Hey there Buckeye fans.
Today we celebrate the No. 7 and there’s no better way to do it than to set the Way Back Machine to Oct. 13, 1984, when OSU beat Illinois by a touchdown, 45-38.
That’s right: The Keith Byars Game.
Early on, it looked like it would be an Orange Crush as the Illini took a 24-0 lead in the second quarter. It was so bad that my brother left the game early.
OSU came roaring back as Byars scored three touchdowns and Cris Carter hauled in a touchdown pass from Mike Tomczak to give OSU a 28-24 lead early in the third quarter.
But Byars’ best was yet to come.
Following an Illinois field goal, Byars took a handoff from Tomczak, changed direction and scampered 67-yards for a touchdown. He ran the last 40 yards or so with only one shoe as his left sneaker decided to abandon ship.
Illinois tied it as the teams headed into the fourth quarter and after trading field goals, Byars was set up for more heroics as he scored the winning TD with just 36 seconds left.
On the day, Byars ran 39 times for what was then a single-game record of 274 yards. Carter hauled in seven passes for 134 yards.
OSU went on to win the Big 10 but lost the Rose Bowl, 20-17 to USC.
Byars was a serious Heisman Trophy candidate but for some reason it was given to Boston College’s Doug Flutie.
One theory is that Byars was only a junior and voters figured he would be a shoe-in (pun intended) the next season and they didn’t want anyone else other than OSU’s Archie Griffin to be a 2-time winner.
A couple of interesting notes: Future OSU head coach Jim Tressel was the QB/RB/WR coach for the Buckeyes in 1984. Future Minnesota head coach Glen Mason was the offensive coordinator.
The idea of this article came to me this past weekend as I was trying to keep up with my timeline on Twitter. There were obviously a ton of former Buckeyes playing in preseason NFL games and the tweets that were the most intriguing to me were the ones in support of Terrelle Pryor. Bear in mind, if you will, that I am not on the fence when it comes to TP and how he should be viewed by Buckeye Nation. I am also not writing this to convince you of my position on the matter.
What we are here to do is to look back over the years and try and figure out exactly what it is that Buckeye Nation expects out of a former player who caused problems for the program due to their selfish actions. Before I introduce the primary three that have done so, let’s talk briefly about one who did after he was gone. A few of my comrades wanted me to touch on it so I will.
You can get the gist of Art Schlicter’s whole story from Wikipedia (Thank you Eric). From my perspective, his problem was always there, but Woody Hayes was able to keep him focused on football. Woody probably believed that he fixed Art, which in fact, he only slowed down the inevitable. When Woody passed, he probably did so with a broken heart. Read More
May’s second midweek madness gets existential. The big story of the day was the “discussion” about the future of our favorite sport- more on that after the jump.
But one thing is for sure – Urban Meyer will bring hardware back to Columbus with him before all is said and done. Gold pants, B1G titles and crystal footballs. For everyone who has piled on over the last twelve months – from those in Ann Arbor, Madison, and SEC country to those posted up at the headquarters of ESPN, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News – there’s simply no way around it. Urban Meyer wins, and he wins big.
The benefactor? THE Ohio State University.
Who’s ready for football?
Two days before kickoff. 48 hours. Are you ready?
In keeping with the tradition of our countdown format, we bring you a player who has worn #2 for the Buckeyes. But Jeebus, who to pick???? Oh, the hell with it…..let’s just do a series of our #2 legends!
Our final honoree of the day, the legend himself, Cris Carter!
There is nothing more that can ever be said about Carter. He was a legend while in a Buckeye uniform, and he stayed that way throughout his NFL career. We thank him for all the amazing catches, and we honor him to this day all over Buckeye Nation.
And if you ask Vico over at Our Honor Defend, he’ll show you a picture of me on ABC from the 1987 Ohio State-Michigan game, which shows me going nuts in Ann Arbor wearing a Cris Carter jersey.
But this year, we’ll be thanking the entire Carter family for being loyal to Columbus. Carter’s son, Duron is a freshman WR on the team. We all can’t wait to see those magic Carter hands in action again.
One additional note – Carter is on the short list for the NFL Hall Of Fame next year. If he makes it, The BBC will be hosting a party in Canton Ohio for all Buckeye fans! We promise!
Thank you, Carter family!
2 days to go!!!!
Nearly three years ago, I began this blog for multiple reasons, all of which had to do with my love of Ohio state football. One of those reasons, as I stated in my inaugural post, was a quarterback from the 50′s named John Borton.
In the mid-to-late 80s, I became friends with a wonderful person named Mary Borton. She was (and still is) brilliant, energetic and beautiful, and I considered myself lucky to have her as a friend. Plus, she was a Buckeye fan, so she pretty much had it all. I don’t even recall the conversation, but one day I learned that her father had played QB at Ohio State.
A few years later, I was a sports correspondent for a small newspaper in Massillon, Ohio. One day in the early 90s, I asked Mary if her father John would be interested in being interviewed for a feature story, and the answer was a resounding “yes”. So I went to the Borton house and stayed for hours. Borton sat in his reclining chair and gave a warm smile as he told countless stories about everything that we Buckeye fans adore. It was like I had a taste of heaven, hearing all these intricate details about Hopalong Cassady, Dave Leggett, and a man named Woody Hayes.
His warmth was astounding. I had often wondered how Mary Borton could be such an amazing person….sitting in front of me was the answer to that question. That’s how she was raised.
Later that fall, the Ohio State University was honoring their 1954 National Championship team, of which Borton was a senior QB. Injury kept him on the sideline throughout the season, and Leggett led the team to the title. Borton was not healthy enough to attend the festivities, which included a halftime ceremony during the Purdue game. My newspaper arranged a press pass for me, and Borton asked me if I would please send his love to all his former teammates.
Like I said, it was heaven.
Standing on the sidelines at Ohio Stadium, I was a guest among the heroes of the early years of Woody Hayes. The men who actually saved his job by going 10-0 back in 1954, when alumni and boosters were less than thrilled with Hayes’ 16-9-2 record over his first three years. I shook hands with the best of the best, each one of them with huge rings on their fingers. Then I got to meet Anne Hayes, a frail but sweet woman who was there to represent her late husband. The rest of the day was a blur, and I went home with the task of sending love to John Borton from so many people that I couldn’t even keep all their names and faces in my starstruck brain.
I have been in attendance for dozens and dozens of incredible games at Ohio Stadium and around the Big Ten. I saw Earle Bruce’s last game. I saw Eddie George play. Same thing for Cris Carter, Beanie Wells, Archie Griffin, Troy Smith, and a long long list of the greats.
But all of the amazing things I saw in Ohio Stadium? None will ever compare to the gift that John Borton gave me on that fall afternoon.
In April of 2002, Borton passed away. I still believe that a lot of those “miracle wins” in the 2002 season was the result of Borton and Hayes finally convincing God to intervene and help out their favorite university. Hayes wore God down, and Borton finally sold the deal.
Last Friday night, Borton was finally inducted into the Stark County High School Football Hall Of Fame. After a record-setting career at Alliance High, Ohio State University, and a short career with the Cleveland Browns, he was given his due here at home. It is a fitting tribute to a man who loved the sport and taught that love to his family and friends.
The Buckeye Battle Cry wishes to congratulate the entire Borton family on this wonderful honor.
One additional story, not widely known. On January 1, 1955, Ohio State won the National Championship by beating USC 20-7 in the Rose Bowl. Late in the game, Hayes decided to empty his bench and give more of his players a chance to smell the Roses. He called on Borton, who had missed the entire season with an injury.
Borton declined, and asked Hayes to send in the third-string QB. Borton asked Hayes to do it because the kid’s father had played at Ohio State and was in attendance watching the game.
When asked to take snaps in the Rose Bowl for a National Championship, Borton gave up the opportunity so a teammate’s father could see his son play.
How great of a man do you have to be to give a gift like that?