OHIO STATE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Rutgers brings out the best in Buckeyes WR Dixon


COLUMBUS – Ohio State wide receiver Johnnie Dixon laughed when he was asked if he might have something against Rutgers.

“No, I don’t. My best friend plays for Rutgers,” he said.

The reason for the question was that on Saturday for the second year in a row, Dixon caught two long touchdown passes in Ohio State routs of Rutgers.

Saturday, he started the scoring in OSU’s 52-3 win over the Scarlet Knights with 38-yard touchdown catch on a Dwayne Haskins throw, then caught a 44-yard scoring pass from Haskins in the third quarter.

Last season, he had touchdown catches of 70 yards and 39 yards when OSU won 56-0 at Rutgers.

In the last two seasons, Dixon has caught 23 passes and 10 of them have been for touchdowns. He has two touchdowns catches in four of the last eight games in which he has caught a pass.

Dixon might be the only one who doesn’t think having 43 percent of his catches the last two years go for touchdowns is exceptional.

“I just hope God continues to bless me,” he said when asked how he has done that. “I don’t think I’m the only guy. We have a group of guys who can do the same thing.”


PLAYING TIME FOR CUPP: Leipsic’s Gavin Cupp played much of the second half at left guard for Ohio State on Saturday.

Cupp is a 6-4, 308-pound redshirt sophomore.

SMALL CROWD: Saturday’s announced attendance of 93,057 was the first time Ohio State has attracted fewer than 100,000 fans since the Kent State game in 2002.

YOUNG WON’T SIT OUT: Defensive end Chase Young had two sacks but also picked up two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Saturday.

Those penalties will not result in him missing any time against TCU this Saturday, though.

The first penalty came when he spiked the football after sacking Rutgers quarterback Artur Sitkowski in the first half. The second was for running on to the field to celebrate a second-half interception by Shaun Wade.

FIRSTS: Kendall Sheffield’s interception and Wade’s interception were the first of their Ohio State careers. Tight end Luke Farrell’s touchdown catch was the first of his career.

MILESTONE WIN: Ohio State’s win was the 900th in the history of its football program. However, that number does not count the 12 games the 2010 team won on the field which were vacated.

LAURINAITIS A HALL OF FAMER: Linebacker James Laurinaitis was among the athletes who joined OSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame over the weekend.

He was a three-time consensus All-American from 2006-2008.

CHUGUNOV’S DEBUT: No. 3 quarterback Chris Chugunov got in for one snap in the second half when Tate Martell was shaken up, which was his first action at Ohio State since doing a graduate transfer from West Virginia.

By Jim Naveau

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