100 Teams in 100 Days: Eddie George Wins the Heisman Trophy, but Tim Biakabutuka Wins The Game in 1995

By Matt Gutridge on August 13, 2016 at 11:40 am
The 1995 Ohio State University football team.
Ohio State University Archives

John Cooper showed confidence in Ohio State quarterback Bobby Hoying prior to the 1995 season.

-21 days and counting.

"I feel like Bobby is ready to step forward and take control," Cooper said. "A great team has to have a great leader, and I think Bobby can be that leader for us."

With seven returning starters on offense and six on defense, Cooper had Ohio State in position to contend for the Big Ten and national titles. 

Eddie George ran for 1,442 yards and 12 touchdowns in 1994. The powerful running back tallied 100 or more yards in eight games his junior year and looked to add to that number in his final season.  

The biggest questions for the team came at linebacker and in the secondary. Greg Bellisari returned at linebacker, but Lorenzo Styles and Craig Powell left. Junior Ryan Miller and redshirt freshman Jerry Rudzinski had to fill the large shoes they left behind.

Shawn Springs represented the lone returning starter in the secondary. Anthony Gwinn, Ty Howard and Rob Kelly were slated to see significant action. 

The 1995 Buckeyes
Record 11–2
B1G Record 7–1, 2nd
Coach John Cooper (8th year, 65–28–4)
CaptainS Matt Bonhaus, Eddie George,
Bobby Hoying

Games of Note

August 27th • #22 Boston College • Giants Stadium 
No. 12 Ohio State completely dominated the 22nd ranked Eagles of Boston College in Kickoff Classic XIII. The Buckeyes scored in every quarter and showed superior talent on offense, defense and special teams.

Ohio State's first drive of the season went 80 yards in eight plays and ended with a George 12-yard touchdown run. The senior earned game MVP honors as he finished with 157 all-purpose yards – 99 rushing – and two touchdowns.

Following a Boston College field goal in the second quarter, Springs returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. The return was the play of the day and swung the momentum to the Scarlet and Gray. With 12 seconds until the half, Rickey Dudley caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Hoying to give Ohio State a 21-3 lead at intermission. Dudley's catch capped a 99-yard drive that broke Boston College's spirit.  

Midway through the third quarter, Josh Jackson kicked his second field goal of the game, and late in the final period Dimitrious Stanley scored on a 12-yard reception to give the Buckeyes a 38-6 victory.

The defense had three interceptions, three sacks, forced a fumble and stopped the Eagles on two fourth down plays. The new starters on defense answered any questions as the Buckeyes held Boston College to 91 yards in the second half.

Terry Glenn emerged as a big-play target for Hoying. The junior flanker caught passes of 46 and 47 yards and finished with three receptions for 105 yards. 

1995 Schedule
AUG. 27 NO. 22 B.C. GIANTS STADIUM W, 38–6
SEP. 16 NO. 18 WASH. OHIO STADIUM W, 30–20
SEP. 30 NO. 15 ND OHIO STADIUM W, 45–26
OCT. 14 NO. 21 WISC. CAMP RANDALL W, 27–16
      11–2, 475–220

September 16th • #18 Washington • Ohio Stadium
Napoleon Kaufman's 211 rushing yards were the story of this matchup in 1994. A year later, Ohio State's running back is the one that put up eye-popping numbers. 

George rushed for 212 yards and two scores in the 30-20 victory. The game wasn't as close as the score indicated. No. 10 Ohio State led 30-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, but two turnovers led to 13 Washington points. With under a minute to play the Buckeyes were in position to score again, but Pepe Pearson fumbled on the Huskies' 3-yard line.

When asked about George's performance Jim Lambright said: "It was awesome. One hundred and fifty yards in the first half. He does a great job with vision. They got us caught between inside plays and outside plays. He then has the vision to take what the defense give him. And he always falls forward."

Hoying finished with 18 completions, 192 passing yards and two touchdowns. Glenn caught seven passes for 91 yards and a score. George averaged 5.9 yards per carry and had 311 rushing yards in two games.

In Week 3, No. 8 Ohio State demolished Pittsburgh 54-14 at Pitt Stadium. Hoying tied his school record with five touchdown passes and completed 23-of-33 passes for 421 yards.

Glenn proved unstoppable as he caught nine balls for 253 yards – a school record – and four touchdowns. He finished with 315 all-purpose yards. Bob Grimes was the only other Buckeye to catch four touchdowns in a game. He did it in 1952.

George played just over two quarters and rushed for 122 yards. The offense converted on 10-of-13 third downs. The defense picked off four passes and held the Panthers to 264 yards in the dominating win.

September 30th • #15 Notre Dame • Ohio Stadium 
For 59 years Ohio State fans listened to Notre Dame supporters brag about their 2–0 record against the Buckeyes. A record crowd of 95,537 packed Ohio Stadium to witness the first game between the college football titans since 1936.

On this 80-degree late September afternoon, neither team scored in the first quarter. The Irish made the home fans a little nervous as they scored the first 10 points in the second stanza. Hoying found Glenn for a 10-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-3 at the midpoint of the quarter to temporarily quell those fears. With only 44 seconds remaining in the half, Hoying hooked up with Stanley for a 17-yard strike and Ohio State trailed 17-14 at the break. 

On the first drive of the second half, Ron Powlus directed Notre Dame to the Buckeyes' 10 where his team had 1st-and-goal. On 3rd-and-2, Marc Edwards got the ball for the fourth straight play. He went off right guard and met Vrabel head on, who caused a fumble. Edwards recovered, but Notre Dame lost two yards and had 4th-and-goal from the 4. 

Lou Holtz – on the sideline with a neck brace – decided to kick the short field goal to push the lead to 20-14. Although the Irish scored, the defensive stand kept Ohio State in it.

The Buckeyes' next drive ended at their own 47 and Brent Bartholomew was called on to punt. He struck a high 34-yarder that Notre Dame's Emmett Mosley misplayed. Dean Kreuzer recovered the muff at the 19.

Three plays later, Hoying threw to Dudley over the middle and the big tight end carried a tackler into the end zone for the 21-20 lead.

Notre Dame's next possession showed promise as Powlus hit a streaking Derrick Mayes for a 56-yard pass. Three plays later the Buckeyes brought a blitz and Powlus targeted Mayes again. This time, Springs intercepted the overthrown pass at his own 11.

Following two George runs, Ohio State had 3rd-and-3 from the 18. Hoying dropped back and hit Glenn on a 10-yard curl, the speedy receiver turned up field and raced to pay dirt for the 82-yard touchdown. Jackson's point after made it 28-20.

Powlus proceeded to fumble the snap on Notre Dame's next play. Matt Bonhaus pounced on it and the Buckeyes had the ball on the Irish 14. Three runs by George resulted in a touchdown and extended the lead to 35-20.

The Irish responded with a 6-play, 65-yard touchdown drive, but did not convert the two-point conversion.

Following a touchback, Ohio State had the ball on its own 20 with 12:55 remaining. Hoying took the snap and pitched left to George, who ran left end raced down the sideline for a 61-yard gain. This play is the one that became immortalized in Buckeye history with the photo showing George outracing a gang of Irish defenders.

Three plays later, George finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown and pushed the score to 42-26. On Notre Dame's next possession, they tried and failed on a fake punt. The great field position resulted in a Jackson field goal and Ohio State won 45-26.   

Following the game, Cooper said: "It was a great feeling. Today I am just so proud of our football team. Especially our seniors, this is history and they are a part of it. Today is the first time Ohio State has ever beaten Notre Dame. This is a great win for us."

George, Hoying and Glenn led the way offensively. George rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns and became a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy. His 61-yard jaunt became a favorite for replay throughout the rest of the season. George now had 2,466 career rushing yards and passed Pete Johnson (2,308) and Hopalong Cassady (2,466) on the Ohio State all-time rushing list.

Hoying completed 14 passes and threw for 272 yards and four touchdowns. The touchdown passes bumped him past Greg Frey (37) to second place on the all-time list with 40.

Glenn had four catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns. His 82-yard touchdown catch was the second-longest in Ohio State history. He caught six touchdowns and tallied 381 receiving yards in two games.

The 45 points scored by the Buckeyes were the most a Holtz coached Notre Dame team ever allowed.  

October 7th • #12 Penn State • Beaver Stadium 
Everybody remembered the 63-14 pasting Penn State put on the Buckeyes in 1994. The team and fans wanted needed a win to move on. 

With 3:10 left, No. 5 Ohio State had the ball on its own 42 and trailed 25-21. Hoying attempted passes on first and second down, but could not connect with Dudley and Glenn. On 3rd-and-10 he hit Buster Tillman for a 13-yard gain to keep the drive alive. The very next play, Dudley hauled in a 32-yard reception to put the Buckeyes on the Nittany Lions' 13. George received two carries and recorded the winning touchdown with 1:28 on the clock.

Curtis Enis ran for a game-high 146 yards and Jon Witman had three touchdown runs in a losing effort for Penn State. 

To go along with his winning score, George had 105 rushing yards and caught five passes for 38 yards. Glenn had another huge game and finished with nine catches for 175 yards and two scores. Hoying completed 24-of-35 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns. 

Coach Cooper did not hide his feelings about the play of Glenn: "He's for real! I've been telling you what a great receiver he is all year and one of these times you're going to believe me. You always talked about what a great receiver Joey Galloway was last year and we thought Glenn might be better. I don't believe I've seen him drop a pass." 

October 14th • #21 Wisconsin • Camp Randall 
A total of 79,507 fans filled Camp Randall and smiled happily when Rickey Dudley fumbled at the 48-yard line on the second play from scrimmage. The Badgers capitalized with a 45-yard field goal. George tallied a 1-yard touchdown and Wisconsin crossed the goal line – but missed the extra point. The home team led 9-7 at halftime.

Glenn caught a touchdown in the third quarter to extend his scoring streak to four games, but the Badgers countered with a touchdown just over a minute later and went back on top 16-13.

George took over in the fourth quarter. The Heisman candidate carried six times on an eight-play drive that put Ohio State back on top when he scored from a yard out. Following a Wisconsin punt, George put the game away with a 51-yard touchdown run. He scored twice in just under two minutes as the Buckeyes won 27-16. This marked the second time in George's collegiate career he scored three touchdowns in a game. 

The win was only the third time since 1981 that Ohio State defeated the Badgers in Madison.

Week 8 brought the Buckeyes back to Columbus where Hayden Fry and the No. 25 Hawkeyes hoped to upset the fourth-ranked team in the country. It turned out Iowa needed a whole lot more than hope to take this game. 

Ohio State obliterated the Hawkeyes with 56 points in the first half. George scored four of the eight touchdowns and Glenn caught two from 38 and 56 yards out. Iowa scored with zeroes on the clock to end the half down 56-7.

The majority of the Buckeyes' starters only played in the first half, which enabled the Hawkeyes to score 28 in the second to make the final margin of defeat 56-35. 

Fry had these words about the onslaught: "I was afraid this was going to happen. Their wide receivers are so fast. And Eddie George run for tough yards. It's not any mystery what happened."

WISCONSIN W2 47–13–5
PURDUE W5 30–10–2
IOWA W2 36–13–3
ILLINOIS W1 53–27–4
INDIANA W5 56–12–5
MICHIGAN L1 34–52–6

November 11th • Illinois • Ohio Stadium
This is the game ED-DIE won the Heisman. With the fans chanting his name in the crisp November afternoon. The weather was miserable mix of rain, snow and wind, but George was fantastic.

This represented his signature game as he rushed for a school-record 314 yards on 36 carries and two touchdowns. He became the first Buckeye to rush for over 300 yards in a game and also became the first to rush for over 200 yards five times in a career. George also passed Keith Byars for third place on Ohio State's all-time rushing list. To top it off, he caught four passes for 32 yards and a score.

After the game, the coaches from both teams shared their thoughts on George.

Lou Tepper: "Eddie George is just spectacular. Eddie George is a nightmare. Very impressive."

Illinois' defensive coordinator Denny Marcin added, "We probably gave him the Heisman today. I've been coaching for 32 years and I've never seen a back do that."

George also received praise from Cooper: "Big No. 27...wow...He came to play today and did a great job with every opportunity he had. If Eddie George is not the finest football player in the nation or more deserving of the Heisman, who is?"

Everyone remembers the ED-DIE chant and George waving the white towel with the pitch black sky in the background. What is forgotten is that heading into that game the Illini had won four straight in Ohio Stadium. 

November 25th • #12 Michigan • Michigan Stadium
No. 2 Ohio State looked for its first win in Ann Arbor since 1987. At the end of this game, the Buckeyes still searched for that win and the Mack truck named Tshimanga "Tim" Biakabutuka, who ran for 313 yards and a touchdown.

Jackson kicked a 37-yard field goal near the midpoint of the first quarter to give Ohio State an early lead. That would be the last time OSU would be in front in this rivalry game. 

Biakabutuka ran through gaping holes and broke tackles as he racked up 195 yards in the first half. Even with his dominating performance, the No. 12 Wolverines only led 10-9 at halftime.

The Buckeyes received the second half kickoff, but Hoying threw an interception to a freshman named Charles Woodson at the Ohio State 49. Michigan scored a touchdown off of the turnover and led 17-9.

Later in the third, Mike Vrabel intercepted a Brian Griese pass that led to a George touchdown to pull the Buckeyes to within 17-15. The two-point conversion failed when Michigan stopped George short of the goal line.

Michigan scored two more touchdowns and led 31-15 with 7:55 left in the game. Hoying led the team on a quick drive that ended with a Tillman 19-yard touchdown pass and successful two-point conversion to pull the Scarlet and Gray within eight.

The defense came through and forced Michigan to punt to give the Hoying the ball on his own 37 with 2:01 left. Completions to Nickey Sualua, Tillman and Dudley moved the ball to the Wolverines 34-yard line. After a spike and two other incompletions, Ohio State faced a 4th-and-10. Hoying dropped back, threw for Glenn, but Woodson stepped in and intercepted the ball at the 13 to give Michigan the 31-23 victory. 

Despite the loss, Eddie George won the Heisman Trophy becoming the fifth Buckeye to win the award.

Cooper was now 1–6–1 in The Game.

January 1st • #4 Tennessee • Citrus Bowl
On the first day of 1996, the temperature in Orlando was a reasonable 70 degrees but had periods of heavy rain. The field conditions became an issue as Ohio State's players struggled getting a firm grip on the soggy turf.

From the 2015 Ohio State Media Guide:

The first meeting between Ohio State and Tennessee resulted in a 20-14 Vols’ victory and kept the 11-2 Buckeyes from becoming the first team in school history to win 12 games in a season.

Playing in a driving rainstorm, OSU jumped off to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 2-yard dive by Eddie George. The TD followed a blocked punt by Central McClellion.

Jay Graham’s 69-yard scoring run with 23 seconds left in the half tied the score and gave UT momentum heading into the break. The Vols took a 14-7 lead on their first possession of the second half on a 47-yard pass from Peyton Manning to Joey Kent.

OSU battled back to tie the score at 14 on a 32-yard pass from Bobby Hoying to Rickey Dudley with 14:40 to play in the fourth. But Tennessee marched 59 yards in 13 plays on its next possession to take a 17-14 lead on a 29-yard field goal by Jeff Hall. Hall added another three pointer with 2:06 to play that ended the scoring.

During and after the game, Cooper alleged that Tennessee's players used cleats longer than the one-half inch that was allowed. The extra grip certainly gave the Vols an advantage, but the refs didn't prevent them from wearing them.  

1995 Recap

  • Ohio State won its ninth straight opening game by defeating No. 22 Boston College 38-6. 
  • Eddie George rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the 30-20 victory over No. 18 Washington. 
  • Bobby Hoying tied his school record with five touchdown passes and Terry Glenn set a school record with 253 receiving yards in the 54-14 rout of Pittsburgh.
  • No. 7 Ohio State defeated No. 15 Notre Dame in the first game between the programs since 1936. George had an epic 61-yard run and Glenn scored on an 82-yard pass play in the 45-26 win. This was the most points scored on a Lou Holtz Fighting Irish team.
  • Hoying threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns in the come from behind 28-25 victory over No. 12 Penn State. 
  • George scored twice in the fourth quarter to give Ohio State a 27-16 win over No. 21 Wisconsin.
  • No. 4 Ohio State pounded Purdue 28-0 and George ran for over 100 yards in his sixth straight game.
  • The Buckeyes scored 56 points in the first half and crushed No. 25 Iowa 56-35. Glenn caught three passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns despite playing with a stomach ailment.
  • Minnesota was no match for the Buckeyes as George rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the 49-21 win. Glenn had 103 receiving yards and a score but left the game in the first quarter after separating his shoulder on a spectacular 45-yard catch.
  • Eddie George became the first Ohio State player to rush for over 300 yards in the 41-3 thrashing of Illinois.
  • Glenn returned from his shoulder injury and led all players with 103 yards and two touchdowns as No. 2 Ohio State defeated Indiana 42-3. George rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Tim Biakabutuka ran for 313 yards and a touchdown as No. 12 Michigan upset the second-ranked Buckeyes 31-23. Cooper was now 1–6–1 in The Game
  • No. 4 Tennessee defeated Ohio State 20-14 on a rainy Orlando New Year's Day. Cooper accused the Volunteers of wearing illegal cleats. 
  • Eddie George, Terry Glenn, Orlando Pace and Mike Vrabel earned All-American honors.
  • Eddie George became the fifth Buckeye to win the Heisman Trophy.
  • Terry Glenn, Rickey Dudley, Eddie George and Bobby Hoying were selected in the NFL Draft.
  • Ohio State started the season ranked 12th, rose to No. 2 but finished sixth.

The 1995 Buckeyes were 11–0 and No. 2 in the country heading into The Game. A new name entered the lexicon of Ohio State fans as Tshimanga "Tim" Biakabutuka ran through massive holes on his way to 313 yards and a 31-23 Michigan victory. One of the most talented teams in Buckeye history finished the season with a 20-14 loss to Tennessee. This marked the fourth time in Cooper's eight seasons Ohio State ended the season with losses to the Wolverines and a bowl opponent.

On the bright side, George won the Heisman Trophy, Terry Glenn won the Biletnikoff Award and Orlando Pace took home the Lombardi Award.

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