Defense keys rout of Marshall
Published: Friday, September 3, 2010
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
While the Buckeye offense took off with speeding scoring drives early in the game, it was the Buckeye defense, made up of veteran players that continually stood strong against Marshall, completely shutting out the Thundering Herd's offense.
Moeller returns to duty
Senior safety Tyler Moeller returned to the field against Marshall after sitting out the entire season last year due to injuries from an assault against him.
"I felt like I really was back to where I had been before," Moeller said. "It's a blessing to go through everything that I went through and get back out there again."
Moeller led the team in tackles with six, including a sack against Anderson late in the third quarter for a loss of six yards.
"He really didn't even see me coming, that was a dream shot right there," Moeller said of his sack early in the second half.
After being away from competition for a year and a half, Moeller said the toughest thing was for him to get back into a mental state of toughness.
"I had to get back to loving running around and hitting people," Moeller said. "I took a long time off and I kind of forget what it was like to be in a football game. But when I saw that crowd, it all came back to me."
Rolle in right place at right time
With three minutes left in the first half, Brian Rolle intercepted a pass thrown by Marshall quarterback Brian Anderson around the Marshall 30-yard line and returned it for a touchdown to put the Buckeyes up 35-7.
"The interception was a lot of fun," Rolle said. "It happened a lot like in the Illinois game last year. He happened to make the pass right where I was, and I was able to capitalize on it."
Defense pitches 'shutout'
The veteran Buckeye defense held Marshall to just 67 rushing yards, 155 passing yards and zero offensive points.
"Our defense did a great job defending the run," said Ross Homan, senior linebacker and captain. "We came to the game with a great scheme that the coaches designed and everyone did their job and executed."
Special teams unit struggles in opener
While the defense was able to shut out the Herd, the special teams units had less luck. Marshall's only score came from a blocked field goal that Ahmed Shakoor returned to the OSU end zone with two minutes left in the first quarter, bringing the score to 14-7.
"We just didn't protect the gap on the field goal," said OSU coach Jim Tressel. "As far as the kickoff coverage, we sure hope it (improves by next week)."
Marshall averaged 24.7 yards on seven kickoff returns, including a 63-yard return.
Saine breaks out
The Buckeye offense took off in the first quarter, with 14 quick points. The combined time of the first three scoring possessions was three minutes and 15 seconds, as OSU took a 21-7 lead with one minute left in the first quarter.
OSU then went eight minutes without scoring until senior running back Brandon Saine took off with a 45-yard touchdown.
Earlier in the game, Saine scored from 40 yards out. He finished with 103 yards on nine carries.
"I did it all courtesy of the offensive line and the fullbacks," Saine said. "On one of the runs I was untouched."
Sanzenbacher continues legacy of long touchdowns
In the first quarter, receiver Dane Sanzenbacher hauled in a 65-yard touchdown.
"We knew coming into that drive that we were going to have to get the momentum back," Sanzenbacher said of the drive, which followed Marshall's touchdown.
Last year, Sanzenbacher had a 38-yard touchdown reception in the season opener against Navy, which the Buckeyes won 31-27, and caught a 76-yard pass for a touchdown in a 38-0 win over Toledo.