Taking a look back at a game Ohio State played on this date:

Ohio State 24, Oklahoma 14

Setup: Beautiful man, that Earle Bruce. With his sixth-ranked Buckeyes facing an early season test at second-ranked Oklahoma, Bruce refused to bite on the notion that it was an important game for Ohio State. Rather, Bruce famously said he didn't "give a damn" about Oklahoma compared with Iowa, Illinois and Michigan — the team's Big Ten rivals. Master stroke, Earle.

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Stars: Mike Tomczak passed for 234 yards, John Frank had a career day with seven receptions, 108 yards and two touchdowns and Keith Byars totaled 148 yards from scrimmage. On defense, OSU limited the Sooners' vaunted wishbone to 177 yards on the ground.

Turning point: Oklahoma made a goal-line stand to stop the Buckeyes from taking a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but Sooners star tailback Marcus Dupree fumbled and OSU's Rowland Tatum recovered at the 15. One play later, Tomczak and Frank hooked up for their second touchdown, and a two-score lead.

Impact: One week, Bruce was saying he didn't give a damn about Oklahoma. The next week he was just saying, "damn." The Buckeyes jumped to No. 3 in the polls, then promptly lost their next game to Iowa. Interestingly, OSU also was beaten by Illinois and Michigan in that — surprise — 9-3 season.

Quotable: "It's always a challenge to play them. But I can't play up that challenge to our kids." — Bruce, who had lost his previous six meetings to Oklahoma as coach of Iowa State.

rstein@dispatch.com