Only six games but it’s still a big rivalry

Ohio State and Notre Dame have played each other six times in football going into Saturday’s game between No. 2 OSU and No. 5 Notre Dame.

Here’s a quick look at those six games dating back to 1935 when they got together for the first time:

Notre Dame 18, Ohio State 13

Nov. 2, 1935

At Ohio Stadium

Ohio State took a 13-0 lead into the fourth quarter before Notre Dame scored three touchdowns in the final 15 minutes. Two of them were in the last three minutes of the game.

Notre Dame fullback Steve Miller scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 13-6 early in the fourth quarter but fumbled at the goal line on the Irish’s next possession.

Ohio State couldn’t take advantage of that turnover, though. And after a punt Notre Dame scored again to make it 13-12.

After recovering an Ohio State fumble at the Buckeyes’ 49-yard line, Notre Dame got the game-winning score on a 19-yard touchdown pass from halfback Bill Shakespeare to Wayne Millner with 30 seconds left in the game.

In a 1995 interview with The Lima News, Notre Dame quarterback Wally Fromhart said OSU fans in the crowd of 81,018 were in shock.

“They were really stunned. It took us about an hour to get dressed and get out of the locker room and about half the crowd was still in their seats then,” he said.

It was the first loss of the season for Ohio State, which finished 7-1 and tied for the Big Ten championship. Notre Dame was 6-0 after the win but lost to Northwestern, tied Army and beat USC to finish 7-1-1.

Notre Dame 7, Ohio State 2

Oct. 31, 1936

At Notre Dame Stadium

The rematch didn’t have quite the same excitement or interest level as the first meeting between the Buckeyes and Fighting Irish.

Ohio State’s only points came on a safety after a blocked punt in the first half. Notre Dame scored the game’s only touchdown in the second quarter after a 76-yard drive.

OSU got to Notre Dame’s 12-yard line in the fourth quarter but incomplete passes into the end zone on third down and fourth down ended the threat. The Buckeyes had only 153 yards total offense.

Ohio State finished with a 5-3 record and Notre Dame was 6-2-1.

Ohio State 45, Notre Dame 26

Sept. 30, 1995

At Ohio Stadium

There was no shortage of anticipation or excitement in 1995 when Ohio State and Notre Dame finally played against each other for the first time in 59 years.

It was one of the most anticipated games in Ohio State history in front of a then-record Ohio Stadium crowd of 95,537.

Eddie George said the electricity in the fans was even more than for the previous year’s Michigan game. Mike Vrabel said, “It was louder than any game I can remember, louder than any game I could imagine.”

Notre Dame had leads of 10-0 and 17-7 in the first half and was up 20-14 early in the third quarter.

But turnovers on three consecutive possessions, which led to three touchdowns put No. 7 OSU in control of the game with a 35-20 lead over No. 15 Notre Dame.

Eddie George rushed for 207 yards on 32 carries and scored two touchdowns for Ohio State, which rolled up 533 yards total offense. Bob Hoying was 14 of 22 for 272 yards passing and threw for four touchdowns.

Ohio State finished the season with an 11-2 record and was ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press poll. Notre Dame had a final record of 9-3 and was ranked No. 11.

Ohio State 29, Notre Dame 16

Sept. 28, 1996

Notre Dame Stadium

Ohio State came into this game ranked No. 4 and Notre Dame was No. 5. But it quickly became apparent the two teams weren’t that close.

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 22-7 lead at halftime and held Notre Dame to 93 yards total offense in the first two quarters. It blitzed Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus constantly and intercepted him twice.

Pepe Pearson rushed for 173 yards on 29 carries to lead OSU’s offense.

“Ohio State is as good a team as we’ve played in a while,” Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz said.

Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20

Jan. 2, 2006

Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State had 617 yards total offense in a game in which Notre Dame had few answers for the Buckeyes’ offense or defense.

Troy Smith threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 66 yards. Ted Ginn Jr. had a 56-yard touchdown catch and a 68-yard touchdown run. Santonio Holmes had an 85-yard touchdown reception in his final college game and Antonio Pittman had a 60-yard touchdown run.

OSU’s defense did not allow a touchdown pass by Brady Quinn and sacked him five times.

Ohio State 44, Notre Dame 28

Jan. 1, 2016

Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State’s hopes of repeating as national champion ended with a regular-season loss to Michigan State but Michigan and Notre Dame in the next two games after that loss saw the Buckeyes play at a championship level.

OSU scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and led the entire game. It led 28-7 late in the second quarter before Notre Dame got to within seven points at 28-21early in the second half. But that was as close as the Irish got.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 149 yards and four touchdowns in his final college game.

Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.