Big Ten: Chris Ogbonnaya

3Q update: Texas 17, Ohio State 6

January, 5, 2009
1/05/09
10:57
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Texas finally established the run, and the Longhorns have taken total control of this game.

After finishing the first half with minus-9 net rushing yards, Texas ignited its ground game on two touchdown drives. Fozzy Whittaker, who had no carries in the first half, had four touches in the quarter, and star quarterback Colt McCoy started using his legs to make plays. Chris Ogbonnaya also is finding some gaps in the Buckeyes' defense.

Ohio State's defense looks exhausted despite an admirable performance. Texas used a fast pace to march 85 yards to the end zone, as McCoy and his wideouts continue to build a nice rhythm. The Longhorns had 14 first downs in the quarter, while the Buckeyes couldn't move the chains once.

The missed opportunities in the first half are coming back to haunt Ohio State, which can't get anything going. Some odd play-calling and an inability to get Terrelle Pryor running room are dooming the Buckeyes, who ran only 10 plays in the quarter. Chris "Beanie" Wells has been silent since halftime.

After a sluggish first half, Texas opened the second half the way it needed to, with an 80-yard scoring drive. It took a fake punt, another fourth down conversion and two third-and-long conversions, but the Longhorns broke through.

Ohio State continued to help out with three more penalties. Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa was flagged for an obvious pass interference foul, and defensive end Thad Gibson got hit with his second personal foul for a blow to McCoy's head.

Good news on Ohio State special teams stud Shaun Lane, who had to be carted off in the second quarter after sustaining an injury on kickoff coverage. Lane was taken to a local hospital but has movement in all of his limbs.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ohio State survived the dreaded second quarter without major damage, but the Buckeyes should be ahead by more than three points.

Jim Tressel's team has executed its game plan against a favored Texas squad boasting the nation's fourth-highest scoring offense (43.9 points per game). Ohio State has dominated possession time (17:19 vs. 12:14), established a run game with Chris "Beanie" Wells (96 rushing yards) and Terrelle Pryor (42 rushing yards) and put consistent pressure on Colt McCoy.

But will it be enough?

Despite a heroic performance by the defense, Ohio State managed only two field goals. Five penalties and lack of execution -- dropped passes, Pryor running out of bounds too soon -- have prevented the Buckeyes from reaching the end zone. An offense that at times relied solely on big plays can't seem to hit the home run against Texas. Ohio State has run 22 plays in Longhorns territory and scored only six points. Not good enough.

But Pryor has been able to find room around the edges, and Ohio State should emphasize outside runs in the second half.

Texas simply needs to run the ball. The Longhorns finished the first half with minus-9 rushing yards and only 10 net yards by running backs Chris Ogbonnaya and Cody Johnson. McCoy has been efficient (20 of 27 passing) but threw an interception near the goal line with three seconds left, preventing a game-tying field-goal attempt.

Both defensive lines are getting pressure, but Ohio State's front has been more impressive. Thad Gibson and Doug Worthington both have sacks, and McCoy is constantly under duress. But Quad Cosby and the Texas wideouts are making plays, and it's only a matter of time before the Longhorns find the end zone.

On the health front, Ohio State lost special teams standout Shaun Lane to an apparent shoulder injury on kickoff coverage with 5:34 left. There's no update on Lane yet, but it's safe to say he won't be back tonight after being carted off.

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