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The 1942 Season Through The Words Of The Past, 10/4/1942

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Matt Gutridge's picture
October 4, 2017 at 6:15am

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.

The Citizen Journal used the first two pages of the sports section to give recaps of the contest against Indiana. Below are highlights from the articles. 

More Innards

"Our boys have more innards than a pirate. When a team comes from behind twice to win it has what it takes," said Ohio State's Coach Paul Brown in his after-the-game press huddle.

"That was one of the best contests I've ever seen," happily continued the Ohio State mentor. "Indiana made long gains individually; we did ti by the old fashioned method:---beat your brains out with just a little hinkle-dinkle added here and there."

I understand beating the brains out (a little hard to read with the state of football today), but have no idea what the hell "hinkle-dinkle" is. My guess is that it's a reference to trick or misdirection plays.

Coach Brown was high in praise of the Hoosiers. "I wouldn't have been ashamed of getting a beating from a team like that. In some ways, we were lucky to win. Frankly, the boys did better than I had expected they would

"Gene Fekete takes a back seat to no back on that football field," Brown continued as he discussed several individual players. Others who received verbal pat on the back from the head man were Bob Shaw, Tommy James, Les Horvath, Bill Willis and Charley Csuri.

After two games, Fekete was receiving a lot of ink. In the next article, you will read more about Bill Willis' and Charley Csuri's game against Indiana. 

But I felt that we had a 'team day,'" he quickly added. It was a team playing together instead of individual work that put us over."

He added that he thought Ohio State got a couple of breaks when Indiana dropped the ball in midfield and Ohio recovered. "But those were just the breaks of the game."

Isn't it nice that we live in a time that playing against Indiana doesn't scare the faint of heart and that it doesn't take a spectacular second half to put the Hoosiers away? Williams then gives some insight on the moods in the locker rooms after the game.

Both dressing-rooms were comparatively quiet. All of the players were hot and tired and their only thoughts were of cool and refreshing showers. 

Although both team were exhausted, it was apparent that Brown's strict conditioning schedule again paid off in touchdowns in the game's final minutes. The Buckeyes were tired out but the Hoosiers were beat down.

Who knew? Paul Brown was the original Mickey Marotti.

Bob Shaw was the only Buckeye injured. He has a charley-horse, and it is not known yet how serious it is.

The Indiana players were not only weary, but seemed depressed and disgusted. They had wanted to win; they had had reason to twice believe that they would.

Hillenbrand, their touted "back of the year", was obviously in low spirits. As he walked off the field, several Ohio State players shook his hand, but he was a very disappointed boy.

I'm only speculating, but I think the use of charley-horse was used to describe a hamstring injury. 

As they mopped their collective brows, both coaches and players joined with the fans in the capsule consensus: it had been quite a ball game.

In discussing individual plays, Brown explained that Hillenbrand's long touchdown run was successful because "one of our guys got trapped." I won't tell you who he was, because I don't want to see his name in the papers. He just stuck his nose out a little too far and---bang."---Hillenbrand was through him and off for the goal line. Their other long touchdown run was supposed to be an end-around play. Two or three of our boys hit him but they bounced off---he must have had tough thighs," the coach smiled wryly.

The Buckeye boss gave the traditional compliments to his opposition, but the tone in his voice indicated he really meant it.

Brown showed his class by not giving the name of the player who "stuck his nose out a little too far" and by giving Indiana its proper due. Next, Williams shares more insight from both Brown and Bo McMillin.

"McMillin came over and shook hands right after the game. He was a real sport about it. He was still high on his backs, and he should be. Weren't they great?"

The grey-haired, mournful "Bo" McMillin was downhearted as he chatted with friends in the Indiana dressing rooms. And he did have explanations for the game's outcome.

"We've been in school three weeks," he said. "Ohio State has had classes for only one. We both started practicing about the same time. That means that for two weeks Ohio State didn't have anything to think about but football; we had classes during that time. That makes a great difference in games so early in the season.


"My team played the best---but I won't be satisfied until they do better than they did today."

Coach McMillin, would you like a little cheese with that whine? Instead of taking the high road, Indiana's coach blamed the loss on school and schedules. In another piece in from the same day, Lew Byrer looks at both coaches.

Bo McMillin Disappointed

Bo McMillin, the old "Praying Colonel" from Centre College, was plenty disappointed yesterday...I happen to know, from a mutual friend, that he expected to win this one---thought he had the players to do it. 

The Indiana contingent in the press box was confident before the game, at the half, even at the end of the third quarter. They were sort of stunned when it was over.

They had a right to be. Here was a veteran team with an outstanding star handling a bunch of great backs---a team which had an edge on weight and experience coached by one of the veterans of the conference.

Yet it lost---and convincingly---to a greener, lighter team coached by a young, fellow who only graduated from the high school ranks a couple of years ago and was directing the second game of his second season at Ohio State.

More and more as time passed close followers of Ohio football are realizing what a really great coach Ohio State has in Paul Brown.

Yesterday's game doesn't prove that Bo McMillin isn't a great coach. But it definitely proves that Paul Brown is a great coach.

I'm sure Bo McMillin was a fine coach in the '40s, but time has proven that Paul Brown was definitely the better coach and Ohio State the better football program.

Lew Byrer

Bill Willis would come dragging his 202-pound six-foot-two frame off the field looking like he was about to fall apart. A roar of cheers and applause would go cascading out of the huge concrete horseshoe which is Ohio Stadium. 

Here was a big negro boy from East High School, Columbus.

When we sport writers were writing about an outstanding negro football prospect at Ohio State a year ago or even last spring we weren't writing about Willis. The guy we were mentioning was another negro from Massillon, a boy who could catch passes like nobody's business, who could punt from 60 to 70 yards, who could play end on defense and run with the ball or lead the interference on offense.

But Horace Gillom didn't click to in the classroom as he did on the football field. So Horace doesn't live out at Ohio State any more. And Bill Willis who did the drudgery without the cheers a year ago was getting more cheers than any lineman on either team yesterday.

Bill deserved 'em. Along with Charlie Csuri, 195 pound junior tackle from Cleveland, he was spear-heading the Buckeye offense.

When Fekete and Sarringhaus and Horvath and Frye and James went ripping through the line for gains and plays which led to touchdown the initial work of clearing the path for them had been done, mostly, by Willis and Csuri.

It's bruising work. On a hot day it's exhausting work.

Usually it's thankless work.

You go banging in there, beating your brains out, rooting out a heavier guy who is flailing you with forearms and elbows which seem to feel like ball bats. Your face plows into the sod. A spiked shoe steps in the middle of your back. You hear a cheer.

You know that cheer is not for you. It's for that brilliant, dodging, flashing back who has rambled through the hole you've helped open.

If you're like a lot of guys who've tried to play football you give your best a few times in that sort of way and then you say, "Aw, what's the uses? I'm doin' the work and the other guy gets the credit."

But if you're a Bill Willis or a Charlie Csuri you dig the dirt out of your mouth, spit out the blood, clap the ball carrier on the back and say, "Great goin', kid," and then dig in for another beating on the next one.

And when you get so tired you can hardly wiggle and your coach takes you out you get your breath as quickly as you can and then set up and look eager so he'll be sure to send you back in there as soon as he needs you.

That was Bill Willies and Charlie Csuri yesterday.

Most of the folks who watched the game don't fully realize what a great contribution those guys made toward that Ohio State 32, Indiana 21 score.

But their teammates know. Paul Brown knows. So does any lineman who ever played football.

Today, you will find Bill Willis' name and number hanging proudly in Ohio Stadium. Charlie (Chuck) Csuri was the inspiration for Ohio State's Bronze Star uniforms in the 2010 version of The Game. 

Previous Articles
FT. KNOX 9/22/42 9/23/42 9/24/42 9/25/42 9/26/42 9/27/42
INDIANA 10/1/42 10/2/42 10/3/42      

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