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•Galloway spent Saturday accelerating past Northwestern's cornerbacks. He caught six balls for 119 yards and scored the Buckeyes' third touchdown—and his sixth of the season—on a reverse.
•Tailback Butler By'not'e, who scored Ohio States first touchdown against the Wildcats, is the speediest man in college football and also its leader in apostrophes. Both titles are unofficial. Two years in a row By'not'e has outraced all comers in the University Football 40, which takes place at the Stanford Invitational track meet in the spring. Next year By'not'e will run sprints for the defending Big Ten champion Buckeye track team, as will wide receiver Chris Sanders, who has long-jumped 26'9¾".
•Outside linebacker Craig Powell is a defender with serious wheels. Against Washington he ran the width of the field and caught Husky tailback Beno Bryant—who runs the 40 in 4.31 seconds—saving a touchdown.
•Even Dan (Big Daddy) Wilkinson, the Buckeyes' 6'5", 305-pound defensive tackle, can motor. Big Daddy ran the 40 in 4.87 three years ago—when he weighed 350. Now that Wilkinson is down to a gaminesque three bills, he is even faster.
Meanwhile, that eerie silence emanating from the the Ohio State locker room is...harmony. "This place was a carnival for a while," says quarterback Bobby Hoying. "The year I got here , we went 7-4-1, and everybody wondered if Coach Cooper was going to be here that much longer."
Cooper kept his job, but the following August, starting tailback Robert Smith quit his. Smith, who now plays for the Minnesota Vikings, walked off the team, claiming he had been instructed by assistant coach Elliot Uzelac to skip classes in a summer school premed course in order to be on the field for double sessions. Uzelac denied the allegation, but he eventually lost his job, and the fallout from the incident made Cooper's hold on his position even more tenuous.
Rumors about Cooper's status continued to distract the team last fall. Gee announced in midseason that he would review Cooper's contract at the end of the year, triggering intense speculation. Then a local radio station reported, incorrectly, that Cooper had resigned to take the coaching job at Arkansas.
Finally came the Wolverine drama. "Our jobs, our futures, the security of our families, came down to one play," recalls quarterback coach Ron Hudson. "If we get [the touchdown], we got a chance. If we don't, we're gone."
The Buckeyes' reprieve—and their current return to prominence—shows that even a well-coached team needs a little luck. That's what Cooper had in recruiting strong safety Chico Nelson, who hails from Sarasota, Fla. Wooed by all the football powers in his state, Nelson chose to matriculate in Columbus. Why? "Two reasons," he says. "I remembered seeing [former Buckeye receiver] Cris Carter on TV wearing red Nikes. I wanted to wear red Nikes. And I wanted to see snow."
Nelson, a defensive co-captain who had one of Ohio State's five interceptions on Saturday, has seen plenty of snow. His opponents have seen stars. The man is a headhunter. "In the spring game two years ago," says defensive coordinator Bill Young, "he hit [tight end] Cedric Saunders so hard, we thought he'd knocked Cedric's head off. His helmet flew off, his mouthpiece came out. It scared us all."