Ohio State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) got some added motivation in the hours leading up to the game when MSU tailback and Dayton native Javon Ringer told ESPN’s “College GameDay” that he wouldn’t mind beating his home-state Buckeyes handily.
“We heard it right before we went out,” OSU defensive end Robert Rose said. “It’s always good to get something from the locker room, to get some bulletin-board news. It’s always good because that can really motivate a team.”
The Buckeyes used what they gained from Ringer’s comments and thumped the Spartans. Ohio State quickly turned the showdown into a laugher, getting three first quarter touchdowns en route to taking a 28-0 halftime lead. Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a hand in the first two scores, rushing for an 18-yard TD and throwing a 7-yard scoring strike to Brian Robiskie. Beanie Wells added the other two touchdowns in the first half on runs of 1 and 12 yards, respectively.
In the end, the rushing game told the story. Led by a 140-yard effort by Wells, the Buckeyes finished with 216 yards on the ground. Ringer was limited to 67 yards, and the Spartans were held to 52 on 21 carries as a team.
Ohio State’s defense added two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Sophomores Thaddeus Gibson and Jermale Hines returned fumbles for touchdowns of 69 and 48 yards, respectively, with kicker Aaron Pettrey booting a 40-yard field goal in between.
“We always say that if you are going to win on the road, you’d better win the turnover margin, be solid in your kicking game and be able to run the ball a little bit,” said OSU head coach Jim Tressel. “I think that we did the things that we are always talking about wanting to do.”
Pryor completed 7 of 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown and added 72 yards on 12 carries. Brandon Smith caught three of those passes for 37 yards. On defense, James Laurinaitis recorded a team-high 11 tackles and added 1½ sacks. Brian Rolle and Kurt Coleman recorded interceptions.
Michigan State was led by backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, who came in relief of starter Brian Hoyer. Cousins completed 18 of 25 passes for 161 yards with a touchdown and interception. Hoyer struggled, completing 5 of 13 passes for 27 yards and a pick.
2003: No. 8 Ohio State 19, No. 9 Iowa 10: A week after a demoralizing loss at Wisconsin that gave OSU its first loss in 20 games, the Buckeyes rebounded with a victory at Ohio Stadium in a game between top-10 teams.
Ohio State’s offense still struggled, but the special teams picked up the slack with two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the defense limited Iowa’s high-powered offense to 219 yards, more than 100 yards off the Hawkeyes’ season average. Tailback Fred Russell, the nation’s eighth-leading rusher at the time, was held to 42 yards on 22 yards.
“It was just a very physical football game,” OSU head coach Jim Tressel said. “I think you saw two of the better defenses in the country out there today.”
Iowa’s defense played well, holding Ohio State to a meager 185 yards of total offense, including only 56 on the ground. However, Special teams made the difference. Michael Jenkins returned an Iowa punt 54 yards for a touchdown, and a blocked punt led to another Buckeye score. Redshirt freshman Roy Hall smothered the kick, and freshman Donte Whitner fell on the loose ball in the end zone for a score.
“To me, the story of the game was that we didn’t get the job done on special teams,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I’m not going to say (that special teams) cost us the game today, but we’ve definitely got to get some things cleared up in that area.”
Jenkins’ punt return gave Ohio State the momentum and a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The Buckeyes took a 10-3 lead into the break before extending the lead on Whitner’s touchdown. Iowa cut into the lead with a 5-yard touchdown run by Nate Kaeding on a fake field goal early in the fourth quarter. The kicker took a pitch from the holder and ran around right end for a score.
“Coach (Ferentz) and I called that one,” said Kaeding, who also booted a 36-yard field goal in the first quarter. “At that juncture of the game, we didn’t think three points would get it done. We executed it well, but I was running for my life because Ohio State has some hard hitters.”
The Buckeyes closed the scoring with a safety with 3:03 remaining. Hawkeyes center Eric Rothwell, subbing for injured starter Brian Ferentz, launched a snap over quarterback Nathan Chandler’s head and out of the back of the end zone.
Quarterback Craig Krenzel completed 11 of 22 passes for 129 yards, and Drew Carter caught six of those passes for 95 yards. Krenzel led OSU’s struggling rushing attack with 20 yards on 14 carries.
1997: No. 11 Ohio State 31, Indiana 0: Several Buckeyes had impressive efforts and Ohio State as a whole bounced back from its primetime loss at Penn State a week earlier.
Quarterback Stanley Jackson completed 13 of 15 passes for 189 yards a week after playing only a quarter against PSU. Freshman kicker Dan Stultz, who missed a 27-yard field goal against the Nittany Lions, rebounded and tied the record for the longest field goal in Ohio Stadium history with a 55-yard boot.
Add a defense that allowed just 179 yards of total offense vs. the Hoosiers after being gashed for 31 points and 316 yards at Happy Valley and that equaled a happier interview room at Ohio Stadium.
“We needed this day after last week,” said OSU defensive end Clinton Wayne, who scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 38-yard interception return. “We needed this day to prove to ourselves and the nation that we’re for real.”
The Buckeyes built a 21-0 by halftime. Michael Wiley scored the only touchdown in the first quarter on a 18-yard run that capped a five-play, 46-yard drive. John Lumpkin doubled OSU’s lead in the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Joe Germaine. Wayne then added his defensive touchdown to extend the lead before the break.
The Hoosier rarely threatened in the second half, and Ohio State added 10 more points. Stultz’s field goal extended the lead to 24-0 in the third quarter, and later in the quarter Steve Wisniewski added an 8-yard touchdown pass from Wiley on an option pass.
Defensively, Antoine Winfield led the way with 10 tackles. Marcel Willis and Andy Katzenmoyer each added eight stops. Katenmoyer also had two sacks.
“I was particularly happy with the effort on defense,” OSU head coach John Cooper said. “Any time you can get a goose egg on the board, you’ve got to be pleased.”
1986: Ohio State 39, Purdue 11: The Buckeyes had little trouble in winning the first night game in the history of Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium, and the game was a very memorable one for redshirt freshman defensive back David Brown.
The Utica, N.Y., native returned an intercepted pass 100 yards and became only the eighth Big Ten player to do so and the first since 1919. On a third-and-5 play from the OSU 6, Purdue quarterback Doug Downing threw a pass four-yards deep into the end zone. Brown was in position to step in front the Boilermaker receiver and haul in the throw.
“When I saw my outside linebacker (Eric Kumerow) waving me on, I knew something was going on,” Brown said about what happened after the interception. “I knew from that point on I was in good hands. He threw a nice block for me and that just kept me going.
“We’re taught to go down, but my momentum was carrying me out of the end zone and I just took off and ran. I saw all that green. I saw nothing but daylight.”
After Kumerow’s block, Chris Spielman, Greg Rogan and Sonny Gordon all provided Brown with the escort he needed to score his first collegiate touchdown.
“I was with him for the first 30 yards,” Spielman said. “But when you’re running with a guy with 4.4 speed, it’s hard to keep up.”
The Boilermakers had no answer for Ohio State’s offense as the Buckeyes improved to 3-0 in the Big Ten and 5-2 overall. Jim Karsatos and Tom Tupa split time at quarterback and combined to throw for 281 yards. Eight receivers caught passes and eight different rushers combined for 263 yards on the ground.
On defense, the Buckeyes held Purdue to only 57 rushing yards.
“I think we are getting better,” said OSU head coach Earle Bruce.
Even with the improvement, Bruce was not happy that the offense was forced to settle for Matt Frantz field goals four times.
“I thought out offense moved the ball well enough to have scored more points,” Bruce said. “But it’s another victory and those are important in the Big Ten.”
1980: No. 9 Ohio State 27, Indiana 17: Lee Corso’s Hoosiers went 8-4 for their first winning season since 1968, but the Hoosiers was no match for Ohio State in ‘80.
Calvin Murray celebrated his 22nd birthday by scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 224 yards for the Buckeyes. OSU built a 17-10 halftime lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Murray, a Vlade Janakievski 20-yard field goal and a 20-yard touchdown run by tailback Jimmy Gayle. Janakievski added a 27-yard boot in the third quarter, and Murray scored on a 37-yard run in the fourth quarter.
1975: No. 1 Ohio State 56, Wisconsin 0: Seven different players reached the end zone as the Buckeyes dominated the overwhelmed Badgers on homecoming at Ohio Stadium. Wisconsin lost five fumbles and threw an interception, not that Ohio State needed the help. The highlight of the game came when Tim Fox thrilled the crowd by completing a flip in the end zone after returning a Wisconsin put 75 yards for OSU’s third score.
1969: No. 1 Ohio State 34, Minnesota 7: The Golden Gophers actually outgained the Buckeyes 443-429 but OSU still ruined homecoming at Memorial Stadium. Minnesota helped the Buckeye defense by turning over the ball on five fumbles. Gopher QB Phil Hagen completed 26 passes for 304 yards, both school records at the time, but never reached the end zone.
Jim Otis led the way for Ohio State with 138 yards of offense and two touchdowns. It was OSU’s 18th straight victory.
1958: No. 3 Ohio State 49, Indiana 8: Fullback Bob White accounted for 116 of Ohio State’s 236 yards of offense in a Big Ten victory. White also tied what was then a school record with four touchdowns. The Hoosiers scored their only touchdown with four seconds left in the fourth quarter.
One of the most notable moments in the game came when OSU head coach Woody Hayes sprinted out to the middle of the playing field in the second half to complain about what he thought was unnecessary roughness against his team. The result of his actions was a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That also drew the ire of Indiana coach Phil Dickens, who felt Hayes’ tirade was out of line with the Buckeyes leading 35-0 at the time.
1952: No. 16 Ohio State 35, Washington State 7: Quarterback John Borton completed 15 of 17 passes for 312 yards and showed a mastery of Hayes’ new split-T offense in a home non-conference win over the Cougars. Borton threw for all five of OSU’s scores. They went for 12, 54, 15, 70 and 26 yards. Four of the scores were caught by Bob Grimes, who caught 10 passes for 187 yards.
The whole trip went poorly for the Cougars, who were making their first trip to Columbus. The team flew to Milwaukee and then took the train to central Ohio. Then the Cougars boarded a bus that mistakenly took them north to Delaware, Ohio, before returning them to the old Deshler-Wallick hotel near Broad and High streets.
1947: Ohio State 13, Iowa 13: After trailing 13-0 at halftime, Ohio State rallied for a Big Ten tie at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes scored all of their points in the final nine minutes of the game. Fullback Ollie Cline scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, and Curly Morrison added a 2-yard touchdown on an end around play.
1941: No. 10 Ohio State 16, Purdue 14: The Buckeyes built a 16-0 halftime lead at Ohio Stadium and held on for the victory. Purdue only made four first downs and never advanced past the OSU 35 in the first half, but the Boilermakers came out strong in the second half. Purdue fullback John Petty scored twice on short runs, but Ohio State was able to hold on. A first-quarter safety that occurred when OSU’s Jim Daniell blocked a Purdue punt proved to be the margin of victory.
1930: Michigan 13, Ohio State 0: Michigan quarterback Harry Newsome scored all of his team’s points in the victory, but the Buckeyes led on the stat sheet. Ohio State outgained Michigan (272-224) and had more first downs (13-6), but Michigan’s defense held the Buckeye offense at bay. Michigan went on to post a 7-0-1 record and tied for the Big Ten title with Northwestern.
1924: Ohio State 10, Ohio Wesleyan 0: OSU began a five-game home stand with a blanking of the Battling Bishops. It was the 18th consecutive season the two schools met on the football field. The game also marked the last time the Buckeyes would win in ‘24. Ohio State finished with a 2-3-3 record.
1919: Ohio State 49, Kentucky 0: The visiting Wildcats became Ohio State’s third straight shutout victim to start the 1919 season. The Buckeyes defeated their first three opponents - Ohio Wesleyan, Cincinnati and Kentucky - by a combined 133-0.
1913: Ohio State 0, Oberlin 0: The Buckeyes moved to 2-0-1 with a tie against the in-state rival Yeomen. The tie began a three-game winless streak that followed a two-game winning streak for the Buckeyes.
1902: Ohio State 34, Marietta 0: Under first-year head coach Perry Hale, the Buckeyes won their first straight to start the season. All of OSU’s victories, which came against Otterbein, Ohio, West Virginia and Marietta, were shutouts. Up next for Ohio State was a game against Michigan.