Not that the players had forgotten about what happened in Iowa City anyway.
"You can't forget something like that," senior co-captain Nick Mangold said in the Oct. 8, 2005, edition of BSB. "When you get punched in the mouth like that, you're going to remember."
Mangold and company did the punching in the rematch, piling up 530 yards of total offense against the Hawkeye defense. Ohio State broke the 500-yard mark for the first time since 2003 and had a pair of players (Antonio Pittman and Troy Smith) break the 100-yard rushing mark in the same game for the first time since 2000.
Even so, the game could have been even more lopsided. Ohio State lost two fumbles inside the Iowa 10-yard line and had a punt return for a touchdown by Ted Ginn Jr. called back because of a penalty. Tressel also made sure the game would not get completely out of hand by going with a ball-control attack in the final minutes, drawing boos from some of the 105,225 fans at Ohio Stadium.
Boos aside, the mood from the OSU players after the game was a good one.
"After how we came out and played last year, we wanted to make a statement," safety Nate Salley said. "If we play this well, we feel like we can hold our own against anybody in the country."
The Buckeye defense played well, holding the Hawkeyes to two field goals and 137 yards of offense. Iowa came into the game averaging 34.7 points and 428.0 yards per game. Iowa quarterback Drew Tate, who sliced and diced the OSU defense in the previous meeting, completed 22 of 39 passes for only 146 yards. Five sacks of Tate – 1.5 by Mike Kudla – also left the Hawkeyes with minus-5 net yards on the ground.
Conversely, the OSU rushing attack continued its resurgence. Pittman finished with a career-best 171 yards on 28 carries, and Smith added 127 yards on 18 carries. The Buckeyes finished with 314 rushing yards, their best total since netting 317 against Texas Tech in the 2002 season opener.
"We kind of got back to (running the ball)," senior guard Rob Sims said. "I'm glad we showed everybody we could get back to that."
Wideout Anthony Gonzalez caught six passes for 90 yards. He also got the scoring started in the first quarter with an 8-yard touchdown grab from Smith. The OSU quarterback added the second score early in the second quarter on a 16-yard run. A 47-yard field goal by Josh Huston on the last play of the first half gave Ohio State a 17-0 lead at the break.
Smith added a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and Gonzalez bookended the OSU scoring with a 29-yard touchdown grab from Smith in the final quarter. Iowa's points came on a pair of second-half field goals of 52 and 37 yards by Kyle Schlicher.
1994: No. 20 Ohio State 52, Houston 0: Backup quarterback Stanley Jackson stole the show during the Buckeyes' rout of the visiting Cougars, accounting for more than 100 yards of total offense.
Jackson entered the game in the second quarter for starter Bobby Hoying with Ohio State already in control. He ran primarily an option attack that had little trouble moving against the UH defense. The redshirt freshman had his struggles, sometimes leaving the pocket too soon on pass plays and missing several open receivers, but the end result was positive.
"I was really happy to get in there at that time of the ball game," Jackson said in the Oct. 1, 1994, edition of BSB. "You know, it's a big rush to get in there when 94,000 people are still in the stands and the first-team line is still in there. I'm not satisfied with my performance, but I do think I'm getting better.
"There were things I did today, and things I didn't do, that I will look back at and wish didn't happen. But I can learn from those things and become a better player for it."
The game itself was not close. The Buckeyes led 36-0 at halftime and had second-, third- and fourth-team players rotating in as early as the second quarter. A total of 67 players saw action, with more than half coming on the offensive side of the ball. The first-string offense built a 23-0 lead after the first quarter, added a quick second-quarter touchdown and then took the rest of the day off.
"Frankly, I don't mind having a game like this," Hoying said. "I think it's good for your program and it's good for some of the guys who don't normally get to play. We went into this game as heavy favorites and we came out and took care of business. We did what we should have for the most part and I think the score reflected that."
Besides the score, the game featured another positive in the return of senior split end Joey Galloway. He made his season debut after serving a NCAA suspension. Galloway did not score by caught a team-high four passes for 44 yards.
Defensively, Ohio State recorded its first shutout since blanking Minnesota 17-0 in 1992.
"A shutout is something we're always looking for," middle linebacker Lorenzo Styles said. "We knew what kind of team Houston had and shutting them out was one of our goals. We're happy that we accomplished that, but we can still play better than we did today."
1988: Ohio State 36, No. 7 LSU 33: Despite being down 13 points with 4:24 left on the clock, the Buckeyes rallied to stun LSU at Ohio Stadium. OSU head coach John Cooper didn't doubt his team for a second, either.
"I thought we were going to come back and I'm not just telling you that," Cooper said in the Oct. 1, 1988, edition of BSB. "You know the old saying, ‘It ain't over 'til it's over.' We say that all the time.
Ohio State's rally began after the Tigers took a 33-20 lead with 4:24 left on a 55-yard touchdown catch by Alvin Lee that was tipped into Lee's arms by teammate Tony Moss. Buckeye quarterback Greg Frey got things going by engineering a drive that covered 59 yards over 10 plays and took only 2:28 off the clock. Carlos Snow capped the march with a 5-yard TD run on the only rushing play of the drive.
Cooper then chose not to attempt an onside kick after the score, having Pat O'Morrow kick the ball deep.
"We talked about it," Cooper said. "We had two timeouts left. Had we only had one timeout left, obviously we would have had to try an onside kick.
"My feeling was if we try an onside kick and don't get it, the ball game is over. So let's kick the ball deep. I didn't think they were going to throw the football and we had a chance to take two timeouts, stop the clock and then get the ball back in good field position."
Cooper's plan worked even better than he expected. Ohio State stopped a pair of LSU rushing plays, but on third down LSU head coach Mike Archer had his offense attempt to get the first down through the air. The third-and-12 pass from Tommy Hodson was overthrown, and the play stopped the clock – giving Ohio State a fourth timeout.
Archer then had his Tigers take a 5-yard delay of game penalty on fourth down. Then he had punter Rene Bourgeois run out of the end zone for an intentional safety. That cut the OSU deficit to four points at 33-29.
"I think they were wise in taking the safety," Cooper said. "We expected them to take the safety. As a matter of fact, when they took a delay of game penalty on purpose, I was trying to get us to decline the penalty but I couldn't get word on the field to our players."
Following the safety, Bourgeois got a free kick from the LSU 20-yard line and punted a high spiral to sophomore Bobby Olive. Thanks in large part to a great block from fellow sophomore Jeff Graham, Olive returned the kick 30 yards to the LSU 38.
Then, with 38 seconds left on the clock, Frey found Olive over the middle for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Oliver stretched to haul in the pass and fell into the end zone for the winning score.
"I had a situation similar to this in high school," said Olive, a native of Atlanta, "but nothing like catching the winning touchdown in front of 90,000 people at Ohio State on national TV to upset a top-10 team."
The victory was a welcome piece of good news for the Ohio State football program days after losing senior Vince Workman for the season. He was declared ineligible on Sept. 21, a day after testifying to a Chicago grand jury investigating the illegal dealings of sports agent with college athletes.
"Coach Cooper and I met with Vince this morning and he confirmed for us that he had signed with an agent and accepted money from that agent," Ohio State athletic director Jim Jones said. "Therefore, my responsibility on behalf of the university is to declare him ineligible from this point forward."
1983: No. 7 Iowa 20, No. 3 Ohio State 14: A battle between former high school quarterback standouts from Illinois went the way of Iowa quarterback Chuck Long at Kinnick Stadium.
Ohio State's Rose Bowl hopes took a hit thanks to Long, who completed 16 of 26 yards for 276 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart, Mike Tomczak, had a difficult afternoon. He completed only 13 of 34 passes for 125 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.
"Chuck Long really came up with the big play when it needed to be performed," Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce said in the Oct. 1, 1983, edition of BSB. "He did a great job delivering 20 points on the board.
"And on third down with about 8 yards to go (late in the game) he delivered the knockout blow."
The knockout blow came with 4:25 left on the clock with Iowa facing a third-and-6 at the Hawkeye 27-yard line. Long picked up a Buckeye blitz and connected with wide receiver Dave Moritz, who outraced OSU cornerback Shaun Gayle for a 73-yard touchdown. It gave Iowa a 20-7 lead and kicked off a celebration in Iowa City.
"He came off the ball, gave me a quick post move, broke it back out to the flat, then drifted back," Gayle said. "I had no idea the ball was being thrown. All I knew was I was being beat and you've got to stay on top of the guy."
Ohio State's offense was stunted in the second quarter when tailback Keith Byars was knocked out of the game. Byars, who rushed for 98 yards on nine carries, left after an Iowa defender tackled him after an incomplete pass. Byars suffered a knee bruise on the play.
Byars' absence forced OSU to rely more on the passing game, which struggled. Tomczak's lone score came with 2:21 left on the clock when he tossed a 4-yard scoring strike to Vaughn Broadnax.
The Buckeyes got no closer. They failed to recover the ensuing onside kick, and after they got the ball back with 40 seconds remaining Tomczak threw his third interception of the afternoon.
1977: No. 3 Oklahoma 29, No. 4 Ohio State 28: The first meeting between the Sooners and Buckeyes went to Oklahoma in a clash of top-five teams in Columbus.
A windy day affected both offenses. Fifty-four of the game's 57 points were scored on the north end of Ohio Stadium with the wind at the offense's backs. Unfortunately for Ohio State, the Sooners ended the game with the wind.
The game could be cut into three separate chapters. Oklahoma dominated the first, scoring the contest's first 20 points. Ohio State then rallied to scored 28 unanswered points before the Sooners closed the book by scoring the last nine. The final score for OU came after the Sooners recovered an onside kick at midfield with 1:21 remaining following a touchdown that cut the deficit to 28-26. Oklahoma then moved the ball into field goal range, and German-born soccer-style kicker Uwe von Schamann then won the game for his team with a 41-yard field goal with just three seconds left on the clock.
1966: Ohio State 14, TCU 7: Despite five lost fumbles, the Buckeyes started the season with a home victory against the Horned Frogs. Paul Hudson was the offensive hero for Ohio State. The senior gained 92 yards and score both of his team's touchdowns from his fullback position in his first start.
Quarterback Bill Long began his OSU career by completing 12 of 14 passes for 106 yards.
1960: No. 20 Ohio State 24, SMU 0: Displaying a more wide-open offensive attack, the Buckeyes opened the season with a whitewash of the visiting Mustangs.
Ohio State led 21-0 at halftime thanks to a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tom Matte to Chuck Bryant and short touchdown runs by Bob Ferguson and Roger Detrick. Sophomore Ben Jones added a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter closed the scoring.
The defense was led by Jim Herbstreit, who set up two of OSU's touchdowns with interceptions.
1955: No. 6 Ohio State 28, Nebraska 20: The Buckeyes came from behind twice to best the visiting Cornhuskers in the very first meeting between the schools. Hopalong Cassady led the way, scoring Ohio State's first three touchdowns and setting up the fourth with a 43-yard run to the Nebraska 2-yard line. Cassady led all rushers with 170 yards, and the Buckeyes outrushed Nebraska 321-138.
The Cornhuskers left Columbus with regret. Nebraska head coach Bill Glassford's team turned the ball over four times.
1949: Ohio State 35, Missouri 34: The first game to ever be televised from Ohio Stadium went to the Buckeyes after a back-and-forth contest. WLW-C (now WCMH-TV) allowed fans to watch Ohio State head into halftime with a fortunate 14-14 tie. Missouri lost three fumbles before halftime, and the Buckeyes were able to keep pace thanks to a 2-yard TD run by fullback Curly Morrison and an 8-yard cut back run by halfback Jerry Krall.
The Tigers took a 21-14 lead in the third quarterback before Ohio State tied the game again on a 31-yard TD pass from Krall to Jimmy Hague. The Buckeyes then took their first lead with a 30-yard scoring pass from quarterback Pandel Savic to Ray Hamilton with 3:52 left in the third quarter.
Missouri answered the score early in the fourth quarter but missed their extra point attempt. That proved to be large as the teams traded touchdowns to close the scoring. Jimmy Hague played the hero by making all of his extra point attempts. It also helped that two-point conversion attempts did not come to the college game until 1958.
The Tigers did have a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but a long field goal attempt by John Glorioso on the last play of the game fell short.
1910: Ohio State 14, Otterbein 5: The Buckeyes began their season with a win against the visiting Cardinals. Ohio State would go on to finish the season with a 6-1-3 record.
1904: Ohio State 34, Otterbein 0: Ohio State opened the season with a blanking of visiting Otterbein, the first of nine home games at University Field. The season saw plenty of rule changes, including the number of points given for a made field goal. That number was changed from five to four. Touchdowns were still worth five points, conversions were worth a point and safeties two.