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1996 Ohio State Buckeyes football
Ohio State buckeyes logo.png
Big Ten Co-Champions
Rose Bowl, W 20-17 vs. Arizona State
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches #2
AP #2
1996 record 11-1 (7-1 Big Ten)
Head coach John Cooper

Home stadium

Ohio Stadium
Seasons
« 1995 1997 »

The 1996 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the college football season of 1996-1997. The team's head football coach was John Cooper. The Buckeyes played their home games in Ohio Stadium. The team finished the season with a win-loss record of 11 and 1, and a Big Ten Conference record of 7-1. They finished co-champions in the Big Ten Conference with the Northwestern Wildcats and played in the 1997 Rose Bowl against Pac-10 Champion the Arizona State Sun Devils. Ohio State did not play Northwestern during the regular season and were selected to play in the Rose Bowl due to their better overall record of 10-1 (the Wildcats were 9-2). Northwestern had played in the previous Rose Bowl.

The Buckeyes used two quarterbacks throughout the year, junior Stanley Jackson, and sophomore Joe Germaine, the Buckeyes were dominate throughout the majority of the season, outscoring their opponents by a score of 455-131. The Buckeyes only loss came late in the season to their rivals, the Michigan Wolverines, by a score of 13-9.

Because of the late loss, Ohio State fell from second to fourth in the polls. Due to the Big Ten and Pac-10 not being involved in the Bowl Alliance agreement as the two champions were contractually obligated to play in the Rose Bowl, Ohio State was set to play #2 Arizona State, while #1 Florida State and #3 Florida played for the National Championship in the 1997 Sugar Bowl.

Ohio State went into the 1997 Rose Bowl with high hopes and Germaine came off the bench and threw a late touchdown pass to David Boston to steal a come-from-behind victory. With the Buckeyes dramatic upset victory over the Sun Devils, Buckeye fans hoped for a share of the national title. However, Florida would later avenge an early season loss to their rivals, and beat the Seminoles by a score of 52-20. Florida finished first and Ohio State second in both polls, followed by Florida State and Arizona State.

The Rose Bowl appearance was the Buckeyes first since 1985. The Rose Bowl victory was the sixth in school history, the first since 1974. Germaine was named Rose Bowl MVP.

Contents

Schedule

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result
09/07/1996* Rice #10 Ohio StadiumColumbus, OH Creative W 70-7  
09/21/1996* Pittsburgh #7 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ESPN W 72-0  
09/28/1996* at #5 Notre Dame #4 Notre Dame StadiumSouth Bend, IN NBC W 29-16  
10/05/1996 #4 Penn State #3 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, Ohio ABC W 38-7  
10/12/1996 Wisconsin #2 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, Ohio ESPN W 17-14  
10/19/1996 at Purdue #2 Ross-Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, IN ABC W 42-14  
10/26/1996 at #20 Iowa #2 Kinnick StadiumIowa City, IA ABC W 38-26  
11/02/1996 Minnesota #2 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, Ohio ESPN2 W 45-0  
11/09/1996 Illinois #2 Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL ESPN W 48-0  
11/16/1996 at Indiana #2 Memorial StadiumBloomington, IN ABC W 27-17  
11/23/1996 #21 Michigan #2 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, Ohio ABC L 9-13  
01/01/1997* vs. #2 Arizona State #4 Rose Bowl StadiumPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC W 20-17  
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from the AP Poll. All times are in Eastern Time.

[1]

Game notes

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Rice

1 2 3 4 Total
Owls 0 7 0 0 7
Buckeyes 21 21 21 7 70


Pittsburgh

1 2 3 4 Total
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Buckeyes 21 31 13 7 72


Notre Dame

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 12 10 7 0 29
Fighting Irish 7 0 3 6 16


Penn State

1 2 3 4 Total
Nittany Lions 0 0 0 7 7
Buckeyes 10 14 7 7 38


Wisconsin

1 2 3 4 Total
Badgers 0 7 0 7 14
Buckeyes 0 3 7 7 17


Purdue

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 7 7 14 14 42
Boilermakers 14 0 0 0 14


Iowa

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 17 14 7 0 38
Hawkeyes 3 3 6 14 26


Minnesota

1 2 3 4 Total
Golden Gophers 0 0 0 0 0
Buckeyes 0 10 21 14 45


Illinois

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 0 28 20 0 48
Fighting Illini 0 0 0 0 0


Indiana

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 0 7 0 20 27
Hoosiers 0 3 7 7 17


Michigan

1 2 3 4 Total
Wolverines 0 0 10 3 13
Buckeyes 3 6 0 0 9


Arizona State

1 2 3 4 Total
Buckeyes 7 0 7 6 20
Sun Devils 0 7 3 7 17


Coaching staff

Awards and honors

1997 NFL draftees

Player Round Pick Position NFL Club
Orlando Pace 1 1 Tackle St. Louis Rams
Shawn Springs 1 3 Defensive Back Seattle Seahawks
Rob Kelly 2 33 Defensive Back New Orleans Saints
Ty Howard 3 84 Defensive Back Arizona Cardinals
Mike Vrabel 3 91 Linebacker Pittsburgh Steelers
Nicky Sualua 4 129 Running Back Dallas Cowboys
Matt Finkes 6 189 Defensive End Carolina Panthers

[2]

References

Buckeye Sports Bulletin (1997), Rose Bowl Championship Yearbook  

Draft data

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