September 23, 2007
Out of the tunnel and into the fire
If Saturday's Northwestern-Ohio State game were a boxing match, the referee would have stepped between the two combatants and ended the fight in the first round. The Buckeyes landed four thunderous shots in that first period, leaving the Wildcats behind 28-0, dazed and slumped against the ropes.
But unfortunately for Northwestern there are no technical knockouts in football, so the Wildcats had to endure three more quarters of embarrassment before they were allowed to leave the arena as 58-7 losers.
It was the 500th game for Ohio State at Ohio Stadium, and it looked like the Buckeyes turned back the clock to honor its venerable old field. Northwestern certainly did its part, looking like the early '80s Mildcats teams that endured beatings like this one on a weekly basis.
The Wildcats took themselves out of the game early on Saturday by continuing their maddening trend of stumbling out of the gate. But while the Wildcats were able to rally to beat Nevada and come within a play of besting Duke, they found out that a slow start against a team like No. 8 Ohio State in a cauldron like The Horseshoe will put you on the harp seal's end of a clubbing.
Simply put, the first quarter was a horror show for Northwestern. OSU quarterback Todd Boeckman and receiver Brian Robiskie looked like Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, connecting on touchdown passes that covered 40 and 28 yards in the first 3:29, victimizing each of the two seniors in Northwestern's defensive backfield and staking the Buckeyes to a 14-0.
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