2008: No. 12 Ohio State 16, Purdue 3: The Buckeyes improved to 6-1 (3-0 Big Ten) with the win over the visiting Boilermakers at Ohio Stadium, but it was not a celebratory mood postgame.
The game featured only one touchdown, and it was scored by the OSU punt block unit. Purdue outgained the Buckeyes 298-222, ran more plays and had four more first downs. Without the special teams score and two turnovers by the Boilermakers, it could have been a difficult day in Columbus.
“We just know we didn’t play anywhere near how we can,” a frustrated Jake Ballard said. “Our O-line, our tight ends, our receivers – everybody’s down because we know we didn’t play as well as we can, and we know it’s not going to get the job done later in the season.”
Added OSU head coach Jim Tressel: “Offensively we didn’t get near as much done as we’re going to need to get done, but we didn’t turn it over, and that’s critical in a Big Ten battle. We all know we’ve got a lot of work to do, but we also know that we need to come up with wins, especially as we’re in conference play.”
The game’s lone touchdown came early in the first quarter. Purdue punter Chris Summers had a boot blocked by Malcolm Jenkins. The ball bounced high off the Ohio Stadium turf and – eventually – into the hands of freshman Etienne Sabino, who returned it 20 yards for a score.
“I felt like the ball was never going to come down,” Sabino said. “It was in the air forever and it finally fell into my hands. After that, I just remember running as hard as I could to get into the end zone.”
With Ryan Pretorius PAT made it 7-0 barely over three minutes into the game. The score was all Ohio State need, and it was almost all the Buckeyes could manage. Pretorius added a 24-yard field goal late in the first quarter, and Aaron Pettrey booted a 49-yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 13-0 at halftime.
Carson Wiggs got Purdue on the board in the third quarter on a 53-yard field goal, but Ohio State set the final score in the fourth quarter with a Pretorius 22-yard field goal.
Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor completed 10 of 14 passes for 97 yards. He was also sacked three times and rushed for just 27 yards on 14 carries. Beanie Wells had 94 yards to lead the rushing attack, but that total snapped a streak of five consecutive 100-plus-yard games for Wells. Defensively, Jenkins added an interception and four solo tackles to go with his punt block.
2003: No. 23 Wisconsin 17, No. 3 Ohio State 10: Defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio used the word "disappointed," and Michael Jenkins and Dustin Fox struggled to find words.
Ohio State had just lost for the first time in 21 months on a rainy night in Madison. A fumbled punt return and a blown coverage on a 79-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter finally doomed the Buckeyes. It was Ohio State's first loss in 647 days, since the 2002 Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina.
With Wisconsin holding a 7-3 lead midway through the third quarter, it looked like Ohio State was going to have short field position when the defense forced the Badgers to punt from deep within Wisconsin territory. But Chris Gamble mishandled R.J. Morse's punt near midfield. Wisconsin long snapper Matt Katula recovered the fumble, and the turnover led to a Wisconsin field goal.
The Buckeyes tied the game with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 6-yard scoring strike to Jenkins from quarterback Craig Krenzel.
The momentum was short-lived, however, as Wisconsin scored the game-winning touchdown two plays after OSU's tying score. Wisconsin backup quarterback Matt Schabert, who entered the game in the third quarter when starter Jim Sorgi was injured in a pileup, found Lee Evans streaking down field. Schabert's pass was a good one, and Evans outraced Gamble – who bit on Evans' out-and-up pattern – to the end zone.
"They had doubled Lee all night, and we felt that in that situation that we might get man coverage and we wanted to take a shot," UW head coach Barry Alvarez said. "But in my wildest dreams, I never imagined Matt throwing the ball like that. But that‘s football. When someone goes down, the next guy has to come in and do the job."
Schabert did just that, completing 2 of his 3 passes for 104 yards and keeping OSU's defense off balance with some key scrambles late in the game.
Ohio State's running game continued its struggles, managing only 69 yards. Krenzel returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with a hyperextended elbow. He completed 14 of 26 passes for 202 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Ben Hartsock caught five of those passes for 41 yards.
Defensively, Robert Reynolds led the Buckeyes with 12 tackles, 2½ for a loss. The linebacker was also involved in one of the game's most controversial plays. On the play where Sorgi was injured, Reynolds was seen in television replays grabbing the Wisconsin QB by the neck at the bottom of the pile. Following the game, several Badgers criticized Reynolds for dirty play. Tressel told reporters he did not have a good view of the play, and Alvarez simply said, "You saw the film."
1997: No. 2 Penn State 31, No. 7 Ohio State 27: Curtis Enis avenged a poor showing in the '96 game between PSU and Ohio State by leading the host Nittany Lions to victory in a Big Ten battle between top-10 teams.
Enis rushed for 211 yards on 23 carries, including a game-winning 26-yard touchdown run. It was a big turnaround for the Union City, Ohio, native, who was held to only 34 yards on 11 carries in Ohio State's 38-7 win over PSU in 1996.
"Last year, I was embarrassed," Enis said. "I received hate mail after the game saying, ‘We didn't want you to come to Ohio State anyway.'
"I'm playing where I wanted to play. I didn't want to go to Ohio State. I bleed blue and white, and I always will."
Enis' efforts prevented Ohio State from escaping Happy Valley with an impressive come-from-behind win. Two Dan Stultz field goals and a Joe Germaine touchdown pass to Dee Miller were not enough to prevent the Buckeyes from taking a 17-13 deficit into halftime. However, Ohio State rallied in the third quarter with 14-unanswered points. David Boston caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Germaine, and Pepe Pearson added an 8-yard score to give Ohio State a 27-17 lead with 1:42 remaining in the third quarter.
The 10-point lead did not last long, though, as Penn State answered 1:22 later with a 51-yard touchdown run by Aaron Harris. That capped a four-play, 80-yard drive that gave the Lions the momentum heading into the fourth quarter.
Ohio State was held on offense after the Harris score, and Penn State then drove for the go-ahead score. The Nittany Lions' drive covered 86 yards and took eight plays. The Buckeyes looked primed to answer, driving into PSU territory, but Germaine had a deep pass intercepted by Shawn Lee at the Lions' 17 with 8:10 remaining.
The teams traded punts before Ohio State had its last shot with the ball at its own 4 with 3:57 remaining. Germaine connected on his first three passes to move the ball to the OSU 38. His next four missed the mark, though, and Penn State was able to run out the clock.
"That was our last chance to make a play to try and win the game," Germaine said. "The plays were there for us. We had good plays called, but Penn State really stepped it up and shut us down."
Germaine, who had been splitting time with Stanley Jackson at quarterback, played the bulk of the game and completed 29 of 43 passes for 378 yards. He threw two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Michael Wiley had only 38 yards on eight carries, but that led OSU's rushing attack. David Boston caught 14 passes for 153 yards, and Miller added eight receptions for 149 yards.
Gary Berry and Winfield Garnett led the OSU defense with nine tackles apiece.
1986: Ohio State 24, Indiana 22: Walk-on kicker Matt Frantz played the hero in the Buckeyes' victory at Memorial Stadium.
Frantz, who had a short prep kicking career at Finneytown, Ohio, made all three of his extra point attempts and drilled a 43-yard field goal in OSU's Big Ten victory.
"Back in high school, I did not really play football," Frantz said. "I played one season of football. We did not have what you would call a potent offense. We only had 10 points all season." Frantz scored four of those points for 0-10 Finneytown, which is located north of Cincinnati, one on the team's lone touchdown and one on a field goal.
Yet Frantz was called into duty when head coach opened up a battle for the kicking job. Freshman Pat O'Morrow struggled in OSU's first five games after returning from knee surgery, giving Frantz a chance to make a start.
"He kicked well all week and won the job," Bruce said. "It's as simple as that. We'll see what happens next week."
The Buckeyes and Hoosiers traded a pair of first-half touchdowns before Ohio State scored 10-unanswered points in the third quarter to take the lead for good. Frantz' 43-yard boot proved to be the game winner as Indiana cut the lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by freshman tailback Anthony Thompson with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter. A successful two-point conversion by the Hoosiers cut the lead to two, but OSU's Cris Carter stunted chances of a Indiana rally by recovering the ensuing onside kick.
The Buckeyes were forced to punt after Carter recovered the kick, but there were only two seconds left on the clock when the Hoosiers got the ball back. Linebacker Chris Spielman then dashed any hopes of a Indiana miracle by intercepting a desperation pass by QB Dave Kramme.
Jim Karsatos completed 7 of 15 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown pass and two interceptions. He also added a 1-yard touchdown run to open the game's scoring. Carter caught Karsatos' touchdown throw for a 21-yard score. Carter caught five passes for 77 yards, and James Bryant led all rushers with 131 yards on 22 carries.
In addition to his interception, Speilman led the OSU defense with 15 tackles. Sonny Gordon added seven tackles and two interceptions, and Michael Kee recovered a fumble and had 12 tackles.
1980: No. 9 Ohio State 63, Northwestern 0: The Buckeyes recorded their highest road game score since 1934 with a blanking of the host Wildcats.
Tailback Calvin Murray led all rushers with 120 yards on nine carries. The Buckeyes led in first downs (30-12) and in total yards (575-222).
Bruce brought his entire 60-man traveling squad on the trip, and Ohio State posted its most points on the road since a 76-0 victory at Western Reserve on Nov. 3, 1934.
1975: No. 1 Ohio State 49, Iowa 0: Coming off a win at UCLA, the Buckeyes returned home to Big Ten play with a rout of the Hawkeyes.
Ohio State scored touchdowns in each of their first seven drives and cruised. Archie Griffin led all rushers with 120 yards, bringing his streak of regular season games in which he had more than 100 yards rushing to 26. Cornelius Greene completed all eight of his passes for 117 yards, one going for a 9-yard touchdown to tight end Larry Kain.
Pete Johnson scored three times on short touchdown runs, and freshman QB Rod Gerald entered the game in the fourth quarter and scored on touchdown runs of 45 and 14 yards.
1969: No. 1 Ohio State 54, No. 19 Michigan State 21: On an afternoon when Chic Harley was honored as OSU's first three-time All-American (1916-17, '19), the Buckeyes routed the visiting Spartans.
Defensive end Mark Debevc intercepted a Bill Triplett pass and returned it 14 yards for Ohio State's first touchdown, and the Buckeyes cruised to a lopsided victory. The 54 points by OSU were the most ever scored against Michigan State during head coach Duffy Daugherty's 19 seasons (1954-72) with the Spartans.
The Buckeyes led 27-7 after the first quarter, and while the OSU defense had halted MSU's triple-option veer offense, Rex Kern had a big game with two rushing scores and three passing touchdowns.
1958: No. 5 Ohio State 19, Illinois 13: The Buckeyes scored twice in the third quarter and had to hold off the host Fighting Illini for a Big Ten victory.
Illinois was driving for a potential game-winning score, but Ohio State escaped thanks in part to a dropped pass inside the OSU 5. Illinois QB Bob Hickey threw a pass to halfback Dick McDage in the final minutes, but McDage could not hold onto the football and dropped it at the 3-yard line.
1952: Ohio State 23, No. 1 Wisconsin 14: A week after losing at home to Purdue, the Buckeyes gave first-year head coach Woody Hayes his first big win with an upset victory over top-ranked Wisconsin at Ohio Stadium.
The Badgers were No. 1 following wins against Illinois and Marquette, but the Buckeyes used three long drives of 88, 64 and 55 yards to upend Wisconsin. John Borton led the passing attack, and Hopalong Cassady and Fred Bruney took care of the rushing in Hayes' Wing-T attack. Linebacker Tony Curcillo led the defense, which stopped five Wisconsin drives inside the OSU 20 in the win.
1947: No. 20 USC 32, Ohio State 0: Ohio State suffered its second straight loss, and first of four shutouts, in a blanking by the Trojans at Ohio Stadium.
USC scored in each quarter and cruised in front of 76,559 fans in Columbus. It gave the Trojans a bit of revenge after Ohio State defeated USC on the West Coast, 21-0, in 1946.
1930: Northwestern 19, Ohio State 2: The Wildcats scored all of their points in the first half and handed the Buckeyes their first loss of the season in Evanston.
Ohio State's lone score came on a safety stemming from a Northwestern punt blocked by Sam Selby.
1924: Ohio State 0, Iowa 0: Coming off a home win over Purdue, the Buckeyes could only manage at tie at Iowa.
Ohio State continued to struggle on offense. The Buckeyes only scored once in a 7-0 victory over the Boilermakers, and both defenses ruled the day at Iowa City.
1919: Ohio State 49, Kentucky 0: A whitewash of the visiting Wildcats gave Ohio State an unblemished record in two games.
Led by Chic Harley, the Buckeyes opened the '19 season with routs of Ohio Wesleyan, Kentucky and Cincinnati.
1913: Ohio State 14, Western Reserve 8: OSU improved to 2-0 with its second win over an in-state opponent to start the '13 campaign.
The Buckeyes would face one more Ohio foe, Oberlin, before playing their first Western Conference league game as a member school. The Western Conference later became the Big Ten.
1902: Ohio State 30, West Virginia 0: The Buckeyes recorded their third consecutive shutout with a win over the Mountaineers. Ohio State had outscored its opponents 52-0 through its first three games.