Ohio State vs Notre Dame 1995
Ninety-five thousand, five-hundred and thirty-seven fans,
the largest official crowd ever in Ohio Stadium, watched
Ohio State trail the entire first half before battling
back to beat Notre Dame 45-26. Finally, at last, sixty
years of humility are over. No more excuses. The Buckeyes
The Bucks began the game on the wrong foot much like
Coach John Cooper did, when he stumbled coming out of the
locker room onto the field before the game. It happened
while passing through a human tunnel composed of 500-plus
former OSU athletes lined-up across the field. According
to one witness, "Cooper bought the farm. He did a
head-plant, face into the turf." Fortunate to avoid
serious injury, Cooper was still limping on the sideline
well into the second quarter.
After an early exchange of possessions, OSU marched down
to the Irish three-yardline. Shunning the chip-shot
fieldgoal, they were unable to punch it into the endzone
on fourth-down. The Buckeyes didn't threaten again until
after the Irish had built a 10-0 lead. A seven-play,
80-yard scoring drive was capped by a ten-yard pass from
Bobby Hoying to Terry Glenn, cutting the lead to 10-7.
ND added another TD before half-time, but so did OSU on a
12-play, 76-yard drive. It ended with another Hoying
touchdown pass, this time to Dimitrious Stanley with just
44 seconds left in the half, leaving ND up 17-14 midway.
Those within earshot of the locker room said Cooper's
half-time pep talk rivaled the one he gave at last year's
Michigan game, except he didn't break the blackboard or
The second half began much like the first, dismal. A
17-play Irish drive led to the 2-yardline, until
defensive end Mike Vrable made a big hit on fullback Marc
Edwards on third & goal, causing a fumble. Recovered
by ND, they settled for three-points. Trailing 20-14, the
clock now said 9:24 left in the third quarter. It was
OSU's next possession ended three and out, but Brent
Bartholomew's punt was fumbled by receiver Emmit Mosely
and then recovered at the 19-yardline by Dean Kreuzer,
the Buckeye's long-snapper. On third down from the
fifteen, Hoying connected with tight-end Rickey Dudley,
the 6' 7" 240-pound former forward for Randy Ayers'
basketball team, at the six-yardline. Rickey then slowly
dragged four ND defenders all the way into the endzone to
tie the game 20-20. The stadium went berserk. Sixty-years
of pent-up frustration released in one roaring moment.
Josh Jackson, who has missed three point-after attempts
already this season, safely split the uprights to put the
Bucks ahead for good. In fact, Jackson was perfect on the
day, scoring a total of nine points.
ND soon stalled on their next possession, deep in the
north part of the field. The crowd noise reached an
unofficial, all-time record high. Fortunately for the
Bucks, ND had insisted on a referee crew composed
entirely of Mid-America Conference ref's, who normally
officiate all the ND home games. Big Ten referees have
been notorious in recent years, especially Michigan
games, for penalizing the Buckeyes due to crowd noise.
Instead, the MAC referees merely called two official's
time-outs to....CHANGE THE BALL?
Twice the MAC ref's helped-out quarterback Ron Powlus,
holding his ears while standing behind the center. They
stopped the game in order to bring in a different ball
from the sideline and switch them. The delays dissipated
the noise, albeit slightly. On third-and-ten, noise
finally forced ND to call a time-out. During the break,
The Best Damn Fans In The Land (TBDFITL) quieted down.
It worked. Powlus then threw to his split-end,
All-America Derrick Mayes, who burned defender Shawn
Springs for a 56-yard pass, keeping the Irish drive
alive. Three plays later, in another crucial
third-and-long situation, Powlus again called Mayes'
number. This time Springs gave Mayes a punishing chuck at
the line of scrimmage, delaying the timing-pattern pass
just enough that the ball sailed way over Mayes' head. It
But then Springs sprang. Totally airborne, soaring like
Superman, Shawn made a diving, fingertip interception
just barely inbounds at the 11-yardline, his third INT of
the season. Three plays later Terry Glenn took a simple
ten-yard curl pass from Hoying and outraced ND cornerback
Allen Rossum, who runs the 100-meter dash in 10.2
seconds, and a host of other Irish defenders 82 yards to
the north endzone and into the waiting
arms of many vocal OSU fans.
The previous unofficial record for loudest crowd noise,
set just minutes earlier, was completely shattered as the
stadium erupted into thunderous cheering and applause and
actual throwing of babies out the windows. Block 'O'
cheering section looked like popcorn cooking in full
boil. Pure Pandemonium.
Did the noise make a difference? Nobody can say for sure.
However, on the next Irish play from scrimmage, at the
ear-splitting north end of the field, Powlus fumbled the
snap and defensive tackle Matt Bonhaus recovered at the
fourteen-yardline. Coach Lou Holtz bowed his head as far
as it could go, restricted by the elastic neck brace he
had on due to some minor surgery.
Now leading 28-20, Cooper took the advice that former
All-America, All-Pro Pete Johnson gave him at the
Quarterback Club the previous Monday, and began running
up the middle every time. Eddie Money-in-the-Bank, the
Gorgeous George, had a typical (for him) game. Couple
touchdowns. Couple hundred yards and then some. Moved
into second place in the media Heisman Watch. On the
third play of the drive, Fast Eddie scored on a 5-yard
sweep around the left side, to put the Buckeyes up 35-20.
ND scored its only second-half touchdown in the fourth
quarter, to cut the lead to nine points. Now desperate,
Powlus tried to run it in for two-points, but he was
cuffed and stuffed in the ND backfield.
With 7:30 left in the fourth quarter, the Notre Dame fans
were carried out of the stadium. Literally. All five of
them. Worried about the 85-degree heat and his
out-of-shape boys, Holtz had huge fans placed along the
ND bench to cool the players. It became obvious the fans
weren't needed, the Irish were cold as cucumbers.
A four-play, 80-yard drive culminated when Steady Eddie
bulled over left tackle Orlando 'Big Dog' Pace from the
three-yardline. Notre Dame was then stopped deep in their
own territory. Trailing 42-26, the Irish lined-up in punt
formation, but everyone in the world knew Holtz would
call for a fake kick. A quick, short snap went to
fullback Marc Edwards, who broke to the right. Defensive
back Alonzo Shavers, who had earlier forced Emmit
Mosely's fumbled punt reception, was waiting to knock
Edwards out of bounds well shy of the first down.
With 2:37 showing on the clock, WBNS radio announcer and
former Buckeye fullback Jeff Logan, said, "Put the
dog in the truck. The hunt is over." When back-up
fullback Pepe Pearson came out for the next series, Logan
added, "Put Eddie in the truck, too."
After the final seconds ticked away, thousands of OSU
fans stormed onto the field. For whatever reason, police
guarding the south goalposts did not use pepper spray
like they did after the Michigan win last season, and let
the jovial students climb up the poles. The goalposts are
rooted in nine tons of concrete, and only wiggled under
the weight of the fans who tried to bring them down.
Coach Cooper and many players joined the fans at the big
gray O on the 50-yardline, and as the victory bell pealed
from the east tower, Cooper told the players,
"You'll remember this game for the rest of your
lives. You are the first Ohio State team to beat Notre
Let us pray they won't be the last.
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