1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

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1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football
AP Poll National Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
Big Ten Champions
Rose Bowl, W 20-7 vs. USC
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches #2
AP #1
1954 record 10–0 (7–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Woody Hayes
Offensive scheme Heavy Run
Defensive coordinator Lyal Clark
Base defense Multi
Captain John Borton
Captain Dick Brubaker
Home stadium Ohio Stadium
(Capacity: 78,677)
Seasons
« 1953 1955 »
1954 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#1/2 Ohio State 7 0 0     10 0 0
#9/10 Wisconsin 5 2 0     7 2 0
#15/15 Michigan 5 2 0     6 3 0
#NR/20 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 / Coaches' Poll

The 1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team was led by QB 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.

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 would win 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 9–0 PCC 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 Southern California.

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[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 25 Indiana Ohio StadiumColumbus, OH W 28–0   72,703
October 2 #18 California* #14 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 21–13   79,524
October 9 at Illinois #10 Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL (Illibuck Trophy) W 40–7   69,567
October 16 #13 Iowa #4 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 20–14   82,141
October 23 #2 Wisconsin #4 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 31–14   82,636
October 30 at Northwestern #1 Dyche StadiumEvanston, IL W 14–7   41,650
November 6 #20 Pittsburgh* #2 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 26-0   80,886
November 13 at Purdue #2 Ross–Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, IN W 28–6   51,000
November 20 #12 Michigan #1 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH (The Game) W 21–7   78,447
January 1 vs. #17 USC* #1 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) NBC W 20–7   89,191
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.

[3]

Coaching staff[edit]

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

All-Americans[edit]

All-Big Ten[edit]

1955 NFL draftees[edit]

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

References[edit]

  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://cfreference.net/cfr/school.s?id=227&season=1954

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

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