This is the fourth in a series of stories looking at legendary moments in Ohio State football history. Did they really happen the way the story says? We went back and checked original sources to find out.
After Ohio State’s win over Indiana clinched a Rose Bowl berth in 1996, Buckeye fans tore down the goal posts. Oh, by the way, this happened AT Indiana.
Did It Really Happen?
Yes. And there is video to prove it.
Yesterday, we looked at a legendary moment in Bloomington that probably didn’t actually happen.
Today, we tackle one that absolutely did.
The 1996 Ohio State Buckeyes were one of the most powerful teams in school history.
John Cooper’s first eight teams had varied from terrible to talented but ultimately disappointing. All of them had failed to reach the Rose Bowl.
The ’96 squad would finally break that streak.
They opened the year by obliterating Rice and Pitt, 70-7 and 72-0, then crushed No. 5 Notre Dame in South Bend.
OSU returned home for a showdown with No. 4 Penn State that marked College Gameday’s first ever visit to Columbus.
The showdown turned into a mow-down. The Buckeyes pounded PSU into the dirt, 38-7.
They were still unbeaten heading into the penultimate week of the regular season. They had a 1-game lead for the Big Ten title, and also held a tiebreaker over Northwestern, meaning just one more win would clinch a trip to Pasadena.
All the 9-0 Bucks had to do was go to Bloomington and beat an IU team that hadn’t won a game in more than two months.
But it wouldn’t be easy.
With stands packed with OSU fans, the Buckeyes struggled to pull away from the Hoosiers.
The game was tied at 10 with under seven minutes to play. Indiana had the ball near midfield when OSU finally swung momentum.
Andy Katzenmoyer stripped the ball away from the Hoosiers’ quarterback. Matt Finkes grabbed it out of the air and raced down the sideline for the go-ahead score.
The Buckeyes ultimately pulled away for a 27-17 win.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock and Brent Musberger bellowed, “Hello, Rose Bowl” Buckeye fans stormed the field in Bloomington.
Seconds later, Musberger said, “Some of the Buckeye fans have even yanked the goal posts down to my right. They’ll carry it all the way back to High Street.”
It’s not clear if they did that, but they definitely pulled them down, as you can see below.
The Indiana team then rushed over to surround their other goal post and prevent any further humiliation.
[Header image courtesy ABC Sports]