Ranking the Top-10 Most Memorable Games of Urban Meyer's Ohio State Coaching Career

By Kevin Harrish on December 6, 2018 at 11:30 am
Urban Meyer's top-10 games.

Urban Meyer has won 82 games at Ohio State. Here are his 10 most memorable.

10. Oklahoma – 2016

This game makes almost no sense given how the rest of the season went, but it was fun as hell! The Buckeyes went to Norman and laid waste to the Sooners, 45-24.

Noah Brown tied a school record with four touchdown catches in the game – more than half his total the entire season – and Mike Weber, Curtis Samuel and J.T. Barrett combined for 295 yards on the ground.

Remember this?

On defense, the Buckeyes forced the future No. 1 overall pick into two interceptions as Jerome Baker snagged a 68-yard pick six and Marshon Lattimore had another interception.

Basic defense.

9. Wisconsin – 2012

It's not the most glamorous win of all-time, but Ohio State's win on the road against Wisconsin in 2012 was one of Urban Meyer's seven wins as an underdog and probably the reason the Buckeyes went undefeated that season.

Ohio State held Wisconsin to just 14 points in the game and scoreless in overtime even though Montee Ball rushed for 191 yards. The Buckeyes made a huge goal line stop late in the game with Ryan Shazier forcing a Ball fumble.

Coming up here.

Ohio State won 21-14 in overtime, and beat Michigan the following week to finish out the unbeaten season.

8. Michigan State – 2014

At the time, this was the biggest win of the season for anybody, which is why it's on this list. But it was also just the fourth-best win of the 2014 season, which is why it's so low on this list.

A season after the Spartans spoiled Ohio State's winning streak and kept the Buckeyes out of national title contention, Urban Meyer and his squad got payback, dominating one of the top defenses in the country on the road to propel themselves back into college football playoff contention.


The game was J.T. Barrett's coming out party as he threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns against the vaunted Spartan secondary.

7. Penn State – 2018

For the second-straight season, Ohio State seemed dead against Penn State, and then the Buckeyes resurrected themselves.

After being dominated and shut down for much of the game, Ohio State trailed Penn State by 12 points with just seven minutes to play. What seemed like before you could even blink, the Buckeyes were back on top, thanks to huge plays from the Ohio State receivers.

Binjimen Victor made the play of his life.
Hey, another touchdown.

The Buckeye defense closed it out, and Ohio State officially ripped out Penn State's heart for the second time in two seasons.

6. Penn State – 2017

Before they even really knew what happened, the Buckeyes found themselves in a three-score hole that seemed too deep to climb out from, but it wasn't.

Ohio State came roaring back, scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter thanks to a blocked punt and the best passing performance of J.T. Barrett's career. With a game-winning touchdown drive and a game-sealing defensive stop, the Buckeyes topped Penn State 39-38 to keep their Big Ten and national title hopes alive.

This win is obviously comparable to the 2018 win over the Nittany Lions, but it was ultimately a larger comeback with more on the line since the Buckeyes had already lost to Oklahoma earlier in that season.

5. Oregon – 2015

It seems odd that the national championship game against the No. 2 team in the country is so low on this list, but if we're honest, after what happened in the previous two games, this one kind of just felt like a formality.

The Buckeyes were somehow underdogs, but they were always going to win this game. And even with four turnovers, they did, by a comfortable score of 42-20.

Ezekiel Elliott capped off the best three-game stretch of any running back in Buckeye history with 246 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries, Cardale Jones threw for 242 yards and a touchdown, and the defense held Oregon to just 2-for-12 on third down.

Cardale jones hoists the hardware.

Urban Meyer led Ohio State to the first-ever College Football Playoff championship with a third-string quarterback. That feat will never be matched.

4. Wisconsin – 2014

This is the one that started the legendary three-game postseason run.

Ohio State entered the Big Ten Championship matchup with Wisconsin and Heisman Trophy contender Melvin Gordon as underdogs with a third-string quarterback, then absolutely blasted their way to a 59-0 victory to propel them into the College Football Playoff.

If you listen closely, you can hear Gus Johnson.

Cardale Jones went 12-for-17 through the air for 257 yards and three touchdowns, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 220 yards and two touchdowns, and the defense forced three interceptions while holding Gordon to just 76 yards rushing.

It was arguably Ohio State's most dominating performance under Urban Meyer.

3. Michigan – 2016

This was the biggest Ohio State–Michigan game since the No. 1 vs. No. 2 game in 2006 as No. 2 Ohio State hosted No. 3 Michigan with a College Football Playoff berth on the line.

The game itself was as advertised. Two of the best defenses in college football played a low-scoring game that never felt out of reach for either team. The largest lead fo the game belonged to Michigan, with a 10-point advantage in the third quarter, and then Ohio State absolutely owned the fourth.

The Buckeyes made some huge plays, particularly defensively. Malik Hooker had a pick-six to score Ohio State's only first-half points. Jerome Baker had a interception later in the game and Davon Hamilton had a critical fumble recovery deep in Buckeye territory.

It was only fitting that the game went to overtime. The teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime. After a Michigan field goal to start the second overtime, J.T. Barrett came up huge with a first down run and Curtis Samuel drove in the dagger.

Bum juice.

The Buckeyes won 30-27 in the first Ohio State–Michigan game ever to go to overtime, and punched their ticket to the College Football Playoff.

2. Michigan – 2018

I went back and forth on this, not wanting to overvalue this game simply because of recency bias, but Urban Meyer literally called this win one of the greatest moments of his life, so I don't think I'm wrong.

Michigan arrived in Columbus as a 4.5-point favorite, boasting the top defense in the country, College Football Playoff hopes, and a legitimate belief that this would finally be the year they would beat Ohio State.

Instead, the Buckeyes dominated them like never before, dropping 62 points on that No. 1 defense – the most ever scored against the Wolverines in a regulation game. Ohio State didn't just win, it dominated and demoralized a Michigan team thought to be the decidedly better side.

That will go down as Urban Meyer's final win over Michigan as he retires a perfect 7-0 against the rivals to the north, and forced Jim Harbaugh to become the first Michigan coach ever to start 0-4 against Ohio State.

1. Alabama – 2015

This one is pretty simple. This game is the reason Urban Meyer came to Ohio State. He wanted to compete with Alabama for national titles, and in their one meeting, the Buckeyes got the better of the Crimson Tide.

Ohio State entered the game as strong underdogs with a third-string quarterback and went down multiple scores early, but battled back thanks in large part to a gadget play touchdown just before the half.

Cardale Jones threw for 243 yards and a touchdown, but Ezekiel Elliott was the workhorse in the game, rushing for 230 yards and two touchdowns – including the dagger.

85 Yards Through the Heart of the South

Ohio State topped top-ranked Alabama 42-35, marking without doubt the most iconic Ohio State win of the Urban Meyer era.

Here's to one more.

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