|From third-string to in charge: QB Boeckman responds in No. 8 Ohio State's latest win|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 16 September 2007 14:33|
SEATTLE (AP) -Sure, it would have been easy for Todd Boeckman to hand off to Chris Wells. Again.|
Wells had 15 carries for 78 yards at that point and his 16th carry had already been called.
Instead, Boeckman did what Ohio State has been wanting the quarterback to do.
Trailing Washington 7-3 five minutes into third quarter Saturday and seeing Washington's safety readying to defend another Wells run, Boeckman audibled. He sent Brian Robiskie running past freshman cornerback Vonzell McDowell. Robiskie caught the perfect throw in stride and cruised in for a 68-yard touchdown that gave the Buckeyes a 10-7 lead.
``They gave me a check play and I saw the safety cheat up,'' said Boeckman, who replaced Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
Boeckman's decision and TD started a barrage for the Buckeyes and they went on to beat the Huskies 33-14.
``It was a huge win for us. They said this was going to be a steppingstone game for them,'' Boeckman said of the Huskies, who were 2-0 for the first time since 2001. ``I think we took that personally.''
Boeckman was 14-for-25 for 218 yards passing.
Ohio State's 21st consecutive regular-season victory gave coach Jim Tressel his 200th career win.
Tressel and Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech became the 10th and 11th active coaches in college football with 200 victories on Saturday. Among active major college coaches only Bobby Bowden (368 wins) and Joe Paterno (366) have more.
``It reminds me I'm getting up there in years,'' the 54-year-old Tressel said.
If Boeckman responds they way he did in his first road start, Tressel can look forward to plenty more victories this season.
``I thought that Todd did grow,'' Tressel said.
``In that second half he came up and made some big plays.''
What he didn't make were mistakes. No sacks. No turnovers - though Washington dropped two interceptions in the first half.
Wells and senior co-captain Kirk Barton both noted Boeckman, who is usually laid-back, also angrily berated his teammates in the huddle and during halftime for what the quarterback called ``dumb penalties'' and careless plays.
``It was a little side of him I hadn't seen yet,'' said Barton, a four-year starter.
``He's everything you want in a quarterback.''
In the first half, Boeckman was just 7-for-15. Ohio State, relying on Wells' inside running, trailed despite going into Washington territory three times.
``In the first half, I think the crowd kind of got to me a little bit,'' Boeckman said. ``In the second half I calmed down, relaxed.''
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