There is a track surrounding the football field at Ohio Stadium.
And after No. 16 Ohio State defeated No. 12 Washington, 21-12, Saturday night, Buckeye Coach John Cooper suggested that is not a coincidence.
“I think our players are sick and tired of hearing about how fast everybody else is,” Cooper said. “We’ve got guys on the track team that won the Big Ten championship. Our players are as quick as anybody’s. We’ve got some speed on our football team, too.”
That became evident in the fourth quarter when Butler By’not’e ran 49 yards on a sprint draw to put the final touches on the victory.
“This grass field takes a lot out of your legs,” Cooper said. “It makes you tired in the fourth quarter.”
By’not’e was fresh. He had carried only twice before his big run, losing five yards.
He took the handoff from quarterback Bob Hoying and ran up the middle, then cut to the left sideline and outraced the last defender for the decisive score.
Ohio State got the most from its big plays, completing pass plays for 35, 32, 26, 19, 18 and 12 yards, and running for 49, 13, 11, 10 and 10 yards. Whenever the Buckeyes needed a chunk of yardage, they got it.
Washington (1-1) had won 11 consecutive regular-season games against Big Ten teams. The Huskies had opened with a convincing 31-14 victory over nationally ranked Stanford last week.
“We were in it right up until that last touchdown,” Washington Coach Jim Lambright said. “You have to make the plays in the opponent’s back yard. And we didn’t.”
Ohio State limited the Huskies to 277 yards, including only 85 rushing. The Buckeyes ran for 183 and passed for 142.
Napoleon Kaufman, who had 24 carries for 195 yards against Stanford, had 51 yards in 13 carries to lead the Huskies.