Oct. 27, 1999
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 1999 Ohio State Homecoming week festivities, which culminates Saturday afternoon when the Ohio State Buckeyes battle the Iowa Hawkeyes at 12:10 p.m. in Ohio Stadium, will include the recognition at halftime of four great Ohio State teams.
The 1949 team will be honored in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Ohio State’s first Rose Bowl victory. The 1954 team is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its National Championship. The 1974 team will be recognized for the 25th anniversary of its Big Ten Co-Championship. And the 1979 team celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Big Ten Championship.
With a record of 7-1-2, the 1949 team earned a share of the Big Ten Championship and the school’s second Rose Bowl berth. Under the leadership of coach Wes Fesler and team captain A. Jack Wilson, the team held California to 15 total yards in the first half of the 1950 Rose Bowl. Going into the closing minutes of the fourth quarter the game was tied until a low snap and a poor punt gave the Buckeyes the ball on the California 13-yard line. With less than two minutes remaining, Ohio State advanced the ball to the six-yard line in three plays. Jimmy Hague kicked the winning field goal lifting the Buckeyes to a 17-14 win. A key member of the 1949 team was 1950 Heisman Trophy winner and All-America selection Vic Janowicz.
In his first trip to the Rose Bowl, Woody Hayes brought to Columbus not just a victory, but a National Championship. The 1954 team, captained by C. Richard Brubaker and John R. Borton, finished its season 10-0, including a 21-7 win over Michigan. The team faced Southern California in the 1955 Rose Bowl and rolled for 304 yards in the rain. Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, who rushed for 92 yards in 21 carries, led the Buckeyes. Ohio State quarterback Dave Leggett added 67 yards on the ground and was 6-11 for 63 yards through the air. Leggett was named the outstanding player of the game. USC’s only points of the day came on an 86-yard punt return as the Buckeyes cruised to a 20-7 win. Cassady rushed for 701 yards and eight touchdowns that season while earning All-America honors. He followed 1954 with 964 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns in 1955. He was named again as an All-America selection and won the Heisman Trophy. The Associated Press recognized Cassady as the 1955 Athlete of the Year. End Dean Dugger was also an All-American on the 1954 team.
The 1974 team, coached by Woody Hayes, celebrates the 25th anniversary of its Big Ten Co-Championship and Woody Hayes’ 10th Big Ten Championship. The team was led to a 10-2 mark and a 12-10 win over Michigan by captains Steve Myers, Archie Griffin, Arnold Jones, Neal Colzie and Pete Cusick. Myers and Griffin were first-team All-America selections, and Colzie was named to the Second Team. Defensive end Van Ness DeCree, offensive tackle Kurt Schumacher, defensive tackle Pete Cusick were also All-Americans on the 1974 team. Despite an 18-17 loss in the 1975 Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes finished No. 4 in the Associated Press poll. Ohio State great Archie Griffin rushed for 1,695 yards on the season and won the first of his two Heisman Trophies.
The 1979 team celebrates its 20th anniversary of winning the Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl berth. The preseason unranked team posted an 11-1 mark under the direction of first year coach Earle Bruce and captains, Jim Laughlin, Mike Guess, Ken Fritz and Tom Waugh. The Buckeyes lost to Southern California in the Rose Bowl, 17-16, denying them a National Championship but finished the season No. 4 in the Associated Press poll. Quarterback Art Schlichter and offensive guard Fritz, were both named All-Americans and Bruce was named the Big Ten and National Coach of the Year.