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Ohio State gets defensive about offense

Ohio State has had so much trouble finding the end zone of late, it might as well be looking for buried treasure without a map.

Although the trip to 12-0 has provided as many thrills as any season in Buckeyes history, the increasingly meager contributions from a young offense have forced fans to stock up on nitroglycerin.

But at least one Buckeye bristles at the suggestion that the unit isn't doing its part. Asked if the team can beat Michigan on Saturday with its customary production, junior quarterback Craig Krenzel replied, "Next question."

The offense, though, has wilted in the waning days of the season.

OSU has given up 31 sacks, more than all but Wisconsin in the Big Ten. Krenzel's ability to escape pass rushers has kept the count from being higher.

"Offensively, we've gone out every game and, for the most part, have not made the big mistake to put our defense in a terrible situation," Krenzel said. "When we have, our defense has responded very well."

The Buckeyes have averaged 37.4 points in the seven full games freshman Maurice Clarett has played, 20.6 in the other five. The running back, who has a shoulder stinger, plans to play Saturday.

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