1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football team
|1954 Ohio State Buckeyes football|
AP Poll National Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
Big Ten Champions
|Conference||Big Ten Conference|
|1954 record||10–0 (7–0 Big Ten)|
|Head coach||Woody Hayes|
|Offensive scheme||Heavy Run|
|Defensive coordinator||Lyal Clark|
|Home stadium||Ohio Stadium
|1954 Big Ten football standings|
|#1/2 Ohio State †||7||–||0||–||0||10||–||0||–||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. 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. 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.
|September 25||Indiana||Ohio Stadium • Columbus, 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 Stadium • Champaign, 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 Stadium • Evanston, 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 Stadium • West 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 Bowl • Pasadena, CA (Rose Bowl)||NBC||W 20–7||89,191|
|*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.|
- Woody Hayes - Head Coach - 4th year
|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|
- "September 20, 1954 AP Football Poll". College Poll Archive. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "Mississippi State No. 1 in AP poll". ESPN. Associated Press. October 12, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
Lindy's (2002), A Championship Season...and the Battle for #1, p. 75.
- Draft data