Great Wins Over Ohio State
A look at some of the classic Spartan victories over the Buckeyes.
Oct. 12, 2006
Michigan State and Ohio State, two tradition-laden football programs, have had a long series history, dating back to 1912. Here's a look at Michigan State's greatest victories over Ohio State.
1912 - MAC 35, Ohio State 20
Michigan Agricultural College (MAC), a heavy underdog, traveled to Columbus with a 6-1 record heading into the final game of the season, preparing for its first-ever meeting against Ohio State.
The following account is taken from the annual MAC yearbook, The Wolverine:
"On Thanksgiving Day, 200 loyal students of the college watched a real football game at Columbus, Ohio, which will live in their memories for a long time to come. Each man on our team was playing a gigantic game, but it seemed in vain against the Ohio State starters, and the second period of the game closed with Ohio 20 points in the lead.
"During the interval of rest, however, the coach (John Macklin) proved himself a master of oratory as well as of football. In those fifteen short minutes he showed the men, individually, the fallacies in their tactics and inspired in them the feeling of unity. The sturdy eleven faced their opponents at the beginning of the third period with his fighting spirit, gradually forcing the ball into their opponent's territory. Then score after score was registered for MAC until at the closing of the game the score stood 35-20, Ohio not scoring a point during the last two periods.
"During the next two weeks the squad was banqueted royally by Mr. Downey of Lansing, and also by the Inter-society Union. Much spirit shown by the various speakers and students present at these occasions, was a fitting close to a very successful season."
1951 - Michigan State 24, Ohio State 20
Playing each other for the first time since 1912, No. 1-ranked Michigan State beat Ohio State, 24-20, on Oct. 6, 1951, in Ohio Stadium as the Spartans proved they belonged among the nation's elite programs. The Spartans roared from behind with two touchdowns in the final six minutes of the game for the victory, and went on to go undefeated and claim a share of the national championship.
The Saginaw News described the incredible comeback: "A tricky 28-yard pass play on fourth down and nine yards to, from sophomore tailback Tom Yewcic to quarterback Al Dorow, won for the Spartans with only two minutes and 34 seconds to play...The payoff play was a buck-lateral series special in which fullback Evan Slonac faked a line plunge, gave the ball to Dorow, who then lateraled to Yewcic. Yewcic faked an end run and then passed across the field to Dorow, who had crept along the sidelines. Dorow caught the ball on the Buckeye 15, shook off two tacklers and crossed into the end zone."
"One of the greatest games of all time," said Michigan State head coach Biggie Munn after the game. "Yes sir, maybe the greatest...that was the first pass Yewcic threw in a college game. In fact, it was the first play he had ever run on offense this year."
1953 - Michigan State 28, Ohio State 13
On the road to a Big Ten title in its first-ever season in the conference, Michigan State put away Ohio State with a 28-13 win before a crowd of 82,328 in Columbus.
The Spartans went into an early 7-0 lead by driving 59 yards on their first possession for the score. LeRoy Bolden ran it in from 4 yards out for the touchdown, the first of three on the day for Bolden.
After Ohio State made it 7-6, Bolden scored his second TD on a 37-yard rush, putting the Spartans up 14-6 at the half.
Ohio State came back to make it 14-13 at the end of the third, but the Spartans closed the door with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Bolden, who finished with 128 yards on 18 carries, sprinted into the end zone for the third time in the game with a 20-yard dash in the fourth quarter.
After defeating the Buckeyes, the Spartans won their last two regular-season games before topping UCLA, 28-20, in the Rose Bowl.
1965 - Michigan State 32, Ohio State 7
The Spartan run defense dominated the Buckeyes, holding Ohio State to minus 22 rushing yards in the 32-7 victory at Spartan Stadium. On the other side of the ball, MSU rushed for 387 yards and three touchdowns.
Clinton Jones started MSU's scoring with an 80-yard scamper in the first quarter, and after a Spartan field goal and safety in the third quarter, Jones scored on a 12-yard reception from quarterback Steve Juday to make it 18-0 in favor of the Spartans early in the fourth.
Ohio State managed its only touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Michigan State responded with TD runs by Bob Apisa and Charles Lowther to put the game away.
1972 - Michigan State 19, Ohio State 12
In Duffy Daugherty's final season, the Spartans used a dominating running attack to upset No. 9 Ohio State in Spartan Stadium. MSU out-rushed the Buckeyes, 334-107, led by junior Mike Holt's 93 yards on 10 carries. In addition to Holt, junior Mark Niesen and sophomore David E. Brown added 83 and 73 yards on the ground, respectively.
The Spartans jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the first quarter, but the Buckeyes tied the game at 12 entering the half on a touchdown and a safety in the second quarter. MSU dominated the second half, limiting the Buckeyes to 31 yards rushing and no points. Niesen scored the game-winning touchdown on a 6-yard run in the third quarter, putting the Spartans up for good, 19-12.
Junior Dirk Kryt became the first MSU player to kick four field goals in one game, and at the time, it tied a Big Ten record.
1974 - Michigan State 16, Ohio State 13
In one of the most thrilling games in Michigan State history, the Spartans stunned No. 1 Ohio State, 16-13, on Nov. 9, 1974, in Spartan Stadium.
The game was a defensive struggle, as both teams could only muster a field goal in the first half. Ohio State went up 6-3 after kicking a field goal in the third quarter, and then took advantage of a Spartan fumble to score their first touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run by fullback Harold Henson, with 9:03 to play.
The Spartans answered right back with a clutch 44-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Charlie Baggett to Mike Jones. MSU missed the two-point conversion, however, which made it 13-9 in favor of Ohio State. MSU's defense came up with a big three-and-out series on OSU's next possession, and the Spartans ended up with the ball on their own 12-yard line with three and a half minutes left in the contest. On first down, Baggett gave the ball to Levi Jackson, who promptly broke through the right side of the line and sprinted down the sideline 88 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
But the game wasn't over. Ohio State got the ball one last time, and drove right down the field into MSU territory, ultimately getting to the 1-yard line with 26 seconds remaining. OSU then snapped the ball with 14 seconds left, but the Spartans stopped a dive attempt by Henson, and Ohio State couldn't run another play in regulation as time ran out on the Buckeyes. OSU ran one final play that wound up in the end zone, however, the Spartan players began running off the field before the play, convinced there was no time remaining. Although one referee signaled time had expired and one had signaled touchdown, after a 46-minute delay, the officials concurred what MSU had thought all along - that time had officially run out on Ohio State, giving Michigan State one of its greatest victories in school history.
1987 - Michigan State 13, Ohio State 7
On the way to its first Rose Bowl bid since the 1965 season, Michigan State shut down Ohio State, 13-7, for its first win at Ohio Stadium since 1971.
The Buckeyes scored on the game's first play from scrimmage, a 79-yard pass play. From that point, however, the MSU "Gang Green" defense held OSU to 68 yards in total offense and a stunning 2 yards net rushing (minus 14 in the second half). Travis Davis set a school record with five QB sacks (-37 yards); in all, MSU recorded seven sacks for minus 50 yards among nine tackles for losses of 83 yards.
Meanwhile, Spartan quarterback Bobby McAllister led the offense with his passing and timely running, particularly in the first half, when MSU threatened to score four times. McAllister scored on a 15-yard to tie the game in the first quarter and finished with 83 yards on 22 carries. John Langeloh connected on two field goals (40 and 22 yards) in the first half to give MSU the 13-7 advantage, and the Spartan defense shut out the Buckeyes in the second half to preserve the victory.
1998 - Michigan State 28, Ohio State 24
The Spartans shocked the college football world with a dramatic 28-24 victory over No. 1 Ohio State on Nov. 7, 1998, in Columbus. MSU scored 19 unanswered points in the second half in garnering its first win over a top-ranked team since 1990.
At first, it appeared the Buckeyes would coast to another victory. They jumped out to a 17-3 lead after the first quarter, but the Spartans battled back to make it 17-9 going into the half. OSU built its margin to 15 points after Damon Moore returned an interception 73 yards for a touchdown. But that's all the top-ranked Buckeyes would get.
MSU caught a break when Craig Jarrett's 34-yard, line-drive punt hit a Buckeye, and the Spartans recovered the free ball near midfield. Five plays later, MSU quarterback Bill Burke threw a 23-yard TD pass to Lavaile Richardson as the Spartans pulled to within nine at 24-15 with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter. OSU fumbled on its next possession, leading to a Paul Edinger 49-yard field goal to make it 24-18.
The Spartans then put together a 92-yard drive, capped by a 3-yard run by Sedrick Irvin, to take their first lead at 25-24 early in the fourth quarter. MSU took advantage of another Buckeye fumble with a 42-yard field goal by Edinger, giving MSU a 28-24 lead. The Spartan defense held the Buckeyes the rest of the way. Although the Buckeyes rallied and had first down on the MSU 15 late in the game, the defense came through with three stops before Renaldo Hill intercepted Joe Germaine's fourth-down pass on the goal line to seal the victory.
1999 - Michigan State 23, Ohio State 7
Bill Burke threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns while Michigan State's defense held No. 20 Ohio State to 0 rushing yards in the Spartans' 23-7 victory in East Lansing. It marked the first time since 1987-88 that MSU had recorded back-to-back victories over the Buckeyes.
Edinger connected on a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter, and in the fourth, Richard Newsome's first career interception led to Edinger's fourth field goal, another 33-yarder.
In the second half, Michigan State's defense allowed only one first down and limited Ohio State to 18 total yards. OSU's 0 rushing yards in the game were its lowest total since 1966 (minus-22 vs. Michigan State).