Night games are all the rage in college football right now, and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer wants more of them as he tries to do whatever he can to make his team stay as one of the spotlight squads in college football.
Meyer was likely happy Monday afternoon then when the Big Ten announced its slate of prime-time league games set for ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, with Ohio State being tabbed for three such games during the 2013 campaign.
Even better news is that two of those three games will be staged in Ohio Stadium, as OSU will stage multiple home prime-time games for the first time ever. The Buckeyes will host Wisconsin for an 8 p.m. start on Sept. 28 and also bring Penn State into the Horseshoe for an 8 p.m. game Oct. 26.
The Buckeyes will also hit the road to take on Northwestern in prime time Oct. 5.
There have been 12 night games in Ohio Stadium history, with the Buckeyes having plenty of success the past two seasons. The Buckeyes played at night in the venerable stadium against Wisconsin in 2011, downing the Badgers by a 33-29 score on a last-minute touchdown pass from Braxton Miller to Devin Smith in one of the most classic affairs in stadium history.
Last year’s night start wasn’t as close but it was still plenty enjoyable to Buckeye fans, who watched their squad dismantle Nebraska, 63-38, in the legendary programs’ first-ever Big Ten meeting in Columbus.
Ohio State also defeated Marshall in 2010 in the Horseshoe, ending a three-game home losing streak in night games. Included in that was a 2008 loss to Penn State by a 13-6 score when the Nittany Lions came from behind in the final quarter and took advantage of a fumble by freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor to score the winning TD.
One of Ohio State’s great night wins – a 2001 domination – has come against Northwestern, but the late trip to Evanston will allow the Buckeyes the chance to make up for one of their most disappointing prime-time losses, a 33-27 OT score in 2004 that snapped the Wildcats’ 33-year winless streak against OSU.