OSU vs Pitt 1995
Force turns Pittsburgh into Dresden
On Saturday, September 23rd, the Ohio State version of
the Strategic Air Command turned the pretty city on the
Monongaheia River into rubbled mass much like that which
lay beside the Elbe River after Dresden was devastated by
Allied carpet bombing near the end of World War Two.
Clinging to a 20-14 halftime lead, the Buckeyes soared
back in the second half with 34 unanswered points. Total
offense; 689 yards, with 421 passing and all seven TD's
raining down from the sky.
Recalling the words of defensive coach Conley last week,
when he predicted Terry Glenn will the the nation's top
receiver for 1995, it was small surprise that Glenn was a
popular target, but no one expected him to tie the OSU
record of four TD catches in one game or collect 253
yards on nine grabs. And that included a catch for
two-point conversion. Suddenly it appears Ohio State has
two legitimate Heisman candidates, as
Eddie George piled-up 122 yards rushing and another 9
yards on two catches, mainly in the first half. George
should be well-rested for next week.
Coach John Cooper awarded Glenn nine Buckeye leaves and
named him the outstanding offensive player of the game.
Bob Hoying merely tied his own OSU record of 5 TD passes
in one game and got 8 leaves. Nick Sualua earned five
leaves and had seven knock-downs during the game. Glenn
had a little trouble taking care of the groceries early
on, fumbling a fair catch and twice fumbling out of
bounds, but none resulted in turnovers. Other players
recognized were Jamie Sumner (OL), Mike Vrabel (DE), and
Greg Bellisari (MLB).
Cornerback Shawn Springs' interception near end of first
half was a key play, stopping the Panther drive when the
score was 17-14. The Buckeyes were sacked only once but
stuffed Pitt for lossses five times. Coop said the Bucks
played a good first half and an outstanding second half.
Both the second and third strings played and scored TDs
behind back-up qb's Stanley Jackson and Hoying's kid
Some 20,000 OSU fans attended the game, and at several
times did the four-sided O-H-I-O cheer often heard in the
'Shoe. Hoying's 61 yard TD pass to Glenn with 4:39 left
in the third quarter pushed the lead to 41-14, prompting
WBNS radio analyst and former fullback (late 70's) Jeff
Logan to declare "it's time to put the dog in the
truck. The hunt is over."
Speaking to the Columbus Downtown Quarterback Club the
following Monday, Cooper said it was an official off-day
for the players, but they are 'allowed' to go in and look
at Notre Dame film if they want. He mentioned the entire
team had stayed in Columbus working-out all summer... of
their own free will. Especially if they wanted to play
football in the Fall.
One area of concern was the kicking game, as Josh Jackson
missed two point-after attempts. Coop thought Josh might
have been too relaxed. He said the OSU kicking game
reminds him of his own golf game. Does great while
practicing, but when he tees it up for real... anything
Screen passes are being used more effectively than in
past years...Cooper says it's because the players are
better, giving this analogy; he's been carrying buckeyes
in his pocket for good luck ever since he came to
Columbus. The buckeyes seem to bring more luck when he
has better players. He said this year's squad has been
great on the field and haven't had any problems off the
field... loudly knocking on wood.
Injury Report: A number of players suffered mild sprains
and bruises including Josh Jacobs, who strained a knee
while blocking a Pitt punt, Juan Porter (knee), Shawn
Springs (knee), Rob Kelly (toe). Back-up fullback Matt
Calhoun is the only player listed as doubtful for this
week's game, everyone else is expected to play.
Commenting on the upcoming contest, Coop said he's known
Lou Holtz since he first started coaching and he's been a
winner at every school he's been. (technically correct,
since Holtz' disastrous 0-5 record with the NY Jets, when
he quit midseason to go to Arkansas, doesn't count as a
school). Holtz practices sound football, so don't look
for anything fancy. The Buckeyes plan to be doing what
they've done all season; try to get the ball to Glenn and
George, take advantage what the defefense gives them.
Cooper said Hoying and ND quarterback Ron Powlus match up
pretty evenly, but added "I wouldn't trade Bobby
Hoying for any qb in the country." He gave new QB
coach, Walt Harris, much credit for improving Hoying's
confidence. With Harris and other new offensive assistant
coaches Mike Jacobs (OL) and Chuck Stobart (WR) up in the
stands, communicating with the sideline, they're doing a
much better job of play calling than previous years.
Commenting on the ND squad, Coop noted Holtz is basically
an offensive coach and his teams are generally stronger
on offense than defense. They have a big, strong
offensive line and wide receiver Derrick Mayes, an
All-America last season, is probably their number one
player. Powlus is good at play action passes, and Cooper
anticipates a power offense, often with two wide
receivers on the same side of the ball.
Former OSU athletes have been asked to come to the game
and form a human tunnel on the field like they did at the
Michigan game last year. Another new twist, past players
will be named honorary captains for the home games this
year. Jim Stillwagon from the '68 National Champions was
captain for the Washington game, but they haven't yet
decided on this week's captain. Cooper mentioned Rex Kern
and John Hicks as possible candidates.
Former All-America/All-Pro fullback Pete Johnson made a
special request today, "When OSU is up 34-7 against
ND in the third quarter, run the fullback up the middle
three times in a row." Cooper asked Johnson to come
up to the podium and then said, "If we're up 34-7 in
the third quarter, Pete, I'll give YOU the ball three
times up the middle."
Asked if he expected a high-scoring game Saturday, Cooper
predicted the game will be "very entertaining."
Late arrival Archie Griffin, associate athletic director,
added that, "It's our turn to win.