Nov 15, 2003
By RUSTY MILLER
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Mike Nugent kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime and No. 4 Ohio State survived its third game this season without scoring an offensive touchdown, beating No. 11 Purdue 16-13 on Saturday.
Nugent could have won the game on the last play of regulation, but Purdue's Bobby Iwuchukwu leaped high to block a 41-yard try.
After Nugent converted on the Buckeyes' opening possession of overtime, Ben Jones missed a 37-yarder of his own that would have kept the game going. Jones also shanked a 28-yard attempt in the third quarter with the game tied at 6.
The victory keeps the Buckeyes (10-1, 6-1) tied with No. 5 Michigan for the Big Ten lead heading into their showdown Saturday in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines beat Northwestern 41-10 on Saturday.
Purdue (8-3, 5-2) lost its sixth in a row to the Buckeyes in Columbus. A year ago, the Boilermakers led Ohio State 6-3 with less than two minutes remaining at home when the Buckeyes' Craig Krenzel threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins on fourth-and-1 for a 10-6 win.
Ohio State, the defending national champion, kept alive its streak of winning close calls. The Buckeyes were 7-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less a year ago and are 5-1 this season - the lone setback a 17-10 loss in the rain at Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes edged 32-point underdog San Diego State 16-13 earlier this season on Will Allen's 100-yard interception return and Nugent's three field goals. They also beat Iowa 19-10 with Jenkins returning a punt for a touchdown and Nugent adding four field goals.
Backup defensive end Mike Kudla pounced on Kyle Orton's fumble in the end
zone with 11:23 left in the fourth quarter to finally break the tie and put the
Buckeyes in front 13-6.
Orton, who completed 27 of 47 passes for 249 yards without an interception, was sandwiched between Ohio State linemen Tim Anderson and Will Smith near the goal line on third-and-7 from the Purdue 8. Anderson reached out and pulled Orton's arm loose from the ball and Kudla scrambled in to fall on the ball.
The Boilermakers punted on their next possession, then took over at their own 8 with 6:48 left. With Orton completing passes of 28 yards to Jerod Void, 18 yards to Kyle Ingraham and 12 yards to Anthony Chambers - and also running for a pivotal 18-yard gain - the Boilermakers drove to a first down at the Ohio State 11.
Orton then took the snap out of a shotgun set, pump-faked a pass to the left, and handed off to Void who skirted right end untouched for the touchdown with 4:36 remaining to tie the game.
Purdue's defense forced Ohio State to punt, and the Boilermakers had a first down at its own 31 with 1:45 left. Orton, however, fumbled a shotgun snap without any contact and Void inadvertently kicked it forward, with Anderson recovering for the Buckeyes to set up a last threat.
After Iwuchukwu blocked Nugent's last-second kick, Purdue won the coin flip at the outset of overtime.
Ohio State took over at the 25 and was unable to get a first down but Nugent, an All-American a year ago, converted on the field-goal try.
Purdue drove to a first down at the 14 on its possession. On the next play, Ohio State cornerback Chris Gamble dropped an Orton pass thrown directly too him that would have ended the game.
Faced with a 4th and 15 at the Ohio State 19, the Boilermakers had to settle for another attempt from Jones. The snap and hold appeared to be ideal, but Jones' kick sailed wide left.
The teams were tied 6-6 at the half, with Purdue failing to get the most out of ideal field position and settling for field goals of 45 and 47 yards by Jones. The Boilermakers started drives twice at the Ohio State 49 and drove to a first down at the Buckeyes 37 another time.
Ohio State stumbled on offense, but picked up field goals of 26 and 52 yards by Mike Nugent.
The Buckeyes totaled 112 yards of offense - 60 on one pass completion from Krenzel to Jenkins that set up Nugent's short field goal.
A crowd of 105,286 booed lustily on the play before Nugent's field goal when Krenzel's fade pass for Jenkins in the left corner of the end zone was broken up by cornerback Jacques Reeves. Replays appeared to show Reeves running into Jenkins before the ball arrived, with the pass deflecting off Reeves' helmet.
The Boilermakers drove from their own 4 to a first down at the Ohio State 12 midway through the third quarter. Two Orton incompletions and a keeper netted two yards, but Jones missed the 28-yard chip shot because of a high snap. He shanked the kick wide to the left in the evening mist.