2004: Ohio State 32, Michigan State 19 – The electric Ted Ginn Jr. sparked Ohio State to a bowl eligibility-clinching win at Spartan Stadium. The freshman scored three touchdowns – exactly what he told wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell he’d do before the game.
“It’s kind of odd,” the freshman said in the Nov. 13, 2004, edition of BSB, “because I told my coach during practice this week that I was going to try to get three touchdowns.”
And how did Hazell respond?
“He said, ‘OK Ted,’ ” Ginn said.
Ginn had already impressed in previous games, but the effort against Michigan State was his breakout performance. Ginn scored on a reverse, a punt return and a reception. The last score, on a 58-yard reception, put the Buckeyes (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten) ahead for good, 23-19, with 1:37 left in the fourth quarter.
The Cleveland Glenville product finished with 169 yards of offense – 21 on the ground, 77 through the air and 71 on punt returns. He would have finished with approximately 200 if not for a long run that was called back by a penalty.
Ohio State won for the third straight time but had to work hard to best the Spartans. The Buckeyes raced out to a 17-0 lead before squandering that margin and falling behind 19-17 with 3:06 left in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, OSU marched 76 yards for a game-winning score.
The Buckeyes had only 175 yards of total offense before their final drive, but the offense finally got on track when it mattered most. On the fourth play of the march, sophomore Troy Smith delivered a perfect ball to Ginn as he crossed over the middle of the field at midfield. Ginn turned on the jets and left trailing Michigan State cornerback Jaren Hayes in the dust as Ginn ran for a 58-yard touchdown.
Ginn had earlier scored on a 17-yard run on a reverse and a 60-yard punt return, both coming in the first quarter.
“I’m just trying to do what I can to help this team win some games,” Ginn said. “When I get the ball, I’m thinking about taking it all the way every time. Today, I had a couple of pretty good lanes and some great blocks. If I can get that far in the open I’m usually thinking nothing but six (points).”
Ohio State capped the victory with a 51-yard touchdown run by Maurice Hall with 25 seconds left in the game. Kicker Mike Nugent added a 53-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Smith completed 13 of 21 passes for 138 yards with Ginn as his No. 1 target. Smith’s former high school teammate caught four passes for 77 yards, while Santonio Holmes caught four passes for 41 yards. Hall led all rushers with 83 yards on 11 carries.
Defensively, Bobby Carpenter led OSU with 13 tackles. Aston Youboty, A.J. Hawk and Brandon Mitchell each intercepted a pass.
1999: No. 19 Michigan State 23, No. 20 Ohio State 7 – A week after the Buckeyes piled up 534 yards and won 41-11 against Iowa, the wheels fell off in East Lansing. Ohio State (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) managed just 79 yards of total offense in a lopsided loss to the Spartans.
Ohio State head coach John Cooper had a quick answer when asked if he was disappointed in the progress of his offense.
“Without a doubt,” the coach said in the Nov. 13, 1999, edition of BSB. “What can I say?”
Two teams that appeared to be heading in different directions faced off at Spartan Stadium. The Buckeyes had won two straight and entered with positive momentum while MSU was coming off losses to Purdue and Wisconsin. However, it was the Spartans that shone on a sunny afternoon.
“It’s frustrating,” Cooper said. “I know we can play better than we played today. But I also have respect for Michigan State’s football team.
“Three weeks ago, they were ranked No. 5 in the country. They beat Michigan and they beat Notre Dame. They have a lot of good, senior leadership on that team. We’re just not playing as well as we can right now.
“I’m the head coach, so I take my responsibility.”
The opening drive for the Ohio State offense told the story. Ohio State drove 54 yards in its first seven plays and looked to be in scoring position with a first down at the MSU 26, but after two sacks sandwiched with a second-down incompletion, the Buckeyes were forced to punt. Ohio State was forced to punt after three-and-outs on eight of its first nine possessions.
The Spartans took command with a 17-point second quarter. Following a Paul Edinger 35-yard field goal that opened the scoring, MSU scored two touchdowns before halftime. The first came on a 17-yard reception by Plaxico Burress and the second came on a 1-yard TD catch by Chris Baker from quarterback Bill Burke.
Ohio State’s lone score came in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Steve Bellisari to Michael Wiley. However, MSU added a pair of 33-yard field goals by Edinger to close the scoring in the third and fourth quarters.
Bellisari completed 7 of 16 passes for 61 yards. Wiley led a paltry rushing attack with a mere 23 yards on 12 carries, and Reggie Germany caught four passes for 28 yards. Gary Berry (13), Mike Doss (12) and Jason Ott (10) each finished in double digits in tackles.
The loss left several Buckeyes looking for answers.
“I don’t know if there is a new problem,” offensive tackle Tyson Walter said. “It’s the same-old, same-old. That’s not a good thing. The last few years around here we’ve been accustomed to having 500 yards total offense.
“Now we’re just not showing up for the game at all.”
Added linebacker Na’il Diggs: “I don’t think we showed up today. I don’t think they’re that good of a team. I think we have better talent than they do. It’s all about what team executed better today.”
Ohio State now needed a win against Illinois or Michigan in the final two weeks just to qualify for a bowl.
1993: No. 3 Ohio State 14, No. 15 Wisconsin 14 – A game that was supposed to help clear up the Rose Bowl picture did the opposite when the Buckeyes and Badgers played to a tie at Camp Randall Stadium.
It could have been worse for the Buckeyes if not for junior Marlon Kerner, who blocked a potential game-winning field goal attempt by Wisconsin kicker Rick Schnetzky with seven seconds left in the game. That, along with a 99-yard touchdown drive led by backup quarterback Bret Powers, allowed OSU to escape with a tie.
“Ties suck because you don’t know how to feel,” Powers said in the Nov. 13, 1993, edition of BSB. “You don’t want to feel good because you didn’t win, and you don’t want to feel bad because you didn’t lose.”
Had Ohio State won, the Buckeyes would have been one game away from clinched their first Big Ten championship since 1986 and their first trip to Pasadena since 1984. Now the Buckeyes (8-0-1, 5-0-1 Big Ten) need a wins against Indiana and Michigan to go to California.
If the Buckeyes and Badgers tie, Wisconsin would go to Pasadena because the Badgers have had a longer wait between Rose Bowl bids.
The tie overshadowed some late heroics by the Ohio State offense. Trailing 14-7 and starting from near their own goal line, the Buckeyes needed only 46 seconds to turn the game on its head. Powers connected with junior Joey Galloway on a 15-yard pass on first down and then the pair connected for a 47-yard strike.
With momentum on their side, Powers connected with tight end Cedric Saunders on an 11-yard gain before finding Galloway again for a 26-yard touchdown that tied the game.
Wisconsin marched down the field on its ensuing drive, reaching the OSU 15-yard line before letting the clock run down to 0:07. Kerner then saved the day for the Buckeyes by blocking Schnetzky’s potential game-winner.
Raymont Harris, who scored Ohio State’s other touchdown on a 3-yard run in the first quarter, finished with 99 yards on 19 carries. Bobby Hoying completed 12 of 22 passes for 177 yards and two interceptions, while Powers completed 5 of 11 passes for 113 yards with a TD and an interception. Galloway caught six passes for 150 yards. Lorenzo Styles led the defense with 17 tackles, and Walter Taylor intercepted a pass.
1982: Ohio State 35, Minnesota 10 – The one-two rushing tandem of Tim Spencer and Jimmy Gayle led the Buckeyes to a blowout win over the Golden Gophers at Ohio Stadium.
Spencer, who became only the second tailback in OSU history to gain more than 1,000 yards in two consecutive seasons, rushed for 133 yards in 22 carries, had 133 yards on 22 carries and Gayle added 76 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Mike Tomczak did his part, completing 13 of 17 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown.
But according to Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce the Buckeyes (6-3, 5-1 Big Ten) won because of its defense. Ohio State held Minnesota to 180 yards rushing and 120 yards passing.
“There’s your answer fellas,” Bruce said in the Nov. 13, 1982, edition of BSB. “I think they’re averaging something like 280 (277 to be exact). Goodness gracious, 300 yards total offense to (Ohio State’s) 511. I’d take that any day. I’d take that score any day, too.”
Ohio State raced out to a 17-3 halftime lead and added two more third-quarter touchdowns. Four of the Buckeyes’ five touchdowns can via the ground.
1976: No. 8 Ohio State 42, Illinois 10 – The biggest news as the Buckeyes crushed visiting Illinois was that Purdue had upset No. 1 Michigan in West Lafayette. The U-M upset, coming thanks to a Rock Supan 23-yard field goal that gave Purdue a 16-14 win, and OSU’s victory put Ohio State (7-1-1, 6-0) in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. Pete Johnson led the attack against Illinois, scoring four touchdowns.
1971: Michigan State 17, No. 9 Ohio State 10 – The Buckeyes held talented MSU rusher Eric “The Flea” Allen to 79 yards a week after he ran for 350 against Purdue, but it wasn’t enough as the Spartans upset Ohio State at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State (6-2) threw three interceptions, lost a fumble and completed only two of 15 pass attempts.
1965: Ohio State 17, Indiana 10 – The Buckeyes (5-2) overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit to beat visiting Indiana. Ohio State tied the score with a 26-yard field goal by Bob Funk and earned the victory on a late touchdown in the fourth quarter. Fullback Willard Sander scored the game-winning points on a 2-yard touchdown run.
1954: No. 2 Ohio State 26, No. 20 Pitt 0 – The Buckeyes remained unbeaten with a thumping of visiting Pittsburgh. Ohio State (7-0) kept pace with fellow conference unbeaten Michigan with the victory. The Buckeyes and Wolverines would meet in two weeks at Ohio Stadium.
1948: Ohio State 41, Pitt 0 – Head coach Wes Felser used 42 players, including members of OSU’s junior varsity squad, in the rout of the visiting Panthers. Ohio State improved to 5-2 on the season.
1943: Ohio State 46, Pitt 6 – Ohio State donned its white jerseys and scarlet pants for first time in 1943 and the new look meant new luck for the Buckeyes (2-5), who broke a four game losing streak. Ohio State scored all of its points in the first half.
1937: Indiana 10, No. 8 Ohio State 0 – Head coach Francis Schmidt had one of his teams shut out by a conference foe for the first time when the Hoosiers shocked the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State (4-2) had a chance to start the game with a score when the Buckeyes drove all the way to the IU 1-yard line before a Mike Kabealo fumble was recovered by the Hoosiers.
George “Sparky” Miller made a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter, and Frank Petrick added a 12-yard TD reception from Frank Filchock to cap the scoring for Indiana.
1926: Ohio State 13, Wilmington 7 – Ohio State prepped for the upcoming game against Michigan with a win against Wilmington. Head coach John Wilce was not at the game. He was in Ann Arbor to scout Michigan as the Wolverines blanked Wisconsin 37-0. The Buckeyes, led by assistant coach Jim Oberlander, had little trouble against Wilmington. The third team played most of the game, and all the starters were rested.
1920: Ohio State 14, Michigan 7 – The Buckeyes improved to 6-0 with a win over the rival Wolverines on homecoming at Ohio Field. Michigan led 7-0 in the second quarter before Ohio State rallied with a pair of scores. The first came on a 1-yard touchdown run by Herbert Henderson on fourth down, and the game-winning score came early in the fourth quarter when Iolas Huffman blocked a Michigan punt and fell on the loose ball in the end zone.
1915: Ohio State 10, Indiana 9 – Ohio State earned its first ever victory at home against the Hoosiers in a narrow win at Ohio Field. The game was won by the OSU defense, which stopped Indiana deep in Buckeye territory late in the game on downs.
1909: Case 11, Ohio State 3 – The Buckeyes (5-2) had a two-game winning streak snapped a week before hosting Vanderbilt.
1897: West Virginia 28, Ohio State 0 – Ohio State fell to 1-5-1 with a loss at West Virginia. The Buckeyes had not won since their season-opening 6-0 victory Oct. 6 against Ohio Medical.