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1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

The 1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the 1954 Big Ten Conference football season. The team was led by quarterback Dave Leggett and captains John Borton and Dick Brubaker. They were the second national title team in Ohio State football history. They were coached by Hall of Fame coach Woody Hayes. The Buckeyes were awarded the title by the AP Poll and represented the Big Ten Conference in the Rose Bowl.

1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football
AP Poll national champion
Big Ten champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 20–7 vs. USC
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 2
APNo. 1
1954 record10–0 (7–0 Big Ten)
Head coachWoody Hayes (4th season)
Offensive schemeHeavy run
Defensive coordinatorLyal Clark
Base defenseMulti
MVPHoward Cassady
CaptainJohn Borton, Dick Brubaker
Home stadiumOhio Stadium
(Capacity: 78,677)
Seasons
← 1953
1955 →
1954 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 1 Ohio State $ 7 0 0     10 0 0
No. 9 Wisconsin 5 2 0     7 2 0
No. 15 Michigan 5 2 0     6 3 0
Minnesota 4 2 0     7 2 0
Iowa 4 3 0     5 4 0
Purdue 3 3 0     5 3 1
Indiana 2 4 0     3 6 0
Michigan State 1 5 0     3 6 0
Northwestern 1 5 0     2 7 0
Illinois 0 6 0     1 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The Buckeyes finished the 1953 season with a record of 6–3. They were ranked #20 in the preseason AP Poll, but dropped out of the first in-season poll, which was issued before their season opener.[1] However, six weeks later, the Buckeyes had risen to the top of the AP Poll. Their rise from unranked to #1 in six weeks stood as an AP Poll record for 60 years until being broken by Mississippi State in 2014.[2] The Buckeyes defeated six ranked teams to capture their first league title under fourth year Coach Hayes.

Led by their powerful defense, the Bucks beat the #2 Wisconsin Badgers and their eventual Heisman Trophy winner Alan Ameche on an 88-yard interception return by Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, who won the award the following year. The Buckeye defense forced 35 turnovers during the season and allowed only two teams to score more than one touchdown

In their game against the Michigan Wolverines, the Bucks held a goal-line stand and then drove 99 yards for a touchdown. The AP Poll declared the Bucks to be number one while the UPI Coaches Poll opted for the 9–0, Pacific Coast Conference champion the UCLA Bruins. However, because of the "no repeat rule" the Bruins were locked out of the Rose Bowl leaving the Buckeyes to play second place USC.

The 1955 Rose Bowl was played during a rainstorm in poor field conditions. However, Ohio State managed to gain 304 yards and hold the Trojans to only six first downs. USC's only score came on an 86-yard punt return. The team finished 10–0 for the first time in school history.

Contents

ScheduleEdit

DateOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 25IndianaW 28–072,703
October 2No. 18 California*No. 14
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH
W 21–1379,524
October 9at IllinoisNo. 10W 40–769,567
October 16No. 13 IowaNo. 4
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH
W 20–1482,141
October 23No. 2 WisconsinNo. 4
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH
W 31–1482,636
October 30at NorthwesternNo. 1W 14–741,650
November 6No. 20 Pittsburgh*No. 2
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH
W 26-080,886
November 13at PurdueNo. 2W 28–651,000
November 20No. 12 MichiganNo. 1
W 21–778,447
January 1, 1955vs. No. 17 USC*No. 1NBCW 20–789,191
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Game SummariesEdit

IndianaEdit

CaliforniaEdit

IllinoisEdit

IowaEdit

WisconsinEdit

NorthwesternEdit

PittsburghEdit

PurdueEdit

MichiganEdit

Southern CaliforniaEdit

Coaching staffEdit

 
Dean Dugger in 1952
 
Team co-captain John Borton (20) and Tad Weed in 1952

All-AmericansEdit

All-Big TenEdit

1955 NFL Draft|1955 NFL drafteesEdit

Player Round Pick Position NFL Club
Bobby Watkins 2 23 Halfback Chicago Bears
Dean Dugger 4 46 End Philadelphia Eagles
Dave Leggett 7 74 Quarterback Chicago Cardinals
Jerry Krisher 13 153 Center Philadelphia Eagles
John Borton 13 157 Quarterback Cleveland Browns
Dick Brubaker 15 170 End Chicago Cardinals
Bob Myers 28 328 Defensive tackle Baltimore Colts
Dave Williams 28 330 Guard Pittsburgh Steelers

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "September 20, 1954 AP Football Poll". College Poll Archive. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "Mississippi State No. 1 in AP poll". ESPN. Associated Press. October 12, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  3. ^ http://web1.ncaa.org/footballStatsArchive/FootballStats.pdf?id=5846210.0
  4. ^ http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/graphics/pdf/m-footbl/1112_guide_7history.pdf

Lindy's (2002), A Championship Season...and the Battle for #1, p. 75.

Draft data