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.
Yup, we’ve reached day fifteen of our “Countdown to Kickoff”!
Today, AJ Trapasso drives us into the stratosphere on our way to the final two weeks of…
(No kickers this time? Are you kidding? Do you know how much research I’ve put into Gilman industries? Ah, well…)
Like our day 19 honoree, he stepped into big shoes, following Art Schlichter’s assault on the passing record book at Ohio State. And yet, when he graduated, he was second only to his predecessor in many of the same categories; in spite of helping his tailback set his own record for most rushes in a season in 1984.
1983 saw Tomczak and the Buckeyes travel to Norman Oklahoma to battle the then #2 ranked Sooners. As this video from OHD shows, Oklahoma couldn’t win that big game either.
As that season came to an end in Tempe, Tomczak showed amazing poise in leading the winning drive against the Pitt Panthers with 2:39 on the clock. Here’s all 89 yards of glory:
What a throw to Jemison. And what is it with tOSU and Tempe?
During his senior year, he ended his career as all Buckeye players should (and most have, lately), with a victory over MACh1gAAn:
This resulted in a New Year’s trip for Ohio State to Pasadena, a trip they have made only one more time. As someone who lives within 10 minutes of the Rose Bowl, I’m looking forward to this trend changing ASAFP. Otherwise, I’m moving to Arizona.
Back to Mike.
His NFL tenure was mostly as a backup, although he did have the opportunity to exhibit his guitar skills on the way to New Orleans. His career ended with the Lions practice squad, but he’s best known as the reliable counterpoint to “Slash” during his seven year stint with the Steelers.
Mike, you done good. Thanks for bringing us one step closer to kickoff.
With 41 days left before the kickoff to Ohio State football 2009, there was only one way to promote the day. We found the greatest player ever to wear the jersey at that number, Keith Byars.
In 1984, Byars rushed for over 1,700 yards and 22 touchdowns. In one game against Illinois, he set the single-game record by carving up 274 and five touchdowns. And yes, the legend is true….he scored one of those touchdowns with only one shoe on. The other came flying off halfway down the field.
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to locate that video online anywhere (OHD is slacking off), so please enjoy the 99-yard TD by Byars in the 1984 Fiesta Bowl;
Wanna see something really wicked? Here’s Byars as a pro, completely destroying Pepper Johnson. Hardest hit I’ve ever seen….
41 days until kickoff!
Bring it on, bitches!
Ohio State, fresh off a 30-20 win at Illinois, now gets to focus on That Team Up North without looking past anybody. The Buckeyes return home for their final regular season game at 9-2, while TTUN comes to Columbus at 3-8.
Today’s game was rather anti-climactic, but any fan of the Buckeyes could see that coming. Ohio State has a long, storied tradition of underachieving in the game before The Game. For example;
Need I go on? We just rarely play well before The Game. The only exception to the rule in Tressel’s tenure is a 48-10 pasting of Northwestern in 2005.
So I expected revenge, but I didn’t think it would be pretty. Still, we looked good enough and got the job done.
Beanie Wells moved into the #5 slot of all-time rushing leaders at Ohio State, sliding past Pepe Pearson. He cracked the 3,000 yard mark on his first carry, and kept moving all day long. Here’s the current standings;
Wells will top 1,000 yards for the season, and move past the legendary Keith Byars against TTUN at home on Saturday, barring injury and any other natural disaster. Odds are good that he’ll stay at #4 even adding in the bowl game. Getting another 410 yards against TTUN and a bowl opponent seems unlikely, even if you factor in Wells’ proven ability to rush for over 220 yards against the Wolverines.
Speaking of Wells, holy f-ing poopbags, did you see him leap four feet in the air to clear an Illinois tackler? I’ve gotta get video of that posted. Best hurdle I’ve ever seen.
Sweet Jesus, are Illinois fans the biggest WATBs you’ve ever seen? Have you ever heard ANYBODY whine about the refs in a game where they only get flagged four times? They were still moaning at the end of the game (those that hadn’t abandoned their seats before the game ended, that is).
Penn State struggled for a half against Indiana, but pulled away in the second half and won 34-7. This means that their home game next week against Michigan State will determine half of the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State plays Michigan at Noon, and if the Buckeyes win, they clinch a share of the title. PSU-MSU is at 330, and if the Bucks win, the Spartans and Lions will do battle for the other share.
Let’s speak hypothetically.
Penn State controls their own destiny. Both Sparty and the Buckeyes need help.
However, I do believe that Ohio State will secure a BCS Bowl with a win. More on that after the jump.
Ohio State stands at #11 in the current BCS Standings. Ten teams make BCS Bowls. but there are tie-ins involved that could hurt us.
Six teams will guarantee themselves BCS Bowls by winning their conferences. Let’s make some assumptions here;
This leaves two at-large bids open. The remaining schools in the Top 14 of the BCS Rankings are;
Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri, and Oklahoma State are ineligible for the BCS, because of the rule only allowing two teams from each conference to play in the big 5 bowl games. That leaves Utah, Boise State, Ohio State and Ball State as the only possible teams able to get those final two bids.
Utah and Boise State have won BCS bowl games before and will use that in their lobbying efforts. Ball State can forget it. No MAC school is getting in, especially in a year when the #5 school will get left out.
If we don’t secure the Rose Bowl, we are left to the mercy of the selection committee. We’ll need to hope that the Fiesta Bowl remembers our massive numbers at previous bowls and how we travel better than any other team, during bowl season. But if BYU can do us a favor and knock off Utah, we can consider ourselves in. Maybe Fresno State can help out more and beat Boise State on November 28th?
So, in this order, let me just say….
And yes, I know it’s the BYU Cougars. Did you?