Did Ohio State Fans Tear Down The Goalposts On The Road?

Indiana Ohio State 1996 Goal Posts

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.

Previously: Did Ohio State Lose A Bet To Put Michigan Colors On The Horseshoe?

Did Woody Hayes Really Say ‘I Couldn’t Go For Three’?

Did Lee Corso Stop A Game To Take A Scoreboard Picture?

The Legend

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.

The Facts

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]

7 Responses

  1. Watched that game with great intensity and passion. Good thing they won it, if not another Citrus basket. The goal post tear down was due to OSU’s lengthy absence from the Rose Bowl game and the last Rose bowl victory.

  2. Definitely happened. We were there and went on the field in the mayhem afterward. IU team was in locker room and came back out to surround their other goal post.

  3. I was there as well. My Uncle Ross, myself, and my friend Mark took the field in celebration after the game. We went right up to Orlando Pace and congratulated him! Told him to beat Michigan next week! Well…we all know what happened. However, it was a great atmosphere to be part of in Bloomington. Go Bucks!

  4. I was there at the game with my dad. The IU players had to come back from their locker room to protect the other set of posts. IIRC, the story I heard is the AD at IU sent a letter to Andy Geiger complaining about the whole thing and Geiger’s response was “Send me the bill, I’ll pay it”

  5. Another one of John Cooper’s “finest moments” followed up with yet another egg-laying performance against Michigan. Sad to say it, but it big serving of karma!

  6. Lost the following week in the SHOE to scUM 9-13 blowing a chance for Nat’l Champs

  7. I can confirm this. I was there and trying to keep my 16 year old daughter from getting involved in the shenanigans.

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