On this date in Ohio State football: Oct. 22, 1983

Ray Stein
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State quarterback Jim Karsatos against Michigan State in 1983 [File photo]

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

Ohio State 21, Michigan State 11

Setup: Earle Bruce’s fifth Ohio State team was like his second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh in that it would end the season 9-3. But getting to that mark was all the fun, at least until the process got tedious and predictable. In 1983, the Buckeyes suffered their second loss (both in the Big Ten) on Oct. 15 when they blew a lead in the final two minutes at Illinois. The Rose Bowl probably was off the table heading into a home game the next week against Michigan State; worse, OSU likely would be without quarterback Mike Tomczak, who was feeling the effects of a concussion suffered at Illinois.

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Stars: Redshirt freshman Jim Karsatos stepped in for Tomczak and turned in a credible 170-yard performance, especially considering the bone-soaking conditions created by all-day showers that made B deck the hottest ticket in Ohio Stadium. Tight end John Frank had five catches for 115 yards, and tailback Keith Byars had two touchdown runs but was limited to 67 yards.

Turning point: Michigan State was still in the game, trailing 7-3 late in the second quarter when OSU began a drive at its 28-yard line. Karsatos completed two passes to Cedric Anderson, then found Frank alone down the middle for a 39-yard scoring pass and a 14-3 lead. Somehow, that broke Sparty’s back.

Impact: Tomczak returned the following week and the offense started purring, rolling up 156 points in wins over Wisconsin, Indiana and Northwestern to — dare we say it? — make 10-2 a possibility. But Ohio State lost on the road at Michigan and beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl to find its cozy spot of nine up and three down.

Quotable: “I told myself not to even think about the rain. I was going to play. Why mess up because of the rain? The rain’s going to be there.” — Karsatos, on handling the conditions

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