Ohio State’s breathtaking 39-38 come-from- behind triumph over second-ranked Penn State is one that will be vividly remembered for many years. Only four times in 128 seasons of football have the Buckeyes been victorious after giving up more than 38 points: 42-39 over Michigan in 2006, 42-41 at Michigan in 2013, 49-42 over Illinois in 1980, and 52-49 at Indiana in 2012. Urban Meyer was in his first year as OSU’s head coach in 2012, while Indiana was directed by Kevin Wilson who is now the Buckeyes's offensive coordinator.
This weekend the Buckeyes will visit Iowa for the first time since 2010, and attempt to extend their winning streak to seven games. It will be Urban Meyer’s first game at Iowa City.
Ohio State and Iowa dominated the Big Ten Conference during the mid-1950s. Their annual clash usually had more impact on the Big Ten title than the Ohio State-Michigan game. Head coaches Woody Hayes and Forest Evashevski were extremely competitive, and there was definitely no love lost between the two.
The Big Ten had an outright champion each of the five seasons from 1954 through 1958. The Buckeyes won league titles in 1954, 1955 and 1957, and the Hawkeyes claimed the crown in 1956 and 1958.
Ohio State’s 1955 home finale was a hard-fought 20-10 victory over Iowa. The game featured the opposing play of the nation’s two most talented guards, the Ohio State’s Jim Parker and the Iowa’s Calvin Jones. Both would capture the Outland Trophy (Jones-1955, Parker-1956), both were consensus All-Americans, both hailed from Ohio (Parker-Toledo, Jones-Steubenville), and both wore jersey No. 62.
The Hawkeyes were a 14-point favorite and had already secured the outright Big Ten title, when they clashed with the Buckeyes at Iowa City in the next to last game of the 1958 regular season. The afternoon was fast and furious right from the start. The two rivals alternated touchdowns until the fourth quarter, when Ohio State was able to put the game out of reach with 10 unanswered points. The Buckeyes took the lead after each of their five touchdowns, but the Hawkeyes responded after the first four to knot the score at 7-7, 14-14, 21-21, and 28-28.
Fullback Bob White and halfback Don Clark scored all five Ohio State touchdowns and rushed for 209 and 157 yards, respectively. Coach Woody Hayes strongly recognized quarterback Jerry Fields, who flawlessly directed the offense while substituting for injured Frank Kremblas. This was the only loss for the Hawkeyes in 1958, who finished at 8-1- 1. Ohio State’s final record was 6-1- 2.
After Iowa handily defeated California 38-12 in the Rose Bowl of January 1, 1959, the struggling Green Bay Packers of the NFL offered Evashevski their head coaching position. He met twice with the Packers before deciding to remain at Iowa. Green Bay subsequently hired a candidate who, at the time, was not nearly as well known. His name was Vince Lombardi!