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Ohio State football's classic 1934 victory over That Team Up North

A signature win over That Team Up North was also the genesis of an enduring tradition.

QB William Henry Harrison "Tippy" Dye played a role in the decisive victory in 1934.
QB William Henry Harrison "Tippy" Dye played a role in the decisive victory in 1934.

Let's face it – every time the Buckeyes defeat That Team Up North, it's a classic game. Some of those victories, however, have a bit more historical significance than others. That holds especially true for the November 17, 1934 victory over That Team Up North in Ohio Stadium.

That Team Up North had the Buckeyes' number throughout many of the years leading up to this contest, winning nine of 12 of the meetings between these two teams leading up to the 1934 matchup. That other team hadn't just won those games, either-they looked pretty dominant against the Buckeyes in the process, outscoring Ohio State 146-65 from 1922 through 1933.

That Team Up North was considered to be a Big Ten powerhouse at the time, taking first place in the Big Ten in 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1933. The Buckeyes did beat them during the 1932 season, a narrow 7-0 victory, but it didn't deter that other team from remaining at the top of the conference that season.

Ohio State received the ball to start the game, and the very first play from scrimmage was a lateral from Dick Heekin to Frank Boucher went for a nice gain and seemed to set the tone for the game early. Heekin fumbled the ball away on the next play, and that other team recovered, giving their team and fans the illusion of hope, but it was soon apparent that That Team Up North was unprepared for the Buckeyes on both sides of the ball.

The Buckeyes really poured it on, with Heekin striking first with a rushing touchdown five minutes into the game, and Buzz Wetzel also scoring on the ground. Frank Antenucci recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, and William Henry Harrison "Tippy" Dye and Frank Fisch adding passing touchdowns to Frank Cumiskey and Merle Wendt, respectively. It was an impressive display of new head coach Francis Schmidt's "razzle-dazzle" offense.

Ohio State finished the game with 24 first downs, compared to That Team Up North, who had just three. One of those first downs was not earned, but granted by penalty. The Buckeyes amassed 319 yards on the ground, while That Team Up North finished with just six. That's not a typographical error-they really had six rushing yards. That other team's 34 passing yards could not compete with the Buckeyes and their 141 passing yards. The contrast between the total offensive stats between these two teams is staggering. The Buckeyes finished the day with 460 total offensive yards. That Team Up North had just 40 yards all day.

The Buckeyes' dominance earned them a 34-0 victory over their most dreaded rival. There were 68,678 fans in Ohio Stadium on that November day, hoping for a victory for the Buckeyes. 1934 was a down year for That Team Up North, who entered this contest with five losses already on their record, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, who stormed the field after the win and pulled down the goal posts for the first time in Buckeyes history.

It was the first victory over That Team Up North for new head coach Schmidt, whose perspective on That Team Up North certainly had a hand in this dominant Ohio State win. Upon being hired to coach the Buckeyes prior to the 1934 season, Schmidt famously said, when asked about That Team Up North, "They put their pants on one leg at a time, the same as everybody else.

It was the start of a new era for Buckeyes football, with Ohio State going on to outscore That Team Up North 145-0 in meetings in 1935, 1936 and 1937.