Despite being outgained 341-267, the Buckeyes earned the win thanks to a late touchdown pass on a 37-yard strike from Craig Krenzel to Michael Jenkins on a four-down play with 1:36 remaining. Two-way starter Chris Gamble then sealed the victory by intercepting a pass on Purdue's final drive with 45 seconds left.
"This is a tough place to play and Purdue is a good football team," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said in the Nov. 16, 2002, edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin. "Now they've had six losses by seven points or less. They're a tough football team and they played hard. Our kids played hard. Our defense kept fighting."
Ohio State (11-0, 6-0 Big Ten) overcame another rough offensive performance. The Buckeyes netted 94 yards on 39 rushes. The defense did enough to keep the Buckeyes' national title hopes alive.
"To hold them to six points in the game, that was a huge turnaround for our team," OSU defensive end Simon Fraser. "That kept us in the game."
The game was a low-scoring affair, with both teams trading first-half field goals. Purdue scored first on a 21-yard field goal late in the first quarter by Berin Lacevic, while Mike Nugent tied the game on the last play of the first half on a 22-yard field goal.
Purdue took the lead midway through the fourth quarter on another Lacevic field goal, this one on a 32-yard boot with 7:50 remaining.
Ohio State's national championship aspirations came down to a drive that began at the Purdue 46-yard line with 3:10 remaining. Quarterback Craig Krenzel was sacked for a 4-yard loss on first down. His second-down pass to tight end Ben Hartsock was incomplete. On third down, Krenzel stepped up and drilled a pass to Hartsock, who got 13 yards down to the PU 37.
The play ended with 2:10 left and the clock rolling. But instead of calling timeout, facing fourth-and-1, OSU went through its usual pre-play routine. Krenzel dropped and looked underneath for Hartsock, but he was covered. So Krenzel stepped up and threw deep down the left side to Jenkins, who got behind a Purdue defensive back.
Jenkins hauled in the pass in the end zone for 37-yard touchdown.
"I know Craig was looking underneath to Ben, but he got mangled," Jenkins said. "Craig just stepped up and made a great throw."
Nugent's PAT kick gave the Buckeyes a 10-6 left with 1:36 remaining. Gamble's interception closed out the win.
The Buckeyes were led offensively by Krenzel, who completed 13 of 20 passes for 173 yards. Maurice Clarett rushed for 52 yards on 14 carries, while Jenkins caught five passes for 87 yards. On defense, Mike Doss had nine tackles. Darrion Scott recorded a sack, and Matt Wilhelm, Dustin Fox and Gamble each intercepted passes.
1996 – No. 2 Ohio State 48, Illinois 0: The Buckeyes moved a win away for a Rose Bowl berth with a road thumping of the Fighting Illini.
Thanks to OSU's rout of Illinois in Champaign and Michigan's loss at Purdue, the Buckeyes needed only one win in the last two games of the regular season (at Indiana, vs. Michigan) to clinch the Big Ten championship and a trip to Pasadena.
"Michigan lost, huh? Boy, I hate to hear that, I tell you," OSU head coach John Cooper said in the Nov. 16, 1996, edition of BSB.
"That puts a lot more emphasis on next week," senior defensive end Luke Fickell said. "We can't overlook anybody. There are too many seniors who have seen this come and go. We can't let it slip away."
The Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0) had little trouble against Illinois. After a scoreless first quarter, Ohio State scored four second-quarter touchdowns to take command. Pepe Pearson opened the scoring with a 2-yard TD run, and Joe Germaine threw three touchdowns before the break on passes to John Lumpkin (7 yards), D.J. Jones (14 yards) and Dimitrious Stanley (12 yards).
Ohio State closed the scoring with three more trips to the end zone in the third quarter on a 5-yard Pearson run and a pair of 1-yard TD bursts by Jermon Jackson.
While the OSU offense put up plenty of points, the Buckeyes defense again dominated. They held the Illini to a meager 130 yards.
"The defense has been the backbone for us this year," Germaine said. "When the offense has been struggling, they've played well and kept us in some ball games."
Matt Finkes recorded a team-high nine tackles, including two for loss and 1½ sacks. Ty Howard intercepted a pass.
On offense, Germaine completed 11 of 14 passes for 180 yards and a trio of scores. Fellow QB Stanley Jackson completed 1 of 7 passes for 20 yards. Pearson ran for 165 yards on 21 carries, and Stanley caught three passes for 81 yards.
1991 – No. 19 Ohio State 35, Minnesota 6: Ohio State improved to 7-2 (4-2 Big Ten) with a rout of the host Golden Gophers.
Minnesota led 3-0 after the first quarter before the Buckeyes rallied with three second-quarter touchdowns. Ohio State rushed for five touchdowns on the day.
"We have played some tough ball games up here in the Dome and I was pleased that we had a little easier time of it this year," Cooper said in the Nov. 16, 1991, edition of BSB. "I thought Minnesota was a scrappy football team and they played far better than their record might indicate. We were happy with the victory."
Scottie Graham gave OSU the lead for good with a 2-yard touchdown run that put the Buckeyes ahead 7-3. That lead grew to 21-3 at halftime on a 1-yard TD run by Carlos Snow and a 5-yard run by Jeff Cothran.
Butler By'not'e and Kirk Herbstreit closed the scoring for OSU in the third quarter on scoring runs of 1 and 72 yards, respectively.
Herbstreit's long touchdown run was the game's highlight, a run that saw the junior backup QB break several tackles en route to the end zone.
"I just kept my legs moving and was able to bounce off some tackles," Herbstreit said. "It was luck, maybe, but I'll take it."
Snow led the OSU offense with 95 yards rushing on 13 carries. Quarterback Kent Graham completed 8 of 11 passes for 101 yards, and Bernard Edwards caught three passes for 49 yards. On defense, Judah Herman made seven tackles. Tim Walton intercepted a pass.
1985 – No. 4 Ohio State 35, Northwestern 17: At Wyche Field, the Buckeyes crushed the Wildcats.
Ohio State (8-1, 5-1) remained atop the Big Ten standings with a blowout win. The Buckeyes scored a pair of touchdowns in the first and second quarters to take a 28-0 halftime lead. Jim Karsatos threw a 14-yard touchdown pass Cris Carter and a 75-yard scoring strike to Mike Lanese in the first quarter. In the second quarter, John Wooldridge rushed for a 6-yard TD and Karsatos tossed a 3-yard touchdown to Ed Taggert.
The Buckeyes took a commanding 35-0 lead in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Roman Bates. Northwestern scored the final 17 points of the game, but the Buckeyes still cruised to a victory.
Karsatos finished with 275 yards on 16-of-20 passing with three touchdowns and an interception. Tressel, a third-year assistant to OSU head coach Earle Bruce, had praise for Karsatos.
"He's as good as there is in the country for one reason. He does what we ask him to do," Tressel said in the Nov. 16, 1985, edition of BSB. "The making of a quarterback is what he can do for his team. Well, Jim Karsatos can do for Ohio State what we need done. You start adding up yardage, adding up completions and touchdowns and all that and people, typically, have arguments. But as far as what he can do for Ohio State, he's the best in the country."
Wooldridge rushed for 83 yards on 21 carries, and Carter caught four passes for 86 yards.
Defensively, Pepper Johnson led the Buckeyes with 10 tackles. Walter White and Sonny Gordon intercepted passes.
1974 – Michigan State 16, No. 1 Ohio State 13: In one of the most controversial endings in Ohio State football history, the host Spartans knocked off the top-ranked and previously unbeaten Buckeyes.
Ohio State held a 13-3 lead early in the fourth quarter before Michigan State rallied thanks to a 88-yard touchdown run by fullback Levi Jackson with 3:17 remaining. The Buckeyes (8-1) attempted to answer, driving from the OSU 29 to the MSU 5, where Champ Henson carried the ball to within inches of the goal line.
With 29 seconds remaining and OSU out of timeouts, Michigan State defenders were slow to get back to the line of scrimmage. When the ball was snapped, it slipped between the legs of Cornelius Greene and carried into the end zone by wingback Brian Baschnagel. The head linesman signaled a touchdown, but the field judge indicated that time had run out before the play. Confusion reigned until 46 minutes later, which many of the fans still in the stadium, when Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke announced the MSU had won the game.
1968 – No. 2 Ohio State 43, Wisconsin 8: Thirty-three second-half points helped the Buckeyes (7-0) blast winless Wisconsin. Backup quarterback Ron Maciejowski played in place of injured starter Rex Kern and threw for 153 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 124 yards and three more scores.
1963 – Penn State 10, No. 10 Ohio State 7: Ohio State blew a 7-0 halftime lead and fell to 4-2-1. The Nittany Lions earned the nonconference win thanks to a Pete Liske 13-yard touchdown pass to Bill Bowes and a 23-yard field goal by Ron Coates.
1957 – No. 6 Ohio State 20, Purdue 7: Thanks to three first-half touchdowns, the Buckeyes defeated the visiting Boilermakers. OSU (6-1) got TDs from Don Clark, Dick LeBeau and Frank Kremblas.
1946 – No. 12 Ohio State 20, Pitt 13: The Buckeyes won their third straight to improve to 4-1-2 with a victory at Ohio Stadium. Quarterback George Spencer completed 9 of 13 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
1935 – Ohio State 20, Chicago 13: OSU rallied from a 13-0 deficit against the three-touchdown underdog Maroons in Chicago. Emotionally drained after losing the "Game of the Century" against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes (5-1) needed a comeback to remain alive in the Big Ten race.
1929 – Northwestern 18, Ohio State 6: Ohio State dropped its second straight, losing at home to the Wildcats. NU fullback Russell Bergherm rushed for two of his team's three touchdowns. Wes Fesler scored OSU's lone points on a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown. The Buckeyes fell to 3-2-1.
1918 – Ohio State 56, Case 0: The Buckeyes played for the first time since Oct. 12 and blasted visiting Case to improve to 4-1.
1912 – Ohio State 23, Oberlin 17: With the win over Oberlin, Ohio State (5-1) clinched its first state title in six years.
1907 – Ohio State 22, Oberlin 10: Ohio State improved to 5-1-1 with a home win.
1901 – Michigan 21, Ohio State 0: The Buckeyes (4-1-1) played their first game since the death of center John Sigrist and fell to the Wolverines. Ohio State cancelled its Nov. 2 game vs. Ohio Wesleyan and the Buckeyes voted to continue the season with the game vs. Michigan.
Charles Sigrist, John's brother and the OSU right tackle, supported the decision to continue playing. Some of the faculty was unhappy with the decision and attempted to pass a resolution to cancel the remainder of the schedule, which failed 18-8.
1895 – Ohio State 4, Cincinnati 0: Ohio State improved to 2-2-2 with a win in the Queen City.