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College Football Week 8 | BIG TEN

Buckeyes Don't Need to Be at Their Best

October 25, 1998| From Associated Press

David Boston had a record-setting game with two touchdown catches, Joe Germaine threw for 300 yards once again and the Ohio State defense stopped Northwestern's running game cold.

Imagine what the No. 1 Buckeyes could do on a really good day.

"Maybe we didn't play the best ball game we've ever played, but I didn't think we played a bad ball game," Coach John Cooper said after Ohio State's 36-10 victory Saturday over Northwestern at Evanston, Ill.

"I've been in it long enough that I appreciate a victory," he added. "It may be ugly, it may not be as one-sided as some people would have liked for it to have been, but I'll take it any day of the week."

Boston broke Cris Carter's school record with his 27th and 28th career touchdowns, and Germaine threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns, extending his school record streak of 300-yard games to five. Backup tailback Joe Montgomery, who grew up in Chicago, rushed for 100 yards and one touchdown in 17 carries.

The Buckeyes, 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Big Ten, continued their defensive domination, holding Northwestern (2-6, 0-5) to only 48 yards rushing and 11 first downs. Ohio State has held its last four opponents to 80 or fewer rushing yards.

Ohio State has won its last 21 games against Northwestern, with its last loss in Evanston coming in 1958.

"I don't vote," Northwestern Coach Gary Barnett said, when asked if Ohio State should be No. 1. "They were the best team out there today, I know that."

There was a lot of trash-talking, pushing and shoving in the game as the teams combined for 152 yards in penalties.

"A lot of guys had a lot of extra motivation," Montgomery said. "A couple of years ago, when those guys were laughing at us when we didn't go to the Rose Bowl [in 1995], a few of the guys felt offended."

As for being defended, Northwestern had 238 total yards and got into Ohio State territory once in the third quarter. Gavin Hoffman was 15 for 39 for 173 yards with two interceptions.

D'Wayne Bates provided what few offensive highlights the Wildcats had with seven receptions for 95 yards--60 coming on a first-quarter touchdown catch that is the longest play from scrimmage against the Buckeyes this season.

Still, Northwestern trailed only 17-10 until Ohio State tight end John Lumpkin made a reception over cornerback Josh Barnes of an up-for-grabs pass by Germaine for a 35-yard touchdown with 1:46 left in the first half.

Boston had second-half touchdown receptions of 38 and 31 yards to make his mark at Ohio State.

"It's a great feeling," Boston said. "Cris Carter is a great athlete and a great player who's made plays all his life. It feels good to be associated with him."

No. 9 Wisconsin 31, Iowa 0--Ron Dayne ran for 164 yards and a touchdown for the Badgers (8-0, 5-0) at Iowa City, Iowa.

Wisconsin won its eighth consecutive game in one season for the first time since 1901. It was also the Badgers' first win in Iowa City since 1974.

Dayne, a 253-pound junior, now has 4,564 yards in his career and is chasing Archie Griffin's Big Ten record of 5,589. Dayne, who had 39 carries, moved past Minnesota's Darrell Thompson for fourth place on the Big Ten career rushing list.

The Badgers, 10th in the nation in total defense with a 271-yard average, held the Hawkeyes to 138 total yards and had a 15-minute advantage in time of possession.

Iowa (3-5, 2-3) got past midfield only twice and had 30 net yards on the ground against the nation's No. 1 rushing defense.

Dayne had 39 carries in running for more than 100 yards for the seventh time this season. He also had his highest rushing total against Iowa after being held to 62 yards as a freshman and getting only 25 last season after leaving with an injury in the first quarter.

Quarterback Mike Samuel ran for 71 yards in 15 carries, including a 37-yard run down the right sideline that set up a 38-yard field goal by Matt Davenport with 4:53 left in the second quarter which gave Wisconsin a 10-0 lead.

Iowa's Ladell Betts had 50 yards on 14 carries to give him 576 yards this season, breaking Sedrick Shaw's school freshman rushing record of 561 yards.

Michigan 21, Indiana 10--Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes to Tai Streets and the Wolverine defense contained Hoosier freshman quarterback Antwaan Randle El at Ann Arbor, Mich. The victory was the fifth in a row for Michigan (5-2, 4-0).

Brady was 18 for 27 for 210 yards with one interception, while Streets had eight receptions for 117 yards, including touchdowns of 51 and four yards.

Randle El led Indiana (3-4, 1-3) to a touchdown on its first possession but was kept in check despite rushing for a game-high 110 yards in 26 carries. He was seven for 22 passing for 65 yards with two interceptions and was sacked five times.

Minnesota 19, Michigan State 18--Sparked by backup quarterback Billy Cockerham, the Golden Gophers (4-3, 1-3) scored nine points in the final 1:47 to end a 17-game losing streak against the Spartans (3-4, 1-2) at Minneapolis.

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