Ohio State vs. Notre Dame score: Buckeyes overtake Irish with last-second TD to remain atop playoff race (2024)

Notre Dame had Ohio State on the ropes, but the Buckeyes rallied late to stun the Irish crowd in attendance

By David Cobb

& Will Backus

1 min read

No. 6 Ohio State emerged victorious over No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday as DeaMonte Trayanum scored a 1-yard touchdown with one second left on the clock to lift the Buckeyes to a 16-14 win in a thrilling classic between two of college football's top brands. The Buckeyes led 10-0 late in the third quarter before surrendering 14 unanswered to Notre Dame. Ohio State junior quarterback Kyle McCord, making just his fourth career start, responded by guiding the Buckeyes on a game-winning drive in the final two minutes.

McCord connected with Emeka Egbuka for a 21-yard gain down the middle of the field that put the Buckeyes on Notre Dame's 1-yard line with seven seconds remaining and no timeouts. Before the clutch throw, McCord connected with Julian Fleming for a 7-yard completion on a fourth-down play with the game on the line. He then found Marvin Harrison Jr. on a 19-yard diving grab over the middle to push the Buckeyes even closer to the end zone.

From there, McCord was whistled for intentional grounding with 15 seconds left, which required Ohio State to burn its final timeout to avoid a 10-second runoff. Undeterred, McCord found Egbuka for the completion which set up Trayanum's score. With the win, Ohio State has now defeated an AP top-10 team for a 10th consecutive season.

The outcome denied Notre Dame its first victory over Ohio State since 1936 and gave the Buckeyes their sixth straight win in the series.

1 yard for 'tough team'

On a third-and-1 midway through the second quarter, Ohio State failed to get that single yard on consecutive plays and turned the football over on downs at Notre Dame's 1-yard line. A similar scenario played out in the fourth quarter with the Buckeyes trailing 14-10 and facing a third-and-1 at the Notre Dame 11-yard line. Ohio State failed to pick up the lone yard on consecutive runs and turned the football over on downs with 4:12 remaining.

It reeked of the "finesse" label often assigned to the Buckeyes under sixth-year coach Ryan Day. Without a stop from the Buckeyes defense, the offense wouldn't have gotten a third chance. But Ohio State forced a punt and the third time turned out to be a charm.

After McCord threw an incompletion to the right pylon that left three seconds on the clock, Day decided to trust his run game for the last and all-important yard. Even still, Trayanum's scoring run was close enough to warrant a video review before it was confirmed that the football reached the goal line before his knees hit the ground.

Day made it clear after the game that he and the Buckeyes were bothered by comments from former Notre Dame coach and Hall of Famer Lou Holtz this week. Holtz, 86, questioned Ohio State's toughness, saying of Day that "everybody that beats him does so because they are more physical than Ohio State."

But, when the Buckeyes needed a yard with the game at stake, they were just physical enough to get it.

"I'd like to know where Lou Holtz is right now," Day said during an impassioned postgame interview on the field. "What he said about our team …I cannot believe. This is a tough team right here."

Don't blame Notre Dame's defense

Notre Dame's defense is going to draw plenty of criticism for allowing Ohio State's late, game-winning touchdown. Sure, the Irish played some leaky pass defense and ultimately got pushed off the ball on their biggest play of the season to allow Trayanum to push ahead for the score, but the Irish's defense was great for a majority of the game.

They more than held their own against one of the best wide receiver groups in the nation. Marvin Harrison Jr., fresh off two-straight 100-yard receiving performances, had just three catches for 32 yards. Notre Dame held Ohio State scoreless for over 29 minutes to start the game. The defense gave the offense plenty of opportunities to score, but Sam Hartman and Co. failed to capitalize.

The Irish had two drives in the first quarter end in Ohio State territory without a score. In fact, Notre Dame made it onto the Buckeyes' side of the field in three of its first five drives and didn't have any points to show for it. The Irish had two failed fourth-down conversions and one missed field goal before they scored their first touchdown. Notre Dame's defense battled enough to win, but the offense left a lot on the field.

Kyle McCord's moment

McCord's prior starts came against Akron, at Indiana, against Youngstown State and against Western Kentucky. Playing a top-10 opponent on the road marked the liveliest atmosphere of McCord's career and the scene also produced his first chance to be a late-game hero. After mostly playing in garbage time behind predecessor C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, McCord shined on college football's biggest stage when his team needed him most.

After completing 12 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns to Harrison the past two weeks, McCord relied on other targets Saturday. With the Fighting Irish draping Harrison, Egbuka and tight end Cade Stover caught seven passes apiece. Xavier Johnson added a 40-yard reception in the fourth quarter. McCord and this iteration of the Buckeyes don't appear quite so dominant as some of the program's other recent outfits, but he came through when it mattered in a big moment Saturday.



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Ohio State wins thriller

Ohio State 17, Notre Dame 14

In an age of college football defined by offense, this one took on a different shape than what we've become accustomed to, and it was refreshing. There were just nine combined penalties and no turnovers. All four units seemed equally matched, and a classic game ensued. The Buckeyes had struggled in short yardage situations throughout the night but picked up the final yard when they needed it most. Classic college football game.


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Ohio State was physical when it needed to be

Late 4Q: Ohio State 17, Notre Dame 14

Ohio State struggled with short yardage all night, but the Buckeyes were able to conjure up enough physicality when it really mattered. The Buckeyes had the ball on Notre Dame's 1-yard line with three seconds left. They lined up in the shotgun and, instead of going for a pass, quarterback Kyle McCord gave the ball to jumbo running back Chip Trayanum, who just got the ball across the goal line for what should be a huge Ohio State win. The Buckeyes will still have to kick the ball off to Notre Dame, as there is one second left on the clock.


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Big drive coming up for Ohio State

Ohio State get the ball, down 14-10, with 1:26 left to play. This drive could define the Buckeyes' season. They'll have decent starting field position after an 8-yard return from Emeka Egbuka to Ohio State's 35-yard line. Ohio State does only have one timeout to work with, so that's something to monitor.


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Notre Dame makes a stand

Notre Dame's bend-but-don't break defense has largely been successful tonight, and the Irish just made a huge stand to take control of Saturday's game. Ohio State, down 14-10, decided to go for it on fourth-and-inches from Notre Dame's 10-yard line. Instead of plunging the ball up the middle, the Buckeyes ran a sweep with wide receiver Emeka Egbuka. Notre Dame was all over and tackled Egbuka well behind the line of scrimmage. The Irish take over with a 4-point lead and just over four minutes to play.


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No physicality

A 40-yard completion from McCord to Xavier Johnson over the middle on a third-and-5 play established Ohio State on the cusp of the red zone. From there, the Buckeyes overcame a false start and plunged even further. But faced with a third-and-1, the Buckeyes failed to gain a single yard on consecutive plays and turned the football over on downs. A stunning lack of physicality in a clutch moment from a team that has struggled with the "finesse" label in comparison to rival Michigan. Notre Dame takes over.


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Notre Dame takes late lead

Notre Dame's offense just took control of the game. The Fighting Irish got the ball on their own 4-yard line thanks to an excellent Ohio State punt, but that wasn't a problem for them. They embarked on a methodical drive, sparked by a couple chunk passes from quarterback Sam Hartman, to work the ball all the way to Ohio state's 2-yard line. There, Hartman found a wide open Rico Flores Jr. in the back of the end zone to give the Irish a 14-10 lead. Now it's up to Ohio State to respond after such a momentum-shifting drive.


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Buckeyes on their heels

After nearly three quarters of almost-perfect defense, Ohio State is starting to lose its mojo as Notre Dame continues to lean on the Buckeyes during yet another long, physical drive. Ohio State needs a playmaker to step up here for a sack, a run-stuff, a turnover, etc. You can see the Fighting Irish gaining confidence with every chunk of yardage.


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Costly mistake

A personal foul penalty on Josh Fryar wipes out a completion that brought Ohio State inside Notre Dame's 30-yard line. Instead, the Buckeyes were placed in a third-and-24 in their own territory, which they did not convert. Bookmark that one. In the good news category for Ohio State: Marvin Harrison Jr. was on the field for that possession. McCord targeted him on a deep shot down the right sideline but he didn't quite have the separation needed to reel in a decently thrown ball.


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Notre Dame's offense gets in the game

After having several drives stall in Ohio State territory, Notre Dame is finally on the board. The Fighting Irish sorely needed an answer after Buckeye running back TreVeyon Henderson gashed their defense for a 61-yard touchdown run. Notre Dame responded well, embarking on a 13-play lead capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Gi'Bran Payne to cut Ohio State's lead to 10-7. The Irish had 54 rushing yards on that scoring drive.


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Marvin Harrison Jr.'s status

Harrison has a heavily taped ankle and is jogging on the sideline after spending time in the injury tent. He isn't just one of Ohio State's best players. He's one of the best in college football. He's ranked No. 2 in the 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings at CBS Sports and has Heisman Trophy type of capabilities. He hasn't been a huge producer in this game vs. Notre Dame, but he's critical to who the Buckeyes are this season. Ohio State has depth at wide receiver, yes, but replacing a player like Harrison is a task too big for any one player.


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Touchdown but….

TreVeyon Henderson just produced the highlight play of this game, ticking off a 61-yard touchdown run to put Ohio State up 10-0 early in there second quarter. He'd been mostly quiet up to that point but has suddenly changed the complexion of this game — while silencing the Notre Dame crowd. However, Marvin Harrison Jr. left the game and headed toward the medical tent after the play. Huge issue to watch.


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Fourth downs a nightmare for Notre Dame

According to the NBC broadcast, Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman said coming out of halftime that he would be going for every fourth-and-1. It didn't take long for him to back up that talk. The Irish were faced with a fourth-and-1 from Ohio State's 39-yard line and they went for it. Quarterback Sam Hartman was stopped short of converting for the second time tonight. Notre Dame now has two turnovers-on-downs and a missed field goal on fourth down tonight.


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Defense delivers

Were you hoping for a change of pace in the second half? Ohio State just stuffed Sam Hartman on a fourth-and-1 in OSU territory to end a promising Notre Dame drive and give the football back to the Buckeyes. Sonny Styles and Lathan Ransom were credited with the stop. That's some serious work in the trenches defensively for Ohio State as these teams are now a combined 0 for 3 on fourth downs.


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Notre Dame football

The Fighting Irish get the football first to begin the second half. Can this Ohio State defense stack another half like the one it just enjoyed? This is a pivotal 30 minutes for a program that appears to be getting tougher defensively under second-year coordinator Jim Knowles. The former Oklahoma State DC brought pressure in timely moments against the Fighting Irish in the first half. We'll see what he dials up in the second. Neither team committed a turnover in the first half. Feels like this game could be decided when one of the defenses takes matters into their own hands with a momentum-changing play.


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Stars contained

Marvin Harrison Jr.'s first and only reception of the first half came at the 3:46 mark and went for a total of seven yards. Notre Dame running back Audric Estime has five carries for 25 yards, and 22 of them came on a single carry. Both are the stars of their offenses, and both have been quiet thus far in a ruthless defensive struggle. Neither quarterback has been terrible, but both defenses have simply come up with the right plays at the right times to keep points off the board. Should be a fun second half.


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Ohio State breaks the gridlock

Well, it took almost 30 minutes, but we finally have a score in this one. Ohio State went on a 12-play, 66-yard drive to kick a field goal and take a 3-0 lead that with just 26 seconds to go until halftime. Still, that likely wasn't the result the Buckeyes wanted. Ohio State ran seven plays in Notre Dame's territory, including three inside the 15-yard line, but still couldn't get anywhere close to Notre Dame's goal line. Still, a lead's a lead, and points have been very hard to come by so far.


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Marvin Harrison Jr. is here

Harrison finally made his first reception at the 3:46 mark. Though he just had a really nice 29-yard reception reversed upon review, it feels like he's starting to get going after a quiet first half. He made 12 catches for 286 yards and three touchdowns over the past two weeks.


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Notre Dame can't take advantage of goal line stand

Notre Dame's offense isn't doing its defense any favors. After the Irish's heroic goal line stand, Notre Dame took over at its own 1-yard line. Things got off to a great start, thanks to a strong 22-yard run from Audric Estime, but the drive stalled from there. Notre Dame rushed for a total of seven yards on the next two plays and Sam Hartman's third-down pass fell incomplete. Both offenses are moving the ball pretty well, but neither can finish a drive.


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Limiting Ohio State's wide receivers

Ohio State has the best wide receiver room in college football, but it isn't showing tonight. Emeka Egbuka is the only wideout to touch the ball all night, and he has just two catches for seven yards. His first catch went for a loss of three, as well. The Fighting Irish have keyed in on star Marvin Harrison Jr., often bracketing him in double coverage, but none of Ohio State's other receiver options are able to take advantage. The Buckeyes have just 41 yards total through the air with 6:53 left to play in the second quarter.


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Ohio State comes up empty

Kyle McCord hit DeaMonte Trayanum in the flat for a 12-yard gain on third-and-8 to keep Ohio State's drive alive. Then, he hit Emeka Egbuka over the middle on a third-and-5. Those were big-time throws to keep Ohio State moving toward the goal-line. But in the end, the Buckeyes failed to execute inside the 5-yard line and were denied on fourth-and-goal from the one. So we remain scoreless as both defenses have risen up in key moments.


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Irish come up short again

Make that two offensive drives that ended in Ohio State territory with a grand total of zero points for Notre Dame. After their first quarter drive stalled on fourth-and-1, the Irish got the ball back to Ohio State's 29-yard line but were held to fourth-and-5. Instead of going for it this time, Irish coach Marcus Freeman decided to kick a 47-yard field goal. Spencer Shrader, who was 3-for-6 on the year, hooked his kick left.


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Pressuring Sam Hartman

Tommy Eichenberg hurried Sam Hartman on second-and-5, and the Buckeyes brought pressure again on third down, which forced Hartman to throw an incompletion while falling away. The pass was nearly picked off. That was a marked uptick in aggression from Jim Knowles and the Ohio State defense, and it led to a missed 47-yard field goal attempt from the Fighting Irish. Big sequence for the Buckeyes there to keep the game scoreless early in the second quarter.


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Ohio State ended up in a third-and-4 after consecutive TreVeyon Henderson runs. But there was nothing there. Kyle McCord scrambled and picked up only two yards. That brought on punter Jesse Mirco for his second punt of the quarter. Marvin Harrison Jr. has been a non-factor through two possessions for the Buckeyes. The only completion to a non-tight end for Ohio State thus far was for -3 yards to Emeka Egbuka.


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Promising Notre Dame drive stalls on fourth down

Notre Dame moved the ball all the way to Ohio State's 18-yard line thanks to a smooth 14-play, 71-yard drive. But the Irish were forced into a fourth-and-1 situation, and coach Marcus Freeman decided to roll some dice and go for it. Quarterback Sam Hartman initially dropped back to pass and rolled out when the pocket started to collapse. He scrambled to his right, breaking one tackle and angling towards the first down marker. Ohio State linebacker Cody Simon met him with a big hit, and though officials initially ruled that Hartman made the line to gain, review showed that he came up short.


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Mitchell Evans makes momentum play

Notre Dame tight end Mitchell Evans -- a product of Wadsworth High School in Ohio -- is having a really nice night. On the Fighting Irish's first drive, he has three catches for 26 yards. One of those catches might end up on Sports Center. On second-and-9 from Ohio State's 40-yard line, Evans boxed out a defender and corralled a high throw from quarterback Sam Hartman with one hand. Evans was able to secure the one-handed catch while he was being driven to the ground.


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Defending the run

Ohio State is allowing just 2.53 yards per rush entering this game, and the Buckeyes are defending the run well on Notre Dame's opening possession. Star running back Audric Estime isn't getting much going for the Fighting Irish. Buckeyes were initially penalized for a late hit out of bounds on Davison Igbinosun, but the officials wiped it off. Notre Dame is still driving, though, and is in the red zone behind some nice plays in the passing game.


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Hitting a wall

Ohio State punts after picking up a couple of first downs. Cade Stover was the MVP of that possession for the Buckeyes, who faced an early third-and-long. McCord hit Stover across the middle for a first down to help the Buckeyes avoid a three-and-out. Stover also had another nice catch-and-run on a quick out as he disposed of a much smaller corner and reached the sticks. But a false start penalty set Ohio State behind the chains and contributed to the drive stalling when it did.


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Here we go

The day's first top-20 matchup -- a showdown between No. 10 Oregon and No. 19 Colorado -- was a bit disappointing as the Ducks rolled. So that leaves this game with a chance to take the title of day's best. We're underway as the Buckeyes will receive. Huge matchup as these two look to establish themselves as national title contenders.


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Sam Hartman's moment

Not to overrate Saturday, but this is why Hartman came to Notre Dame -- to play in games like this. For all he did at Wake Forest -- 13,000 career yards passing, 11 wins and an ACC Championship Game berth in 2021 among his accomplishments -- transferring to the Fighting Irish reflected that desire to be the best.

Check out this feature on Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman, whose play has elevated the Fighting Irish entering this top-10 battle.

Career of proving doubters wrong has Notre Dame star Sam Hartman primed for tentpole Ohio State showdown Dennis Dodd


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Notre Dame vs. Ohio State best bet

"If I've learned anything over the years of believing that defense matters, it's that it only matters to a point. Time and time again I've seen battles between great defenses and great offenses go the offense's way. Make no mistake about it, both of these teams have excellent defenses that have played very well all season. But both teams also have explosive offenses. Notre Dame's 12 touchdowns scored from outside the red zone are the most in the country, and Ohio State is right behind with 10. There will be big plays and touchdowns."Pick: Over 55.5

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Ohio State vs. Notre Dame score: Buckeyes overtake Irish with last-second TD to remain atop playoff race (3)

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Ohio State vs. Notre Dame score: Buckeyes overtake Irish with last-second TD to remain atop playoff race (2024)


Ohio State vs. Notre Dame score: Buckeyes overtake Irish with last-second TD to remain atop playoff race? ›

Instead, the sixth-ranked Buckeyes prevailed 17-14 against No. 9 Notre Dame and did so in a way that Day couldn't have scripted any better. Ohio State drove the field and scored with one second left on a 1-yard Chip Trayanum touchdown run, confirmed following a replay review.

What did Lou Holtz say about the Ohio State Buckeyes? ›

Holtz who appeared recently on “The Pat McAfee Show” had some choice words for the Buckeyes and even their coach, Ryan Day. “Notre Dame is a better football team than Ohio State,” Holtz said during his appearance on the show. “You look at coach [Ryan] Day, and I coached at Ohio State under Woody Hayes.

When was the last time Ohio State football lost two games in a row? ›

Ohio State ended its 2022 and 2023 seasons with back-to-back losses to Michigan and in the program's bowl game. Friday's loss to the Tigers secured Ohio State's first bowl game losing streak of at least two games since back-to-back losses in the 2012 Gator Bowl and the 2014 Orange Bowl.

What teams has Ohio State never beaten? ›

Football Bowl Subdivision Teams Ohio State Has Played And Never Beaten
  • Clemson (0-4) ...
  • Florida State (0-3) ...
  • Florida (0-2) ...
  • South Carolina (0-2) ...
  • Auburn (0-1-1) ...
  • Air Force (0-1) ...
  • Georgia (0-1) ...
  • Tennessee (0-1)

Why was Ohio State coach fired? ›

Holtmann, who led Butler to three straight 20-plus win seasons, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2017, will land somewhere. He just could not find a way to get through the key hurdles necessary at Ohio State, and the inability to defend in the last two years was a formula for disaster in the Big Ten.

Why do NFL players say they are from the Ohio State? ›

"The U" is the nickname for that school. Years ago they produced a ton of NFL talent when they were winning national titles and playing in New Years bowl games but the program has declined. So that's why you'll find many players who claim to be from that school.

When was the last time Notre Dame Best Ohio State? ›

You have to go all the way back to 1936 to find the last time Notre Dame defeated Ohio State in a football game. According to Sports Illustrated, the game was billed as the “Game of the Century” at the time, with Notre Dame knocking off an undefeated Ohio State squad in front of a record-setting crowd at Ohio State.

What are the odds of Ohio State winning national championship? ›

Odds to win 2024 College Football Playoff
Ohio State+850
16 more rows
Jan 9, 2024

How many times has Notre Dame lost to Ohio State? ›

The Buckeyes have only met up with the Fighting Irish six times before Saturday night's meeting, and Ohio State has won the last four during a home-and-home in 1995 and 1996, along with two wins in the 2006 and 2016 Fiesta Bowls.

Has Ohio State ever gone 15 0? ›

No Ohio State team has ever played 15 games, so a 15-0 mark would be a new frontier, one better than Jim Tressel's 14-0 champions in the BCS Era, which was pre-Big Ten title game. "The first thing is you have to believe, you have to believe that you belong as national champs," Day said. "You go from there.

What team is better, Michigan or Ohio State? ›

As of January 2024, Michigan is number one and Ohio State is number three on the list of the college football teams with the most total wins, and Ohio State is number one and Michigan is number two on the list of college football teams with the highest winning percentage.

Has Ohio State ever won a national championship in football? ›

Ohio State has played its home games at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, since 1922. The Buckeyes are recognized by the university and NCAA as having won eight national championships, including six from the major wire-service selectors: AP Poll and/or Coaches' Poll.

Who is Ohio State's biggest rivalry? ›

Ohio State. The granddaddy of all college football rivalries is the University of Michigan vs. Ohio State University. These two midwestern Big Ten powerhouses have been at it since 1897, with the Wolverines and Buckeyes meeting for "The Game" around Thanksgiving weekend for over a century.

Has Ohio State ever lost to an unranked team? ›

Lopsided Loss to Unranked Opponent Keeps Ohio State Out of College Football Playoff for Second Straight Year. Nov. 4, 2017: Iowa 55, Ohio State 24.

Who has beat each other more Michigan or Ohio State? ›

Michigan All-Time Record. The two teams have met 119 times, and Michigan holds a 61–51–6 record with a three-game win streak. Michigan's longest win streak was nine games (1901-1909), with its largest win an 86-0 victory in 1902.

Who is the big nut fan for Ohio State? ›

And there's no other person who can talk Ohio State Jon Peters, who is better known to fans as “Big Nut!” He wasn't in costume for his conversation with Lauren Moss and Joshua Short, but when he is in costume, you can't miss him!

Why was Ohio State football on probation? ›

Ohio State is already under NCAA probation for football players getting cash, tattoos and too-high summer wages. Those problems led to the forced resignation of head football coach Jim Tressel last May.

Who was the first to say the Ohio State University? ›

It was Robert Smith who started saying THE Ohio State University in the NFL introductions!

Why does Ohio State put Buckeyes on their helmets? ›

The year was 1968 -- that much of the story we know. According to Ohio State lore, the Buckeyes were on the cusp of a championship campaign when longtime trainer Ernie Biggs conceived of the idea of awarding players helmet stickers resembling buckeye leaves, presumably for motivational purposes.


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