Here are some interesting facts and trivia concerning Ohio State scoring records, mostly dealing with very long (and very short) touchdowns. Enjoy your bye week!
1. The big play is one of the reasons that football is so exciting. The Buckeyes have been a big play team throughout the new millennium, and especially during the Urban Meyer era. Since 2001, Ohio State has had 109 scoring plays of 50+ yards, broken down as follows: 45 receptions, 36 runs, 14 punt returns, 7 interceptions, 4 kick-off returns, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 blocked field goal.
2. Last week against Rutgers, Michael Thomas caught a 50-yard touchdown pass. It was the fourth 50+ yard TD reception of his Buckeye career, the other three all coming during the 2014 season: 53 yards against Virginia Tech, 63 yards against Kent State, and 79 yards against Michigan State. Thomas is now tied with David Boston and Terry Glenn with four TD catches of 50+ yards, which is good for third place in Buckeye history. Devin Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr. are tied for first place with seven each.
3. Devin Smith also has eight touchdown receptions of between 40 and 49 yards, giving him a team record 15 touchdown receptions of 40+ yards.
4. Only 18 Buckeyes have four or more TD plays of 50+ yards. Nine have played in the new millennium. Three are currently on the team: Braxton Miller (8 TDs); Ezekiel Elliott (8 TDs); and Michael Thomas (4 TDs).
5. Ezekiel Elliott leads all Buckeye rushers with eight touchdown runs of 50+ yards. Braxton Miller is second with seven.
6. Ted Ginn, Jr. tops all Ohio State players with sixteen total touchdowns of 50+ yards. By the way, Ohio State's record books are complete back only to the 1960 season.
7. Here's a chart showing all 18 Buckeyes who have scored four or more TDs of 50+ yards:
8. Some notable names missing from the above list, with the amount of 50+ yard TDs in parentheses: Archie Griffin (3); Keith Byars (3); Cornelius Greene (3); Carlos Hyde (3); Antonio Pittman (3); Paul Warfield (2); Cris Carter (1)
Buckeye Player Years Active Run TD 50+ Rec TD 50+ PR TD 50+ KR TD 50+ Total TD 50+ Ted Ginn, Jr. 2004-2006 1 7 6 2 16 Ezekiel Elliott 2013-2015 8 0 0 0 8 Braxton Miller 2011-2015 7 1 0 0 8 Devin Smith 2011-2014 0 7 0 0 7 Parris Campbell 2015-2018 0 6 0 0 6 David Boston 1996-1998 0 4 2 0 6 Jeff Graham 1988-1990 0 3 3 0 6 Beanie Wells 2006-2008 5 0 0 0 5 Michael Wiley 1996-1999 2 2 0 1 5 Joey Galloway 1991-1994 1 3 0 1 5 Terry McLaurin 2015-2018 0 4 0 0 4 Michael Thomas 2012-2015 0 4 0 0 4 Philly Brown 2010-2013 0 2 2 0 4 Santonio Holmes 2002-2005 0 3 1 0 4 Michael Jenkins 2000-2003 0 3 1 0 4 Terry Glenn 1993-1995 0 4 0 0 4 J.K. Dobbins 2017-2019 4 0 0 0 4 Eddie George 1992-1995 4 0 0 0 4 Tim Spencer 1979-1982 4 0 0 0 4 Lenny Willis 1974-1975 1 1 0 2 4 Robert Klein 1960-1962 2 1 0 1 4
9. Lenny Willis scored only five touchdowns during his Buckeye career, and four of them were from 50+ yards: a 53-yard run, a 64-yard reception, and kick-off returns of 93 and 97 yards. His fifth touchdown was a 48-yard reception.
10. The one blocked field goal for a touchdown referenced in Paragraph #1 came courtesy of Ashton Youboty against Michigan State in 2005. Youboty's 72-yard return on the last play of the first half helped to swing the game in Ohio State's favor and led to an epic meltdown by Sparty head coach John L. Smith. It is also the only blocked-FG TD in OSU's recorded history.
11. There have been 56 touchdowns of 80+ yards (runs, passes, returns) in Ohio State history, broken down as follows: 20 kick-off returns, 12 runs, 9 receptions, 9 interceptions, and 6 punt returns.
12. Of the eleven touchdown runs of 80+ yards, five were made by current Buckeyes: Ezekiel Elliott (runs of 80, 81, and 85 yards); Braxton Miller (run of 81 yards); and J.T. Barrett (run of 86 yards).
13. One of the eight interceptions of 80+ yards was a joint effort. Facing the Indiana Hoosiers on October 30, 1976, defensive lineman Nick Buonamici intercepted a pass at the five-yard line, ran for 22 yards, and then lateralled the ball to defensive back Ray Griffin who took it the final 73 yards for the score.
14. The leaders in touchdowns of 80+ yards are Ted Ginn, Jr. and Ezekiel Elliott, each of whom has/had three during his career. Ginn scored on an 82-yard punt return, a 93-yard kick-off return, and a 100-yard kick-off return, while Elliott has scored on runs of 80, 81, and 85 yards.
15. Seven Buckeyes have had two touchdowns of 80+ yards, namely: Dean Sensanbacher (kick-off returns of 98 and 103 yards); Robert Klein (80-yard reception, 90-yard kick-off return); Morris Bradshaw (88-yard run, 88-yard kick-off return); Lenny Willis (kick-off returns of 93 and 97 yards); Jeff Graham (80-yard reception, 81-yard punt return); Santonio Holmes (receptions of 80 and 85 yards); and Devin Smith (receptions of 80 and 90 yards).
16. Ezekiel Elliott (2014), Lenny Willis (1974), and Morris Bradshaw (1971) each had two 80+ yard touchdowns in the same season.
17. Morris Bradshaw is the only Buckeye to have two 80+ yard touchdowns in the same game. On October 23, 1971, Bradshaw had an 88-yard touchdown run (the longest run from scrimmage in Ohio State history) and an 88-yard kick-off return for a touchdown against the Wisconsin Badgers. Bradshaw had only six total touchdowns during his Ohio State career before he went on to the NFL for ten seasons (mostly with the Oakland Raiders).
18. The Buckeyes have had three other scoring plays of 80+ yards, all of which were defensive two-point conversions. The first two occurred in 1991, when linebacker Steve Tovar (96-yard interception versus Washington State) and defensive end Jason Simmons (85-yard blocked extra point versus Iowa) each pulled off that trick. The last Buckeye to accomplish this strange feat was linebacker Brian Rolle, who went 99 yards with an intercepted two-point conversion attempt against Navy in 2009.
19. The longest recorded touchdown in Ohio State history was a 103-yard kick-off return by Dean Sensanbaugher in 1943. The NCAA does not recognize touchdowns of greater than 100 yards, reducing any such touchdown to 100 yards. Ohio State has had seven other touchdowns of 100 yards (or more): William Wentz (kick-off return, 1960); David Brown (interception, 1986); Carlos Snow (kick-off return, 1988); Marlon Kerner (interception, 1993); Michael Wiley (kick-off return, 1997); Will Allen (interception, 2003); and Ted Ginn, Jr. (kick-off return, 2005).
20. Below is a chart showing the longest scoring plays in Ohio State history by type of play:
21. On October 19, 1996, in a game against Purdue, Rob Kelly set the Ohio State record for longest touchdown on a fumble recovery. In that same game, Purdue quarterback John Reeves connected with Isaac Jones for an 86-yard touchdown reception, the third-longest TD pass (and sixth-longest scoring play from scrimmage) by a Buckeye opponent.
Type of Play Player(s) Yardage Rush Morris Bradshaw 88 Reception Kenny Guiton to Devin Smith 90 Field Goal Tom Skladany 59 Kick-Off Return Dean Sensanbaugher 103 Punt Return Brian Hartline 90 Interception David Brown; Marlon Kerner; Will Allen 100 Fumble Recovery Rob Kelly 79 Blocked Punt Sevyn Banks 33 Blocked Field Goal Ashton Youboty 72 Defensive 2-Point Brian Rolle 99
22. The shortest touchdown in Ohio State history is zero yards, which has happened 23 times: 13 blocked punts recovered in the end zone, 10 fumbles recovered in the end zone.
23. Wide receiver Terry Glenn set a team record in 1995 with 17 touchdown receptions (including receptions of 56, 61, 75, and 82 yards). Glenn's only other touchdown for his Buckeye career came in 1993 against Illinois when the Illini punter fumbled the snap and Glenn recovered the ball in the end zone for a 0-yard touchdown.
24. The Buckeyes have recorded 25 safeties since 1960. The team record for safeties in a single season is three in 2001, which included a team record two against Purdue on November 10th.
25. Neal Colzie holds the Ohio State record for the shortest punt return for a touchdown (43 yards vs Michigan State in 1973); Jordan Hall holds the Ohio State record for shortest kick-off return for a touchdown (85 yards vs Michigan in 2010); and Mike Sullivan holds the Ohio State record for shortest interception return for a touchdown (13 yards vs Iowa in 1988).
26. Ted Ginn, Jr. holds the team record for most special teams touchdowns with eight, including a team-record six punt returns and a team-record (shared with two others) two kick-off returns.
27. The team record for most special teams touchdowns in one year is five set in 2004. All five touchdowns were by way of punt returns, four by Ted Ginn, Jr. (60, 65, 67, and 82 yards) and one by Santonio Holmes (63 yards).
28. Michael Doss holds the team record for most defensive touchdowns with four, which includes three fumble recoveries (0, 30, and 73 yards) and one interception (45 yards). Bradley Roby has the most total touchdowns for a defensive player with five, including two interceptions (41 and 63 yards), one fumble recovery (1 yard), and two blocked punts (both 0 yards). Neal Colzie holds the single-season record for most total touchdowns by a defensive player with four in 1973 (interceptions of 19 and 55 yards; punt returns of 43 and 78 yards).
29. The team record for most defensive touchdowns in one season is seven in 2000, including a record four in one game against Fresno State on September 2nd. Defensive back David Mitchell scored on a 51-yard interception and a 34-yard fumble recovery; safety Michael Doss scored on a 0-yard fumble recovery; and linebacker Matt Wilhelm scored on a 25-yard interception.
30. That Fresno State game was also notable for another reason. With Ohio State leading 37-3 in the fourth quarter, Fresno State drove 88 yards in 13 plays to score a touchdown with just 5 seconds left on the clock. For some reason, Fresno State then attempted an on-side kick. That move must have pissed off Buckeye head coach John Cooper, because instead of taking a kneel down to end the game he called for a flag pass (bomb), which quarterback Scott McMullen completed to Ricky Bryant for a 44-yard touchdown as time expired. Final score: Ohio State 43, Fresno State 10.
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