Notre Dame-Ohio State all-time series history

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According to Google Maps it’s a 270.8 mile drive from Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend to Ohio Stadium in Columbus.  A drive that takes four hours and 19 minutes which isn’t just down the street but is nothing when it comes to a road trip for a college football team or its fans.

Especially when you consider those two college football squads are among the most historic in the game and have two of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports, not just college football.

But throughout time Notre Dame and Ohio State have met on the football field just six times ever.  Of those six games, two have been played at Notre Dame Stadium, two have been played at Ohio Stadium, and the other two have taken place in the Fiesta Bowl.

Unless you live under a rock then you’re aware Notre Dame opens the 2022 season at Ohio State before the Buckeyes make the return trip to South Bend late next September.

Before this underplayed series resumes on Labor Day weekend, here is a look back at the brief history Notre Dame and Ohio State have shared on the football field.

1935: Notre Dame's first "Game of the Century"

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

5-0 Notre Dame hit the road to take on 4-0 Ohio State in the November 2 showdown and the game didn’t disappoint.  The Irish offense stalled early as Ohio State built a 13-0 halftime lead.  After a scoreless third quarter, Andy Pilney returned a punt to the Ohio State 13-yard line to set up the first score of the day for the Irish.

Pilney connected on a 15-yard pass to Mike Layden to narrow the Ohio State lead to 13-12 before a forced fumble set up a short field for the Irish as Will Shakespeare found Wayne Millner for the eventual game-winning score.

Notre Dame would ultimately finish the year 7-1-1 in Elmer Layden’s second season as head coach.

1936: First meeting in South Bend

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The first meeting between the two at Notre Dame Stadium didn’t feature the same hype as the 1935 battle as Notre Dame had lost to Pitt the week previous and Ohio State was 2-2 going into the Halloween day showdown.  It was a game that only a midwesterner could love as the wind and rain howled in what resulted in a 7-2 Notre Dame victory over the Buckeyes in what was played in front of a then-record Notre Dame Stadium crowd of 50,000 fans.

Notre Dame has no beat Ohio State since.

1995: Eddie George's huge day helps build Heisman resume

Photo by Fred Squillante

60 years after their first trip to Columbus, Notre Dame again headed slightly south and east to take on the scarlet and gray of Ohio State.  Despite getting out to a 17-14 halftime lead it wasn’t meant to be for the Irish as Eddie George ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns before ultimately winning the Heisman Trophy that year.

Ohio State erupted for 31 second half points in their 45-26 victory over Notre Dame.

1996: Last Regular Season Meeting

Jonathan Dani

The good news is that Notre Dame and Ohio State will have to had waited only 26 years between regular season meetings when the 2022 season kicks off in Ohio Stadium.

In a battle of unbeatens in late September, Ohio State’s defense held Notre Dame in check all afternoon as the Irish averaged just 3.8 yards per play for the day to Ohio State’s 6.2.

Pepe Pearson ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the Buckeyes 29-16 victory that wasn’t really as close as the final score indicated.

2005 closes with Fiesta Bowl showdown

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Kids these days have trouble understanding that bowl games that don’t determine the national championship had big-time meaning not all that long ago.  That all seemed to change with what happened in another Notre Dame-Ohio State bowl game but more on that shortly.

2005 was Charlie Weis’s first season as Notre Dame head coach as he helped guide Notre Dame to their second BCS appearance in program history after a 9-2 regular season.

Big plays were the story of the day in Tempe that afternoon as Ted Ginn, Jr., Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Pittman all scored touchdowns on plays of 56-yards or longer in the 34-20 Buckeyes triumph.

As for the photo chosen above – if you know, you know.  More photos from the 2006 Fiesta Bowl can be found here.

The last time - 2016 Fiesta Bowl

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State was the reigning national champion while Notre Dame had come within a last-second stop in their regular season finale at Stanford of likely making the College Football Playoff.

Notre Dame star linebacker [autotag]Jaylon Smith[/autotag] suffered a torn ACL and MCL early in the Notre Dame-Ohio State showdown as star defensive end Joey Bosa was ejected from the same game fairly early in the contest.

What resulted was a day of big plays for Ohio State as Notre Dame’s depleted linebackers were exposed, to put it nicely, as Ezekiel Elliot scored a Fiesta Bowl record four touchdowns in the 44-28 Buckeyes win.

Numbers of the Programs:

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Few programs can meet and have as much combined history as Notre Dame and Ohio State share.  The two programs have combined to win/have:

  • 19 claimed national championships (Notre Dame 11, Ohio State 8)

  • 1871 games (Ohio State 942, Notre Dame 929)

  • 14 Heisman Trophies (Notre Dame 7, Ohio State 7)

  • 1001 players selected all-time in the NFL draft (Notre Dame 522, Ohio State 479)

  • 157 players selected in first round of NFL draft (Ohio State 87, Notre Dame 70)

  • An extreme dislike for the Michigan Wolverines

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire