On this date in Ohio State football: Oct. 25, 1919
Taking a look back at a game Ohio State played on this date:
Ohio State 13, Michigan 3
Setup: The 1919 season was Ohio State's 30th season of organized football. To that point, the Buckeyes had won the Western Conference, the precursor to the Big Ten, and had enjoyed unbeaten seasons. But OSU had never unlocked the song-proclaimed Champions of the West. In 15 games, Michigan had beaten Ohio State 13 times (there were two ties) and had outscored the Buckeyes by an aggregate 369-21. But the '19 meeting at Ferry Field in Ann Arbor was considered a tossup largely because OSU stars such as Chic Harley had returned from serving in World War I.
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Stars: Harley was Harley, which meant he was the best player on the field. He was the Buckeyes' leading rusher and passer, scored the game's only offensive touchdown, averaged 42 yards on 11 punts on a gusty day and intercepted four passes. Afterward, in a rare visit to the opposing locker room, Michigan coach Fielding Yost lauded Ohio State's star: "You, Mr. Harley, are one of the finest little machines I have ever seen."
Turning point: Ohio State was mostly in control the entire way because of its overwhelming line play. Yet the Buckeyes led only 7-3 midway through the third quarter when Harley followed a 27-yard run by Pete Stinchcomb with a 42-yard TD run in which he zigzagged around two Wolverines defenders and raced to the end zone.
Impact: Beating Michigan gave Ohio State fans a reason to get an early start on the Roaring '20s, but the party lasted only a few weeks. The Buckeyes won two more games to put themselves in position to win the league title. But Illinois pulled a 9-7 surprise in the season finale at Ohio Field to hand Harley his only defeat in three seasons at the school.
Quotable: The Dispatch headline on Page 1 said it all: "Harley-led Buckeye gridiron warriors bring back to Columbus town that long-coveted Wolverine scalp." The headline atop the Sporting section said another thing entirely: "WA-HO – WA-HO – RIP-ZIP – BA-ZO – I-YELL – I-YELL – O-HI-O." Well, yeah, as it would.