100 Teams in 100 Days: The Super Sophomores Lead the Way For Ohio State's Fifth National Championship in 1968

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Matt Gutridge's picture

Oregon Highlights:

Matt Gutridge's picture

Northwestern Highlights:

2morrow's picture

The Purdue game was the first Buckeye contest I can remember. I listened to it on a radio. I don't believe we were even able to get it on TV. I remember hearing Tatum's name all day!

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NewPhilaFan's picture

Yeah, I remember hearing the Tatum covered Keyes so closely that he met him at the door to the locker room.

Let's Go Bucks

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Nutinpa's picture

Me too.   I was 12 years old and playing Bob-O-Link golf course in N. Canton with my dad.  Held my transister radio to my ear the whole time on the golf course listening to the game.  I was hooked from then on. 

I laugh when I think of how sparse the TV schedule was back in the day.  If it were like that now, there'd be meltdowns, ha ha.  

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awlinBrutus's picture

Please Urban???

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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bucksfan92's picture

I still cannot believe we actually painted one of our end zones with the ugly colors of TTUN. 

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nickel beer's picture

I'm sure the ncaa had something to do with it.

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Matt Gutridge's picture

Illinois Highlights:

Matt Gutridge's picture

Wisconsin Highligts:

buckny's picture

Matt, Great job finding highlights for the entire season

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allinosu's picture

Did we discover the color photo in 1968 for team pictures?

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GoBucksOSU's picture

No, more like they forgot about it in 1965 and 1967.

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GoBucks10's picture

Nice work Remy! The legend of Hayes continues to grow!

I hate the offseason.

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Dillon G's picture

There was a time when only Ohio State says a National Championship coach with a 117–41 record is on the hot seat. But now we have crazy Les Miles.

#walkaway

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GrandTheftHarley's picture

What an astounding season for the Buckeyes! Their Rose Bowl NC win over USC was the first time I'd ever seen TOSU play, though I'd read about their 1968 season in the newspapers.

Interesting parallel to the Bucks' 2014 NC in that Woody had to use three QBs throughout the season to get the job done. Rex Kern got dinged up on several occasions, so Ron Maciejowski and Bill Long were the unsung heroes in the Bucks' quest for an undefeated championship.

When we moved back to Westerville in March 0f '69, the whole city of Columbus was abuzz with the possibility of a back-to-back NC.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

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lamplighter's picture

Great history lesson- loved that team.  Look at the offensive players they shut down that year - Keyes, Ed Podolak, OJ. 
 

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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bucksfan92's picture

This season was 3 years before I was born, but as a little kid I heard all about it.  This was, for obvious reasons, my dad's favorite OSU team, and he especially like Kern.  I still remember thinking, when I heard about the Purdue game -- wait, Purdue? was #1?  Purdue!?! wow times have changed lol.

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MichiBuck12's picture

Reading about Woody going for two there never gets old. I so badly wanted one more TD against TTUN last year to see if Urban went for two. I don't think he would ever do that, but I wanted to see the chance.

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bucksfan92's picture

One of the things I have learned reading this series is that Woody went for 2 a LOT.  At least a lot more than I would have ever imagined.  But then I suppose with the 2 point conversion being new and kickers not yet to the level of specialty that they are now, it makes sense, but it's still surprising to me.

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cpfanatik77's picture

Yeah, I think the Rose Bowl video said we missed 60 or 70% of our field goals that year. Doesn't really inspire trust in the kicking game.

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Chic'sGhost's picture

He didn't go for 2.  Several books recalled the story and the kicker couldn't find his helmet, and in an emergency Bill Long ran onto the field to try to salvage something.  

Barney Fife lives, and he lives among us.  

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

IIRC, either the kicker or long snapper was injured and the holder was the backup.  Bottom line was they didn't have the correct personnel on the field for a PAT.  The QB made the call to go for two.  Woody was just quick witted enough to come up with a quip for the ages when asked about the play by the media.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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Chic'sGhost's picture

Woody DIDN'T come up with it: it was Lou Holtz in an after dinner speech 10 years later.  

Barney Fife lives, and he lives among us.  

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sword52's picture

This was the team that really got my Buckeye pride going. Back in the day as a teenager I read as much about them as I could in the Plain Dealer and put SIs color pictures on my wall

I had this and still have the Ohio football magazine. I scanned the Ohio State preview for 1968.

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sword52's picture

Michigan State and cover of SI.

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lamplighter's picture

I have a copy of the SI after the bowl win - not in very good shape though

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Lamplighter LLC unless otherwise noted.

peidiwch â ffycin gyda'r Cymry
 

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Poco Loco's picture

For once beat the SI jinx.

a hard rock miner from Butte, Montana

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sword52's picture

Michigan, the first scan is my actual SI

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sword52's picture

Rex Kern was a  magician with the football. Younger fans should watch his incredible ball handling or fakes. He often faked out the TV cameras who had a hard time following the ball. Just watch the Rose Bowl.

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C-Deck's picture

Agreed Sword. Rex faked everyone out - the fans in the stands, the TV announcers, the cameras, the defenses, etc. A remarkable field general.

"Hit them hard and see how they fall"

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kmp10's picture

All these great color photos remind me that this was the first year of the now iconic and classic Woody Hayes designed uniforms. The absolute best college football uni ever donned. Stop tweaking it Nike (and OSU), go back to the way the designer intended it to be, which was uniform perfection, and bring back the thick black striping on the helmet and the pants and the grey "Buckeye" stripes on the jerseys. The current day uni is essentially the same... but those little tweaks make a dramatic difference. 

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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RBloodworth's picture

You know who made more changes to the OSU uniforms than anyone else?  Woody Hayes.  I don't think anyone would ever describe Woody as someone who would gleefully spit in the face of tradition, but even he could recognize when things needed to change with the times or when things weren't working.  Point is, while we all love Woody, the idea that we should never change the uniforms (or the offense, or anything else) from his design is something that he would vehemently disagree with.  There were 60 years of football tradition at OSU before Woody ever coached a game in the Horseshoe, and it's been nearly 38 years since he was fired.  To be blunt, it's well past time to let Woody go.  We can honor his memory and his contributions to our tradition, but the idea that he is some kind of demigod who can never be defied is borderline Penn State fan territory.  Rant over.

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Tanner's picture

100% agreed re: uniforms. I like seeing new ones or modern versions of old school ones. There have been dozens of Ohio State football uniforms throughout the years, there isn't one "classic" or "official" one. People who argue there are usually just mean they like the uniforms from when they were younger the best. I think the variations look cool and I think they also give the players a little extra juice, which can't hurt.

Now if they take the Buckeye leaves off the helmets, then we have a problem...

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Etenim's picture

With respect, I'll disagree with this rant - and particularly the comparison to PSU FB.

With respect to Woody's willingness to change uniforms, I think what's missed is that Hayes' career at OSU overlaps a pivotal time in the evolution of college FB - separating the early years from what we now accept as "modern" CFB. That is to say, that the rules, the uniforms, the helmets, the shoes - all of these were under continual development at a structural level for the first five decades or so of the game as guardians of the game sought to find just what they needed to be to best perform their function - while also looking pleasing to the eye as they did so.

Compare the look of all the uniforms/shoes here in 1951 - Woody's first season:

...to the uniforms in today's report for 1968:

These are thoroughly modern uniforms and cleats - in design and materials substantially what uniforms and cleats are today. The evolution of the look up to and through Woody's time was much greater than that of the look of uniforms/shoes from 1968 to today. While we're sold advancements in fabric technology, shoe responsiveness, and advanced protection systems inside the helmet shells, college football uniforms still look substantially as they did in 1968. So while Woody did change the uniforms a lot, college football in general was still undergoing great change. But even before the end decade of his tenure, CFB uniforms had "arrived". I think this must be acknowledged when scrutinizing why fans are now so reluctant to see uniforms changed.

As far as being "well past time to let Woody go", I think Hayes is currently positioned right about where he should be. Having ushered in modern OSU FB,  and positioned the program as an enduring national power - with a power identity that still endures even after the style of play has been greatly altered, he's fully earned his reverence. Those who have some awareness of the long history of the program understand that OSU FB did not begin with Hayes - and having had, Cooper, Tressel and Meyer since, did not end with him. This is nothing like PSU FB history, or the deification of basically the only figure to ever have mattered in that program. The fact the OSU fans are quite sober about assessing the act that brought about Hayes' downfall speaks volumes as to the differences between these programs.

Also, that DV isn't from me.

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sword52's picture

Good point. Woody did change the uniform the most. Starting with the red jersey red pants white helmet look in 1951. Changed helmets to light gray in 1952. And light gray pants. Later around 56 or 57 at least short sleeves became more popular and in the 54-55 USC Rose bowl my favorite with the sweet shoulder stripes or yolk on white jersey. 1959 after seeing Duke wear padded helmets vs Buckeyes he tried some. Then in 1960 went to padded helmet. The helmets and padding changed slightly over next few years. In 1966 he changed to what is basically the current style and with red helmets. In 1967 he added Buckeyes and in 1968 they went to the silver helmets.

For some reason going back to 1954 not all helmets were same color. There were a few silver helmets with the light gray in 1954 and at least in 1958. Then a mix of silver with gray helmets with the red padding. Also in 1968 a few Buckeyes had gray helmets while most had the silver.

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hetuck's picture

One interesting uniform point-Woody was a proponent of the foam pad outside the helmet. When he couldn't get other teams to adopt it, he went to the lighter helmet, although if you look at Otis, it looks like the pad was painted over. 

Matt Snell gave Jim Otis his chin strap. Otis taped them under his shoulder pad. That chin strap crossed Michigan's goal line eight times. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

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sword52's picture

I was thinking about that chinstrap as I watched the Michigan clip. A handful of teams did use the padded helmet. It was later found unsafe since the padding gripped and caused neck to twist.

One other uni idea Woody used was those ugly mesh jerseys for warm weather games. Jim Otis vs USC tore his. He wore regular jersey as seen in one of my pics. I forget if they found another mesh for him.

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nvbuckeye's picture

1968, still my all time favorite Buckeye team (just inching out 1961).  All Buckeye fans need to read the two-deep chart posted above.  Read the players heights and weights posted.  This would not even make a good sized high school team today but they were a team. They played like a team no matter the game or situation.  Those of us alive then like to remember, with scarlet-colored glasses, how dominate they were.  However, with the exception of Wisconsin and ttun they could have had a few losses.  This was a very experienced team before the season began and the sophomores added just enough to make this a magical season.

I still can't believe that ABC did not broadcast THE GAME.  My brothers and I had to listen to WSPD radio for the call.  ABC never made that mistake again.

I knew some of the defense guys and loved watching them destroy Ron Johnson that day, even if it was only on radio.  Coach Hayes proved that season he had the stones to make good on his promises to bring back Buckeye Glory.  Thanks for the amazing recaps and the great color pictures from Sword52.  Go Buckeyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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NewPhilaFan's picture

I remember listening to the game on the radio in my dorm room at Case.  I was supposedly studying that Saturday afternoon but not much got done until the game was over.

Let's Go Bucks

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sword52's picture

I know the game was not televised in the Youngstown area. I too listened to it on the radio. Times sure have changed huh.

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GoBucksOSU's picture

to notch the program's fifth national national championship. 

That must be the ultimate championship for it to be national national. 

In all seriousness, good work Matt. These continue to be of great quality.

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Matt Gutridge's picture

GoBucksOSU,
Thanks for the tip and kind words. Still in need of a quality typist:

sword52's picture

Thanks Matt for all the you tube clips. I am working my way through watching them all.

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Matt Gutridge's picture

Sword52,
Thank you for all of the photos you've posted. I will miss them when we get to the point you stopped saving.

sword52's picture

That is very soon. I have tried to find a pic for each game of each season you have covered. I had them saved for a while. I will probably post a good one or so that I like in the future but again not for each game of the year. I will keep up on the great series though.

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sword52's picture

I realized the clips were from a 1968 tape I have about the season. I had not watched it in a long time. One of my favorite possessions is the actual NBC Rose bowl vs USC. I imagine that may be on You Tube also. Not sure though.

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GranvilleBuck's picture

I went to the 68 game against SMU.  Rex Kern was one of the greatest QB's to ever play for OSU.  The team lost I think two games in three years.  Greatest team ever in OSU History.  Both loses were on the road.  

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Tanner's picture

Good God. Glad I wasn't alive to see Purdue whip the isht out of us one year and then roll into the Shoe as a 13 point favorite the following year. That is not a reality I am comfortable with.

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GranvilleBuck's picture

What a magical time for OSU.  68-70.  They just dominated everyone.  Young people just don't realize how great a team this was. 

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GranvilleBuck's picture

There were no internet  sites. No 5 * recruits. You went to the Rose Bowl or nothing....OSU 68 class was the greatest of all time.  OSU was on TV a couple times a year.  That class was magical.  It seemed to make the OSU fan base we have now.  It set the tone for years to come.  

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geoffrsc's picture

"No. 1 Purdue". There's something you don't see everyday.

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Hovenaut's picture

I was still a few years away from arrival on this world, but I grew up in the shadow of this team. Reaffirming my Buckeye fandom entering the 90's, the '68 team became the benchmark, and I was forever hopeful that one day Ohio State would retake the throne.

We've had things pretty good the last two decades, with plenty to look forward to.

Woody may have won other championships, and arguably may have had better teams, but the 1968 Ohio State Buckeyes were something special.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

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nickel beer's picture

I went to Ohio State with a kid whose older brother played on the team,  The kid said Woody told him/them he never had a better team than the '68 team--fwiw.

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Hovenaut's picture

Subject of debate at many a family reunion - Woody's best team.

Arguments were made over more talented squads - '69, '73, '74, '75, but the '68 Buckeyes got it done.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

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cpfanatik77's picture

It's funny how the last 2 decades of success have lessened the memory of the '68 team. Being born in '84 and really becoming a fan of everything Buckeye in the 90s, it's crazy to think back to the shadow that the '68 team cast over every team until the '02 season. It seemed like every season you would hear about them, wondering if that season's team would be the one to match what '68 did.

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BeatTTUN's picture

I am bigger than the entire 1968 Offensive line

I knew I was a Slob

Congrats 1968 Ohio State Buckeyes

Vatos Slobs Forever 

I saw Ryan Day hang 62 on Michigan...His hair was perfect.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

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BengalErnst's picture

Haha I'm basically the exact size as Jack Tatum

Nicholas l Ernst

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nickel beer's picture

Those sophomores are names I will never forget--legend.  Tatum. I'd name my son after him if I had a son.

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

The comparisons between 1968 and 2014 have been well documented.  I was not born in 1968 but experienced my first Buckeye championship in 2002.  Reading about this championship season brings much excitement and anticipation for the upcoming 2016 season.

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nickel beer's picture

"This is nothing like PSU FB history"

Needed posting a second time.

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BuckeyeInTheSouth's picture

If memory serves correctly... perhaps the MOST Impressive thing about that 2=point attempt at the end was how that attempt even came into being.........
Ohio State got the ball deep in their own territory with little time left in the game, and instead of "sitting on the ball and running out the clock," Woody ran a series of plays (including some long pass plays) to get us down around the Mich 10 yard line.
And then with time running out, he called for more pass plays, finally scoring the touchdown..... to shove it into the face of the team up north.
..... The 2-point conversion attempt was just icing on the cake, after rubbing their nose in a long scoring drive to make it an even 50.
It was a WONDERFUL day.

The problem is, I believe that was Bo's first year as head coach, and Bo was not going to let ttun forget about this intentional, humiliating drubbing when OSU came calling in 69

BuckeyeInTheSouth

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LeftCoastBuckeye's picture

The Weasels canned their coach (whose name I am too lazy to google) after that game, and Bo came in the next season, obviously still salty. 

My aim, then, is to whip the Weasels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.   - William Tecumseh Sherman (with apologies)

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LeftCoastBuckeye's picture

Although I grew up watching my dad and uncle listen/watch to OSU games, this season was my first where I knew the team better than my elders.  I well remember the Purdue game (back when they were actually good.  Hard to believe, I know.) 

The statute of limitations having passed (i.e. my Mom is not around anymore) "The Game" that year is my fist epic OSU memory.  After the beatdown, my high school friends and I loaded up the family stationwagon and headed to campus from Lancaster (Rex Kern's hometown) because we'd heard that "something" was going on.  We parked somewhere east of campus, and heard it before we saw it; an odd rumbling sound that turned out to be zillions of beer cans being kicked down High Street.  Literally ankle deep at the curbs. There was music blasting from somewhere/everywhere, trucks from the major brewery (you know who i mean) handing out cases of beer for the asking (which we of course did), dumpsters burning in the middle of High Street, and thousands and thousand of happy kids wandering the middle of High Street.  Lots of other interesting sights as well; I'm pretty sure that there is at least one 47 year old out there somewhere that was conceived on the Lawn of the old Ohio Union.

A party not to be eclipsed until Tempe and the Miami game.

My aim, then, is to whip the Weasels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.   - William Tecumseh Sherman (with apologies)

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BuckeyeRocket's picture

Maybe our best secondary ever, with Tatum, Sensinbaugh, Provost and Anderson.  I think the DB coach was Lou Holtz.

BuckeyeRocket

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NavyBuckeye91's picture

Thanks for this entire series, Matt.  I read them all and learn something new every time.  This edition was a special treat.

 Early in the stanza, Ohio State's Mike Radtke forced MSU's quarterback, Bill Triplett, to fumble near midfield.

I went to high school with Mike Radtke's kids. In fact, I can remember watching the 1987 Fiesta Bowl between PSU and Miami at their house, and playing several games of Hearts with Mr. Radtke on other occasions.  Never once did he bring up the fact that he played on the '68 NC team, or that he played a key role in that season.  Today was the first time I had ever heard that story.

"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, & in the manner in which you live.
So, live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you. "
- Stuart Scott

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Matt Gutridge's picture

NavyBuckeye91,
Thanks for sharing your personal connection with the Radtke's.

Never once did he bring up the fact that he played on the '68 NC team, or that he played a key role in that season.  Today was the first time I had ever heard that story.

That says a lot about Mr. Radtke's character. It's amazing how many players from the Woody Hayes era are so humble. I think we all know the reason for that.

Icouldnotgofor3's picture

Missed 70% of the season's field goal attempts?.......Yeesh, that IS bad...Amazing they won the title with those numbers...

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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Buckeyepaco's picture

I was a fifteen year old at this time, growing up in Bexley, and an older friend from high school dated (and later married) Mace.  He was a fabulous guy, really down to earth.  If I remember correctly he was from Bedford. Somehow I ended up with one of his jerseys.  Wore it forever, but have no idea of what happened to it.  What I'd do to have it now.  Very special team and times, and the ten year war is upon us!

Section C1, Row 1, seats 1&2; Thanks Mom & Dad, September '61

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Chitownbuckeyecpa's picture

What a 1-2 punch in the backfield with Otis and Brockington.  Along with Kern I'm surprised Woody ever threw the ball.  That '68 team is the first one I really have vivid memories of.

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