COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Since the 1890s, Ohio State has played games with no matchups more frequent than those against other teams in the Buckeye State.
Saturday will be the 258th time OSU has played against an in-state opponent when the third-ranked Buckeyes (2-0) faced Toledo at 7 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. In the last 30 years, Ohio State has played the usual Ohio college teams you’d think of: Youngstown State, Cincinnati, Ohio, etc.
But well before the days of television and the Big Ten, regular opponents would include Otterbein, Denison, and Ohio Wesleyan. OSU has even played games against the Dayton YMCA and the Columbus Barracks, a military installment.
Of these 257 games, the Buckeyes have won 189, and they have not lost to an in-state team in more than a century. Here’s a look at that last loss and some other notable encounters dating to 1894.
Sept. 10, 2011
Ohio State 27, Toledo 22 (Ohio Stadium)
The last time the Buckeyes and the Rockets played was 11 years ago when Toledo nearly upset OSU.
It was not a great start for the 15th-ranked Scarlet & Grey, who trailed 15-7 after the first quarter. OSU made it to halftime with the lead thanks to a Carlos Hyde touchdown run and a Chris Fields 69-yard punt return for a score.
Toledo was only down five points in the fourth quarter after an error-riddled game and had a chance to drive and win. That drive ended unsuccessfully, and the Buckeyes escaped with the victory.
Among the notable Rockets’ miscues included a missed field goal, more than 100 yards in penalties, and a mishandled hold on a field goal. No Buckeyes offensive player eclipsed 100 yards rushing or receiving.
Sept. 19, 2009
Ohio State 38, Toledo 0 (Cleveland Browns Stadium)
Two years before OSU’s scare against the Rockets, the teams met not in Columbus or Toledo but in Cleveland for what was called the Patriot Bowl.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor turned it on with four touchdowns and over 370 yards passing and rushing. The fans in Cleveland were treated to a highlight play early as Pryor tossed a 76-yard touchdown pass to Dane Sanzenbacher less than two minutes in.
This game marked the most recent time Ohio State has played a regular-season game at a neutral site.
Sept. 20, 2003
Ohio State 24, Bowling Green 17 (Ohio Stadium)
It was a beautiful afternoon at the Horseshoe that the defending national champion Buckeyes almost lost to an in-state opponent for the first time in more than 75 years.
Bowling Green came for the third meeting between the schools. After Buckeyes running back Lydell Ross’ second touchdown run, the Falcons trailed 24-7 in the fourth quarter but roared back with a touchdown and a field goal to come within a possession of the Buckeyes with just under two minutes left.
Bowling Green got the ball back with a few seconds remaining and got to midfield, but safety Will Allen intercepted Falcons quarterback Josh Harris to avoid a possible upset.
OSU has beaten Bowling Green two other times since 2003, with the Buckeyes having an undefeated record against the Falcons.
Oct. 8, 1921
Oberlin 7, Ohio State 6 (Ohio Field)
On Oct. 5, 1921, the World Series had its first game broadcast on radio, as New York’s Yankees and Giants played at the Polo Grounds. Three days later, Ohio State lost by a point to Oberlin in front of 10,000 fans in Columbus.
“Ohio Underdog Day,” as it’s now known, was a far cry from the game that the schools played five years earlier, a 128-0 win for the Buckeyes.
The game was played on a rain-soaked field and the Buckeyes led 6-0 in the third quarter before Oberlin’s W.E. Parkhill scored a touchdown and then kicked the go-ahead extra point for the Yeomen. Despite the outcome, the Buckeyes were on the move.
Two months earlier, ground was broken on their future home, Ohio Stadium. Ohio Field, which seated about 14,000, was located along High Street on land where Arps and Ramseyer halls now stand.
Sept. 5, 1894
Akron 12, Ohio State 6 (Ohio State Fairgrounds)
If you go back 128 years, organized sports was in its infancy, and most of the events you know today didn’t even exist, including the modern Olympics.
College football, however, had begun, and in Ohio, the Buckeyes showed off this sport at the 1894 Ohio State Fair in a five-team tournament.
The five schools that brought teams were Ohio State, Buchtel (now Akron), Denison, Miami University, and Wittenburg, who all played each other at the in-field grandstand.
OSU’s most recent loss to the team known today as the Zips was at this tournament, with Buchtel playing under coach John Heisman (yes, that one).
And if a game ran long, fair officials would start a scheduled horse race as the football was still being played.