Whether you're an Ohio State fan or a fan of That Team Up North, or even if you're an outside observer, you're acutely aware of the fervor associated with The Game. On Nov. 30, 1963, however, The Game didn't feel nearly as important.
President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated just days before, on Nov. 22, 1963, and The Game had originally been scheduled for Nov. 23, 1963. When these rivals met in Ann Arbor for the rescheduled contest one week later, neither side felt the intensity typically associated with this particular game.
Attendance was low for the game, not surprisingly, as the nation continued to reflect on the recent tragedy. Only 36,424 fans were in attendance. It was a prototypical late-November day, with snow flurries and a high of just 41 degrees.
The Buckeyes got off to a slow start, falling behind 3-0 early in the game. That Team Up North added seven on a 63-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. With just about a minute remaining in the first half, Ohio State finally made it onto the scoreboard, and went into the half trailing 10-7. The score would hold into the fourth quarter.
A 14-play, 76-yard drive in the fourth quarter gave the Buckeyes a four-point edge over their rivals, and though That Team Up North's last possession was an impressive drive, they ended up turning the ball over on downs deep in Ohio State territory.
This marked the second time in program history that the Buckeyes had established a four-game winning streak over That Team Up North. Both teams also had remarkably similar statistics in this game. Ohio State had 17 first downs; that other team had 14. The Buckeyes had 192 rushing yards, and That Team Up North had 188.
The one glaring statistical difference was in passing yards. Ohio State had 105 yards to that other team's 35. Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes, when he learned of this statistic, said, "We have always been a great passing team," which is humorous, because Hayes wasn't a fan of the pass. His passing perspective can be summed up by his famous quote, "There are three things that can happen when you pass, and two of them ain't good."
It was a time of national mourning and reflection, and surely the response to this win was less jubilant than usual. Linebacker Ike Kelley told The Lantern in 2013 that excitement about the win was quickly replaced by thoughts of how the country would move forward after Kennedy's assassination.
"Everybody was happy that we had won the game but then it was back to the, you know, how's the country going to heal up after such a horrific incident taking place," Kelley said.