Ohio State returned 12 starters from 1992, making John Cooper's sixth team his most talented squad to date.
Tackle Korey Stringer, tailback Raymont Harris, fullback Jeff Cothran and receiver Joey Galloway led a loaded offense. The standout receiver from Bellaire, Ohio, returned after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 2 of the 1992 season. The biggest question mark for the offense came at quarterback and whether or not redshirt sophomore Bobby Hoying could take command.
Ohio State expected to have a stronger and bigger defensive line, with speed at every position. Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson led the way, pegged for an All-American season. Craig Powell and Lorenzo Styles represented playmaking linebackers and the late Chico Nelson led the secondary. Redshirt freshman Luke Fickell also pushed for playing time at nose guard.
|The 1993 Buckeyes|
|B1G Record||6–1–1, 1st|
|Coach||John Cooper (6th year, 45–22–4)|
Alan Kline, Chico Nelson,
Cedric Saunders, Jason Simmons
Games of Note
September 11th • #12 Washington • Ohio Stadium
Before the 8:05 kickoff against Washington, Ohio State opened its season against Rice. The Buckeyes scored the game's first 34 points before surrendering a touchdown with 34 seconds left.
Harris scored the season's first touchdown and Galloway's 48-yard touchdown catch represented the longest play from scrimmage against the Owls. Dimitrious Stanley caught his first touchdown pass as Hoying finished with 13 completions for 144 yards and a touchdown.
Washington defeated No. 15 Stanford 31-14 in its first game and hoped to do the same against 16th-ranked Ohio State.
However, the 12th-ranked Huskies entered Ohio Stadium amid turmoil. Don James resigned as head coach four weeks before this contest in protest of the sanctions the Pac-10 placed on his program. Washington selected Jim Lambright to take the reins and faced a raucous sell-out crowd of 94,109 under the lights in The Shoe for his second game as head coach.
To the delight of the home fans, Galloway caught an 18-yard play-action pass on the first play from scrimmage. Harris capped the contest's opening drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to the left side. The Buckeyes had little trouble moving the ball on the 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive.
Halfway through the second quarter, Hoying found Galloway for a 35-yard touchdown toss. The scoring strike made it 14-3 in favor of Ohio State. Before the half ended, Damon Huard connected with Theron Hill for an 8-yard touchdown. The Buckeyes thwarted Washington's two-point conversion and led 14-9 at the break.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Washington faced a 4th-and-1 from the Ohio State 4-yard line and Lambright elected to kick a field goal instead of go for the first down. The kick split the uprights and the Huskies trailed 14-12.
Almost two minutes later, Butler By'not'e burst through a blitz and raced 49 yards to put Washington on ice. The touchdown run ended up being the longest running play from scrimmage for the 1993 season.
Harris finished the day with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown and Galloway caught four passes for 104 yards and a score. On the other side of the ball, Styles made 14 stops and Wilkinson recorded three sacks and batted down a pass.
|SEP. 4||RICE||OHIO STADIUM||W, 34–7|
|SEP. 11||NO. 12 WASH.||OHIO STADIUM||W, 21–12|
|SEP. 18||PITTSBURGH||PITT STADIUM||W, 63–28|
|OCT. 2||NORTHWESTERN||OHIO STADIUM||W, 51–3|
|OCT. 9||ILLINOIS||MEMORIAL STADIUM||W, 20–12|
|OCT. 16||NO. 25 MICH. ST.||OHIO STADIUM||W, 28–21|
|OCT. 23||PURDUE||ROSS-ADE||W, 45–24|
|OCT. 30||NO. 12 PENN ST.||OHIO STADIUM||W, 24–6|
|NOV. 6||NO. 15 WISC.||CAMP RANDALL||T, 14–14|
|NOV. 13||NO. 19 INDIANA||OHIO STADIUM||W, 23–17|
|NOV. 20||MICHIGAN||MICHIGAN STADIUM||L, 0–28|
|DEC. 30||BYU||HOLIDAY BOWL||W, 28–21|
October 16th • #25 Michigan State • Ohio Stadium
The Buckeyes rose in the polls following the win over Washington next defeating Pittsburgh, Northwestern and Illinois. Ohio State won those three games by a combined score of 134-43, including a 63-28 thrashing of the Panthers. Cooper finally beat Illinois, doing so by a score of 20-12.
On an overcast 62-degree day with rain possible, the fifth-ranked Buckeyes hosted No. 25 Michigan State. The Spartans (3–1) defeated Michigan 17-7 a week earlier.
The rainy homecoming day became a showcase for Galloway. The speedy receiver caught nine passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns in less than ideal conditions. His scores came from 14, 22 and 64 yards out. The 64-yard touchdown came off play-action, as Galloway never broke stride as he hauled in the pass from Brent Powers. The play was the Buckeyes' longest from scrimmage for the year. Galloway now had touchdowns in each of the first six games of the season.
Michigan State quarterback Jim Miller also had a massive day. He completed 31 passes for a career-high 360 yards and brought his team back from a 21-10 deficit. With 5:37 remaining, Miller threw a 38-yard touchdown to fullback Scott Greene and converted the two-point conversion to tie the score at 21.
Throughout the afternoon, Ohio State's coaches went back-and-forth with Hoying and Bret Powers at quarterback. Cooper picked Powers to lead the team on what was likely the Buckeyes' last possession of the game.
The transfer from Arizona State led the team on a drive that had a nice mix of runs and passes. A key play came on 3rd-and-10 from the Spartans' 38, when Powers dropped back and found Galloway for 17 yards to continue the drive. Three Harris runs later and Ohio State led 28-21.
The 59 seconds that remained were not enough time for Miller to get Michigan State in scoring position and the Buckeyes – who had five turnovers – held on for the 28-21 victory. Miller's 360 passing yards were the most ever for a Spartan player against Ohio State, breaking John Leister's record set in in 1981.
Cooper had high praise for Stringer after the game: "Korey Stringer played a great game for us, he kept pancaking guys time after time after time."
October 30th • #12 Penn State • Ohio Stadium
Before playing Penn State for the first time as Big Ten members, the third-ranked Buckeyes ran over Purdue 45-24 at Ross-Ade Stadium. Harris only attempted 12 passes while By'not'e and George combined for 309 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Galloway did not score for the first time in the 1993 season.
The setting for the first Big Ten matchup between No. 12 Penn State and Ohio State was a cool 34 degree day with flurries and 15 MPH winds. The conditions made the field wet and turned it into a mud pit.
Under these less than ideal conditions, the Buckeyes' defense kept the Nittany Lions out of the end zone. Walter Taylor snagged two of the four interceptions Kerry Collins threw and Powell led the team with 11 tackles. The only negative to the game defensively came in the form of Ki-Jana Carter. He tallied the first 100-yard rushing game against Ohio State's defense in 1993.
Penn State kicked a field goal on its opening drive to put Ohio State behind for the first time this season. However, Harris ran in from four yards and continued the Buckeyes' streak of scoring on their first possession of every game.
The Nittany Lions made another field goal later in the first quarter, their final points of the day. Ohio State scored the final 17 points and won 24-6. Galloway recorded his ninth receiving touchdown of the season and trailed Cris Carter by two for the single-season record.
Tim Williams made all three of extra point tries to set a school record with 78 straight points after touchdowns.
Following the game, Joe Paterno said" "What would it take to beat Ohio State? I don't know because we could not do it today."
November 6th • #15 Wisconsin • Camp Randall
For the second straight week, Ohio State played in freezing temperatures and snow flurries. The stadium did not reach full capacity due to injuries sustained after the Badgers beat Michigan a week earlier. Around 70 people were injured when fans stormed the field and broke a retaining fence. Wisconsin officials decided to eliminate 200 seats and increase security to prevent another mishap.
The Buckeyes grabbed a 7-0 lead at the midpoint of the first quarter when Harris ran in from the 3-yard line. The Badgers ended Ohio State's streak of scoring on its first possession earlier in the game.
Wisconsin evened things up in the second quarter when Darrell Bevell hooked up with Lee DeRamus for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Later in the period, Powers threw for the end zone from the Badgers' 43 only to be intercepted by Kenny Gales. The half ended with the scoreboard showing 7-7.
The Badgers scored in the third quarter when Brent Moss – who rushed for a game-high 129 yards – crossed the goal line for a 14-7 advantage. Wisconsin had a chance to extend its lead, but Bevell fumbled a snap on Ohio State's 14-yard line and Powell recovered.
The Buckeyes proceeded to drive to the Badgers' 22, but Hoying threw a pick at the 3-yard line. The defense stopped Wisconsin and on the next possession, only to have Hoying throw another interception near the red zone.
With 4:34 left in the game, the Buckeyes had the ball on their own 1-yard line. Powers completed four straight passe to move the ball 99 yards for a touchdown. Three of the completions and 88 of the yards were to Galloway, who scored on a 26-yard strike.
Wisconsin got the ball back with 3:48 remaining, plenty of time for a game-winning drive. Bevell directed an 11-play drive that placed the ball on the Ohio State 15-yard line. With seven seconds on the clock, Rick Schnetzky trotted out to kick the game-winning field goal. The snap and hold were good, but Marlon Kerner came off the left edge and blocked Schnetzky's attempt with both hands.
The game ended in a 14-14 tie and the Buckeyes still had control of the conference and the inside track to a Rose Bowl berth. This game was the first tie between the programs since a 7-7 deadlock in 1958. The series record between Ohio State and Wisconsin now sat at 6–6–1 since 1981.
November 15th • #19 Indiana • Ohio Stadium
No. 19 Indiana entered Ohio Stadium in the midst of its best season in 24 years and sporting a 7–1 record. In order to clinch a share of the conference title, No. 5 Ohio State had to defeat Bill Mallory's Hoosiers.
The Buckeyes' defense put a clamp on Indiana's running attack. Ohio State held the Hoosiers to 31 rushing yards but Indiana still able to keep the game competitive with 207 yards passing.
Ohio State scored all of its points in the second and third quarter and gutted out a 23-17 victory. Hoying and Powers split time at quarterback and combined for 265 yards and two touchdowns passing. Hoying completed 10-of-13 attempts for 141 yards and a touchdown. Galloway again served as the go-to receiver, tallying five receptions for 115 yards and a score.
Harris added the ground support with 162 rushing yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Jason Gwinn had a fine defensive day and led the Buckeyes with nine tackles, a pair of sacks and an Ohio State single-game record five tackles for loss.
Following the game Cooper had Pasadena on his mind.
"I have told (them) I think the greatest feeling is taking the field at the Rose Bowl," he said. "I have been there, now we want our team to experience that."
November 20th • Michigan • Michigan Stadium
Michigan (6–4) is all that stood between No. 5 Ohio State and the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes already clinched a share of the Big Ten title but needed to defeat or tie the Wolverines in order to go to Pasadena. With Michigan struggling, many believed Cooper would finally get his first win in the rivalry game.
That did not happen.
Tyrone Wheatley rushed for 105 yards and Todd Collins completed 8-of-12 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns as the Wolverines took a 21-0 lead into the half. Michigan added another score early in the third quarter and won 28-0.
"It's the most embarrassing game I think I've ever been associated with since I've been coaching college football," said Cooper. "We got outplayed every way possible."
The Buckeyes now needed Michigan State to defeat Wisconsin in Tokyo two weeks later in order to play in the Rose Bowl.
"We were in the driver's seat, but now we're in the back seat waiting for something to happen to Wisconsin," safety Chico Nelson said. "We were supposed to win this game and go to the Rose Bowl, but it didn't happen."
Wisconsin defeated Michigan State in Tokyo to earn the right to play in the Rose Bowl because Ohio State played in Pasadena more recently.
Cooper was now 0–5–1 against Michigan and Ohio State fell to 33–51–6 in the series.
December 30th • BYU • Holiday Bowl
Before Ohio State traveled to San Diego to play BYU, tragedy hit the team. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jayson Gwinn lost his life in an auto accident on Dec. 12, 1993. The Brookhaven graduate was regarded as "a quality young man, who was liked and admired by all who knew him. He brought a feeling of warmth to the Ohio State football team."
The Holiday Bowl between No. 11 Ohio State and Cougars as described by the 2015 Ohio State Team Guide:
In the early going, the 9-1-1 Buckeyes appeared to be too much for the 6-5
Cougars, jumping off to a 21-7 lead with 14:55 to play in the second quarter. But BYU, healthy for the first time all year, roared back with two TDs and the teams were tied at intermission.
Ohio State regained the lead with 4:11 to play in the third when tailback Raymont Harris scored his third TD of the evening.
Using their vaunted passing game, the Cougars drove deep into OSU teritory three times in the fourth quarter with each drive ending on incompletions.
While BYU did most of its damage through the air, the Buckeyes relied on the brilliant running of Harris, who set a Holiday Bowl record with 235 yards on 39 carries. Harris, a 6-2, 225-pound senior, was named Player of the Game, while linebacker Lorenzo Styles, who had eight tackles, including four for losses, was the defensive MVP.
Cooper got the bowl monkey off his back for the time being with the 28-21 win but could not say the same thing against Michigan.
Cooper now sported a combined 1–10–1 record against the Wolverines and bowl opponents.
- No. 18 Ohio State defeated Rice 34-7 in the inaugural game between the schools.
- The Buckeyes beat No. 12 Washington 21-12 in Ohio Stadium's second night game.
- Butler By'not'e returned the opening kickoff 89 yards as OSU routed Pittsburgh 63-28, the most points scored by Ohio State since defeating Utah 64-6 in 1986.
- In a game that was not televised, the Scarlet and Gray whooped Northwestern 51-3. Bret Powers completed 5-of-7 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.
- A John Cooper-coached team beat Illinois for the first time. Ohio State led 17-3 and held on for a 20-12 victory.
- No. 25 Michigan State's Jim Miller threw for 360 yards, but Ohio State won 28-21 when Raymont Harris scored with 1:06 remaining in the game.
- Ohio State ran over Purdue with 364 rushing yards in the 45-24 victory at Ross-Ade Stadium.
- No. 12 Penn State did not score a touchdown as the Buckeyes defeated the Nittany Lions 24-6 in their first Big Ten battle.
- A 14-14 tie with 15th-ranked Wisconsin eventually prevented OSU from playing in the Rose Bowl.
- No. 19 Indiana only rushed for 31 yards and lost to Ohio State 23-17. Jayson Gwinn set a single-game school record with five tackles for loss.
- Unranked Michigan blanked the fifth-ranked Buckeyes 28-0 and kept Ohio State from playing in the Rose Bowl.
- Raymont Harris set a Holiday Bowl record with 235 rushing yards in the Buckeyes' 28-21 victory. Cooper was now 1–9–1 against Michigan and Bowl opponents.
- Korey Stringer and Dan Wilkinson earned All-American honors.
- Dan Wilkinson, Jeff Cothran, Raymont Harris, Jason Winrow and Butler By'not'e were selected in the NFL Draft. The Bengals selected Wilkinson with the overall No. 1 pick.
- Ohio State started the season ranked 18th, climbed to 3rd and finished at No. 11.
The 1993 Buckeyes captured its first share of the Big Ten title since 1986 and finished with its best record since 1979. The Holiday Bowl victory was the first bowl win for Cooper collected his first bowl win with a 28-21 defeat of BYU in the Holiday Bowl. That victory represented the school's first postseason win since Ohio State defeated Texas A&M in the 1987 Cotton Bowl.
Raymont Harris led the team in rushing (1,344) and finished his career fifth on the all-time career rushing list (2,649). Bobby Hoying threw for 1,570 yards and Joey Galloway had a team-high 946 receiving yards. He also led the team with 78 points scored. Galloway tied Cris Carter's single-season record of 11 touchdown catches.
Lorenzo Styles led the team with 117 tackles and Jason Simmons had a team-high 7.0 sacks.
Jayson Gwinn finished the season with 25 tackles and three sacks before he tragically lost his life in an auto accident on Dec. 12, 1993.