Taking a look back at a game Ohio State played on this date:
Ohio State 40, Northwestern 30
Setup: Urban Meyer’s second Ohio State team, having served its time for NCAA misdeeds under a prior (Pryor?) administration, was free to pursue postseason opportunities in 2013, should they arise. After five games, the Buckeyes looked to be a player on the national scene. Thanks to super sub Kenny Guiton, they had survived an injury to star quarterback Braxton Miller, who returned for a gutty Week 5 victory over Wisconsin. The following week provided another, different challenge — a night game at undefeated and nationally ranked Northwestern. ESPN’s “College GameDay” even was on hand in Evanston for the first time since 1995 as the No. 15 Wildcats looked to replicate their last victory over OSU, a night game in 2004. A sellout crowd featuring many in scarlet (despite Northwestern’s efforts) withstood a pregame thunderstorm to witness an entertaining slugfest.
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Stars: Carlos Hyde, suspended for OSU’s first three games after a scuffle, rushed for 168 yards and scored three times, including a 7-yard touchdown run with 5:22 remaining to give the Buckeyes the lead for good at 34-30. Miller passed for 203 yards and ran for another 68, but his three turnovers helped keep Northwestern afloat. For the Wildcats, quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter combined to complete 25 of 31 passes for 343 yards.
Turning point: After Hyde’s 7-yard scoring run gave Ohio State a four-point lead, Northwestern quickly drove inside OSU territory. But on fourth-and-1 from the 34, Colter bobbled the snap and was stopped short of the first down to give the Buckeyes possession with 2:43 left. Freshman Joey Bosa recovered a fumble in the end zone on the final play of the game to complete the scoring.
Impact: Having won a nation’s-best 18 consecutive games after surviving Northwestern, the Buckeyes found a midseason stride that saw their winning streak reach a school-record 24 games. But that mark came to an abrupt halt in the Big Ten championship game against Michigan State, then became a two-game losing streak after meeting Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
Quotable: “Any time you go a 12- or 15-round fight with someone and come out the other end, it builds toughness. We toughed out a win.” — Meyer