What A Homecoming! Michigan Racked UP
Ohio State 18 Michigan 14
Columbus, Nov. 17, 1944
Published in The Ohio State University Monthly, December 1944
Whatever humiliating disappointing setbacks the Scarlet & Gray has suffered in big-time intercollegiate football, the 1944 Buckeyes, “Wids Winners”, redeemed for all time by trouncing a mighty Michigan team, 18 to 14, in Ohio Stadium before a delirious throng of 71, 958 at Homecoming.
The Buck’s 52-yard drive for their third and winning touchdown, late in the fourth quarter, was one of the most supremely inspiring feats in all Scarlet & Gray annals. It took guts. The Bucks had gobs. Probably more was at stake, for Ohio State, in the renewal of the ancient rivalry, than ever before:
- The Big 10 title.
- Undisputed recognition as the No. 1 all-civilian college team.
- Eligibility for possible participation in the Rose Bowl game on Jan. 1 ’45.
- An unbeaten season, the first since ’20.
- An eight-game winning streak.
- All-American recognition for certainly two, and possibly four, individual Buckeye Stars.
- And a chance to return to Michigan the “Old Wet Sock” trophy for the loser, bestowed upon Ohio State after the ’43 game.
The game was featured by hard bruising line-play, by terrific tackles and body blocks. On Ohio’s third running play of the game, for example, Ball Carrier Flanagan rammed into Michigan’s Derricotte with an impact that echoed throughout the stadium. Derricotte was through for the second half. All-America Candidate Bill Hackett racked up two Michigan ball-carriers, Chubb and Lund, so hard on two occasions that each fumbled. And Ohio Captain Appleby recovered on both occasions.
Ohio scored first on a march of 56 years but failed to convert. Michigan, taking advantage of an intercepted pass, went 25 yards to score and converted to lead at half-time, 7 to 6. Capitalizing on a Michigan fumble, deep in Wolverine territory, Ohio scored on a 24-yard sustained drive but again failed to convert.
Then Michigan made its supreme bid for the game. Taking the ball on their own 17, the Michiganders went 83 yards to score and converted to lead 12-14. An attempted on-side kick by Michigan gave the Bucks the ball on their own 48. In 14 running plays, the Bucks put it over, Horvath scoring his second touchdown of the day from the one-yard line.