Buckeyes Close To Program Milestone

Ohio State is looking to remain undefeated heading into its Sept. 13 showdown at USC, but the Buckeyes could reach a rare milestone with a victory over Ohio University this weekend.

A win over in-state foe Ohio University Saturday will not only improve Ohio State's record to 2-0, but it will put the Buckeye program on an impressive list.

With a victory over the Bobcats, Ohio State can join Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas and Nebraska as schools with 800 wins. Michigan leads the all-time wins list with 869. Notre Dame is second with 824, followed by Texas (821), Nebraska (818) and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have an all-time record of 799-304-53 in their 119th season.

"That just shows you the history we have here at Ohio State," senior linebacker Marcus Freeman said. "It's going be a huge accomplishment when we're able to get that. ... If we do accomplish that, it's something we'll all be proud of. We'll be known as the team that got that 800th win. That's going to be a huge accomplishment and something we're proud of."

Head coach Jim Tressel said he spoke with the team Monday about how No. 800 was soon approaching.

"To think that you're at a place that's had 799 college football wins, and there's only four others that have done that, you're at a special place and you better understand the privilege," Tressel said. "It's not like this place changed when any of those showed up. This place has been extraordinary for many, many years."

The knowledge gave senior tight end Rory Nicol a different perspective.

"What that showed me more than anything was how insignificant really my four or five years have been," Nicol said. "You're talking about 800 wins, and I don't know how many I've had. ... Eight hundred wins is a big milestone."

While Buckeye fans wait for win No. 800, here is a look back at Nos. 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700:

· No. 100: Ohio State 17, Vanderbilt 6 (Nov. 14, 1908): The Buckeyes reached the century mark in victories by defeating the Commodores in Nashville, Tenn. Ohio State had lost three of its last four games and was led by head coach A.E. Herrnstein and team captain W.D. Barrington. The Buckeyes finished the 1908 season 6-4, the 10th consecutive winning season in a streak that would last 19 years.

· No. 200: Ohio State 41, Wittenberg 0 (Oct. 6, 1928): Ohio State improved to 200-103-25 all time with a whitewash of the Tigers. The 1928 season was the last for head coach John Wilce, who announced his resignation effect at the end of the season prior to the start of the campaign. Sophomore end Wesley Fesler led the Buckeyes and was selected as a member of Grantland Rice's All-America team at the end of the season. He would go on to become Ohio State's head coach from 1947-50.

· No. 300: No. 12 Ohio State 20, No. 5 Minnesota 7 (Oct. 27, 1945): The 300th win came a year after Ohio State's undefeated 1944 season that saw the Buckeyes win the Big Ten and the unofficial "national civilian championship." Les Horvath also won OSU's first Heisman Trophy in '44. Carroll Widdoes was in his first season as the permanent head coach of the Buckeyes after leading the team the previous year while Paul Brown served in the Navy during World War II.

Ohio State was coming off a 35-13 loss to Purdue the week prior, but the Buckeyes rebounded with an upset of the host Golden Gophers. Ollie Cline led the way with 80 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Buckeyes went on to finish the season 7-2 and Cline was named the Big Ten's most valuable player.

· No. 400: No. 2 Ohio State 50, Michigan 20 (Nov. 27, 1961): A win over the rival Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Mich., gave Ohio State its 400th victory. It also represented one of the Buckeyes most memorable. Ohio State entered the season-ending showdown with a 7-0-1 record and national title hopes. Those hopes looked to still be alive after Bob Ferguson rushed for 152 yards and four scores - in an offense led by OSU assistant Bo Schembechler. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the team did not get a trip to Pasadena because the OSU faculty council voted not to play in the Rose Bowl. Even without a bowl appearance, the Football Writers Association of America voted Ohio State as its national champion, and Ferguson was named a consensus All-American.

· No. 500: No. 2 Ohio State 32, North Carolina 7 (Sept. 27, 1975): The Buckeyes were coming off season-opening wins over No. 11 Michigan State and No. 7 Penn State when the Tarheels came to Columbus. Pete Johnson had a great day, scoring all five of Ohio State's touchdowns - a mark that would not be matched until Keith Byars did it vs. Illinois in 1984. Archie Griffin also made history during the win, rushing for 157 yards to surpass Rex Kern as Ohio State's all-time leader in total offense.

The 1975 season would end at the Rose Bowl and a disappointing 23-10 loss to UCLA which ended Ohio State's national title hopes.

· No. 600: Ohio State 64, Utah 6 (Sept. 27, 1986): Eleven years to the day the Buckeyes won their 500th victory came No. 600 in a non-conference route of the visiting Utes. Ohio State wowed the home crowd with a Big Ten-record 715 yards of total offense. It marked the first time a Buckeye team totaled 300 yards passing and rushing in the same game. Vince Workman led the ground attack with 168 yards and three scores. Jaymes Bryant added 145 yards rushing and fullback George Cooper scored four of Ohio State's touchdowns. Jim Karsatos threw for 224 yards with one touchdown.

· No. 700: No. 4 Ohio State 41, Illinois 6 (Nov. 15, 1997): Pepe Pearson rushed for 111 yards and scored twice in a rout of the Fighting Illini at Ohio Stadium. Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine combined for 189 passing yards and threw a total of three touchdown passes. Most fans remember this game for its weather. The game was played in freezing temperatures during a snowstorm. Illinois broke an 11-quarter touchdown drought vs. the Buckeyes when Trevor Stargill returned a fumble 38 yards for a score on the final play of the game.

The Buckeyes finished the 1997 season with a 10-3 record.


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