My favorite Ohio State memory would have to be in the fall of 2012 when Ohio State took on the mighty Purdue Boilermakers. This was Urban Meyer’s first year with the Buckeyes, and our sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller (Who was my favorite football player ever at the time) was becoming very well known amongst all fans and opposing teams. Even though I thought this would be an easy win against a lousy opponent, I was still excited to be able to see Urban Meyer, his so far undefeated team, and my favorite player, Braxton Miller, live for the first time.
I woke up early that Saturday morning of the game and began the 2 hour journey from my KY house to the Horseshoe in Columbus. After a drive that lasted forever, I made it, and decided to race on over to the pre-game Skull Session. When I entered into St. John Arena I walked right up into the front row seats, and thought I was going to have the best seats in the house for this exciting event. After about five minutes of sitting there, and mostly seeing people leave rather than enter, I finally realized I actually missed the skull session, and I felt like an idiot.
After that huge disappointment, I headed over to the stadium to get my seats and watch warm-ups. Eventually, the game was set to begin. Purdue got the ball first and looked ready to get beat. In one of the first plays, Purdue took advantage of our first-time starter at Linebacker (Zach Boren who had just been moved from fullback) and threw a TD pass to go up 6-0 (PAT was blocked). I could sense the shock in the crowd because of how early that happened, but nobody was too worried. After a couple of drives that ended in no points, Braxton finally scored to give us the lead at 7-6. “All will be fine now” was the thought from everybody. No, Purdue returned the next kickoff for a TD giving them the lead at 13-7. In the 3rd, Carlos Hyde pounded it in to regain the lead at 14-13.
Soon after that point is when the real action began. One of the scariest moments for all Buckeye fans at the time occurred. Braxton went down.
That’s truly when everybody’s mindset moved to the point that we could lose this game. Unproven and somewhat unknown QB Kenny Guiton would have to step up.
Later in the 3rd, Purdue scored again to go up 20-14. Soon after that, they even forced a safety on us to go up 22-14. I couldn’t believe I actually decided to go to a game where we were going to be upset by Purdue, and all my friends who are Ohio State haters were going to give it to me. Worst feeling in the world.
Late in the game, there was a glimmer of hope, but Kenny G threw an interception with only two minutes left in the game, and Purdue would surely finish the game from that. Everybody was shocked, and most people decided to leave and beat the traffic. I was so close to leaving as well, but I reluctantly stayed and decided to watch us lose.
We ended up getting the ball back, and Kenny G took the field once more. With less than a minute to go, he makes a clutch 34 yard throw to Devin Smith that puts us in the redzone. At this point, the crowd was starting to shake, and I could see everybody who was trying to re-enter the stadium. Then, with 3 seconds left in the game, Kenny Guiton threw a TD to Chris Fields making the game 22-20! Obviously, we had to go for the 2 point conversion, so we weren’t too excited just yet.
The ball snapped, Kenny rolled to his right, nobody was open, he couldn’t run or throw, the game was over, or so I thought. He then looked back to his left and threw to a wide open Jeff Heuerman in the end zone. The game was headed to OT! I knew the game was over from there, we couldn’t be beat with all this momentum we had just gained. Carlos punched in a score, and we held them from scoring. The game was over, we had won! The legend of Kenny G was born.
Image courtesy of 11W
I was standing in that half-empty stadium screaming my lungs out pumped that we just came back and beat Purdue. Carmen Ohio was so sweet that Saturday afternoon in Ohio Stadium, and that ride home was so relaxing knowing we got the W. Even though it was a scare against Purdue, it was the best memory I have of Ohio State.