On this date in Ohio State football: Oct. 8, 1921

Ray Stein
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State against Oberlin College in 1921 at Ohio Field. [File photo courtesy Oberlin College]

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

Oberlin 7, Ohio State 6

Setup: In these days, there was no difference between college football and major-college football, but a massive symbol of its future divergence adorned the cover of the program for Ohio State’s home game against Oberlin. The teams played 26 times between 1892 and 1922, before Ohio State became the state’s behemoth major university while Oberlin (and others like it) remained a small liberal-arts college. The program circulated that day at Ohio Field showed a rendering of Ohio Stadium, construction for which had begun two months before, and which would soon and forever divide the state’s bigs from its littles.

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Stars: Iolas Huffman was the lone bright spot for the Buckeyes, scoring their only touchdown on a blocked punt in the first quarter. (Huffman later had a fumble recovery for a TD that was negated by a holding penalty.) W.E. Parkhill scored Oberlin’s touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Al Wheeler to complete an 85-yard drive, then kicked the decisive extra point.

Impact: First was a mixture of shock and awe. The loss shook like a temblor in Columbus, mainly because Ohio State hadn’t lost to an in-state opponent going back 10 years and 34 games. (And, of course, the Buckeyes haven’t lost to an Ohio team since.) Incidentally, OSU won its next four Big Ten games, all by shutout. Oberlin, meanwhile, became a party school after the victory, newspaper accounts describing multiple bonfires, pealing bells and Hopi Indian dances by citizens.

Quotable: “When the first sense of poignancy of the thrust passes away, real sportsmen will join in one grand chorus of praise for the little visiting Oberlin team that stuck so grimly to its task and simply thrashed a bigger brother just once, if never again.” — Harvey A. Miller, writing in The Dispatch.