Ohio State vs. Oregon: The History Between Both Programs

By Vico on January 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Ohio State's opponent in the College Football Playoff championship game is no stranger to the program. The two teams have clashed eight times in their history. Ohio State has won each game. Though Monday night's game will be one of firsts for two programs, and college football overall, this will be a footnote for the pre-game festivities.

In fact, Oregon's 0-8 record against Ohio State is the worst overall mark for Oregon against any opponent. Only Oregon's 1-6 record against Oklahoma and 0-3 record against Hawaii are comparable.

Oregon getting a first win against Ohio State and securing its first national championship is the Ducks fan's perspective. For an Ohio State fan, that three of the last five national championship seasons have gone through Oregon is noteworthy. Let's revisit the previous eight games both teams have played against each other in their histories.

1958 Rose Bowl: Ohio State - 10; Oregon - 7

The first meeting between the two was in the 1958 Rose Bowl. An Ohio State team featuring Dick LeBeau, Leo Brown, Galen Cisco, and Bob White led the program to its fourth Rose Bowl while holding a no. 1 ranking in the Coaches Poll.

Ohio State was a 24-point favorite in this game. The Buckeyes had won eight-straight contests after losing its season-opener at home to Texas Christian.

Meanwhile, Oregon held a 7-3 record, but limped into this game after a loss to Oregon State in the Civil War game. This forced a tie between Oregon and Oregon state in the Pacific Coast Conference standings that would have sent Oregon State to the Rose Bowl if not for the Pacific Coast Conference's no-repeat rule. Oregon State played in the 1957 Rose Bowl.

Though 24-point favorites, Woody Hayes' Buckeyes struggled to put away Len Casanova's "Webfoots" (what the Ducks were called at the time). Ohio State won the rushing battle (245 yards to 160 yards), though Oregon's Jack Crabtree used some razzle and dazzle to put up 191 yards through the air.

The hero of the game was Ohio State's kicker, Don Sutherin. With the game tied 7-7 in the fourth quarter, Sutherin kicked what became the game-winning field goal. Sutherin had been injured since the Michigan game and did not start practicing again until four days before the Rose Bowl.

1961: Ohio State - 22; Oregon - 12

The two teams next played in 1961 in what amounted to a senior day for Ohio State. Ohio State finished its 1961 season the next week at Michigan.

This game was all Ohio State from the start. Bob Klein scored on a 72-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter when most of the announced crowd of 82,073 were filing into the stadium. Ohio State went for two after the first touchdown to secure an 8-0 lead.

Ohio State had three 100-yard rushers in this game. Quarterback John Mummey led all rushers with 116 yards. Bob Klein had 103 yards. Bob Ferguson, who would finish second in the Heisman voting that year, had 25 carries for 101 yards.

Oregon got its second touchdown late in the fourth quarter but failed on a two-point conversion. The 22-12 Ohio State win over Oregon was Woody Hayes' 100th game with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State, whose faculty controversially declined the Rose Bowl invitation, finished the season 8-0-1 and as the FWAA national champions. Oregon finished 1961 with a 4-6 record.

1962: Ohio State - 26; Oregon - 7

Ohio State's third-string quarterback had to be the hero against the Ducks. John Mummey, Ohio State's starter, was injured. Bill Mrukowski, who was not even on the travel squad, paced Ohio State to a 26-7 win.

Ohio State outgained Oregon 316 to 107 on the ground. The key play may have been Bruce Snyder's second quarter fumble on Oregon's own 23-yard line. Bill Spahr secured the loose ball. Mrukowski led the ensuing drive to give Ohio State a 14-0 lead.

The loss for Oregon, which finished 6-3-1 in 1962, cost the Webfoots a chance at a bowl game.

1967: Ohio State - 30; Oregon - 0

The two teams faced each other again in 1967, the only encounter to be held in Oregon. In fact, this game is unique in Oregon lore for being the dedication game for Autzen Stadium.

Ohio State was quite the rude guest, or perhaps Oregon was quite the generous host. Interceptions were the key this game. Two first-quarter interceptions for Oregon became two touchdowns for Ohio State. 

The Autzen Stadium crowd of 25,000 fans watched Ohio State add 17 points to an early 13-0 lead to secure a 30-0 shutout of the Webfoots.

1968: Ohio State - 21; Oregon - 6

Oregon returned to Ohio Stadium to play Ohio State's "Super Sophomores" national championship squad.

However, the game was not easy for the Buckeyes. Ohio State's offense sputtered in the first half. The Buckeyes held just a 7-6 lead at halftime after Oregon's quarterback, John Harrington (Joey's father), found tight end Denny Schuler in the end zone for six points. 

The offense eventually awoke in the second half. A 35-yard run from Jim Otis made it a 14-6 game. Backup quarterback Ron Maciejowski connected with Bruce Jankowski on a 55-yard strike to make it a 21-6 game. 

Oregon was shutout in the second half. Ohio State outgained Oregon 451-138 for the day.

This game was the precursor to the clash with Purdue the next week, in which Ohio State shut out the no. 1 Boilermakers. That win against Purdue was the signature game of the 1968 season for Ohio State. Ohio State's first half against Oregon may have been a sleep walk while the Buckeyes anticipated that showdown.

1983: Ohio State - 31; Oregon - 6

The two programs would not cross paths for the next 15 years. Mike Tomczak would make sure to leave his mark on the series history on this day in 1983.

Tomczak completed 21 of 25 passes for a career-high 273 yards. He was on fire in the third quarter alone, completing 10 of 11 passes for 148 yards and scoring three touchdowns. This made a narrow 10-6 halftime lead for Ohio State a second-half blowout.

1987: Ohio State - 24; Oregon - 14

The 1987 season may have been the first time in which both programs were evenly matched. Oregon, an eventual 6-5 team coached by Rich Brooks, traveled to Ohio State to take on what amounted to be a 6-4-1 squad that led to Earle Bruce's dismissal.

In short, they were evenly matched, but not that good. The 3-0 halftime lead for Ohio State this game may have underscored that.

Tom Tupa came out firing in the third quarter. He completed his first seven passes en route to an 88-yard touchdown drive capped by a four-yard pass to tight end Jay Koch. Tom Tupa led another Ohio State touchdown less than two minutes later. 

Vince Workman added another touchdown and finished the game with 162 yards.

The 24-14 win for Ohio State suggests a tight game, but it wasn't. Oregon's two touchdowns came late in the fourth quarter after Ohio State had already established a 24-0 lead.

2010 Rose Bowl: Ohio State - 26; Oregon - 17

The most recent encounter is one for which Eleven Warriors readers all have fond memories. Ohio State won its first Rose Bowl since the 1996 season in taking down the favored Ducks in Chip Kelly's first year as head coach.

The Ducks were favored for a reason. Ohio State had two losses entering the game. Both losses were to mutual opponents Purdue and USC, who Oregon had both defeated. In fact, the rout of USC marked a change of the guard in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) that still resonates to this day.

The trendy prediction, especially just a few years after the debacle against Florida in Glendale, was Oregon would put up yards and points on Ohio State's defense. Neither came in bunches for the Ducks.

The key moments in this game came late in the fourth quarter. Ohio State, holding a precarious 19-17, concluded a 13-play, 81-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Terrelle Pryor to DeVier Posey. This gave Ohio State a 26-17 lead.

Oregon almost housed the ensuing kickoff, starting the drive at the Ohio State 36-yard line. Ohio State's defense forced a 4th-and-1 situation at the Ohio State 27. Rather than go for it, Chip Kelly played it safe and attempted a field goal. Morgan Flint, Oregon's kicker, missed.

With 5:10 remaining in the game, Ohio State bled the clock while forcing Oregon to use all three timeouts. The 26-17 win was the first BCS win for the Big Ten since Penn State's 2006 Orange Bowl win, four seasons earlier.

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