SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Ticker) -- Ohio State proved it knows how to win in the face of adversity.
Playing without starting quarterback Troy Smith, 22nd-ranked Ohio State dominated Oklahoma State, 33-7, in the Alamo Bowl.
Ohio State (8-4) posted a 4-1 record in Smith's five starts this season, including a 37-21 upset of archrival Michigan. Smith passed for 241 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 145 yards and a score against the Wolverines amid the distraction of former Buckeye Maurice Clarett's claims of improper benefits being given to players by coaches and boosters.
Justin Zwick, who was benched after the Buckeyes lost their first three Big Ten Conference contests, was back as the starter and played well, while Ohio State's defense was dominant.
The Buckeyes opened the scoring just under three minutes into the game when Zwick hit Anthony Gonzalez for a 23-yard touchdown. Ohio State raced out to a 23-0 lead at the half and never looked back.
"I'm happy for the team and excited for the future," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "There's no secret, our guys work hard. We just put our shovel in the ground and keep on digging."
Zwick completed 17-of-27 passes for 189 yards with no interceptions.
"They came out quick and they hit us early," Oklahoma State safety Vernon Grant said. "We just couldn't get our offense rolling. They made some key plays and we weren't in the game."
Mike Nugent, the 2004 Lou Groza Award winner, kicked four field goals for Ohio State - including three in the first half.
"Ohio State is not far removed from a national championship, they are very talented," Oklahoma State coach Les Miles said. "Certainly they deserved the solid victory that they got."
Oklahoma State (7-5) never was able to get anything going against Ohio State's swarming defense. Shawn Willis scored on a four-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to avoid a shutout.
Vernand Morency, who entered the game eighth in the country in rushing at 145.4 yards per game, was limited to 20 on eight carries for Oklahoma State.
"We could not move the football or protect our passer effectively," Miles said. "A very talented Ohio State defensive front took us out of our rhythm."