On this date in Ohio State football: Oct. 7, 2000
Taking a look back at a game Ohio State played on this date:
Ohio State 23, Wisconsin 7
Setup: Coming off a lackluster 1999 season in which it finished 6-6, Ohio State had raised some eyebrows with a 4-0 start in 2000, though there remained more skeptics than believers about coach John Cooper's 13th OSU team. A trip to unseasonably frigid Wisconsin against the two-time defending Rose Bowl champions would answer the question: Were the No. 8 Buckeyes contenders or pretenders?
Get the news delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our BuckeyeXtra newsletter
Stars: Derek Combs rushed for 122 yards on 11 carries and touchdown runs of 80 (while wearing one shoe!) and 21 yards in the first nine minutes as Ohio State raced to a 13-0 lead. Wisconsin's Michael Bennett ran for 106 yards, but that was 103 below his nation's best average. The Buckeyes defense registered 17 tackles for loss, including nine sacks of Brooks Bollinger.
Turning point: Down 13-0 late in the second quarter, Wisconsin's Vital Pisetsky attempted a 42-yard field-goal attempt that was blocked by OSU's Tim Cheatwood and rolled inside the 20. Ohio State's Nate Clements alertly scooped up the ball at the 14 and ran 25 yards before being pushed out of bounds. Five plays later, Steve Bellisari passed 20 yards to Darnell Sanders for a 20-0 lead.
Impact: Wounded by the sight of the Badgers dancing on the block 'O' at the center of Ohio Stadium the year before, the Buckeyes returned the favor on Camp Randall Stadium's large 'W,' and Ken-Yon Rambo even stomped a Wisconsin shirt. But dancing days weren't here again. OSU rose to No. 5 in the polls, then was dumped by Minnesota at home a week later. That started a spiral that included losses to Purdue and Michigan, and after composure was nonexistent in an Outback Bowl defeat to South Carolina, Cooper was fired by athletic director Andy Geiger.
Quotable: "I stomped on it because they went in the 'O' last year and clowned and danced and did their thing. So I'm going to clown them, which I did." — Rambo, on his postgame antics