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Digging deeper into Ohio State’s streak of 70 straight games with at least 20 points

With their 21-7 win today over Northwestern, the Buckeyes now have scored at least 20 points in a record 20 straight games.

Ohio State v Northwestern Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Even though today’s game against Northwestern was one Ohio State fans would like to forget, the Buckeyes did make a bit of history today, scoring at least 20 points for the 70th game in a row. For a while it was looking like Ohio State would see their streak end on a #nice number, as they went into the halftime break having scored only mustered seven points in the wind and rain that dramatically altered play in Evanston.

Way back when

Prior to the beginning of their current streak, Ohio State did have a few games under Urban Meyer where it was a grind to put points on the scoreboard. Michigan State really gave the Buckeyes fits in 2015 and 2016, beating Ohio State 17-14 in Columbus in 2015, and holding the Buckeyes to 17 points the next year in East Lansing. At least Ohio State scored points in those games, though. At the end of the 2016 season, the Buckeyes were shut out by Clemson 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl.

The last time Ohio State failed to score at least 20 points in a game came early in the 2017 season when they lost 31-16 in Columbus against Oklahoma. The Sooners certainly got some payback for J.T. Barrett and company dropping 45 points on them the previous season in Norman. Even if the Buckeyes had been able to reach 20, it would have only extended the streak by two games, meaning the record would have been broken against Iowa in the 54-10 victory a couple of weeks ago.

Closest call

During this 70-game streak, Ohio State has had 16 games where they have scored in the 20s. The one game where the Buckeyes scored exactly 20 points is one that fans are still trying to forget. During the 2018 season, Ohio State was crushed by Purdue 49-20 in West Lafayette.

Heading into the fourth quarter of the blowout, Ohio State had only put six points on the scoreboard against the Boilermakers. Johnnie Dixon scored with just under 10 minutes to go to make the score 28-13, and five minutes later Terry McLaurin hauled in a 34-yard pass from Dwayne Haskins to get Ohio State to 20 points.

Eerie similarities

This marks the second game this year where Ohio State has scored 21 points in a game. The first came in the season opener against Notre Dame. There were obviously some differences in the opponent, setting, and weather conditions, but Ohio State was able to extend the streak in similar ways.

Against the Fighting Irish, Ohio State also scored just a touchdown in the first half. After adding a touchdown in the third quarter against both Notre Dame and Northwestern, Miyan Williams scored on 2-yard touchdown runs in both games. Against Notre Dame, Williams scored with 4:21 left on the clock, while today he scored with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter.


Since the last time they failed to score at least 20 points in a game, Ohio State has posted a 64-6 record. Just imagine how many schools would kill for a record like that over the last five years. For some segments of Buckeye Nation, it almost feels like this stretch has been a failure since Ohio State hasn’t won a national title.

Since 2017, Ohio State has gone to four Big Ten Championship Games, winning them all. Two of those wins came over Northwestern, with the other two coming against Wisconsin. The Buckeyes have appeared in the College Football Playoff twice, advancing to the title game in 2020. The three years Ohio State didn’t make the CFP, they went on to win the New Year’s Six bowl game they appeared in.


Over the last 70 games, Ohio State has scored at least 20 points in a quarter 50 times. So far this year the Buckeyes have scored at least 20 points in a quarter six times, with the most recent coming last week against Penn State when they scored 28 points to beat the Nittany Lions. In both 2019 and 2021, Ohio State recorded at least 20 points in a quarter 12 times throughout the season.


The most points Ohio State scored in any quarter over the last 70 games came back in 2019 against Miami (OH) when the Buckeyes hung 42 points on the RedHawks in the second quarter. Justin Fields accounted for six touchdowns in the quarter, throwing for four scores, and adding two more on the ground. Ohio State was actually trailing early on in the game after the RedHawks jumped out to a 5-0 lead before the Buckeyes scored 76 unanswered points. The 42 points were the most Ohio State has ever scored in a quarter in school history.


The most popular group of numbers that Ohio State has scored during this streak is 50-59, which the Buckeyes have hit 19 times over the 70-game span. So far the Buckeyes have scored in that range twice this season, putting 52 points on Wisconsin to open up Big Ten play, and following it up with 54 points against Iowa a couple of weeks ago.

Last year was the season during the streak where Ohio State had the most games where they scored between 50 and 59 points. To close out their non-conference schedule the Buckeyes hung 59 points on Akron, and followed it up with 52 against Rutgers the next week. Following their bye week, Ohio State scored 54 points at Indiana. Then in November at home against Purdue and Michigan State, the Buckeyes hit 59 again against the Boilermakers before scoring 56 the next week against the Spartans.


Amazingly enough, the 76 points Ohio State scored against Miami (OH) weren’t the most points the Buckeyes have scored in a game during their 70-game streak. Ohio State actually scored 77 points in a game on two occasions over the last five years. In Ryan Day’s first game as interim head coach back in 2018, the Buckeyes scored 77 points against Oregon State. 77 points hit again this season when Ohio State beat in-state foe Toledo 77-21. The Buckeyes have reached 70 points four times since the streak began in 2017.


Since the loss to Oklahoma, the Buckeyes have not only done a great job at scoring at least 20 points in games, but they have also been able to keep opponents to less than 20 points in almost half of those contests. Teams facing the Buckeyes have failed to reach 20 points in 34 games in Ohio State’s last 70 contests. 16 of those games saw Ohio State’s opponents fail to score at least 10 points. The Buckeyes have recorded two shutouts during the streak, blanking Rutgers 56-0 in 2017 and Cincinnati 42-0 in 2019.