A tremendous defensive play resulting in a safety followed by an impressive field goal ending drive gave Miami (Ohio) a 5-0 lead over Ohio State early in the first quarter.
“We’re winning!” exclaimed a dumbfounded Redhawk fan.
Someone nearby echoed, “you better take a picture of the scoreboard now!”
That turned out to be good advice.
Ohio State won 76-5.
That early safety was one of two times that the Buckeye offense was truly stopped.
The other was the lightning storm that swept over Ohio Stadium, thus ending the game with just under three minutes to go.
Along with the humidity, a spirit of solemness hovered over Columbus as Howard “Hopalong” Cassady passed away the day before. The 1955 Buckeye Heisman Trophy winner’s spirit filled Ohio Stadium during a pregame moment of silence. Celebratory cheers hinting his legacy followed and the stage was set for this to be Ohio State’s day.
Leading up to this moment, I positioned myself around campus to absorb all that makes Ohio State unique. Strolling through Buckeye Grove was my first stop. Each Buckeye tree planted represents an All-American produced by the school, and I first searched for Howard Cassady’s tree to provide my personal moment of silence.
Whipping around to the other side of campus, I caught the Ohio State University Marching Band filing into St. John’s Arena to perform the traditional Skull Session. This pregame band concert packed with scarlet and gray clad fans featured all the classic Buckeye tunes while welcoming Miami University’s band to perform, as well.
Once inside Ohio Stadium, I scooted over to the upper deck’s 50-yard line vantage point to witness the famous Script Ohio and dotting of the “I,” arguably one of college football’s greatest marching band traditions.
There was no way Ohio State would lose today with the intensity of Buckeye fans packing the colossal Ohio Stadium saturated in gameday traditions and cloaked in the spirit of Howard Cassady. Of course, six touchdowns by QB Justin Fields doesn’t hurt either. Even under the new leadership of Ryan Day after the departure of Urban Meyer and these Buckeyes are poised for greatness again. Still undefeated, they now venture into the teeth of the Big Ten schedule.