Great Moments in Hate: David Boston and Charles Woodson Trade Blows in 1997 Matchup

By Kevin Harrish on November 25, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Ahead of another chapter in the greatest rivalry in sports, we take a look at some of the most iconic moments that fueled the hate.

The Game is always a little chippy, but David Boston and Charles Woodson took it up a notch in the 1997 edition of the rivalry, right from the start.

On Ohio State's first offensive drive of the game, Buckeye quarterback Stanley Jackson scrambled to the sideline for a seemingly harmless end to a third-down play, but away from the ball, the fisticuffs came out.

After a week of trash talk, Boston and Woodson allowed their hate to overflow, locking up and trading a few extracurricular blows in a now-iconic scene. And speaking to the intensity of the rivalry, there wasn't a flag in sight.


"You knew how intense it was, from – I don't know if it was the first drive of the game, or what it was," Woodson recalled on BTN in 2013. "And you knew how big the game was, because neither one of us got tossed out of the game. I mean, we were throwing punches, basically."

Woodson later revealed that he and Boston knew each other previously, meeting on a recruiting visit to Michigan back in high school. And that is where the animosity started.

"He was on a recruiting visit to Michigan and I remember him saying 'Man, I'm just up here to take my visit. I'm going to Ohio State,'" Woodson recalled on ESPN Sunday Countdown in 2016. "Everybody was mad, man. We wanted to dominate this kid. I wanted to dominate him. I wanted him to know that man, this is where you should have came to, but you chose otherwise."

Michigan got the better of Ohio State in that game and Woodson sealed the Heisman Trophy with a punt return touchdown and an interception in the endzone while defending Dee Miller.

But still Boston got his, catching three passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, beating Woodson for this 56-yarder – and talking a little trash afterwards, of course.

Touchdown, Boston
View 51 Comments