Turning Points, Volume Eight: Corby's Funeral

By Jeff Beck on June 20, 2013 at 2:00p
As the game turns

1997 was going to be a major rebuilding effort for John Cooper in his 10th season.

The '96 squad was stacked and many of the starters had moved on by way of graduation or the draft.

Fourteen first-stringers needed to be replaced, including Orlando Pace, Dimitrious Stanley, Luke Fickell, Mike Vrabel, Matt Finkes and Shawn Springs.

With that said, a few key pieces returned including QBs Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine, RB Pepe Pearson, WR David Boston, CB Antoine Winfield and LB Andy Katzenmoyer.

The Buckeyes opened up their season with three straight wins over Wyoming, Bowling Green and Arizona, earning a No. 7 ranking in the process.

Setting the Stage

The fourth game on the slate was expected to be special. OSU would make their first trip to Columbia to play the Missouri Tigers, led by electrifying QB, Corby Jones.

In front of a record home attendance of over 58k, the Buckeyes came out swinging, scoring on their first drive via a Pepe Pearson pitch.

The Tigers would answer with roughly five minutes to go in the first as Jones ran an option keeper into the endzone to knot the score at 7-7.

Kat EyesDestruction is imminent 

Powered by the shifty Jones, Missouri would march down the field again, knocking through a go-ahead field goal to end the first quarter 10-7.

That’s where the score would remain, as the two teams traded possessions midway into the second quarter.

The stalemate was certainly favoring the Tigers as the home crowd began to sense an upset. With an X-factor like Jones, it appeared the Buckeyes would be in for a long day.

The defense had just forced an OSU punt, and Missouri was looking to make something happen on their second possession of the half.

Which brings us to…

The Turning Point: RIP Corby Jones

Facing a third and 10 from their own 15, Jones dropped back to pass but was flushed out of the pocket by the Silver Bullets.

Rolling to his left, Jones pulled the ball down and took off for the marker. He crossed the 10, made a man miss at the 20 and looked poised to cross the 25 yard line for a first down.

Then this happened.

Jones was reduced to pink mist on the field as everyone watching checked their teeth to make sure they were intact. What I’m saying is the hit was felt by everyone, ya dig?

While the hit drove Jones back 45 yards, his forward progress left the Tigers one yard short of the first down, forcing them to punt. The hit necessitated a change of possession, but it signaled something much larger than a third down stop.

With the vicious smack Katzenmoyer let his teammates know it was time for the real Buckeyes to take the field. The rest of the squad heard his message and responded in kind.

On OSU's next possession the struggling Stanley Jackson was pulled in favor of Joe Germaine, and the Buckeyes started putting together plays like this:

The aerial assault coupled with a defense that forced six punts and three interceptions on Missouri's next nine possessions resulted in 24 unanswered points and a 31-10 win.

When it was all said and done, the final score didn’t look close, but there’s no question the rally was keyed by Katzenmoyer’s cadaver factory. A true Turning Point indeed.

Until next week, Turning Points…out.



CC's picture

I'm sorry but this is just crazy:
Fourteen first-stringers needed to be replaced, including Orlando Pace, Dimitrious Stanley, Luke Fickell, Mike Vrabel, Matt Finkes and Shawn Springs.

With that said, a few key pieces returned including QBs Stanley Jackson and Joe Germaine, RB Pepe Pearson, WR David Boston, CB Antoine Winfield and LB Andy Katzenmoyer.
The thought of that much talent on one team is scary.

Michael Citro's picture

the struggling Stanley Jackson was pulled in favor of Joe Germaine

Every. Single. Game.

RBuck's picture

No shit. After Germaine's Rose Bowl performance, I never understood why Jackson was starting.

Long live the southend.

45buckshot's picture

One of my friends at the time said as long as we're not down by more than 10 Joe will bring us back. And he did too, more than once.
I think Cooper was a little before his time--he wanted a running QB so bad. If he had got Troy Smith or Braxton Miller.... Instead he got Stanley Jackson and Steve Bellisari. Oh well.
Then again, JT had almost turned Bellisari into a half-decent QB by the time he was through with him... But that's neither here nor there--Joe cool was the best QB of the Cooper era by far.

Veni, vidi, vici


Baroclinicity's picture

I was at that game in Columbia, and the Katz hit is listed as one of my favorite Buckeye moments.  I have never seen a game changing hit like that before or since.  Corby lost his soul on that play.  I'm not saying he was injured, but it's almost like he and everyone on that team realized who they were dealing with after that moment, and the momentum was ours.
We left for Missouri Friday night around 10pm, went to the game, which was scorching hot (cohort got sun poisoning) and then left for Columbus right after.  I think we got in around 3am.  Rough trip, but fun as hell.
The Missouri fans were really mean, too.  But no hard feelings.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

pasadena buckeye's picture

I was at that game too and it was just an awe inspiring play.  I've seen more violent hits by a LB but never a game changer like that. My friends from MU (love their campus though I've never figured out why they are the U of Missouri but refer to themselves as MU) felt really good that the Tigers could hang in the game.  After that hit (which sound and feel the video just couldn't capture) the game literally changed in an instant.  The crowd went silent and was never into it again,  the Mizzou players seemed to lose confidence, it was truly amazing to feel the air come out of the place.

Pasadena Buckeye

whobdis's picture

I almost forgot what a machine Joe was..made it look so easy. And Boston was to strong to be covered man/man..many times a guy was on him but Boston would just take it. We were in Mexico on Honeymoon and caught some of the game in a bar. Most of the 'patrons' were barely watching the game but when Kat made his hit they were all pointing to the screen and yelling. Good stuff.

stittracer99's picture

Katzenmoyer was one of the most intimidating players in recent memory as he could lay the lumber on any given play, and usually did. I couldn't imagine looking across the line before each snap and seeing that mirrored face shield staring back at me. He reminded me of Robocop, only a lot more pissed off.

Thunderbrow's picture

Greatest hit ever. Whenever I get into a discussion about my preference for watching two great defenses battle it out, rather than high-scoring shoot-outs, that play is always Exhibit A.

I mean everyone heals people, comforts people, learns from you, learns from me, whatever.

droessl's picture

Certainly a great hit by Katzenmoyer, but this one from Dumas vs. Auburn was a monster:

Chris Lauderback's picture

That was definitely an amazing hit. Interestingly, it was also a turning point if I recall correctly. Ohio State pretty much got smoked from that point on.

Michael Citro's picture

Yep. Instead of giving Ohio State a lift, it got Auburn pissed. Different game after that.

unholy bucknut's picture

Hit like that just makes me want to see a top ten slobber knockers list. Who has laid the best hit in buckeyes history.

nickma71's picture

Since I live in StL these days, I like to show this one every time the in-laws talk about how they could beat OSU. And I say back, "you play for Missouri?">

45buckshot's picture

I don't think Katzenmoyer gets enough credit; you have to remember the year before he started was the year we got biakabuttuka'ed. I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure no RB ever got over a 100 yards against us after the Kat took over at MLB. He took a weakness and made it a strength.
God we could have used him last year...

Veni, vidi, vici


mtharp's picture

the KAT was my favorite growing up.  For some reason this hit seemed soo much bigger during the game as compared to the replay