Ohio State Football: 10 Biggest Blowouts Since 1950
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The game between Ohio State and Eastern Michigan was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking.
The No. 2 team in the country, winner of nine straight and 13 of its last 14 games coming in, welcomed a school whose last win came in 2008—the Eagles entered the game riding a 15-game losing streak.
It was the first-ever meeting on the football field between the two schools, and it was a lopsided victory for the Buckeyes, 73-20.
The 53-point margin of victory was impressive, but is it the biggest blowout in Ohio State's history?
Although the Buckeyes scored the most points they've scored in a game since 1950, the 53-point shellacking of Eastern Michigan is nothing compared to the 128-0 beatdown Ohio State gave Oberlin College in 1916.
So, it doesn't rank near the top of biggest blowouts in Ohio State history, but how does the win over Eastern Michigan stack up against Buckeye blowouts in the modern era (post-1950)?
Here's a hint: It's not in the top 10.
Without further ado, here is the list of the 10 biggest blowouts by Ohio State since 1950.
10. 56-0, Wisconsin, 1975
The 1975 Ohio State football team was led by Heisman Trophy-winning running back Archie Griffin, but on October 18, 1975, against the Wisconsin Badgers, he got some help—and in a big way.
Griffin led the team in rushing with 107 yards and a touchdown, but the Buckeyes as a team ran for 373 yards and seven touchdowns. Running back Pete Johnson scored twice and ran for 98 yards, while three other Ohio State rushers ran for 30 yards or more and each scored a touchdown. Even quarterback Cornelius Greene had a seven-yard rushing touchdown.
The Buckeyes' other touchdown came via special teams. All-American corner back Tim Fox returned a punt 75 yards for a score.
The defense, led by defensive end Bob Brudzinski, did its part by forcing six turnovers and keeping the Badgers off the scoreboard.
Note: Ohio State beat Indiana 56-0 in 1957, tying their effort against Wisconsin for 10th-biggest blowout since 1950. However, stats from this game were unable to be located.
9. 64-6, Utah, 1986
On Sept. 27, 1986, Ohio State not only completely dismantled the Utah defense by scoring 64 points and setting a modern-era school record of 715 total yards, it stifled the potent Utes offense, giving up only six points.
Over the previous two seasons, Utah had averaged more than 33 points a game. However, in this contest the Buckeyes defense, led by linebacker Chris Spielman's 11 tackles, was having no part of it.
Ohio State held the Utes offense to just two field goals and forced four fumbles, recovering two.
The Buckeyes' offensive attack was led by quarterback Jim Karsatos and tailback Vince Workman. Karsatos completed 15 of 22 passes for 224 yards with one touchdown, and Workman rushed for 168 yards, scoring three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving).
Ohio State had 394 yards rushing and 321 yards passing, combining for a total of 715 yards—a record that still stands today.
8. 59-0, Wisconsin, 1979
Poor Bucky the Badger. Just four years earlier Ohio State thrashed Wisconsin 56-0. I guess Brutus wanted more—three points more it seems.
On Oct. 20, 1979, Ohio State annihilated Wisconsin, 59-0, inside Ohio Stadium. For the second time in three visits to Columbus, Wisconsin allowed 50+ points to the Buckeyes and was blanked themselves. However, in their 1977 visit to "The Horseshoe," the Badgers made the game a little closer and kept the Buckeyes under 50. They allowed only 49 points and lost 49-0.
Certainly, these were three of the worst consecutive visits to an opponent's stadium a team could have. In the three games, Ohio State outscored Wisconsin by a combined score of 164-0.
In the 1979 blowout, the Buckeyes were led by quarterback Art Schlichter's four touchdowns, two passing and two rushing.
Ohio State accumulated 572 yards of total offense while holding the Badgers to a mere 206.
The Buckeyes scored in every quarter, and even the defense got in on the scoring. Ray Ellis returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown.
The win gave Ohio State its 20th consecutive victory over Wisconsin.
7. 60-0, Northwestern, 1973
The 60-0 win over Northwestern on Oct. 27, 1973, was Archie Griffin's largest margin of victory during his four years donning the Scarlet and Gray.
Griffin ran for two touchdowns and accounted for 105 of the Buckeyes' 426 rushing yards. Quarterback Cornelius Greene ran for 88 yards and a touchdown.
When the Buckeyes scored, they scored in bunches. During one 22-minute stretch (just under a quarter-and-a-half) between the second and third quarters, Ohio State scored all eight of its touchdowns.
Putting up 60 points is special, but the Buckeyes defense was special in its own right on this day. It held the Wildcats to a slim 176 yards of total offense.
Following its shutout against Northwestern, Ohio State's defense went on to blank its next two opponents, Illinois and Michigan State.
5 (Tie). 62-0, TCU, 1969
This was Ohio State's first game since winning the National Championship in 1968—what a way to start its title defense!
The 62-0 win over Texas Christian on Sept. 27, 1969, gave the Buckeyes their 15th victory in a row.
Quarterback Rex Kern and fullback Jim Otis each scored two touchdowns, but it was tailback John Brockington who led the team with three.
On the second play from scrimmage, Rex Kern threw a 58-yard touchdown pass and the Ohio State offense never looked back. It scored at least two touchdowns in every quarter.
Although the 1969 Buckeyes did not defend their National Championship, they will always have their 62-0 stomping of the Horned Frogs, the largest margin of victory Ohio State had under coach Woody Hayes.
5 (Tie). 83-21, Iowa, 1950
The 83 points scored against Iowa on Oct. 20, 1950, are the most points Ohio State has scored in the modern era. However, the 62-point margin of victory is only good enough for a fifth-place tie on the "biggest blowouts" list.
Forty-six of the 83 points scored by the Buckeyes can be credited to one player, Vic Janowicz.
Janowicz, the 1950 Heisman Trophy winner, played on both sides of the ball and was also in charge of all the kicking duties for Ohio State. He was the tailback on offense and a safety on defense, and if the Buckeyes threw the football, Janowicz was the one throwing it out of Wes Fesler's single-wing formation.
In one of the most impressive, if not the most impressive, single-player performances in Buckeyes' history, Janowicz scored a total of six touchdowns (one rushing, one returning a punt, and four passing) and kicked 10 PATs. He doubled the Hawkeyes' point total by himself, and then some.
3 (Tie). 70-7, Rice, 1996
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The Sept. 7, 1996, game against Rice was a coming-out party for a slew of new Ohio State Buckeyes.
The 1996 football team entered the season having to replace some of the greatest players to don Ohio State uniforms, such as 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, quarterback Bobby Hoying, tight end Rickey Dudley and wide receiver Terry Glenn, all lost to the NFL.
The season-opener against Rice was a chance for the new players to showcase their skills and show Buckeye nation that they weren't chopped liver. They did just that.
New starting quarterback Stanley Jackson threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Lumpkin on Ohio State's opening drive. Running back Pepe Pearson scored on an 8-yard run and then on a 22-yard scamper, concluding the Buckeyes' possessions.
Pearson ran for a total of 119 yards and three touchdowns, while Jackson completed 7 of 9 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in Ohio State's rout.
David Boston caught his first touchdown pass as a Buckeye in this game, as tailback Michael Wiley also made an impact in his Ohio State debut. He had three touchdowns, each on electrifying runs of 49 yards or more.
Not to be outdone by the starter Jackson, backup quarterback Joe Germaine threw for three touchdown passes and 164 yards.
Ohio State outgained Rice 632-218 in total yards.
3 (Tie). 63-0, Northwestern, 1980
Marcus Marek was a linebacker for the 1980 Buckeyes
The only one of the 10 blowouts to happen away from the friendly confines of Ohio Stadium is this Oct. 11, 1980, blowout of Northwestern in Evanston, IL.
The 63-0 domination of the Wildcats was huge for the 1980 Buckeyes' psyche, as they were coming off a tough home loss to UCLA, 17-0.
Ohio State running back Calvin Murray ran for 120 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Running back Jim Gayle and backup quarterback Bob Atha also scored for the Buckeyes.
The defense picked off Northwestern three times in the game, returning one pass 50 yards for a touchdown by cornerback Todd Bell.
Ohio State ran for a total of 475 yards in the game.
2. 70-6, Northwestern, 1981
Earl Bruce was the coach of the 1981 Ohio State team
As if the 63-point beatdown the year before in Evanston wasn't enough, Ohio State embarrassed Northwestern the following year when it came to Columbus. The Buckeyes beat the Wildcats 70-6 on Nov. 14, 1981, good enough for No. 2 on this list.
In the second and third quarters, Ohio State scored 56 of its 70 points.
Senior quarterback Art Schlichter was 16 of 24 for 281 yards with three touchdown passes in his last home game as a Buckeye.
The loss increased Northwestern's losing streak to 30 games. The streak continued four more games before it finally ended at 34 games in 1982.
Other Ohio State touchdowns came courtesy of Victor Langley, Jim Gayle, Tim O'Cain and Gary Williams, among others.
1. 72-0, Pittsburgh, 1996
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No, 72-0 is not a typo, it's the score of the 1996 game between Ohio State and Pittsburgh, two Division I college football teams. It's also the score of Ohio State's biggest blowout in the modern era.
Just one game before this 72-point whitewash, the 1996 Buckeyes tore apart Rice, 70-7. The combined 142 points the '96 Ohio State team scored in its first two games is a record for most points scored in consecutive games in Ohio State history.
This one, on Sept. 21, 1996, featured two separate Buckeyes with three-touchdown performances. Ohio State running back Pepe Pearson scored on runs of 16, 9 and 2 yards, and freshman David Boston caught touchdown passes of 9 and 12 yards. He also returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown.
The Buckeyes scored on each of their first 10 possessions and had 52 points by halftime.
They outgained the Panthers 602-120 in total yards, nearly a 500-yard difference.
Other eye-popping stats from the game are:
First Downs: Pitt 4, OSU 29
Rushing yards: Pitt 77, OSU 369
Time of Possession: Pitt 19:50, OSU 40:10
The '96 team went on to win the Rose Bowl, defeating Arizona State, 20-17.