On this date in Ohio State football: Nov. 11, 1972
Taking a look back at a game Ohio State played on this date:
Michigan State 19, Ohio State 12
Setup: This might sound familiar: A highly ranked Ohio State team goes on the road against a middling Big Ten team. The Buckeyes clearly are the more talented team, but they ultimately are undone. Afterward, fans are so happy they storm the field. Just as in recent Ohio State seasons, the sting was no less painful 45 years ago when Michigan State pulled an upset of the previously unbeaten Buckeyes.
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Stars: Michigan State and outgoing coach Duffy Daugherty force-fed the Buckeyes a dose of their own medicine. The Spartans doubled Ohio State in yardage, 356-176, and ran 81 plays to OSU's 57. Quarterback Mark Niesen had the Spartans' only touchdown and 83 yards on the ground. MSU's Dirk Krijt, a transfer student from the Netherlands, kicked four field goals in his first varsity game. Archie Griffin, Ohio State's star freshman, was limited to 42 yards on 11 carries.
Turning point: In a 12-12 game in the third quarter, the Spartans turned over the ball on downs deep in OSU territory, but two plays later, they pounced on a fumble by Elmer Lippert at the OSU 5-yard line, one of five Ohio State turnovers. On second down from the 6, Niesen stumbled into the end zone. The Buckeyes crossed midfield only once the rest of the game, never a threat to score.
Impact: For one thing, Buckeye leaves were not awarded after the loss, so helmets went unadorned for a week. But the East Lansing stumble did not prevent Ohio State from reaching the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes beat Northwestern on the road, then edged Michigan 14-11 in the regular-season finale to qualify for the first of four straight Rose Bowls.
Quotable: "In football, we like to give credit to those who achieve. But we didn't achieve very much last week." — coach Woody Hayes, explaining why the sticky leaves stayed in the box.
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