The final minutes told the story, as they often do. Texas rallied from a five-point deficit to earn the win behind a picture-perfect touchdown pass from Young to receiver Limas Sweed. The wideout was released by OSU cornerback Ashton Youboty at the line of scrimmage, and safety Nate Salley was a split second late on help coverage. That was all Young needed. His strike was hauled in by a falling and twisting Sweed in the end zone for what ended up being the winning score with 2:37 left in the fourth quarter.
The 24-yard TD reception capped a seven-play, 67-yard drive that lasted 2:23 and was Young's fifth career fourth-quarter come-from-behind touchdown drive. It wound up being one of the biggest plays of the season for the eventual national champion Longhorns.
"Basically, we've been through this, man, and I was walking down the sideline before that drive, telling the guys that we were going to get another chance," Young said in the Sept. 17, 2005, edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin. "On the touchdown, Sweed just came off the ball right and made a great play for us."
Texas set the final score by sacking quarterback Troy Smith – who made his 2005 debut after sitting out the opener while serving a suspension and split time with Justin Zwick – in the end zone for a safety following the Sweed touchdown.
The fact that Texas had a chance to win in the final minutes was thanks in part to opportunities that were squandered by the Ohio State offense. Ohio State had erased a 10-0 first-quarter deficit and led 22-16 through three quarters. But the lead could have been bigger. The Buckeyes started four possessions inside Texas territory and four other times they started within 10 yards of midfield. Yet all the Buckeyes got from those eight possessions was five field goals. The other three drives ended in punts.
Those weren't the only miscues, either. Ohio State special teams vet Antonio Smith missed what would have been a tackle for a safety in the second quarter on a kickoff. The Buckeyes also allowed Texas to add a cheap field goal right before halftime when OSU pooched a kickoff in the waning seconds of the second quarter and put Texas in field goal range because of a personal foul penalty.
Ohio State kicker Josh Huston made field goals of 45, 36, 25, 44 and 26 yards, but even he wasn't perfect. He missed a 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Finally, normally sure-handed tight end Ryan Hamby dropped what should have been a a touchdown from Zwick in the third quarter.
"We had our opportunities – we just couldn't cash in," OSU offensive lineman Rob Sims said. "It's very disappointing to get into the red zone and come away with only three points. Offensive production in the red zone – that's it right there. We didn't get it done."
Young led Texas' offense by piling up 346 yards. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 270 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The senior also led all rushers with 76 yards on 20 carries. Defensive end Tim Crowder notched a pair of sacks on defense, while safety Michael Griffin had 10 tackles.
For Ohio State, Zwick completed 9 of 15 passes for 66 yards, while Smith connected on 5 of his 11 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Antonio Pittman led OSU's rushing attack with 75 yards on 17 carries. The Buckeyes struggled to gain traction on the ground, finishing with 111 rushing yards. Holmes was OSU's top receiver, catching four passes for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, linebacker A.J. Hawk led all tacklers with 12 stops. He also had three tackles for loss and two sacks.
1994: No. 25 Washington 25, No. 18 Ohio State 16: With the two-game NCAA suspension of senior wide receiver and co-captain Joey Galloway dominating headlines, the Buckeyes went to Seattle and dropped a game to the Huskies.
Three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception) and missed opportunities doomed the Buckeyes. That, and the play of Washington tailback Napoleon Kaufman, who rushed for 221 yards. Washington built a 22-0 halftime lead that Ohio State could never recover from.
"I was really disappointed in the way we played," Ohio State head coach John Cooper said in the Sept. 17, 1994, edition of BSB. "I thought we'd play better than that."
Nineteen of Washington's points came in the game's first 10 minutes. Kaufman started the scoring with a 38-yard TD run, and UW added two more scores before the end of the first quarter on a 1-yard scoring run by fullback Richard Thomas and a 25-yard touchdown reception by Eric Bjornson from Damon Huard.
Ohio State fought back in the second half with a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions. Tailback Eddie George got OSU on the scoreboard with a 24-yard TD run, followed by a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Bobby Hoying to Chris Sanders. In the fourth quarter, OSU got a 13-yard TD pass from Hoying to Buster Tillman. DeWayne Carter then caught a two-point pass from Hoying that closed the scoring.
The Buckeyes' rally could have been something more if not for offensive ineffectiveness in the red zone. Five times the Buckeyes got within the UW 25-yard line and came away with no points. That proved to be the story, as OSU actually outgained the Huskies 382-378.
George rushed for 108 yards to lead OSU's offense. Split end Buster Tillman added nine receptions for 106 yards, and Hoying completed 19 of 38 passes for 288 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Lorenzo Styles led the OSU defense with 13 tackles. Matt Finkes had three tackles for loss, including two sacks.
Galloway's suspension was announced three days before the game. He admitted to accepting money from a financial planner and met with the media when his punishment was announced by Ohio State.
"The situation was disclosed during a normal investigative procedure by the NCAA," OSU athletic director Andy Geiger said. "We declared Joey ineligible, and then appealed to have his eligibility restored. The NCAA restored his eligibility, but after (two games)."
Galloway said he took the money after his junior season and before he decided to return to Ohio State and forego the NFL draft.
"When I took the money, I considered myself as 100 percent leaving college football," he said. "I took the money at that time. Later on, I went home, changed my mind about the decision o leave, and I just did not repay the money.
"That is definitely my mistake. I'm a grown man and I have to accept the responsibility for that."
1988: Ohio State 26, Syracuse 9: The Buckeyes began the Cooper era with an impressive victory against the visiting Orangemen at Ohio Stadium. Cooper promised a change in the style of Ohio State football – using his Ten Commandments for football – and delivered in an easy victory.
"That's the kind of football I like to play," Cooper said in the Sept. 17, 1988, edition of BSB. "Maybe the game plan was a little conservative but we went with what worked. And, that's the 10th of those commandments – win the surest way."
The Buckeyes had little trouble snapping Syracuse's 14-game unbeaten streak, which had been the longest in the nation. Sophomore quarterback Greg Frey made his first start and played well. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. New kicker Pat O'Morrow also had a good debut, making field goals of 27, 33, 41 and 30 yards.
Syracuse opened the scoring with a K.J. Greene 24-yard field goal in the first quarter, but the Buckeyes took command from there. Ohio State answered with a 27-yard O'Morrow field goal early in the second quarter and added two more touchdowns before halftime on a 14-yard run by tailback Carlos Snow and a 2-yard TD pass from Frey to tight end Jeff Ellis. O'Morrow added three more field goals in the second half to end the scoring for OSU.
"It was a great opening victory for us," said Cooper as the Ohio Stadium victory bell rang in the background. "I told our squad that I don't know if I've ever been more proud of a football team than I was with the way we played today."
1983: No. 7 Ohio State 31, Oregon 6: Quarterback Mike Tomczak starred as the Buckeyes routed the visiting Ducks to open the '83 campaign.
Tomczak had the best game of his career so far by completing 21 of 25 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns. He spread the ball around, connecting with Thad Jemison six times for 79 yards, Cedric Anderson four times for 99 yards and John Frank three times for 31 yards.
"I just take what the defense gives me," Tomczak said in the Sept. 17, 1983, edition of BSB. "If they're going to give me the tail back – drop the linebackers deep – I'm going to hit the tailback. If they're going to play up tight, I'm going to hit the curls, the square-ins and the post – like I did to Cedric."
That touchdown to Anderson gave OSU a 17-6 lead early in the third quarter. Running back Keith Byars had started the scoring in the first quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run. Rich Spanger added a 29-yard field goal to make the score 10-6 at halftime. Following the Anderson TD catch, Ohio State got two more touchdowns from Tomczak. The first came on a 5-yard throw to tailback Kelvin Lindsey and the second came on a 21-yard pass to Anderson.
"You saw something different at Ohio State," OSU head coach Earle Bruce said after the game. "I don't think that a young man has thrown that well in an opening Ohio State game in a long, long time. Mike Tomczak had a fabulous day today."
1977: No. 5 Ohio State 10, Miami (Fla.) 0: The Buckeyes kicked off the 1977 season with a win against Lou Saban's Hurricanes at Ohio Stadium.
All of the points came in the second quarter. Ohio State started the scoring with a 31-yard field goal by Vlade Janakievski. Sophomore tailback Ricky Johnson, who came off the bench for an injured Jeff Logan, then sparked a 93-yard drive that ended with a 21-yard Ron Spring touchdown run on an option pitch from Rod Gerald.
While OSU scored only twice, its defense made that more than enough. Miami quarterback E.J. Baker threw for 210 yards but the Hurricanes rushed for minus-13 yards.
Springs led the Buckeyes' attack with 114 yards on 27 carries.