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No. 7 Buckeyes Hand Panthers Worst Defeat in School History, 72-0




No. 7 Buckeyes Hand Panthers Worst Defeat in School History, 72-0

9/21/1996

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Pepe Pearson had three touchdown runs and Joe Germaine threw a pair of scoring passes in a 52-point first half as number seven Ohio State dealt Pittsburgh its worst loss ever, 72-0.

Stanley Jackson threw for a touchdown and ran for another for the Buckeyes (2-0), who pounded an overmatched non-conference foe for the second time in as many games. Ohio State crushed Rice 70-7 in its opener.

It was Ohio State's biggest shutout victory since a 76-0 win over Western Reserve in 1934. Pittsburgh's previous worst loss was a 69-0 setback to Michigan in 1947.

Ohio State, which benched most of its starters after running up a 52-0 halftime lead, has beaten Pittsburgh (1-3) four straight times by a combined 216-45 since a loss in 1988.

"Normally, when you substitute as much as we did today, you are going to turn the ball over and give up big plays, and we didn't do that," Ohio State coach John Cooper said. "But obviously, our first team did not get tested."

Freshman David Boston had two touchdown receptions in the second quarter and put the Panthers in the record book with a 67-yard punt return for a score in the fourth quarter.

For the first time in school history, the Buckeyes put together back-to-back games of 70-plus points and 600-plus yards. Tuning up for back-to-back games against ranked foes Notre Dame and Penn State, Ohio State amassed 28 first downs and 602 total yards.

"I really don't know how good we are," Cooper said. "But I'm sure we're going to find out more next week and the weekend after that. I think we are going to be pretty good, but I don't know that until we're going to go out there and get the job done."

Pittsburgh had four first downs and 120 yards.

"In all my coaching career, I don't believe I've seen a team with more huge linemen on offense," said Pittsburgh coach Johnny Majors. "They have great balance -- power, strength, speed and ability at every position I could see out there."

Joe Germaine shared quarterbacking duties with Jackson and was 8-of-8 for 139 yards and two TDs. Joe Montgomery had 109 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Pearson finished with 103 yards on 24 rushes.

Pearson had TD runs of 16 and nine yards less than two minutes apart to trigger the rout and Jackson had a five-yard scoring jaunt with 2:51 left in the first quarter, giving Ohio State a 21-0 lead.

"I was disappointed in Pepe," Cooper said. "I think he got real tired in the first quarter -- real quick. He will do some extra running after practice tomorrow to improve his conditioning. As you well know, we are going to need him for an entire game real soon."

Germaine hit Demetrious Stanley with a 19-yard TD pass before Pearson's third touchdown, a two-yard run with 10:05 left in the first half. Boston caught scoring tosses of nine yards from Germaine and 12 yards from Jackson around a 21-yard field goal by Josh Jackson.

Ohio State's starters sat down but there was no let-up in the third period. Montgomery had a one-yard touchdown run and Matt Keller added a 22-yarder to make it 65-0 with 4:09 left in the quarter.

Boston's punt return up the right sideline came after Pittsburgh stopped a fourth-and-goal play but were unable to move the ball.

"Football is football," Majors said. "You're out there for 60 minutes and that was a long endurnce today. They made an effort to keep it under 70 points and we wouldn't let them do it. I'm not being sarcastic, that's a fact."

NCAAF   FINAL               1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH     TOTAL
                            ---  ---  ---  ---     -----
        PITTSBURGH            0    0    0    0       0
        OHIO ST (7)          21   31   13    7      72   FINAL
        SCORING SUMMARY
        1ST QTR: OHST - TD, PEPE PEARSON 16 YD RUN (JOSH JACKSON KICK),
                            5:09
                 OHST - TD, PEPE PEARSON 9 YD RUN (JOSH JACKSON KICK), 6:57
                 OHST - TD, STANLEY JACKSON 5 YD RUN (JOSH JACKSON KICK),
                            12:09
        2ND QTR: OHST - TD, DIMITRIOUS STANLEY 19 YD PASS FROM JOE
                            GERMAINE (JOSH JACKSON KICK), 2:53
                 OHST - TD, PEPE PEARSON 2 YD RUN (JOSH JACKSON KICK), 4:55
                 OHST - TD, DAVID BOSTON 9 YD PASS FROM JOE GERMAINE (JOSH
                            JACKSON KICK), 9:39
                 OHST - FG, JOSH JACKSON 21 YD, 13:57
                 OHST - TD, DAVID BOSTON 12 YD PASS FROM STANLEY JACKSON
                            (JOSH JACKSON KICK), 14:43
        3RD QTR: OHST - TD, JOE MONTGOMERY 1 YD RUN (PAT FAILED), 6:41
                 OHST - TD, MATT KELLER 22 YD RUN (JOSH JACKSON KICK),
                            10:51
        4TH QTR: OHST - TD, DAVID BOSTON 67 YD PUNT RETURN (ANDY STAMP
                            KICK), 11:41
                                                                        
                     Pittsburgh     Ohio St 
First downs                   4          29 
Rushed-yards              26-77      74-369 
Passing yards                43         233 
Sacked-yards lost           1-8         1-3 
Return yards                  0         158 
Passes                   7-18-1     14-17-0 
Punts                    8-44.8       0-0.0 
Fumbles-lost                2-2         1-0 
Penalties-yards            3-16        5-67 
Time of possession        19:50       40:10 
Individual Statistics 
RUSHING: Pittsburgh-West 9-63, Duck 6-31, L Williams 5-17,
Gonzalez 2-minus 1, Schneider 2-minus 2, Lytle 1-minus 8, Team
1-minus 23. Ohio St-Montgomery 16-109, Pearson 24-103, Goings
12-56, Je Jackson 6-45, M Keller 6-24, S Jackson 3-23, Springs
3-8, Sanders 2-6, Germaine 2-minus 5.
PASSING: Pittsburgh-Lytle 3-10-0-22, Gonzalez 4-8-1-21. Ohio
St-S Jackson 6-9-0-94, Germaine 8-8-0-139.
RECEIVING: Pittsburgh-Schneider 3-20, Hoffart 2-15, Dinkins
2-8. Ohio St-Jones 2-45, Stanley 2-27, Boston 2-21, Miller
1-43, Redmond 1-22, Pearson 1-19, M Wiley 1-19, Goings 1-15,
Tillman 1-10, Calhoun 1-6, M Keller 1-6.
Att: 93,959