1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Last updated
1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football
AP Poll national champion
Big Ten champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 20–7 vs. USC
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 2
APNo. 1
1954 record10–0 (7–0 Big Ten)
Head coach
Offensive schemeHeavy run
Defensive coordinator Lyal Clark
Base defenseMulti
MVP Howard Cassady
CaptainJohn Borton, Dick Brubaker
Home stadium Ohio Stadium
(Capacity: 78,677)
Seasons
  1953
1955  
1954 Big Ten Conference football standings
Conf  Overall
TeamW L T  W L T
No. 1 Ohio State $700  1000
No. 9 Wisconsin 520  720
No. 15 Michigan 520  630
Minnesota 420  720
Iowa 430  540
Purdue 330  531
Indiana 240  360
Michigan State 150  360
Northwestern 150  270
Illinois 060  180
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

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.

Contents

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.

Schedule

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

Game Summaries

Indiana

California

Illinois

Iowa

Wisconsin

Northwestern

Pittsburgh

Purdue

Michigan

Southern California

Coaching staff

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

All-Americans

All-Big Ten

1955 NFL Draft|1955 NFL draftees

PlayerRoundPickPositionNFL Club
Bobby Watkins 223Halfback Chicago Bears
Dean Dugger 446End Philadelphia Eagles
Dave Leggett 774Quarterback Chicago Cardinals
Jerry Krisher 13153Center Philadelphia Eagles
John Borton 13157Quarterback Cleveland Browns
Dick Brubaker 15170End Chicago Cardinals
Bob Myers 28328Defensive tackle Baltimore Colts
Dave Williams 28330Guard Pittsburgh Steelers

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References

  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. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/graphics/pdf/m-footbl/1112_guide_7history.pdf%5B%5D

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

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