Jody Victor: The No. 1-ranked Buckeyes take on Northern Illinois in the 2006 opener for Ohio State. The game will kick off Saturday at 3:36 p.m. and will be available to a regional audience on ABC television. You can bet Steve, Joe and I will be tuned in for the Hi-Def broadcast. Watching on the 110″ wide screen is a real treat. The guys from Audio-Corner in Canton, Ohio did an incredible job of installing the state of the art equipment we will be using. Hats off to Shawn and Jeff!
The Buckeyes return eight starters on offense and another two on the defensive side. Led by Heisman Trophy candidates Troy Smith at quarterback and Ted Ginn Jr. at receiver, the Buckeye offense has been lauded throughout the offseason for its high-octane potential, which was last put on display in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl victory (34-20) over Notre Dame. The Ohio State defense, bolstered by an experienced defensive line, is anchored by senior linemen Quinn Pitcock, David Patterson, and Jay Richardson.
Ohio State, Big Ten co-champion in 2005, has won 39 of its last 40 non-conference games in Ohio Stadium since a 1990 loss against the University of Southern California.
Jim Tressel, Ohio State head coach, said, “I think we have a lot of work to do to live up to the expectations that are out there. But if we play up to our capability, the sky is the limit. I hope we are thinking more about getting better as a team than we are about being No. 1.”