After the first few games of the season the common joke was, "Ohio State can't pass." Last week against Illinois, Ohio State embraced that. Now the joke is on Ron Zook.
The Buckeyes cranked the Tressel-ball knob to 11 on a visit to Champaign, and the box score looks like something you would see from a Georgia Tech or Army game. Fifty-one rushes to just four pass attempts. Quarterback Braxton Miller finished with twice as many rushing yards (34) as passing yards (17).
Part of the Buckeyes success on the ground comes from the return of Dan Herron from suspension; Herron led the team in rushing yards with 114 on a 5 yard-per-carry average, as well as scoring Ohio State's only rushing touchdown. It also helped OSU's cause that the one pass of four that Miller completed was a 17-yard touchdown to Jake Stoneburner.
Of course, nearly shutting out an opponent on defense helps as well. Ohio State held Illinois to 285 yards of total offense and averages of five yards per pass attempt and 3.3 yards per carry. On top of that, Ohio State recovered one fumble and got two interceptions.
Is this a winning formula for the future? If any team has the raw talent on both sides of the ball to do it, it would be Ohio State. However, even after facing three of the five toughest teams in the conference so far (Michigan State, Nebraska, Illinois) Ohio State doesn't get much time to rest after this week's bye.
Let's put on our prognostication hats and try to answer the question: how many games can Ohio State win this year without throwing a pass?