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.
After blanking Ft. Knox, 59-0, the Buckeyes prepare for their Week 2 contest against Indiana. Ohio State is on a three-game winning streak against the Hoosiers and have won seven of the last eight. Bo McMillin's team is hoping to give the Bucks their first Big Ten opening home loss since 1922.
Below is a preview piece from Don Hawk
Coach Paul Brown continued to bear down last night as he drove his Buckeye gridders in high gear in preparation for the first real test of this season's team in the game with Indiana Saturday afternoon.
The practice session was designed to sharpen the Ohio State attack as well as to set a defense against the Hoosiers.
The first and second teams ran plays through the third team and then the top two squads squared off against each other for workouts on both defense and offense. The third string came back at the finish to run a number of the Indiana plays at the top teams.
It's interesting how some things in football have evolved, but some have stayed the same. In 1942, the guys buried in the depth chart were called upon to be the scout team offense and defense. The same is true in 2017.
Sarringhaus to Punt
Outstanding development of the day's session was the announcement that Paul Sarringhaus will do the main part of the punting this week. Bill Durtschl and Tom Cleary will take over king duties as they break into the game but Sarringhaus will get the assignment for the starting team.
As the day of the game approaches, it becomes more and more apparent that the 40,000 fans expected for the game will do well to watch the two players who will wear the number 44.
|OHIO STATE||LT||DON STEINBERG||190|
|OHIO STATE||LT||BILL WILLIS||200|
|OHIO STATE||LG||HAL DEAN||180|
|OHIO STATE||C||BILL VICKROY||198|
|OHIO STATE||RG||LIN HOUSTON||199|
|OHIO STATE||RT||CHARLES CSURI||180|
|OHIO STATE||RB||BOB SHAW||129|
|OHIO STATE||QB||GEORGE LYNN||133|
|OHIO STATE||LH||PAUL SARRINGHAUS||144|
|OHIO STATE||RH||LES HORVATH||150|
|OHIO STATE||FB||GENE FEKETE||163|
|*NAMES||AND||WEIGHT MIGHT BE||WRONG|
It's still hard to imagine Ohio Stadium with only 40,000 people on a Saturday afternoon. Harder to imagine that it was the norm and the expected turnout. I understand WWII had an impact, but the numbers were like that before the war as well.
Doing a quick roster check, Eugene Fekete was the Ohio State player to wear No. 44 in 1942. Below, Hawk will give a little background on the Buckeye ball carrier and the Hoosier with the same number.
That'll Be Hillenbrand
For Indiana. Left Halfback Billy Hillenbrand will sport that number and will do heavy service on both offense and defense for Coach "Bo" McMillen. He will be stationed in the tailback spot and will be a threat to punt, pass, run, block or catch a pass whenever the Indiana center snaps the ball.
Gene Fekete, heralded by many as the best sophomore fullback at Ohio State since Johnny Rabb, will carry the same number for the Scarlet and Gray. Fekete does most of the line-plunging for Brown and feeds the ball to his backfield cohorts on many other plays. In addition, he is a crushing blocker and a stone-wall at backing the line on defense.
Comparing Fekete with Rabb is high praise. Will the sophomore be able to live up to the hype?
Tries for Extra Points
Also included in Fekete's list of offensive duties will be the job of attempting to kick the extra points after touchdown for this team. He added three placements to his two touchdowns last week to run his scoring total to 15 points, highest among Buckeye backs.
While this year's team is the strongest that Indiana has fielded for some years and will undoubtedly test Ohio State to the limit if it does not win, the Hoosiers have been favorite opponents of the Buckeyes in past years.
Records show that the two teams met five times just after the turn of the century and that Indiana copped all of those games. Then, in 1913, Ohio State entered the Western Conference and reopened athletic relations with the Hoosiers after an eight-year vacation.
It appears that having high hopes for young Ohio State running backs isn't a new thing. In 1942, freshmen were not allowed to play, so the excitement around sophomore Fekete was like J.K. Dobbins this year.
My sophomoric self was hoping for a different word when I read "...reopened athletic relations with the Hoosiers after an eight-year vacation." That word substitution would be fitting as Ohio State has had its way with Indiana on the football field.
Tally 15 to 3
Since that time, the two teams have played 20 times, with Ohio State teams enjoying phenomenal success. The Scarlet and Gray has rung up 15 victories while the Indianians could salvage but three victories. The teams played to a scoreless tie in 1929 and to a 7-7 deadlock in 1932.
Only Purdue, which has won but one of nine contests it has played against the Bucks, has enjoyed less success in Big Ten competition with Ohio State.
75 years later, not much has changed in the expected outcome when Ohio State plays Indiana and Purdue.
Hoosiers Poor Last Year
Indiana had a relatively poor year last season, winning only one conference game out of four and finishing in a tie with Purdue for seventh and eighth places in the "Big Nine" ahead of Illinois.
Today's Old School Alcohol Ad
Wiedemann's Royal Amber Beer made its pitch using a bald eagle and script writing. From the ad paid for by Hill Distributing:
WIEDEMANN'S ROYAL AMBER BEER
SO DIFFERENT * SO DISTINCTIVE
On draught at the Tavern
Smartly Bottled to grace all Occasions
The fine people at Wiedemann's are trying to promote their potable as higher class quaff that is proper for fine occasions. George Weidemann was the founder of the company that became Kentucky's largest brewery.