Four teams in the Associated Press top 10 fell – No. 3 Virginia Tech to Pittsburgh, No. 4 Notre Dame to Boston College, No. 5 Georgia to Florida and No. 10 N.C. State to Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, Ohio State moved to 10-0 (6-0 Big Ten) and did not even need freshman standout running back Maurice Clarett – who was out because of a shoulder stinger.
"I thought our kids played hard," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said in the Nov. 9, 2002, edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin. "Obviously, our defense dominated the game when they only have 112 yards and just 7 in the second half. … They just kept coming after them."
Minnesota entered the game averaging 441.4 yards per game, including a Big Ten-best 271.0 on the ground. Ohio State silenced the Gophers' attack thanks in large part to the 53 yards OSU allowed on the ground.
"They were touch," Minnesota wide receiver Jermaine Mays said. "They were on point on every aspect of defense. Every play we tried to run, they had one or two guys there. They were ready for everything we tried to throw at them."
The Gophers scored the first points of the game and led 3-0 after the first quarter. From there, however, the Buckeyes dominated. They took a 10-3 lead at halftime thanks to a 5-yard touchdown run by Lydell Ross and a 37-yard field goal by Mike Nugent. Ohio State broke it open in the third quarter, scoring 17 points on a 9-yard Ross TD run, a Nugent 33-yard field goal and a 30-yard touchdown pass from Craig Krenzel to Chris Vance.
Maurice Hall closed the scoring in the fourth quarter and with 4-yard trip to the end zone.
Ross, starting in place of Clarett, rushed for 89 yards on 20 carries. Hall finished with a game-high 93 yards. Krenzel completed 9 of 15 passes for 128 yards with a touchdown and five sacks. On defense, the Buckeyes were led by Matt Wilhelm, who had seven tackles. Darrion Scott had two sacks.
With the rash of upsets, Ohio State became one of only three BCS conference schools to have an unbeaten record, joining Oklahoma and Miami (Fla.).
1996 – No. 2 Ohio State 45, Minnesota 0: Defense ruled the day as the Buckeyes improved to 8-0 (5-0 Big Ten) with a home victory.
The Silver Bullets created four first-half turnovers and helped OSU outgain the Golden Gophers 452-104. Minnesota's dual-threat quarterback Cory Sauter was held to a season-low 57 yards. He was intercepted three times and sacked four times.
"I'm real proud of the way we played defense the entire football game," Ohio State head coach John Cooper said the Nov. 9, 1996, edition of BSB.
"They came out and threw a lot of stuff at us and I think we did a good job of adjusting to it," OSU defensive end Matt Finkes added. "We had a great mental game, very few mental mistakes, and we just executed well."
After a scoreless first quarter, the Buckeyes got a 10-yard touchdown run by Pepe Pearson and a 47-yard field goal by Andy Stamp – his first attempt of the season – and took a 10-0 halftime lead. Following the break, the Buckeyes took command by scoring a trio of touchdowns – a 5-yard TD pass from Joe Germaine to Matt Calhoun, a 42-yard interception return for a score by Andy Katzenmoyer and a 2-yard TD run by Jermon Jackson.
Ohio State capped the scoring with two more trips to the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard Pearson run and a 28-yard scoring strike from third-string quarterback Tom Hoying to Michael Wiley.
Pearson finished with 123 yards, while Jackson nearly reached the century mark with 82. Stanley Jackson completed 8 of 15 passes for 93 yards and two interceptions. Germaine completed 6 of 11 for 75 yards with a score and an interception. The top passing target with Dimitrious Stanley, who caught three passes for 81 yards.
Defensively, Antonio Winfield and Ty Howard each recorded six stops. Katzenmoyer, Mike Vrabel, Ryan Miller and Winfield Garnett each recorded a sack. Rob Kelly, Howard and Jerry Rudzinski joined Katzenmoyer with interceptions.
1991 – No. 11 Iowa 16, No. 13 Ohio State 9: The Hawkeyes, who entered the game with the 13th-ranked defense in the nation, silenced the Buckeyes and left Ohio Stadium with a victory.
Ohio State (6-2, 4-2 Big Ten) was limited to 124 yards rushing, well off the 255.3 yards it averaged through the first seven games of the season.
"I think you have to give an awful lot of credit to the Iowa football team, a lot of credit to Hayden Fry and his coaching staff," OSU coach John Cooper said in the Nov. 9, 1991, edition of BSB. "They came in here with a solid game plan and they took the fight too us.
"There were times today when I thought we were close to making a big play, but we just didn't get it done. But give Iowa some credit, too. They were able to execute and we weren't."
Both teams traded second-quarter scored before the Hawkeyes took a 13-9 lead into the break on an usual set of plays. Tight end Allen Cross scored for Iowa on a 61-yard pass from Matt Rodgers with 2:08 left before the break, but the Hawkeyes' extra point was blocked and returned 85 yards to the end zone by Jason Simmons to give Ohio State two points – narrowing OSU's deficit to four.
The only score in the second half came on a 30-yard field goal by Iowa's Jeff Skillett with 27 seconds left in the third quarter. Ohio State's offense failed to gain traction and the Buckeyes dropped their second conference game.
"As far as the team, the loss hurts, but we can bounce back from it," OSU senior linebacker Judah Herman said. "We can get out there and win three more games and end up with a pretty damn good season."
Kent Graham led OSU's offense with 97 yards on 8 of 24 passing with one interception. Carlos Snow led the ground game with 73 yards on 14 carries, while Cedric Edwards caught three passes for 30 yards. Herman led the OSU defense with 14 tackles.
Iowa played the game one day after a tragedy on its campus. A disgruntled graduate student shot and killed five people before turning the gun on himself. The Hawkeyes painted their "Tiger Hawk" helmet logos black, giving them an all-black helmet, and a moment of silence was held before the game.
"That tragedy back in Iowa City is so sad that I know it had a big part in us winning because I think our guys just gave that 20 percent extra effort," Fry said. "Just to try to bring a little happiness to the people back in Iowa, the people that are so down right now. That's why this victory has special meaning. Our guys played their hearts out for the university family."
1985 – No. 8 Ohio State 22, No. 1 Iowa 13: Linebacker Chris Spielman was unhappy before the game, but that feeling was all gone by the final whistle.
The host Buckeyes (7-1) upset the top-ranked team in the nation and gave themselves control of their own destiny in the Big Ten race. Ohio State and Iowa led the conference with 4-1 marks, with Michigan and Illinois behind at 3-1.
"I didn't like having Iowa come in here as a favorite," Spielman said in the Nov. 9, 1985 edition of BSB. "If a guy comes to my backyard to fight me, he'd better bring an army or kill me if he wants to win. The whole defense felt that way."
The defense forced five turnovers – four Chuck Long interceptions and a fumble – and the Buckeyes never trailed. Ohio State built a 15-0 second-quarter lead on a Rich Spangler 28-yard field goal, a safety on a blocked punt out of the back of the end zone, a John Wooldridge 57-yard touchdown and a 26-yard Spangler field goal. The Buckeyes led 15-7 at halftime and took a 22-7 lead in the fourth quarter on a Vince Workman 4-yard TD run. Iowa closed the scoring with six more points on a TD run, but the Hawkeyes could get no closer. "I think you saw a great team effort out there," OSU head coach Earle Bruce said. "I think the defense came back and did a great job, an outstanding job." George Cooper led the OSU rushing attack with 104 yards on 17 carries, while Wooldridge added 89 yards on nine carries. Quarterback Jim Karsatos completed 10 of 17 passes for 151 yards and two interceptions, with Mike Lanese being his top target with four receptions for 63 yards. Spielman led the defense with a game-high 19 tackles. He also had two interceptions. "I just did what I was supposed to do," Spielman said. "I think I played a little more disciplined today."
1974 – No. 1 Ohio State 49, Illinois 7: While Ohio State's ninth win in as many games was not the most dramatic in the world, it did provide some history. The Buckeeys gave head coach Woody Hayes his 200th career win, while running back Archie Griffin became the first major college football player to rush for at least 100 yards in 18 consecutive games. Griffin finished with 144 yards against the Illini. Hayes improved to 200-60-8, including 167-49-8 at OSU.
1968 – No. 2 Ohio State 25, No. 16 Michigan State 20: The Spartans, fresh off an upset win over Notre Dame a week earlier, nearly pulled off another shocker in Columbus before Ohio State could emerge with a win. The Buckeyes (6-0) never trailed but could never put away Michigan State. The five-point margin of victory was the lowest OSU would have in 1968.
1963 – No. 9 Ohio State 7, Iowa 3: Ohio State returned to Ohio Stadium after two weeks on the road and edged the visiting Hawkeyes to improve to 4-1-1. Tom Barrington rushed for 111 yards and led the Buckeyes on their only scoring drive.
1957 – No. 8 Ohio State 47, Northwestern 6: Don Clark rushed for 127 yards and four touchdowns as the Buckeyes overwhelmed Ara Parseghian's Wildcats at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State improved to 5-1 with the homecoming win.111
1946 – No. 6 Northwestern 39, Ohio State 27: In a game that saw two ties and the lead change hands three times, the Buckeyes emerged with a win at Dyche Stadium. Ohio State (2-2-2) iced the game with their six touchdown, scored with 3:25 remaining.
1940 – Ohio State 21, Indiana 6: Ohio State evened its record to 3-3 with a home rout of the Hoosiers.
1935 – Notre Dame 18, Ohio State 13: The Buckeyes blew a 13-point lead by allowing Notre Dame to score all of its points in the fourth quarter in one of the most memorable games in Ohio Stadium history – the "Game of the Century."
Both teams were unbeaten entering the game, played at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State, however, was a heavy favorite and many writers expected the game to be lopsided. For three quarters, it pretty much was. The then-record crowd of 81,018 watched the Buckeyes take an early lead on an interception returned for a touchdown three minutes into the game. Frank Antenucci picked off a Mike Layden pass, ran 10 yards and lateraled it to Frank Boucher, who took the 65 more yards for a score.
The Buckeyes led 7-0 after Dick Beltz's extra point and extended that lead before halftime on a Joe Williams 3-yard TD run. The extra point attempt failed, keeping it 13-0 heading into halftime.
That score held until Notre Dame took command in fourth quarter. The Irish cut their deficit to 13-6 on a Steve Miller 1-yard TD run but could get no closer after a missed point after boot. Notre Dame later added another touchdown on a 15-yard TD pass from Layden to Andy Pilney. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, again ND missed the extra point – allowing OSU to maintain the lead at 13-12 with just under two minutes left.
The game was far from over, however. Ohio State got the ball back and needed only to covert one first down to be able to run out the clock. Beltz fumbled on first down, however, and the ball went out of bounds off a Notre Dame player. Back then, possession was determined by who last touched the ball, which gave the Irish another shot to win the game with just over a minute left.
Notre Dame marched down the field and scored the winning TD, a pass caught by Wayne Millner in the end zone with 32 seconds left. The quarterback who threw the ball was Jimmy McKenna, Notre Dame's fourth-team QB who was not on the traveling squad but came to Columbus anyway and had to have a student manager convince a gate attendant that McKenna was, in fact, on the team. The crucial score was not only McKenna's first – but it was also his last in a varsity contest.
1929 – Pitt 18, Ohio State 2: The Panthers won the first meeting between the two teams, dropping Ohio State (3-1-1) in the rain at Pitt Stadium in front of more than 50,000 fans. Halfback Tony Uansa scored both of Pitt's touchdowns. The Panthers would go on to play in the Rose Bowl the following January.
1912 – Ohio State 31, Case 6: The Buckeyes (4-1) broke a five-game losing streak to their in-state foe, winning in Cleveland.
1907 – Ohio State 12, Kenyon 0: On a mud-covered field, the Buckeyes blanked Kenyon to improve to 4-1-1. The Columbus Dispatch reported the following day that the rain and mud could not overshadow how hard hitting the contest was.
1895 – Ohio State 8, Ohio Wesleyan 8: Ohio State moved to 1-2-2 with a tie vs. the Battling Bishops, the Buckeyes' second straight tie in as many weeks.