Ohio State Football to Play Three Night Games in 2013: Wisconsin, Northwestern and Penn State

By Kyle Rowland on April 29, 2013 at 3:25p
The freaks come out at night

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer pressed for more night games. The message was well-received from university brass and TV networks with the Buckeyes scheduled to play three night games this season, including two at home for the first time. 

Ohio State will host Wisconsin under the lights in Ohio Stadium on Sept. 28 and Penn State on Oct. 26. The lone night game away from Columbus will take place Oct. 5 at Northwestern. The Wisconsin game is a big one as it will take place after Eat Too, Brutus IV, Eleven Warriors' annual charity tailgate.

In a conversation with Eleven Warriors last week, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith made his intentions clear that he wants the Buckeyes to play more night games at home than on the road. 

"My concern now is we’re always playing two on the road and one at home, which means our guys get home at 3 in the morning twice a year," Smith said. "That’s not just a competitive disadvantage but also a student-athlete welfare issue. So we need to have two at home and one on the road as opposed to suffering the other side of that.

"That was my impetus, Urban’s was recruiting. I agree with that. Our effort is to have a couple night games at home and one on the road, unless we change our television contract. We might look at November night games. But right now I’m very comfortable with having two at home and one on the road."

The atmosphere at the Shoe under the lights is legendary, stemming back to the first night game in Ohio Stadium, a 10-7 win over Pitt in 1985. The Buckeyes have played a total of 12 night games in Ohio Stadium, winning nine. Five of the top 10 largest crowds, including the top two (Nebraska, 2012, which also featured the greatest TBDBITL show of all time; USC, 2008), were on hand for night games. 


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Riggins's picture

Good.  I'd love to see more 3:30 games as well.  Noon games aren't as energized.

Jbuckham94's picture

As a student, I completely agree. It always seems everybody is half asleep for the first quarter of the noon games. The night game against Nebraska was out of control and I would expect the same for the two that are scheduled.

Class of 2016. Go Bucks!

buckeyedude's picture

 Noon games aren't as energized

Agree completely. Especially early in the season, when the temperature is in the uppper 80s and humid as F$%*.



Hovenaut's picture

The night time is the right time.

Don't mind the prime time stuff at all. That October 5 date just got circled a few more times.

drumsontheside's picture

And all of Buckeye Nation said, Amen.


CCatanzaro's picture

Well, I'd been debating which game to attend at home this year (already plan on being in Ann Arbor for The Game this season), so now I'm down to PSU and Wiscy.  I've never seen a night game at the shoe, but I could see the tickets getting out of hand as far a price goes.  Decisions, decisions.

Dairy-fed intellect and pure, unhinged sass.


Jason Priestas's picture

Ohio State's 12 home night games (9-3):


01.    Sept. 14, 1985       Ohio State 10, Pittsburgh 7
02.    Sept. 11, 1993       Ohio State 21, Washington 12
03.    Aug. 28, 1997        Ohio State 24, Wyoming 10
04.    Sept. 11, 1999       Ohio State 42, UCLA 20
05.    Oct. 6, 2001           Ohio State 38, Northwestern 20
06.    Aug. 30, 2003        Ohio State 28, Washington 9
07.    Sept. 10, 2005       Texas 25, Ohio State 22
08.    Oct. 25, 2008         Penn State 13, Ohio State 10
09.    Sept. 12, 2009       USC 18, Ohio State 15
10.    Sept. 2, 2010         *Ohio State 45, Marshall 7
11.    Oct. 29, 2011         Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29
12.    Oct. 6, 2012           Ohio State 63, Nebraska 38

* Vacated :(

Triv's picture

The sad part is, OSU probably should be 12-0. All 3 of those losses had OSU with very good chances to win, with a key play turning the tide of the game
Texas: Hamby drop
PSU: Pryor fumble (he's gone if he hangs onto the ball)
USC: OSU's final drive, Duron Carter was left uncovered and Pryor didn't see him jumping up and down like a maniac with nobody within 20 yards of him

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

omahabeef1337's picture

One Pryor's fumble, I would say that if he just tucked it and got the easy first down, OSU also probably wins.
Regarding Carter being open vs USC: I couldn't believe how wide open he was. That said, it's easier to see that from the stands than while being chased by USC linebackers.

buckeyedude's picture

Right. Didn't USC have that Mays dude that ran a 4.29 40 playing LB for them at the time?



omahabeef1337's picture

I can't believe there have only been five night games since my freshman year at OSU in 2006.
My memories from each one:
2008 -- As someone who wasn't an OSU fan until I attended the school, this is the game the fuels my hate for PSU. I have vivid memories of sitting up in 32B watching that TP fumble shoot seemingly 30 yards behind the line of scrimage.
2009 -- Got to sit in the first row of Block O. Loudest I have heard the stadium. When USC got the ball on their last drive, I leaned over and commented to my girlfriend, "Okay, so worst case scenario here would be if the ground like all the time off the clock and scored a TD."
2010 -- The end of this game was about as empty as I've seen the Shoe while the clock was still running. My friend drove back to Powell that night and didn't get back until after 2am.
2011 -- Probably my favorite OSU football experience. I sat in the north endzone and turned around and hugged a total stranger when Devin Smith caught the winning TD.
2012 -- Really loud. It can be easy to forget how intense this game was, and that OSU looked hapless for the first quarter. It wasn't until about halfway through the 3rd quarter that it felt like a safe lead.

Maffro's picture

"2008 -- As someone who wasn't an OSU fan until I attended the school, this is the game the fuels my hate for PSU. I have vivid memories of sitting up in 32B watching that TP fumble shoot seemingly 30 yards behind the line of scrimage."
I also wasn't an OSU fan until I attended, but I did dislike Penn State before I got to OSU. This game and hearing a group of PSU fans walking down High St. chanting "we're #1" solidified it for me as full-blown hate, and I hope all the bad things in life happen to that school and only to that school.

AJW_16's picture

The Universe paid them back and the next week (I think) they got their comeuppance - against Iowa (LOL).

"Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you." 

4thandinches's picture

People seem to forget that our defense did not step up and stop them from scoring. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

CC's picture

I was at 4, 9, 11 and 12 on that list and about 20 other games at the Shoe over the years.  Other than Miami a couple years ago and any Michigan game they are easily the best.
I challenge anyone who was at the USC game to name a better atmosphere at the shoe.  The end of the game sucked but that was really electric.  The 2006 UM game had to be awesome but I wasn't there.

omahabeef1337's picture

I was at both and remember the USC game being louder.

Dougger's picture

USC game definitely the loudest overall crowd I've ever heard at the 'shoe, I'd put '06 The Game second.
A semi-night game that if counted was the 2009 Iowa game senior night that clinched the B1G and us going to the Rose Bowl. That was really loud as well.
The single loudest cheer was Braxton to Devin 2011. Freaking unbelievable... one of those moments if you're by yourself you just look around and say "Damn, life is good"

I like football

CC's picture

I'm in row 7 of that end-zone in AA.  So he caught it about 50 feet in front of me.  I couldn't hear anything.
If you remember in that game every big play near the end of the game was reviewed.  It was hard to deal with but great because you got to cheer 2x for each big play.
That game was my #2 behind USC.  UNL was #3, UCLA #4.

Nappy's picture

Good. I'd be ok with every game being either a 3:30 or night start.  Noon is just too damn early.

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

smith5568's picture

Northwestern game gets even scarier now. 

M Man's picture

Nice for you, if it is what you want.
"Two night games a year" would (I hope) be unthinkable in Ann Arbor.  One every other year is (again, I hope) just about the maximum that Dave Brandon would consider.  I'd protest any more than that.
But what is nice about OSU playing some night games is that it will give me a chance to see more of your team, which pleases me.  I mean, with the Honey Badger gone, who needs to see LSU on Saturday nights?

CC's picture

Just curious why don't you want more?  The atmosphere at the ND game a couple years ago (I was at PSU - Bama that night) seemed awesome.

M Man's picture

It was.  I enjoyed it despite my more formal general views on the subject.  The night was perfect weather.  And our new integrated lights are awesome.  I just don't want them to be any more than rare.  I don't have all that far to drive, and I think I got home at 3.

hetuck's picture

Combine your experience with late November weather & you see why I don't want THE GAME at night. Columbus egress isn't much better, but we do have multiple routes. My Ann Arbor traffic memories are kind of blurry. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

Riggins's picture

Have all the noon games you want.  Feel free to let loose and get crazy too!

All kidding aside, I upvoted your post.  I'd like to get to see more Michigan games as well.  If that comes from Ohio State getting more 3:30 and later games, then I'm all for it.

Jason Priestas's picture

Urban has stressed the recruiting component of night games. Obviously, Michigan is recruiting fine without multiple night games, but do you not think an extra game under the lights each year would help?

M Man's picture

That's what they say, Jason.
This is not a "right/wrong" or "we're better" issue.  It's my personal preference.  I'd guess that I am in the distinct minority of the blog-demographic.  But I'd also guess that I am in the strong majority of alumni. 
Gene Smith talks about the student-athletes getting home at 3am.  A lot of fans do, too.  November is too cold for night games.  That means they get scheduled in September-October, when it is gorgeous on a sunny afternoon.  And good for good ol' college football outdoors.  Granted, a night game could mean an extra fall Saturday of golf, plus a football game the same day.
I'm not so hardcore that I love Noon games the way that Alvarez and Beilema promoted their 11 am CT games for what was a proven and overwhelming advantage.  (Despite the UW students showing up for the Second Quarter.)  3:30 is fine.  I sort of preferred the days when we ruled all and could dictate 1:00 and 1:30 starts.

Jason Priestas's picture

Good point about the November weather. I keep forgetting you guys are north of the Wall.

Maestro's picture

Even happier that I have Penn State game tickets now.  

vacuuming sucks

OSUinFl's picture

Does the Big ten allow night  games November? I can't recall ever seeing a night game in November.

Unky Buck's picture

They didn't, but I believe that is changing or has changed. Anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm typing this from my phone and don't feel like going through the arduous task of trying to find evidence to support me on this.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

NCBucks's picture

Should be fun and live!

OSUinFl's picture

Urban will have team pumped up for big wins.

okiebuck's picture

One word; AWESOME!!

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

German Buckeye's picture

Have all the Ohio State TV game times and networks been published for this season?  Need to mark my calendar for times, etc. 

luckynutz's picture

Here's a question I'm having trouble finding an answer to. Are tickets available for next years games yet? Looking for tix to the northwestern game but can't find anything anywhere...ticketmaster, NU| athletics website. No luck. Anyone have any idea as to how I might go about finding them?

Buckeyeholicwompa's picture

Only way I see getting at home atmosphere like USCs again is if we played Bama at home right now. With them being the top dog team in the Nation and coming to the Shoe, that place would have to be rockin!