Buckeyes concerned as they brace for next two opponents

Published 1:35 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009

COLUMBUS — What’s brewing today with the 2009 Ohio State Buckeyes …

BUCKEYES BUZZ: Two numbers are scaring a lot of Ohio State fans.

— The two teams who have beaten the Buckeyes this season have a combined record of 9-8.

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— The Buckeyes’ next two opponents have a combined record of 17-1.

No wonder there’s an uneasy feeling among the faithful. Half are confident the Buckeyes can run the table, lock up at least a share of a fifth straight Big Ten crown and play in a Bowl Championship Series game.

The other half figure three huge games in a row — at Penn State (8-1), home with Iowa (9-0) and at Michigan (5-4) — is asking too much of a young team. They figure the Buckeyes will falter somewhere.

Either way, there’s plenty of angst to go around.

Imagine the best possible scenario for Ohio State. The Buckeyes win all three games, go 10-2 and earn a BCS berth in the Rose Bowl. Even that has a bittersweet tinge.

The likely opponent? The Red-hot Oregon Ducks, who flat destroyed Southern California — which won at Ohio State — by a 47-20 count on Saturday night.

NO PETTREY: Jim Tressel would not disclose the severity after Saturday’s New Mexico State game of K Aaron Pettrey’s right (kicking) leg injury other than to say “he got banged up pretty good.”

Ohio State officials late on Monday afternoon would say only that Pettrey would miss the Penn State game.

The Columbus Dispatch, citing Pettrey’s mother Lillian, said Pettrey tore the medial collateral ligament in his knee, would have surgery on Tuesday and would miss the rest of the regular season.

Pettrey is the Big Ten’s leading scorer at 8 points per game.

TEAM AWARDS: Each week Ohio State’s coaching staff selects its players of the week. The envelope, please …

— The player of the week on defense is LB Ross Homan, who had seven tackles and an interception.

— The offensive honoree is WR Dane Sanzenbacher, who had two TD catches.

— Singled out on special teams was DB Donnie Evege, who had three tackles.

Other awards dished out include TE Jake Ballard as the Jim Parker lineman of the week; S Anderson Russell as the top player on the back seven on defense; and scout team players of the week QB Kenny Guiton, LB Grant Dziak and RB Joe Gantz.

CONFERENCE KUDOS: The Big Ten’s players of the week are Minnesota QB Adam Weber (416 yards, 5 TDs passing in a win over Michigan State); Minnesota DT Garrett Brown (seven tackles, three for a loss, a fumble caused and one recovered); Wisconsin LB Chris Borland (a native of Kettering, who had four tackles and one for a loss in a shutout of Purdue); and Michigan State KR Keshawn Martin (44 ypr, including a 93-yarder for a TD).

BCS BABBLE: Florida remains No. 1, followed by Texas, Alabama, Iowa, Cincinnati, TCU, Boise State, Oregon, LSU and Georgia Tech in the lateionship Series rankings.

Ohio State is No. 16 and Penn State 11th.