Ohio State has a rich and storied tradition as one of the nation’s most prestigious college football programs of all time. Obviously this is the result of a long lineage of extremely talented players making their way through Columbus over the years.
With preseason camp just a week away, we are beginning to prep for whatever semblance of a college football season we will see in 2020. With a new campaign hopefully on the horizon, now seems like a good time to take a walk down memory lane and highlight some of the greatest performances in Ohio State history.
The program record for total offensive yards in a season, held by none other than quarterback J.T. Barrett, is 12,697 yards. Barrett spent four years as the starting QB at Ohio State, with his best season coming in 2017 when he threw for just over 3,000 yards with 35 touchdowns and nine picks. His 3,851 total yards that same season are good enough for the second-most yards in a single season in school history.
The man ahead of Barrett in that category is Dwayne Haskins, who put up 4,939 total yards during the 2018 season. Haskins threw for over 4,800 yards that year while rushing for an additional 108. Barrett has the No. 2 (3,851 yards in 2017) and No. 3 (3,772 yards in 2014) highest totals for yards in a single season, while Justin Fields comes in at No. 4 after his 3,757-yard performance in his first year at the helm.
Haskins filled the stat sheet week in and week out, and as a result holds the record for most total offensive yards in a single game, while also having five of the top six spots in the category. His best performance came against Purdue in 2018 — ironically, a game Ohio State lost — when Haskins put up a school-record 477 yards. The one-year starter also had more than 460 yards of total offense against both Maryland and Indiana that same year, good for No. 2 and No. 3 on the list.
Barrett finds himself as the record-holder in yet another category, as he tops the list of career total touchdowns at Ohio State with 147. His four years as the team’s starter certainly helped, and he is a whopping 59 touchdowns ahead of the next highest player on the list—Braxton Miller with 88. Barrett also holds the record for most touchdowns in a single game with seven, which he completed on two occasions — 2016 against Bowling Green, and 2017 against Nebraska.
Haskins holds the record for most touchdowns in a single season with his 54 scores in 2018, 50 of which were passing and four on the ground. Fields is right behind him after finding the end zone 51 times in 2019. Both Fields and Haskins have each had at least one six-touchdown game, with Haskins pulling off the feat on three separate occasions.
No surprises here — J.T. Barrett holds the OSU record for most career passing yards with 9,434. He is over 2,000 yards over the next highest contender, as Art Schlichter sits in second place with 7,547 career passing yards. Haskins holds the record for most passing yards in a single season with his 4,831 in 2018, and also has six of the top seven single-game passing performances in program history, led by his 499-yard passing performance against Northwestern in 2018.
It’s once again Barrett topping the list for career passing touchdowns with 104 — nearly double the next-closest players Bobby Hoying and Terrelle Pryor, who each finished with 57 in their careers. Haskins has passed for the most TDs in a single season with 50, and Fields was just behind him this past season with 41. Barrett, Haskins and Kenny Guiton are all tied for the single-game record, each having thrown six touchdowns in one afternoon.
Archie Griffin holds the Ohio State record for most rushing attempts over a player’s carer. His 924 runs between 1972-75 are almost 200 more than J.K. Dobbins in 2019, which is No. 2 on the list with 725 attempts. Keith Byars holds the record for most attempts in a single season, however, with 336 rushes in 1984. Champ Henson has the single-game record with a whopping 44 carries against Northwestern in 1972.
Once again no surprise, Griffin is also the record-holder for most career rushing yards by a Buckeye with 5,589, and Dobbins is in second place with 4,459. Dobbins did break the school record for rushing yards in a single season in 2019, becoming the first Ohio State player ever to rush for over 2,000 yards. Eddie George has the single-game record with a huge 314-yard day against Illinois in 1995.
When it comes to rushing touchdowns, Pete Johnson is your guy. He holds the OSU record for career rushing TDs (56), single-season rushing TDs (25 in 1975) AND single-game TDs (5, tied with Byars).
Another newly crowned record-holder, K.J. Hill is Ohio State’s all-time leading pass-catcher with 201 career receptions. Parris Campbell, somewhat surprisingly, holds the record for most receptions in a single-season with 90 in 2018, ahead of David Boston’s 85 in 1998. Boston does, however, hold the record for most catches in a single game with his 14 against Penn State in 1997.
Michael Jenkins has the school record for most career receiving yards with 2,898 despite playing only three seasons (2001-03). He finishes just ahead of Boston, who racked up 2,855 yards receiving in his career. Boston holds the record for most receiving yards in a single season with 1,435 in 1998, and Terry Glenn holds the single-game record with 253 receiving yards against Pittsburgh in 1995.
Boston sees his name atop the list yet again when it comes to receiving TDs, as his 34 are the most of any Ohio State receiver ever. Glenn holds the single-season record with 17 TD catches in 1995. A quartet of guys are tied for the single-game receiving TD record — which is four — with those being Glenn, Bob Grimes, Dane Sanzenbacher and Noah Brown.
The Ohio State record for career interceptions is 22, held by Mike Sensibaugh. He is also tied for the record for most picks in a single-season with Craig Cassady, as the two guys each finished with nine in their respective campaigns. The most picks in a single game for a Buckeyes is three, and that distinction is held by a number of players including Fred Bruney, Ted Provost and William White.
Marcus Marek holds the school record for most career tackles with 572, just ahead of Tom Cousineau whose in second with 569. Cousineau tops the list for the most tackles in a single season at Ohio State with 211 in 1978, and is tied with Chris Spielman for the most tackles in a single game in program history (29).
The record book for sacks at Ohio State is a long and talented list of dominant Buckeye defensive players. Mike Vrabel is the all-time career sacks leader with 36, and while Chase Young made a run at him this season, he came up just shy and is sitting at No. 2 with 30.5 career sacks. Young did, however, break the OSU record for sacks in a season with 16.5 despite having to miss two games. Young is also one of five guys to have ever recorded a four-sack game for Ohio State, with Vernon Gholston and John Simon also on that list.
This section can just be titled Mike Nugent. The four-year OSU kicker and NFL journeyman holds school records for most career field goals (72), the top two spots for most field goals in a single season (25 and 24), and is one of four players in program history to have hit five field goals in a single game. Blake Haubeil currently has the edge over Nugent for career FG percentage at 82.1 percent, but that number can still change as he has one more year remaining.