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The Series History: American Athletic Conference

Matt Gutridge's picture
September 16, 2021 at 6:00am

Ohio State and Tulsa have faced each other once on the gridiron. The Buckeyes won 48-3 in Columbus five years. ago. Since there isn't much history between these two programs, let's take a deeper look at Ohio State's performance against the current members of the American Athletic Conference.

Five Things American Athletic Conference

  1. Ohio State has won ten straight against teams currently in the AAC.
  2. This is the 31st time the Buckeyes have faced an AAC school. The first was against Cincinnati in 1893. 
  3. Six different teams from the American Athletic Conference have competed against Ohio State (Cincinnati, Houston, Navy, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa and UCF). 
  4. Ohio State is 31–3–1 in those games.
  5. 1950 was the last time the Buckeyes lost to a current member of the AAC. Rusty Russell's SMU squad bested Wes Fesler 32-27 in the opening game of the season, which turned out to be Fesler's last in Columbus. Since the loss in 1950, the Buckeyes are 20–0–1 against the current members of the AAC.

The second game of the 2016 season was the first time Ohio State has ever played a game against the Golden Hurricane. The team from Tulsa tied the score at 3-3 late in the first quarter. From that point on the Buckeyes, and weather, took over. 

Ohio State scored 45 unanswered, including back-to-back pick-sixes. With 3:02 remaining in the first half, Malik Hooker scored on a 26-yard interception return. Marshon Lattimore followed suit with a 40-yard pick-six on the ensuing Tulsa drive.

The game was delayed for 69 minutes at halftime due to lightning and heavy rain. The lightning cleared, but the downpour of rain and scoring throughout the second half. 

Overall: 1–0 /// Points Scored: 48-3 /// Average Score: 48-3


In Urban Meyer's last season as head coach, Ohio State faced the Green Wave in the fourth game of the year. It wasn't Bourbon Street, but the Buckeyes did have an easy time scoring in the 49-6 rout of the boys from the bayou. 

103,336 fans packed Ohio Stadium to witness Ohio State dominate Tulane. Parris Campbell hauled in two of Dwayne Haskins' five touchdown passes. Haskins finished the the day completing 21 of his 24 passes for 304 yards.

This marked the third time in the first four games of the 2018 season that Haskins eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark. It was a glimpse to the record breaking year the signal-caller was embarking on.  

Overall: 1–0 /// Points Scored: 49-6 /// Average Score: 49-6


The Knights came to Columbus on September 8, 2012 as a member of Conference USA and were the second team Meyer faced as Ohio State's head coach. The team that finished the 2012 season with an undefeated record handed UCF a 31-16 defeat in the only game played between the programs.  

Overall: 1–0 /// Points Scored: 31-16 /// Average Score: 31-16


We need to go back 27 years for the only contest between the Buckeyes and Cougars. Representing the Southwest Conference on that late September Saturday, Houston left Columbus with a 52-0 ass whooping.

The great Eddie George rushed for 105 yards, averaged  9.5 yards per carry and scored. Jermon Jackson crossed the goal line three times (his only touchdowns of the 1994 season) and two of Bobby Hoying's nine completions were touchdowns.    

Overall: 1–0 /// Points Scored: 52-0 /// Average Score: 52-0


This series started a home and away against the Midshipmen in 1930 and 1931. The beat Navy 27-0 in Baltimore's Municipal Stadium in '30, then blanked the servicemen, 20-0, the following season in Columbus.

Navy has given the Buckeyes some scare over the last three games of the series. In the 1981 Liberty Bowl, Ohio State escaped with a 31-28 victory. The closest margin in the series. The 2009 Buckeyes won by four points and the national champion 2014 squad struggled with the Midshipmen before winning the season-opener 34-17.

Overall: 5–0 /// Points Scored: 143-72 /// Average Score: 29-14


Between 1950 and 1978, the Mustangs and Buckeyes played each other nine times. In the first meeting, Wes Fesler's last Ohio State team dropped the season opener 32-27 in Ohio Stadium. After the shocking loss, Woody Hayes righted the ship against the Texans and won the next seven contests in the series.

In the last game played in this series, Ron Meyer's Mustangs were able to leave Columbus with an improbable 35-35 tie against the last Buckeye team coached by Woody Hayes.

Calvin Murray and Art Schlichter eclipsed 100 yards rushing. Murray went for 106 and Schlichter 100. The troubled quarterback crossed the goal line twice on the ground, but struggled passing against the SMU's defense. He was only 3/16 for 50 yards and 4 interceptions. Schlichter also sustained a severely bruised shoulder on the last play of the game.

On the other side of the field, Mike Ford threw for 341 yards and completed 36 of 57 passes. Behind his arm, the Mustangs lined-up for a 47-yard game-winning field goal with :07 remaining in the game. Eddie Garcia missed the kick.

Coach Ron Meyer had this to say about the tie, "There are too many cliches about ties to start with, but I'll tell you, it's tough. We're just disappointed, and I think across the stadium (in the OSU locker room) they have to be disappointed too."

Overall: 7–1–1 /// Points Scored: 241-125 /// Average Score: 27-14


As dominant as the Buckeyes were in the Metrodome, the Superdome has not been as friendly. The first two trips to New Orleans resulted in overwhelming losses. Bear Bryant and Alabama won 35-6 in the 1978 Sugar Bowl and twenty years later, Bobby Bowden and Florida State won 31-14 in the 1998 Sugar Bowl. Ohio State's third loss in the Superdome came at the hands of LSU in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game.

On a brighter note, the Buckeyes first win in the Big Easy was against No. 8 Texas A&M in the 1999 Sugar Bowl. Another positive is that Ohio State has a two-game winning streak in the Superdome. Jim Tressel's 2010 team defeated No. 8 Arkansas and Urban Meyer's 2014 team through the heart of the south with the 42-35 win over No. 1 Alabama.

Overall: 15–2 /// Points Scored: 490-135 /// Average Score: 29-8

American Athletic Conference

Since 1950, the Buckeyes are 20–0–1 against the current members of the AAC. As mentioned above, the tie was to SMU in 1978. When basing the record on teams that were in the AAC when playing Ohio State, the Scarlet and Gray are 4–0. The average score of those contests was 47-9.

Overall: 31–3–1 /// Points Scored: 1,054-357 /// Average Score: 30-10

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