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The 1942 Season Through The Words Of The Past, 9/24/1942

Matt Gutridge's picture
September 24, 2017 at 9:31am

2017 is the 75th anniversary of Ohio State's first national championship season. To honor the achievement, this series will post articles from the Columbus Citizen Journal on the day they ran in 1942.

Ohio State started the 1942 season against Ft. Knox, which was a team of military personnel that the Buckeyes knew little about. This piece by Don Hawk ran two days before the season-opener.

Ft. Knox

Special attention was given to pass defense in yesterday's practice session as Coach Paul Brown prepared the 1942 edition of the Ohio State football machine to stall the touchdown marches of a team about which he knows almost nothing.

"This game will be played with each team knowing less about the other than any other game here at Ohio Stadium in several years," stated Coach Brown as he prepared to lead his charges out on the field for last minute preparations for the opening game of the season with the Ft. Knox Armoraiders Saturday.

"The only things we we do know about our opponents," he added, "are that they will outweigh our men by several pounds per man, that hey average over 23 years of age against (our) average of only 19 and a fraction of years for our team, and their offensive (formations) will probably inlcude the T and the spread formations as well as the orthodox Notre Dame plan of attack."

For the third straight day, the Citizen Journal hammered home the fact that Brown and his staff did not know what to expect from Ft. Knox in terms of Xs and Os. What the Buckeyes did know, is that when Ft. Knox entered Ohio Stadium its players would be older and bigger than the boys from Columbus. 

This is the first time that Ft. Knox's nickname was mentioned, Armoraiders. Fitting for a group of giant men who traverse the countryside in their massive tanks.

Hawk's piece continues:  

Bach Is Crafty

Coach Joe Bach, leader of the Armoraiders, is a former Notre Dame coach and was a teammate of the famous "four horsemen." He is familiar with all the intricacies of the Notre Dame and the now-famous T offensive and has doubtless passed them along to his squadmen. 

The Ft. Knox weight chart reveals that the team will be one of the heaviest that Ohio State will face all season. The starting backfield will carry an average of 188 pounds while the line will approach the measurements of giants with an average of 212 pounds per man. Against this array of behemoths, Brown will start a backfield averaging 184 pounds and a line that will carry 195 pounds.

I guess in 1942, Notre Dame and "four horsemen" carried some weight. Today it reflects a team relishing those days from the '30s. For the third consecutive day the writers for the CJ are pointing out Ohio State's size disadvantage. I guess there might be something to it.

Moody is Threat

John "Big Train" Moody is a five-foot seven-inch thunderbolt who weighs 212 solid pounds. When he hits any line, something has to break. He's the fullback of the Armoraiders and a constant threat whenever the team gets near pay dirt.

Sam Putterbaugh is a 26-year old veteran player, the quarterback of the service team. He is a precision passer and the probability that he will have plenty of chances to uncork his deadly aerials from his position behind the center in the T formation had more than a little influence in Brown's decision to polish up the Buckeye pass defense. 

With the sizeable Moody plowing through the line and Putterbaugh's deft touch, Ohio State's defense appears to be in for a long afternoon on the 26th. The remainder of the article listed other Ft. Knox players and mentioned Don Steinberg would start for Dante Lavelli because of Lavelli's pulled "charley-horse."

Today's Old School Alcohol Advertisement:

Windsor Whiskey

Windsor Whiskey went with a picture of an elderly, rugged guy tossing a horseshoe to sell its brand. Left of the rugged man with the horseshoe in his hand is "YOU CAN'T MISS!" Below the slogan is a bottle of Windsor to to the left and these words to the right of the bottle, "...Windsor is sure to give you a lot of pleasure without costing you a lot of money!"

How much was the spirit? 97 cents a pint and $1.85 a quart. Guess it's time to get some ringers and down some whiskey.

Previous Articles
FT. KNOX 9/22/42 9/23/42          

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