Ohio State On This Date: A Double-Overtime Thriller and the Brooklyn Dagger

By Matt Gutridge on November 26, 2022 at 8:05 am
Curtis Samuel
Greg Bartram – USA TODAY Sports

Before each game of the 2022 season, we’re taking a look back at the Buckeyes’ history of playing on that date.

Trivia Time

Can you name the Ohio State player that had a game-high 125 rushing yards in the 2016 version of The Game?

Scroll down to item #1 in Five Fun Facts for the answer.

The first game Ohio State played on Nov. 26 was in 1896. The Buckeyes hosted Kenyon and lost 34-18 at Recreation Park. This was the last game for Charles Hickey as head coach. Hickey was the third coach in program history and left after one season following a 5–5–1 record.

In 1903, Indiana and Ohio State faced off for the third time. The Hoosiers were undefeated against the Buckeyes after winning the inaugural game in 1901, 18-6. The following year, the teams battled to a 6-6 tie. The 1903 tilt pitted Perry Hale's Scarlet and Gray squad against James Horne’s Hoosiers. 

Indiana led 11-0 at halftime and pushed the lead to 17-0 early in the second half. That's when Ohio State came to life.

From The Lantern:

But here Ohio State stopped somnabulating — she suddenly woke up and surprised the assembled and now breathless crowd. She simply played Indiana off her feet. It seemed a different team.

The backs would plunge through on the right and then on the left and would usually make at least a first down before they were stopped. The Indiana line had gone to pieces and soon State had scored a touchdown. Then again she carried the oval past the posts and the score was 17 to 11.

The State rooters had visions of victory. They called (on) the team now working hard to "hurry up" and hurry they did and even in less time than either of the other two, a third touchdown was made and the score stood 17 to 16. 

For those doing the math, yes, touchdowns in 1903 were five points and the extra point made it six. With the team down one late in the game, Bo Foss had the opportunity to make a PAT and tie the game. The snap and hold were good, but Foss' attempt was low and the game would end in a one-point Ohio State loss.

2022 #2 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan Columbus, Ohio TBD
2016 #2 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan Columbus, Ohio 30–27
2011 Ohio State at #15 Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan 34–40
1908 Ohio State vs. Kenyon Columbus, Ohio 19–9
1903 Ohio State vs. Indiana Columbus, Ohio 16–17
1896 Ohio State vs. Kenyon Columbus, Ohio 18–34
Overall Record on Nov. 26: 2-3

Games to remember

State champs

Before joining the Western Conference (Big Ten) in 1913, Ohio State was a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference. The goal for Buckeye teams during the pre-Big Ten days was to win the state. To do so, the scarlet and gray needed to defeat all of the other teams from Ohio on the schedule.

On this Thanksgiving Day in 1908, the Buckeyes (5–4) played the role of spoilers. Undefeated and once-tied Kenyon was playing for that coveted state title. It was reported that the boys from Gambier were pulling something a little shady with their uniforms. 

From The Lantern:

Brigman, the Kenyon fullback, played the game through wearing a gray jersey, while the rest of his team wore the regulation Kenyon mauve. This gray jersey made him look so much like a member of the State team that he was able to recover two fumbled balls on the strength of the resemblance.

Brigman is said to have worked this “stunt” successfully throughout the season, wearing a red jersey in the Reserve game, a black one in the Wooster contest and a striped one in the game with Case.

That's some shady early 1900s shenanigan stuff right there. The wardrobe trickery wasn’t enough to prevent A.E. Herrnstein’s Buckeyes from ending Kenyon’s championship dreams. 

In the last game of the season, Ohio State outclassed the Mauve in the 19-9 victory. The Scarlet and Gray finished the second season of the OAC’s existence with a three-game winning streak. 

Double-overtime thriller

Heading into this matchup of No. 2 Ohio State hosting No. 3 Michigan, hype around Columbus was building for Jim Harbaugh’s first game patrolling the visitor sideline of Ohio Stadium. The Wexner Center got into the spirit by eschewing the typical "Beat Michigan" blankets and provided newborns with LeBron Soldier 10s.

Down 3-0 late in the second quarter, Ohio State was forced to punt from its own 34-yard line. Cameron Johnston came through with a clutch 60-yard punt that pinned Michigan on its own six-yard line.

On the first play after Johnston's punt, Wilton Speight threw a ball that Malik Hooker intercepted and returned 16 yards for the Buckeyes' first score of the game. However, the first half did not finish the way Urban Meyer or the fans expected.

Jabrill Peppers returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards and the Wolverines' offense had the ball near midfield. 15 plays later, Michigan's Khalid Hill punched the ball in from one-yard out with six seconds remaining in the half. The stunned crowd of 110,045 did not expect their Buckeyes to be trailing after 30 minutes of play.

The team from Ann Arbor extended its lead to 17-7 when Hill caught an eight-yard touchdown pass at the midway point of the third quarter. Things were getting uncomfortable in the Shoe, but Ohio State was able to fight back and get to within three points when Mike Weber scored from a yard out near the end of the third quarter.

The score remained the same when J.T. Barrett and Ohio State's offense took over at its own 18-yard line with 5:36 remaining in the contest. A methodical drive, that was extended following a pass interference penalty on Michigan's Delano Hill, came down to 4th-and-goal from the Wolverines' five-yard line.

Meyer had a decision to make: Go for it on fourth down or send in his kicker who had already uncharacteristically missed two short kicks. Meyer hedged with the percentages and called on Tyler Durbin to attempt a 23-yard game-tying field goal. The former college soccer player split the uprights and The Game was headed to overtime for the first time in history. 

In the first overtime, Ohio State scored a touchdown in two plays and Michigan was able to match after scoring on 4th-and-goal from the five-yard line. The Buckeyes held the Wolverines to a field goal in the second overtime and the stage was set for three of the biggest plays in the series' history.

Facing 3rd-and-9 at the Wolverines' 24-yard line, Curtis Samuel took what looked like a doomed screen pass into a stunning eight-yard gain. With the game on the line, Meyer turned to his quarterback to pick up the first down. Barrett barrelled left and gave the Buckeyes a new set of downs, with replay review confirming he crossed the line to gain.

One play later, Ohio State won the game on a 15-yard touchdown run from Samuel that now stands as one of the most iconic plays in the history of The Game. The Brooklyn Dagger sent the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff for the second time in three seasons. 

Stat Superlatives

Team Bests on Nov. 26
Stat Number Game
Points Scored 34 Michigan, 2011
Passing Yards 235 Michigan, 2011
Completions 15 Michigan, 2016
Rushing Yards 206 Michigan, 2016
Total Yards 372 Michigan, 2011
Fewest Yards Allowed 330 Michigan, 2016
Fewest Points Allowed 9 Kenyon, 1908
Individual Bests on Nov. 26
Stat Player Number Game
Passing Yards Braxton Miller 235 Michigan, 2011
Passing Touchdowns Braxton Miller 2 Michigan, 2011
Rushing Yards J.T. Barrett 125 Michigan, 2016
Rushing Touchdowns J.T. Barrett
Curtis Samuel
Mike Weber (2 others)
1 Michigan, 2016
Michigan, 2016
Michigan, 2016
Receptions Curtis Samuel
Jordan Hall
4 Michigan, 2016
Michigan, 2011
Receiving Yards Corey Brown 76 Michigan, 2011
Receiving Touchdowns Corey Brown
Devier Posey
1 Michigan, 2011
Michigan, 2011
Total Touchdowns Braxton Miller 3 Michigan, 2011
Touchdowns Scored J.T. Barrett (6 others) 1 Michigan, 2016
Yards from Scrimmage J.T. Barrett 125 Michigan, 2016

Five Fun Facts

  1. J.T. Barrett led all players with 125 rushing yards in the double-overtime victory. 
  2. The first three games on this date were played on Thanksgiving.  
  3. Every game played on Nov. 26 was held on or after Thanksgiving.
  4. Ohio State has never won consecutive games on this date.
  5. Entering today's contest, the Buckeyes have won 40% of the games played on Nov. 26 – the worst winning percentage of any day in the month of November.
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