On this date in Ohio State football: Sept. 24, 1955

Ray Stein
Buckeye Xtra
Howard "Hopalong" Cassady in 1955

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

Ohio State 28, Nebraska 20

Setup: Woody Hayes’ fifth Ohio State team started much the same way as Urban Meyer’s in 2016 — with only three starters returning on each side of the ball. Big difference being that in 1955, players went both ways and Woody didn’t have nine players leaving after their junior years for the NFL draft. So Hopalong Cassady was in uniform when the Buckeyes, fresh off a Big Ten championship and a national co-championship, opened the ’55 season against Nebraska.

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Stars: Cassady had a splendid start, and it became a common theme in his senior season. The Central High School standout finished with 171 yards rushing on 21 carries, scored three touchdowns and set up Ohio State’s fourth with a spectacular 36-yard run to the 2-yard line. Newbie quarterback Frank Ellwood added 79 yards rushing on 20 attempts.

Turning point: The Cornhuskers entered as four-touchdown underdogs but led the Buckeyes in the third quarter on the strength of John Edwards’ 87-yard return of an Ellwood lateral and two scores from quarterback Don Erway. Cassady’s 1-yard run returned the lead to Ohio State at 21-20, and OSU’s Dave Weaver recovered a Nebraska fumble to give the ball back to the Buckeyes. Cassady’s 36-yard run set up Ellwood’s 2-yard burst, and the eight-point margin held up.

Impact: Ohio State’s 11-game winning streak ended the following week with a 6-0 loss at Stanford — those West Coast trips were always killers — and OSU followed two weeks later with a loss at home to Duke. But the Buckeyes rolled through the Big Ten unbeaten for the second straight season, and Cassady became their third Heisman Trophy winner.

Quotable: “Is that Cassady a running piece of furniture! Man, oh man, oh man! Woooooo!” — Nebraska coach Bill Glassford, obviously impressed, if metaphorically challenged