Freshman tailback Lydell Ross carried the ball 25 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns in OSU's Big Ten opener at Bloomington, Ind.
Through the first two games of the season vs. Akron and UCLA, Ross had only 17 yards on six carries. However, the Buckeyes rushed the ball 53 times vs. Indiana and Ross netted the first 100-yard rushing game by an Ohio State freshman in 11 years.
"It is almost like a dream come true to come out here as a freshman and for us to win like that," Ross told Buckeye Sports Bulletin.
Starting tailback Jonathan Wells also had 69 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. Head coach Jim Tressel said both running backs would be needed for the Buckeyes to succeed.
"I think in a tailback-oriented offense, you always need to come with double barrels," Tressel said. "Going into next week, Jonathan and Lydell would be that first double barrel."
Senior quarterback Steve Bellisari, fresh off a 5-for-23 effort in a Sept. 22 loss at UCLA, rebounded by completing 15 of 21 passes for 194 yards.
Indiana, which lost its third straight game to start the season, led early after answering Ohio State's game-opening field goal by scoring a touchdown on its next drive. The Buckeyes led 17-7 at halftime, but IU rallied to cut the lead to 20-14. However, Ohio State put the game away with a fourth-quarter touchdown by Wells.
"When we talked to our football team before the game, we felt it would be a close game," IU head coach Cam Cameron said. "We wanted to get get the game into the fourth quarter. That's what we talked about at halftime.
"We scored to cut the lead to 20-14 and we got the ball back. That was the situation we wanted to be in. But we didn't make plays and we missed some opportunities."
Matt Wilhelm and Joe Cooper led the Buckeye defense with eight tackles apiece.
1984 – No. 3 Ohio State 35, Minnesota 22
Quarterback Mike Tomczak had a breakout performance in a Buckeye victory at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
In his second full game after returning from a broken leg in the spring, the senior was efficient in completing 13 of 19 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed all six of his third-down pass attempts for first downs and did not throw an interception.
"I felt real good," Tomczak told Buckeye Sports Bulletin. "We knew the curls and the flats would be open. We took advantage of that. They tried stopping the curl, and we went to the square patterns. Things just went well today offensively, especially in the passing game."
The Buckeyes, who improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten, jumped out to a 21-0 first-half lead and were never threatened. Keith Byars ran for 164 yards on 28 carries, including two touchdowns of 3 and 4 yards. Nonetheless, he called it a subpar performance.
"It was a victory, and I helped the team out," Byars said. "But as far as I'm concerned, I'm one of my harshest critics. I think I could have done a lot better."
Fullback Roman Bates got the scoring started on a 1-yard dive on the game's opening drive. Cris Carter added two touchdown catches of 9 and 6 yards in his first start.
Pepper Johnson had 13 tackles to lead the defense, and Larry Kolic added 11.
1979 – No. 14 Ohio State 17, No. 17 UCLA 13
The Buckeyes won their fourth consecutive game to start the 1979 season in come-from-behind fashion at the Los Angeles Coliseum vs. the Bruins.
Trailing 13-10 with 2:21 remaining, quarterback Art Schlichter drove the Buckeyes down the field for the game-winning score. Of the 80 yards Ohio State drove, Schlichter accounted for 62 through the air and completed all six of his pass attempts.
Fullback Paul Campbell, playing at tight end due to injuries at the position, caught the winning score on a two-yard pass from Schlichter with 46 seconds remaining.
Calvin Murray led the Buckeyes' ground attack with 117 yards and a 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Kicker Vlade Janakievski added a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter.
1973 – No. 3 Ohio State 37, Texas Christian 3
Ohio State was never challenged in its second game of the 1973 season, but the win was costly.
Fullback Champ Henson tore cartilage in his knee during the win and was lost for the rest of the regular season. It was the lone lowlight on a stormy afternoon at Ohio Stadium. A crowd of 87,439 weathered a severe thunderstorm during the game.
Sophomore Archie Griffin scored on the game's second play from scrimmage on a 68-yard run. Quarterback Cornelius Greene added a 72-yard touchdown run, and linebackers Randy Gradishar, Vic Koegel and Rick Middleton combined for 33 tackles.
The Buckeyes were moved to No. 1 in The Associated Press poll following the win.
1962 – No. 2 Ohio State 41, North Carolina 7
The Buckeyes had their largest season-opening point total since 1945 (see below) thanks in part to 27 second-half points.
Ohio State, fresh off a national championship and Big Ten championship in 1961, scored on its first two possessions and crushed the Tarheels with a big second-half effort. Halfback Paul Warfield scored on a 42-yard over-the-shoulder catch from quarterback John Mummey and later added a 4-yard score on a sweep around right end.
Head coach Woody Hayes used 72 players in the rout.
1956 – No. 8 Ohio State 34, Nebraska 7
Ten different rushers and three different passers were used in a blowout win over the Cornhuskers in front of 82,153 fans at Ohio Stadium in the Buckeyes' season opener.
Ohio State had 478 yards of total offense and sophomore halfback Don Clark had touchdown runs of 35 and 38 yards in his first collegiate game. Leo Brown got the scoring started when he blocked a Nebraska punt and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.
The game was the first in a season that saw the Buckeyes under a one-year NCAA probation period. Hayes had admitted to loaning some players small amounts of money when they were in need of financial assistance, and the NCAA had found irregularities in OSU's jobs program for athletes.
1951 – No. 3 Ohio State 7, Southern Methodist 0
The Hayes era began with a tight win over the visiting Mustangs in front of a crowd of 80,735 at Ohio Stadium – the then-largest opening day crowd in stadium history.
The Buckeyes' new T-formation struggled all game, and the only score of the game surprisingly enough came on a 21-yard pass to end Bob Joslin from quarterback Tony Curcillo in the third quarter.
Ohio State finished the season 4-3-2. Following the shutout of SMU, the Buckeyes did not win another game until Nov. 27 vs. Iowa.
1945 – Ohio State 47, Missouri 6
In the first game after the departure of head coach Paul Brown, the Buckeyes blasted Missouri to open the first season after the end of World War II.
Brown had left Ohio State to become the head coach for Cleveland's team in the new All-American Conference, and Carroll Widdoes was named Ohio State's head coach on Feb. 14, 1945. His first game was a solid one, as the Buckeyes got four touchdowns by Paul Sarringhaus and two scores by Ollie Cline in the win. The other score came on a stolen lateral by Don Steinberg for a 15-yard touchdown.
1917 – Ohio State 49, Case 0
The Buckeyes began their defense of their first Big Ten title with a dominant non-conference win over Case.
Ohio State held Case to a single first down and was never challenged by the visitor's defense. The only lowlight was a slight injury suffered by halfback Chic Harley, who spent most of the afternoon on the OSU sideline.
1906 – Ohio State 41, Otterbeinn 0
Ohio State opened a season that included an Ohio state championship with a shutout victory over visiting Otterbein.
OSU did not allow a touchdown during the entire 1906 season and went three weeks without allowing a point before suffering a 6-0 loss vs. Michigan in Columbus on Oct. 20.
1900 – Ohio State 20, Otterbein 0
Ohio State began the 20th century with a blanking of Otterbein that opened what would become an 8-1-1 season.
It was the second campaign under head coach John Eckstrom, who led the team from 1899-1901. Ohio State outscored their 10 opponents 213-26 in 1900.
Ohio State began regular practice just for days before the game against Otterbein, but the team showed no rust.
OSU started the season 7-0 before losing 11-6 vs. Ohio Medical Nov. 17. Seven days later, Ohio State scored a moral victory with a scoreless tie at Michigan.