COLUMBUS – The history of Ohio State football match-ups with Alabama is rather short and one-sided.
The Buckeyes and Crimson Tide have played three times and Alabama has won all three. Ohio State will be trying to change that in a College Football Playoff national semifinal in the Sugar Bowl.
A look at those games:
1995 Citrus Bowl
Alabama 24, Ohio State 17
Alabama (12-1) bounced back from the disappointment of seeing its national championship hopes crushed in a one-point loss to Florida in the Southeastern Conference Championship game.
The Buckeyes (9-4) came into the game after a season of wild swings, ranging from a 63-14 loss to Penn State to a 22-6 win over Michigan that broke a 6-game winning streak by the Wolverines in that rivalry series.
Ohio State took an early 14-7 lead on touchdown passes of 69 yards and 11 yards from Bob Hoying to Joey Galloway and was up 17-14 with eight minutes to play before Alabama scored 10 unanswered points.
The Crimson Tide got the game-winning points on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Jay Barker to running back Sherwin Williams with 42 seconds to play.
1986 Kickoff Classic
Alabama 16, Ohio State 10
In an era when SEC teams still came north to play non-league games, OSU and Alabama played in the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
The Buckeyes’ offense had been a concern for coach Earle Bruce and it struggled in this game.
Ohio State led 7-6 at halftime on a 26-yard run by Jamie Holland, then increased the lead to 10-6 on a Pat O’Morrow field goal in the third quarter.
But Alabama quarterback Mike Shula gave his team a 13-10 lead with a short touchdown pass and the Tide added a field goal late in the game. Ohio State had only 226 yards total offense.
1978 Sugar Bowl
Alabama 35, Ohio State 6
The match-up of coaching legends Bear Bryant and Woody Hayes overshadowed everything else in this game.
Well, at least until the game got started and Alabama dominated almost from the opening kickoff.
It was only the second time Alabama had played a Big Ten team and it turned into one of the opening salvos in the SEC is vastly superior to the Big Ten discussion that is still going on.
No. 3 ranked Alabama (11-1) jumped out to a 21-0 lead on No. 9 OSU (9-3) and never was threatened.
Bryant came into the game ranked No. 3 all-time in college football victories and Hayes was No. 4.
Without an indoor practice facility, Ohio State arrived in New Orleans 10 days before the game, something some people said might have contributed to the Buckeyes’ sluggish performance.
The Buckeyes, whose starting lineup in the 1977 season included Joe Robinson of Paulding, got their only touchdown on a 38-yard pass from Rod Gerald to Jim Harrell in the second half.