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Thursday, September 2, 2010
Ohio State continues opportunistic ways

By Adam Rittenberg

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State's didn't have the nation's most dominating defense in 2009. Other recent Buckeyes' defenses have boasted better stats and more stars.

But the one thing the 2009 defense did better than others was force mistakes. Ohio State led the Big Ten and tied for third nationally in takeaways with 35.

Most folks, including defensive coordinator Jim Heacock, pegged the 2010 defense to be better. But will it be just as opportunistic as the 2009 unit?

After one game, the answer is yes. Ohio State has forced two turnovers: a pick-six by linebacker Brian Rolle and a fumble forced by cornerback Chimdi Chekwa near the goal line that ended Marshall's most successful drive of the game. The Buckeyes lead 42-7 early in the fourth quarter.

Add in the forced fumble on the opening kickoff, and Ohio State is continuing its opportunistic ways.

A good early sign.