The headline of Mark Rea's game story in the Oct. 29, 2005, edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin said it all: "Buckeyes Win In Narrow Rout."
The Hoosiers had their fans at Memorial Stadium excited early in the third quarter after IU cut Ohio State's lead to 17-10 when middle linebacker John Pannozzo stripped Ted Ginn Jr. of the football and raced 57 yards for a touchdown. The Buckeyes were able to take control after that, however, but not because of an IU mistake or a huge play by the OSU offense.
The Buckeyes (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) simply went back to rushing the football.
Tailbacks Antonio Pittman and Maurice Wells led the way on the Buckeyes' next offensive possession, and quarterback Troy Smith capped the march with a 23-yard touchdown run, giving OSU the momentum and a 24-10 lead.
After the Smith score, the Buckeyes were firmly in command. The Hoosier managed only 30 more yards on their next 25 plays covering six possessions. Ohio State scored more three touchdowns to make the final score lopsided.
"We were feeling pretty good about what was going on out there," Pannozzo said. "We got a big play, we had momentum, our crowd was getting into it – then boom. They answered our big play with a touchdown and things just got away from us."
The Buckeyes winning in a blowout was not a surprise looking at the final statistics. Ohio State had 22 first downs, compared to only eight for Indiana. The Buckeyes also outgained IU 478-137. But the game was also disjointed. The teams combined for 14 penalties worth 140 yards, and the game was also stopped several other times for inadvertent whistles, replays and penalty flags that were eventually waved off after referee huddles.
"It was kind of a ‘You've got to be kidding me day,' " OSU head coach Jim Tressel said.
Ohio State held a 17-3 lead at halftime thanks to a 23-yard touchdown reception by receiver Santonio Holmes from Smith in the first quarter, a 1-yard Smith TD run in the second quarter and a 23-yard field goal by Josh Huston shortly before halftime.
The Buckeyes iced the game with three scores following Smith's 23-yard scoring run. Brandon Mitchell started things with a 57-yard interception return for a second late in the third quarter. Ohio State closed the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 29-yard Huston field goal and a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown by Ginn.
Pittman finished with 133 yards to lead OSU's ground attack. Smith completed 14 of 23 passes for 226 yards. Holmes was his top target, hauling in 104 yards on five receptions. Defensively, the Buckeyes were led by linebacker A.J. Hawk. He recorded seven tackles, including a sack.
1994: No. 24 Ohio State 48, Purdue 14: Quarterback Bobby Hoying equaled an Ohio State record with five touchdown passes in the blowout victory against the visiting Boilermakers.
Hoying tied a record that was set by John Borton, who tossed five TD passes against Washington State in 1952. Hoying had his big day after several difficult Saturdays during the 1994 season.
"It's been tough the last couple of weeks," Hoying said in the Oct. 29, 1994, edition of BSB. "but I tried hard not to lose faith in myself. My teammates have been great, always trying to keep me up and keep me focused.
"But it's hard when you're doing things that you know you shouldn't be doing, and that's what's been happening the past couple of games. I know I could play better than I was showing."
So what was the difference against Purdue?
"I just think he settled down and decided to be the kind of quarterback he knows he is and we all know he is," OSU senior wide receiver Chris Sanders said. "Purdue gave us a defensive look that almost dared us to throw the ball and I think Bobby took that as a personal challenge."
If it was a challenge, Hoying passed with flying colors. He helped Ohio State race out to a 21-0 lead with three TD passes. The first two came in the first quarter. Sanders caught the first on a 41-yard strike. Joey Galloway then added a 42-yard score. Galloway later added a 2-yard reception for a score in the second quarter.
The Buckeyes (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) led 41-0 at halftime. Tailback Pepe Pearson ran for a 3-yard score in the second quarter, and Galloway reached the end zone for a third time on an 11-yard scoring pass from Hoying. Josh Jackson closed the first half scoring with field goals of 29 and 38 yards, respectively.
Sanders scored OSU's last touchdown on a 14-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter.
Purdue's scores were the last two touchdowns of the game.
Hoying finished with 304 yards on 20-of-24 passing. Stanley Jackson finished the game under center, completing 1 of 7 passes for 7 yards. Galloway was Hoying's top target, catching seven passes for 95 yards. Sanders added four catches for 69 yards.
Eddie George led OSU's rushing attack with 57 yards on 10 carries against a Purdue defense that was determined to stop him. Purdue's Mike Alstott led all rushers with 77 yards on 13 carries.
Linebacker Ryan Miller led the Buckeyes defensively with 10 stops. Defensive linemen Matt Finkes and Mike Vrabel and linebacker Craig Powell each recorded a sack.
1988: Ohio State 13, Minnesota 6: The Buckeye defense stood tall as Ohio State broke a three-game losing streak with a victory at the Metrodome.
Ohio State's defense held Minnesota, led by standout tailback Darrell Thompson, to 284 yards of total offense. It was the first time OSU (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) had held an opposing offense under 300 total yards since Syracuse netted 275 in the first game of the 1988 season.
"I'm just so proud of our defensive football team," Ohio State head coach John Cooper said in the Oct. 29, 1988, edition of BSB. "If you would have told me we were going to … not let them score a touchdown, I'd have probably thought you were the biggest fool on the face of the earth."
Members of the OSU defense said the big performance happened thanks in part to a challenge levied by inside linebackers coach Gary Blackney.
"Coach Blackney had pulled us aside before the game and told us it was really gut check time," OSU safety David Brown said. "He gave us a challenge. I'm quite sure every single guy that was in that room felt that challenge.
"We just rose to the occasion. You could see the difference in us from the first time we were in the locker room today. You could see the difference. He gave us a challenge and we tried to meet it."
The challenge was to bounce back from adversity. The OSU defense had allowed 103 points and 1,104 yards during the Buckeyes' losing streak.
The biggest defensive highlight came during a fourth-quarter goal-line stand that preserved the Ohio State victory. Minnesota got the football with 4:55 left in the game and drove to the OSU 14-yard line. From there, Gophers quarterback Scott Schaffner got free around the right end on a misdirection play and nearly scored. Brown made a touchdown-saving tackle inside the 1-yard line.
On first-and-goal, Thompson attempted to vault over the left side of the line but was stopped by inside linebacker John Sullivan and driven back by fellow ILB Orlando Craig. The second-down play ended short of the end zone when Schaffner was stopped on a quarterback sneak. Sullivan and Craig again made the tackle.
The Golden Gophers tried to do something different on third down. Schaffner took the snap from under center and tried to race around left end. But Brown blew the play up with a blitz, stopping the Minnesota QB for an 11-yard loss.
"They tried twice to go over the top and our linebackers and linemen did a great job. So I kind of figured they were going to try and come out wide," Brown said of the third-down play. "They came out wide and I came on course and made the play. Nobody touched me at the line."
Schaffner's fourth-quarter pass into the end zone was batted away, sealing the victory for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State never trailed. The Buckeyes opened the scoring with a 25-yard field goal by Pat O'Morrow. Minnesota tied the game later in the first quarter, but the Buckeyes took a 10-6 lead into halftime thanks to a 27-yard touchdown run by tailback Carlos Snow in the second quarter.
O'Morrow scored the only points of the second half with 6:10 left in the third quarter on a 20-yard field goal.
Snow finished with 76 yards to lead the OSU rushing attack. Thompson led Minnesota with 98 yards rushing on 22 carries. Buckeye quarterback Greg Frey completed 15 of 20 passes for 199 yards. Jeff Graham caught four of those passes for 52 yards.
Sullivan and cornerback Zach Dumas each recorded eight tackles on defense. Defensive ends Derek MacCready and John Kacherski each had two tackles for loss. Cornerback Vince Clark nabbed the game's lone interception.
1983: No. 17 Ohio State 21, Michigan State 11: A week after a tough loss to Illinois, the Buckeyes (5-2, 3-2 Big Ten) beat the visiting Spartans in a game played in rain and a cold wind.
A breeze that was between 15-25 mph throughout the game helped keep the game close – and leave the Buckeyes slightly disappointed with their performance in what they hoped would be a lopsided bounce-back victory.
"Any time you lose a tough loss and come back to win it's a big victory," OSU tight end John Frank said in the Oct. 29, 1983, edition of BSB. "We would like to have had a bigger victory margin. But it's tough to have your cake and eat it too all the time."
The game was notable as the first start at quarterback for freshman Jim Karsatos. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. He helped set up Ohio State's first touchdown, connecting with Frank on passes for 19 and 26 yards on OSU's first drive. That march ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by tailback Keith Byars.
Michigan State answered with a field goal later in the first quarter, but Karsatos led the Buckeyes to a 14-3 halftime lead. He tossed a 39-yard TD pass to Frank with 2:17 left before the break.
"We worked on it all week," Karsatos said of the scoring strike. "That was a play we were planning on using. It broke open. John read it perfectly. The safety came up on the run fake, and he was wide open. I just remember seeing the ball go into the end zone."
Despite taking momentum into the second half, Ohio State struggled in the third and fourth quarters. Karsatos completed only one pass, and the Buckeyes' lone score was aided by a MSU fumble recovered by defensive lineman Tony Giuliani at the Spartans' 27-yard line. Two plays later, Byars ran for a 5-yard touchdown to give Ohio State a 21-3 lead.
"It was a game when you play a little bit conservative," OSU head coach Earle Bruce said. "When you're ahead, you try to run the clock out, play for field position, play for mistakes.
"I think today is a tough day to judge our offensive team. We played a team that was able to put nine men up on the front to stop us and they did a good job of stopping our running attack."
Michigan State ended the scoring in the final minute of the game when Thomas Tyree recovered a blocked punt in the end zone. Tight end Veno Belk then added a two-point conversion reception on a pass from quarterback Clark Brown.
Byars rushed for 67 yards on 22 carries. Frank had five catches for 115 yards. Defensively, inside linebacker Thomas Johnson led Ohio State with 13 tackles, including one for a loss. It was his first career start.
1977: No. 4 Ohio State 35, Northwestern 15: The Buckeyes won but struggled against the Wildcats at Dyche Stadium. Ohio State tossed two interceptions and lost four of eight fumbles in the rain. The offense was not the only group to struggle, either. The OSU defense allowed 321 yards to winless Northwestern.
Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) took sole possession of first place in the Big Ten with the win, however. Previously unbeaten Michigan was upset by Minnesota as OSU was dealing with the Wildcats.
1966: Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 13: Ohio State trailed 13-10 through three quarters before earning a homecoming victory at Ohio Stadium. Touchdown drives of 63 and 81 yards gave the Buckeyes (2-3, 1-2 Big Ten) the win and snapped OSU's losing streak at three. Fullback Paul Hudson scored all of Ohio State's touchdowns on short runs. Halfback Bo Rein led all rushers with 109 yards as the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin for the seventh straight time.
1960: No. 9 Ohio State 34, No. 11 Wisconsin 7: A week after being upset by Purdue, the Buckeyes (4-1, 2-1 Big Ten) bounced back with a rout of the visiting Badgers. Ohio State scored touchdowns on its first two offensive possessions and cruised to victory behind Tom Matte. Matte threw two touchdown passes, rushed for 108 yards and punted five times. Bob Ferguson ran for two TDs as OSU beat the defending Big Ten champs.
1955: Ohio State 26, No. 15 Wisconsin 16: In front of what was then an all-time Camp Randall Stadium record crowd of 53,529, the Buckeyes upset the Badgers. Wisconsin raced out to a 14-0 lead before Ohio State took command. The Buckeyes used Woody Hayes' offensive formula to mix up a victory. OSU (3-2, 2-0 Big Ten) rushed for 304 yards and threw for only 32. Quarterback Frank Ellwood scored three of Ohio State's four touchdowns. Hopalong Cassady scored the other touchdown and led all rushers with 100 yards on the ground.
1949: Ohio State 21, Wisconsin 0: Curly Morrison and Jimmy Clark scored first-quarter touchdowns as the Buckeyes bested the host Badgers. The Buckeyes' other touchdown came on a 10-yard TD pass from Jerry Krall to Pandel Savic in the fourth quarter. Morrison and Pete Perini helped Ohio State (3-1-1, 2-1 Big Ten) dominate the field position battle, averaging 51.6 yards per punt.
1938: Ohio State 42, Chicago 7: All 46 of Francis Schmidt's available Buckeyes played in the rout of the Maroons at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State (2-1-1, 2-0-1 Big Ten) led 35-0 at halftime. Jim Langhurst scored three of OSU's touchdowns.
Ohio State would only face the Maroons once more. Chicago abolished its football program after the 1939 season. The Maroons returned to varsity football action in 1969 and began NCAA Division III play in 1973.
1932: Ohio State 0, Pitt 0: The final score was a tie, but the Buckeyes felt like it was a win after they held the heavily-favored Panthers scoreless. The game ended with an impressive Ohio State defensive stand. Pittsburgh had a first-and-goal at the OSU 1-yard line in the final minute before the Buckeyes (1-1-2, 0-1-1 Big Ten) stuffed three straight runs and batted down a fourth-down pass.
1927: Michigan 21, Ohio State 0: The Buckeyes (2-2, 1-2 Big Ten) helped Michigan dedicate Michigan Stadium but were unable to score against the Wolverines. All-America end Bennie Oosterbaan moved to the backfield and threw three touchdown passes for U-M, all to halfback Louis Gilbert.
1921: Ohio State 14, Michigan 0: Ohio State (3-1, 2-0 Big Ten) earned its third straight win over Fielding Yost's Wolverines, ruining homecoming in Ann Arbor. John Stuart and Charles Taylor scored the game's only touchdowns.
1910: Ohio State 3, Michigan 3: Two second-quarter field goals was all the offense the Buckeyes and Wolverines could manage. Fred Conklin booted the FG for Michigan, while Leslie Wells did the same for Ohio State (4-0-1). Both field goals were kicked on first-down plays.
1904: Ohio State 16, Case 6: The Buckeyes bounced back from a loss to Michigan a week earlier with a victory against the Spartans. Ohio State (5-1) would go on to win only one more game in the last five weeks of the season.
1898: Marietta 10, Ohio State 0: Ohio State (2-2) was shut out for the second time in four games, dropping an in-state game to the Pioneers. The Buckeyes' other loss at that point in the season was a 10-0 loss to Ohio Medical.
1892: Ohio State 62, Akron 0: The Buckeyes (1-1) earned their first win of the season with a rout at Akron. Ohio State would play two more foes – vs. Marietta and at Denison – before getting a rematch against John W. Heisman and his Oberlin squad, which beat the Buckeyes in the season opener.