In 1989, I gathered with my best friend and his extended family to watch Ohio State play in the Hall Of Fame Bowl against Auburn. Bob and I had been friends for about four years, and we were inseparable when it came to Ohio state games.
The Buckeyes had a rough season, getting spanked three times by USC, Illinois, and since John Cooper was the head coach, Michigan. In between they had managed to put together a six-game win streak and their 8-3 record was enough to get them into a coveted New Year’s Day bowl game (at the time, bowl games didn’t stretch into the second week of January).
Facing a better Auburn squad, we had high hopes but low expectations (which were accurate, as we lost 31-14), but midway into the second quarter we saw the hardest hit anyone will ever witness in college football.
On third and short, Auburn dropped back to pass. Decent coverage forced the QB to go to his third option, which was RB Stacy Danley. Danley had drifted off to the right side for a dump-off pass, and the pass was lobbed his way.
He was standing on the train tracks and he never saw Engine #21 coming at him at breakneck speed.
There isn’t a man, woman or child alive who doesn’t let out a yell the first time they see this clip of Zach Dumas smacking Danley to the ground. Admit it, you just said “oooohhhhhhhh” when you watched it, didn’t you?
Zach Dumas, that one hit has forever earned you a place in history. Today, you’re our hero for Day #21.
21 days until kickoff, Buckeye fans!