranked teams left on the schedule--a lot of reasons to be worried.

Michael Wiley added 119 yards in 12 rushes, including a one-yard touchdown run, and Central McClellion picked off a fourth-quarter pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown for the Buckeyes (6-0 overall, 3-0 Big Ten).

"It's hard to play against those guys in the silver helmets," said Minnesota Coach Glen Mason, a former Buckeye player and assistant.

The Golden Gophers (3-3, 0-3) haven't won at Ohio Stadium since 1949.

Ohio State, which occasionally came out with a four-receiver set, totaled 586 yards, including 350 passing.

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

"I haven't had a whole lot of time to think about it," Germaine said of the record. "I do know I haven't played my best game and the team hasn't played its best game."

Said Mason: "He's everything you want in a quarterback."

Germaine completed 27 of 39 passes with two interceptions. His touchdown throws to Boston covered six and 53 yards.

"Going one-on-one worked," Boston said. "I could get open with a little athletic move. I was shuffled around a lot in the offense--inside sometimes, outside sometimes--and it's hard to double-team somebody when you're in that situation."

The Buckeyes led, 7-3, midway through the first quarter, then blew the game open by scoring on four consecutive possessions to build the margin to 31-3.

The Buckeyes had 402 yards by halftime, with Germaine throwing for 220, Boston catching five passes for 122 yards and Wiley totaling 115 yards.

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