Jeff Simpson / The Lantern
Ohio State has not allowed a point in eight quarters.
That’s 111 plays from scrimmage for the opposition, and zero points.
Shutting out Toledo and Illinois might not merit the praise that blanking USC and Penn State would have, but the Buckeyes still held a pair of offensive juggernauts scoreless.
Entering its meeting with OSU, Toledo had averaged 42.5 points and 558.5 yards per game. The Bucks ceded just 210 yards to the Rockets, while keeping Toledo far away from the end zone throughout the game.
Illinois arrived at The ‘Shoe scoring 27 points per contest while racking up 436.5 yards per game. Sixty minutes later, the Illini were shut out, managing just 170 total yards from scrimmage.
“We knew all along we were going to be a great defense,” safety Jermale Hines said. “Week in and week out, our coaches just push us to be the best we can be.”
It took some time for the defense to gel. In the opening win over Navy, the Midshipmen amassed 27 points, including an 85-yard touchdown pass and another 99-yard drive.
Then, against a typically high-powered USC offense, the defense found its rhythm, holding the Trojans to 18 points.
The coaching staff has started emphasizing the “Silver Bullet” mentality.
“It was something the defense started in 1996,” senior safety Kurt Coleman said. “We fly around and make plays and hit like bullets do. The seniors every year make a game plan of what we want to do and what we expect of ourselves for the year.”
The consecutive shutouts has the defense oozing with confidence.
“We are definitely thriving on the fun we are having,” Coleman said. “We always have a go-get-them attitude. I feel like we are the best of the best out there right now. We have to prove that each and every week and let the fans decide how good they think we are.”
The Buckeyes travel to Bloomington, Ind. to face the Hoosiers on Saturday. OSU has limited Indiana to just 6.5 points per game in the teams’ past four meetings.