According to Google Maps, it’s a 270.8-mile drive from Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend to Ohio Stadium in Columbus. A four-hour, 19-minute drive that’s not only down the road, but it’s nothing when it comes to a road trip for a college football team or its fans.
Especially when you consider that these two college football teams are among the most historic in the game and have two of the most passionate fanbases in any sport, not just college football.
But Notre Dame and State of Ohio have only met seven times on the soccer field. Of those seven, two took place at Notre Dame Stadium, three at Ohio Stadium, and two at the Fiesta Bowl.
Unless you live under a rock, you know that Notre Dame has opened the 2022 season in Ohio State and the Buckeyes are making the return trip to South Bend in late September.
Before this underrated series resumes late fall, here’s a look back at the brief history Notre Dame and Ohio State shared on the football field.
1935: Notre Dame’s first “Game of the Century”
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Undefeated Notre Dame (5-0) headed to take on a 4-0 Ohio State squad on Nov. 2, and the game didn’t disappoint. The Irish offense faltered early as Ohio State built a 13-0 lead at halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, Andy Pilney returned a punt to Ohio State’s 13-yard line to earn the first result of the day for the Irish.
Pilney connected with Mike Layden on a 15-yard pass to cut Ohio State’s lead to 13-12 before a forced fumble created short field for the Irish. Will Shakespeare found Wayne Millner for the eventual game win.
Notre Dame finished Elmer Layden’s second season as head coach 7-1-1.
1936: First meeting at South Bend
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
The first meeting between the two at Notre Dame Stadium didn’t have the same hype as the 1935 battle. Notre Dame had lost to Pitt the week before, and Ohio State went 2-2 into the Halloween Day showdown. It was a game only a Midwesterner could love. Wind and rain howled during Notre Dame’s 7-2 victory in front of a then-record crowd of 50,000 fans at Notre-Dame Stadium.
Since then, Notre Dame has not beaten Ohio State.
1995: Eddie George’s big day helps build Heisman’s resume
Photo by Fred Squillante
Sixty years after her first voyage to Columbus, Notre Dame again moved slightly south and east to rival the scarlet and gray of Ohio. Despite a half-time lead of 17:14, it wasn’t to be for the Irish.
Eddie George rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns as Ohio State scored 31 second-half points in their 45-26 win over Notre Dame. George won the Heisman Trophy that year.
1996: Last meeting of the regular season
The good news is that when the 2022 season kicks off at Ohio Stadium, Notre Dame and Ohio State have waited just 26 years between regular-season meetings.
In an undefeated battle in late September 1996, the Ohio State defenses held Notre Dame at bay. The Irish averaged 3.8 yards per play that day, compared to Ohio State’s 6.2.
Pepe Pearson rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ 29-16 win, which wasn’t quite as close as the final score suggested.
2005 ends with the Fiesta Bowl Showdown
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Kids today have trouble understanding that non-national championship bowl games mattered not so long ago. That all seemed to change with what happened in another Notre Dame-Ohio State bowl game, but more on that in a bit.
2005 was Charlie Weis’ first season as Notre Dame head coach, and he helped lead Notre Dame to its second BCS appearance in program history, 9-2 after a regular season.
Big plays were the story of the day that afternoon in Tempe. Ted Ginn, Jr., Santonio Holmes and Antonio Pittman had touchdowns on plays of 56 yards or longer in the 34-20 Buckeyes triumph.
As for the photo selected above – if you know, you know. More photos from the Fiesta Bowl 2006 can be found here.
Fiesta Bowl Part II
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State was the reigning national champion while Notre Dame missed out on the college football playoffs at the last second in the regular-season finale at Stanford.
Notre Dame’s star linebacker [autotag]Jaylon Smith[/autotag] suffered a cruciate and cruciate ligament tear early in the Notre Dame-Ohio State Showdown, and Joey Bosa, the star of the Buckeyes’ defense, was ejected fairly early in the contest.
The result was a day of big games for Ohio State as Notre Dame’s exhausted linebackers were exposed, to say the least. Ezekiel Elliot scored a Fiesta Bowl-record four touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ 44-28 win.
Season opening 2022:
Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame’s defense kept Ohio State at bay for most of the season’s opening night, but the Irish offense was nonexistent as the Buckeyes won 21-10. Notre Dame led 10-7 at halftime on Marcus Freeman’s regular-season debut but failed to get any offense going in the second half while the Buckeyes’ running game came alive.
2023: September Showdown
(Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune via AP)
With Notre Dame likely to be a top-10 team this preseason and Ohio State likely to make a top-five preseason rank, a massive one awaits on Sept. 23 when the Buckeyes travel to South Bend for the first time since 1996.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Few programs can meet and share as much history as Notre Dame and Ohio State. The two programs combined to win/have:
19 national championships (Notre Dame 11, Ohio State 8)
1,871 games (Ohio State 942, Notre Dame 929)
14 Heisman Trophies (Notre Dame 7, Ohio State 7)
1,001 All-Time Players Selected in the NFL Draft (Notre Dame 522, Ohio State 479)
157 players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft (Ohio State 87, Notre Dame 70)
An extreme dislike for the Michigan Wolverines
Source : sports.yahoo.com