1981 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

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1981 Ohio State Buckeyes football
Buckeyes logo.svg
Big Ten co-champion
Liberty Bowl champion
Liberty Bowl, W 31–28 vs. Navy
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 12
APNo. 15
1981 record9–3 (6–2 Big Ten)
Head coachEarle Bruce (3rd season)
Offensive coordinatorGlen Mason (2nd season)
Defensive coordinatorDennis Fryzel (3rd season)
MVPArt Schlichter
CaptainGlen Cobb
CaptainArt Schlichter
Home stadiumOhio Stadium
(Capacity: 83,112)
Seasons
← 1980
1982 →
1981 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 15 Ohio State + 6 2 0     9 3 0
No. 18 Iowa + 6 2 0     8 4 0
No. 12 Michigan 6 3 0     9 3 0
Illinois 6 3 0     7 4 0
Wisconsin 6 3 0     7 5 0
Minnesota 4 5 0     6 5 0
Michigan State 4 5 0     5 6 0
Purdue 3 6 0     5 6 0
Indiana 3 6 0     3 8 0
Northwestern 0 9 0     0 11 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1981 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the 1981 Big Ten Conference football season. The Buckeyes compiled a 9–3 record, including the 1981 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, where they won, 31–28, against the Navy Midshipmen. Ohio State and Iowa were the only conference teams not to play one another, and they ended up in a tie for the Big Ten title. That cost the Buckeyes a possible outright conference championship and trip to the 1982 Rose Bowl as Iowa landed the Rose Bowl bid due to not going to the Rose Bowl longer than Ohio State.

Several Ohio State players ranked among the Big Ten leaders, including the following:

  • Placekicker Bob Atha led the conference with 88 points scored and 44 extra points made and ranked second with 13 field goals made and a 68.4% field goal percentage.[1]
  • Garcia Lane led the conference with 205 punt return yards and ranked second with an average of 8.9 yards per punt return.[1]
  • Running back Tim Spencer led the conference with 12 rushing touchdowns and ranked second with 1,217 rushing yards and 1,427 yards from scrimmage.[1]
  • Quarterback Art Schlichter ranked third in the conference with 2,551 passing yards and 2,509 total yards and fifth with a 52.3 pass completion percentage.[1]
  • Gary Williams ranked third in the conference with 50 receptions and fourth with 941 receiving yards.[1]

Schedule[edit]

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 121:30 p.m.Duke*No. 11W 34–1386,266
September 191:30 p.m.Michigan StateNo. 8
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH (rivalry)
W 27–1387,084
September 264:30 p.m.at Stanford*No. 8W 24–1976,102
October 31:30 p.m.Florida State*No. 7
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH
L 27–3687,158
October 102:30 p.m.at WisconsinNo. 18L 21–2478,973
October 171:30 p.m.Illinois
W 34–2787,158
October 241:30 p.m.Indiana
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH
W 29-1087,182
October 3112:30 p.m.at PurdueABCW 45–3369,927
November 72:00 p.m.at MinnesotaNo. 18L 31–3542,793
November 141:30 p.m.Northwestern
  • Ohio Stadium
  • Columbus, OH
W 70–686,912
November 2112:30 p.m.at No. 7 MichiganABCW 14–9106,043
December 308:00 p.m.vs. Navy*No. 15USAW 31–2843,216
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Eastern time

Roster[edit]

1981 Ohio State Buckeyes football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
FB 38 Vaughn Broadnax So
TE 89 John Frank So
QB 10 Art Schlichter Jr
RB 46 Tim Spencer So
QB 15 Mike Tomczak Fr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DB 2 Shaun Gayle So
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Depth chart[edit]

[2]

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Earle Bruce – Head Coach (3rd year)
  • Dennis Fryzel – Defensive Coordinator (3rd year)
  • Glen Mason – Offensive Coordinator (4th year)
  • Bill Myles – Offensive Line (5th year)
  • Nick Saban – Defensive Backs (2nd year)
  • Wayne Stanley – Running Backs (3rd year)
  • Steve Szabo – Defensive Line (3rd year)
  • Bob Tucker – Defensive Outside Linebackers (3rd year)
  • Fred Zechman – Quarterbacks/Receivers (3rd year)

Game summaries[edit]

Duke[edit]

Michigan State[edit]

1 234Total
Michigan St 0 076 13
• Ohio St 7 10010 27
  • Date: September 12
  • Location: Ohio Stadium
  • Game attendance: 87,084

Stanford[edit]

1 234Total
Ohio State 0 1770 24
Stanford 3 3013 19
  • Date: September 26
  • Location: Stanford Stadium • Palo Alto, California
  • Television network: ESPN

Florida State[edit]

1 234Total
Florida St 10 13130 36
Ohio State 7 1406 27
  • Date: October 3
  • Location: Ohio Stadium • Columbus, Ohio
  • Television network: USA

[3]

Wisconsin[edit]

1 234Total
Ohio St 7 707 21
• Wisconsin 0 1707 24

Illinois[edit]

1 234Total
Illinois 10 1070 27
• Ohio St 21 373 34
  • Date: October 17
  • Location: Ohio Stadium

Indiana[edit]

1 234Total
Indiana 7 300 10
• Ohio St 3 9143 29
  • Date: October 24
  • Location: Ohio Stadium
  • Game attendance: 87,182


Purdue[edit]

1 234Total
• Ohio St 0 17721 45
Purdue 7 7613 33


Minnesota[edit]

1 234Total
Ohio St 14 773 31
• Minnesota 0 71414 35

Northwestern[edit]

1 234Total
Northwestern 0 600 6
• Ohio St 7 28287 70
  • Date: November 14
  • Location: Ohio Stadium
  • Game attendance: 86,916

Michigan[edit]

1 234Total
Ohio State 0 707 14
Michigan 3 060 9
  • Date: November 21
  • Location: Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Game attendance: 106,043
  • TV announcers (ABC): Al Michaels

Liberty Bowl[edit]

1981 Liberty Bowl
1 234Total
Ohio State 10 777 31
Navy 7 678 28
  • Date: December 30
  • Location: Liberty Bowl • Memphis, Tennessee

[4]

1982 NFL draftees[edit]

Player Round Pick Position NFL club
Art Schlichter 1 4 Quarterback Baltimore Colts
Anthony Griggs 4 105 Linebacker Philadelphia Eagles
Bob Atha 12 317 Kicker St. Louis Cardinals

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "1981 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  2. ^ 1982 Ohio State Football Media Guide
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2014-04-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ http://admin.xosn.com/fls/17300//pdf/fb/m-footbl-bowls.pdf
Win/Loss statistics
Draft data