EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Ohio State had its hands full with Northwestern. The Buckeyes did enough to win.
The Buckeyes ran the nation's longest win streak to 18 games, rallying from 10 down in the second half for a 40-30 victory over Northwestern at a wet and loud Ryan Field on Saturday.
Whether they helped their national standing is another issue, and that was one receiver Corey Brown really didn't want to address afterward.
"We're not worried about any of the media stuff," he said. "We're just going to play for ourselves and keep winning and do what we do."
The Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) are unbeaten since Urban Meyer took over as coach last season. They won all 12 games a year ago but were banned from a bowl game because of NCAA sanctions.
Now, they're eyeing a championship. The problem is that their out-of-conference schedule lacks a marquee opponent, and it's not easy to turn heads playing in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes cleared two of their biggest hurdles by beating Wisconsin and Northwestern the past two weeks and have home games against Iowa and Penn State coming next. They don't play another team currently ranked until the regular-season finale against Michigan.
The Big Ten championship comes a week later, and they could go into the bowl season unbeaten.
"You'd sit next to a guy who's throwing a no-hitter and say hey dude you've got a no-hitter going," Meyer said. "No I'm not even thinking about that. We're just going to get ready for the stretch run."
The Buckeyes certainly looked like a team that could use some fine-tuning on Saturday, and they might have fallen if not for Carlos Hyde.
All he did was run for a career-high 168 yards and three second-half touchdowns to lift Ohio State on a rainy night with a prime-time audience watching.
Northwestern, a team trying to show it can beat the Big Ten's best, looked like it just might do that with a 23-13 lead in the third quarter.