This Date In Buckeye History

Every day in the late summer and fall has its moments in Ohio State football history, and Sept. 15 is no different. The Buckeyes are 4-1 on this date, and the lone loss did not even happen in the 20th century. Find out more in the second edition of a weekly series – "This Date In Buckeye History."

1990 – No. 17 Ohio State 31, Boston College 10
The Buckeyes improved to 2-0 for the first time time in the John Cooper era in their first ever game in New England.

But not everything went well for Ohio State, as quarterbacks Greg Frey and Kent Graham both struggled in the win. Frey was benched in favor of Graham after an inconsistent start, but after two Graham interceptions, Frey was reinserted into the game.

Even after a 21-point win, Cooper had to answer quarterback controversy questions.

"I never said anything about a quarterback controversy," Cooper told Buckeye Sports Bulletin. "There's no controversy. You guys (reporters) aren't going to get me involved with that. We just need a lot of help, that's all. We're going to play a lot of players, including quarterbacks. Right now, our starter is Greg Frey, but we don't play again for two weeks."

Frey completed seven of 12 passes for 84 yards with an interception and a touchdown – the game's first. It was on a 10-yard pass to Bobby Olive that gave the Buckeyes a 7-3 lead. A 52-yard field goal by Ohio State's Tim Williams at the end of the second quarter made the lead 10-3 at halftime.

Raymont Harris helped the Buckeyes stay in control in the second half. He scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of nine and 35 yards, respectively. Olive also added a second touchdown with a 21-yard touchdown catch from Graham, who finished 4 of 10 for 40 yards.

Harris led the rushing attack with 96 yards on 12 carries, and Robert Smith added 102 yards on 17 attempts.

Leading the OSU defense was Steve Tovar with 13 tackles, 10 of which were solos.

Future Buckeye quarterback Kirk Herbstreit even threw a pass, even if it was not the play's intention. Herbstreit, the holder on field goal attempts, had a desperation throw intercepted after a botched kick.

1984 – No. 9 Ohio State 44, Washington State 0
Senior quarterback Mike Tomczak made his return from a broken leg suffered in the spring in a rout of the visiting Cougars at Ohio Stadium.

Sophomore quarterback Jim Karsatos, who started in place of Tomczak in OSU's season opener the week before against Oregon State, helped the Buckeyes jump on top of Washington State 10-0 before Tomczak returned to a loud and long ovation. Tomczak did not miss a beat, leading the Buckeyes to touchdowns on each of his first three possessions. He also had the only touchdown pass of the game – a five-yard pass to Keith Byars that gave OSU a 23-0 halftime lead.

"Once I got out there, the guys accepted me," Tomczak told BSB. "They knew I was going to get in sometime in the first half, but they didn't know when. I went right to my roommate (offensive guard) Jim Lachey, and I gave him a high five, like I do before a game. But it felt good to get out there and get under a center again. I felt like myself all over again."

Linebacker Pepper Johnson led the Buckeye defense in the shutout with a team-high 11 tackles and a pair of big plays that kept the Cougars off the scoreboard. Johnson recovered a fumble in the end zone to stall one WSU drive, and he added an interception near the OSU 10.

"This was the best victory I have had since I've been here, shutting out a team like Washington State," Johnson told BSB. "Everyone has been talking about how young we are, but I have a lot of confidence in the young guys. I know everyone will have a lot of confidence in themselves with a victory like this."

Washington State quarterback Mark Rypien was held to a 14 of 31 throwing effort for 123 yards and three interceptions.

Keith Byars once again led the Buckeyes' rushing attack with 145 yards on 26 carries.

1979 – No. 15 Ohio State 21, Minnesota 17
The host Golden Gophers dominated the stat sheet in the Buckeyes' Big Ten opener, but Art Schlichter sent the Memorial Stadium crowd home unhappy.

Schlichter had 238 of Ohio State's 295 yards of total offense. Even so, the Gophers finished with 505 yards of offense and a 14-0 lead before the Buckeyes rallied. Schlichter threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Hicks to cut the lead to seven, but Minnesota added a field goal to take a 17-7 lead into halftime.

Calvin Murphy cut the lead to four in the third quarter with a one-yard touchdown score.

In the fourth quarter, Schlichter connected with Chuck Hunter on a 29-yard pass and later scrambled for a 32-yard touchdown the give the Buckeyes the lead. A two-point conversion pass to Bill Jaco, who was playing at tight end instead of tackle because of injuries, gave Ohio State an eventual four-point win.

1973 – No. 3 Ohio State 56, Minnesota 7
The Buckeyes scored in every quarter in a season-opening rout of Minnesota.

Sophomore Archie Griffin and halfback Neal Colzie provided some long touchdown scores to highlight the win. Griffin scored on a 93-yard kickoff return, and Colzie added a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown. The game was Cornelius Greene's first as OSU's starting quarterback, and he made the most of it by driving Ohio State to touchdowns in four of its first six offensive possessions.

Ohio State out-gained the Golden Gophers 457-199.

1894 – Akron 12, Ohio State 6
The Ohio State Board of Agriculture arranged for three football games to be played at the Ohio State Fair, and this Buckeye loss was the first.

The game, played on a Wednesday, was one of two Ohio State lost. The Buckeyes lost one day later, 6-0, to Wittenberg. Ohio State later earned a 32-0 victory over Antioch Oct. 6.

The Buckeyes, captained by W.G. Nagel and coaches by Jack Ryder, finished the season 6-5. They won four of their last five games.

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