Skull Session: Curtis Samuel Once Walked Off the Wolverines, Archie Griffin Says Ohio State to Get “Back On Track” Beating Michigan and Ohio State's RB Room Will Be Special in 2024

By Chase Brown on May 15, 2024 at 5:04 am
Curtis Samuel
Greg Bartram / USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Skull Session.

Ohio State defensive linemen have made some serious cash in the NFL.

Have a good Wednesday.

 FIVE PLAYS, 10 YEARS. It's the offseason. Let's have some fun.

Here are the top five plays for Ohio State football over the past 10 years, according to the Skull Session writer at Eleven Warriors.

5. Marvin Harrison Jr.’s acrobatic catch vs. Indiana (2022)

Oh my goodness… YOU ARE KIDDING ME… This guy is unreal!

Harrison’s acrobatic catch against Indiana defied logic as he managed to get one foot down in bounds – on an ankle that he later revealed was sprained for most of the season – before the rest of his 6-foot-3, 209-pound frame crashed into the turf. One-and-a-half years later, Harrison’s 12-yard reception remains the most impressive catch I have ever witnessed. I imagine it will hold that title for a long, long time.

4. JT Barrett’s 16-yard TD pass to Marcus Baugh vs. Penn State (2017)


While the pitch-and-catch between Barrett and Baugh lacks flair, the 16-yard connection bears significance for other reasons, namely that it helped Ohio State complete a 15-point fourth-quarter comeback against Penn State. The Buckeyes outscored the Nittany Lions 19-3 in the final frame, with six of those points coming from Barrett and Baugh’s go-ahead touchdown with 1:48 left in the contest.

3. Justin Fields’ 56-yard TD pass to Chris Olave vs. Clemson (2020)

Fields has time… launches downfield… it’s Olave… HE’S GOT IT…. TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE!

After COVID-19 (and former Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren) made the 2020 college football season a disaster for Ohio State, the Buckeyes delivered one of the most entertaining victories in program history on Jan. 1, 2021. Not only had Clemson defeated Ohio State in the previous four all-time meetings, but head coach Dabo Swinney dared to rank the Buckeyes No. 11 in his final Coaches Poll of the regular season. Fields responded with a 385-yard, six-touchdown performance in the CFP semifinal, including the 56-yard piss missile he threw to Olave – a throw that remains one of the greatest I’ve seen from a college football quarterback.

1B. Ezekiel Elliott’s 85-yard TD run vs. Alabama (2014)

Ezekiel Elliott… HE’S GOT AN OPENING… ELLIOTT IS OFF TO THE RACES… Can they catch him?... No, they can’t… touchdown… 85 yards

1A. Curtis Samuel’s walk-off, 15-yard TD run vs. Michigan (2016)

Samuel… cuts it back… OHIO STATE WINS!

A 1A/1B situation, Elliott’s “85 Yards Through the Heart of the South” touchdown run against Alabama and Samuel’s walk-off score to beat Michigan are – without a doubt – the two best plays over the past 10 years of Ohio State football. The former helped the Buckeyes knock off Nick Saban at the height of his powers and propelled the program to its first national championship in 12 years. The latter capped off one of the greatest college football games of all time and made Jim Harbaugh pout, both of which rocked.

And that’s it. That’s my list.

What would yours be?

 “IT’S TIME FOR THAT TO STOP.” Make it two Skull Session sections for the Two-Time this week.

On Tuesday, I wrote about The Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation’s announcing an official date (Aug. 11) to present Archie Griffin with a statue outside Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California. Today, I will write about how Griffin called for Ohio State to end its three-game losing streak against Michigan in 2024.

From Steve Doerschuk of The Canton Repository:

The Mount Rushmore of Ohio State football surely would include the late Woody Hayes and Archie Griffin. Good luck debating the other two.

A hillside stone likeness of Hayes' face would point north, staring down the archrival.

Griffin, in the flesh, actually took up the beat-Michigan mantle at the Hall of Fame Luncheon Club Monday.

"We've got to get that thing back on track," Griffin told a full house at Tozzi's on 12th. "It's time for that to stop. Right now."

Yeah, I don’t have much to add here.

Well, maybe this: Ryan Day, if for some reason you read this article or see Griffin’s quote, when the most famous and respected Ohio State football alum says the Buckeyes have to do something – and with such conviction – it’s probably best that you do that.

Just a word of advice!

 RANKING HEAD HONCHOS.  Back in April, ESPN college football writers ranked Ryan Day as the No. 10 coach in college football behind Kirby Smart (Georgia), Kalen DeBoer (Alabama), Kyle Whittingham (Utah), Dabo Swinney (Clemson), Mike Norvell (Florida State), Dan Lanning (Oregon), Steve Sarkisian (Texas), Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss) and Lance Leipold (Kansas).

The Worldwide Leader’s list arrived about a month after Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel ranked The Athletic’s top 10 coaches in the sport in March. Feldman ranked Day fifth behind Smart, Swinney, Leipold and DeBoer, and Mandel ranked Day seventh behind Smart, Leipold, DeBoer, Norvell, Whittingham and Brian Kelly (LSU).

Now that May has arrived, Bill Bender of Sporting News decided to rank his top 10 coaches in college football. Like all the others, Bender ranked Smart as the top program leader in the sport. Then, he placed Swinney and DeBoer in the second and third spots. And, coming in at No. 4,  Bender had Day, whom he ranked ahead of Kelly, Sarkisian, Whittingham, Norvell, Lincoln Riley (USC) and Kiffin.

And to that, I exclaim, FINALLY!

Someone gets it.

From Sporting News:

Let's not twist this too much. Day has a .875 winning percentage – which is the highest of any FBS coach with at least 50 victories. He has three CFP appearances and a CFP championship appearance. Of course, the three-game losing streak to Michigan has become the focus, one that led to an unprecedented response in the transfer portal for the Buckeyes this offseason. Day also hired mentor Chip Kelly to be his offensive coordinator. That's a coaching move that could lead to Ohio State's first national championship since 2014.

I’ve written it before. I’ll write it again.

Three active FBS coaches have won a national championship: Smart (2021, 2022), Swinney (2016, 2018) and Mack Brown (2005). If Ohio State wins the College Football Playoff this season, that would make Day a top-three coach in the sport, minimum. The same could be said of DeBoer, Kelly, Sarkisian, Whittingham, Norvell, Riley and Kiffin. But let’s be real. Between those coaches and Day, who has the best chance to win it all first? My money’s on the man from Manchester, New Hampshire, which makes him a top-five coach in my book – right here, right now.

 ONE-TWO PUNCH. In an appearance on B1G Today with Dave Revsine, Scott Dochterman of The Athletic said Ohio State’s running back duo of TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins have the chance to be the best one-two punch since… Arkansas’ Felix Jones and Darren McFadden?

That’s an insane pull from Dochterman. 

But man, if he’s correct, and Henderson and Judkins can become like McFadden and Jones, the Buckeyes’ run game will be incredible in 2024. Seventeen years earlier, in 2007, McFadden rushed for 1,830 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Razorbacks, becoming an All-American, Doak Walker Award winner and first-round pick. At the same time, Jones rushed for 1,162 yards and 11 touchdowns, becoming an All-American and first-round pick.

I wouldn’t hate it if that’s what Henderson and Judkins become this fall.

I wouldn’t hate that at all.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Wildflowers” - Tom Petty.

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