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Woody Hayes Quotes (Official Thread)

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by BrutusBobcat, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Bleed S & G

    Bleed S & G Taking Crazy Pills

    Even The Best Team, Without A Plan, Can't Score
  2. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Did Woody Hayes Really Say ‘I Couldn’t Go For Three’?


    The Legend

    With Ohio State up by more than five touchdowns late against Michigan in 1968, the Buckeyes went for a two-point conversion. After the game, when reporters asked Woody Hayes why, he said, ‘because I couldn’t go for three.’

    Did It Really Happen
    Not the way the story says.

    The Facts
    Woody Hayes’ final consensus national title came in 1968 with a team loaded with sophomores.

    The ‘Super Sophs’ included quarterback Rex Kern, defensive back Jack Tatum, defensive lineman Jim Stillwagon. All three are members of the College Football Hall of Fame.

    A total of 13 sophomores would start that year’s Michigan game. In this case, ‘Super’ was not hyperbole.

    The young Bucks shocked top-ranked Purdue, 13-0 in September and then rolled into the regular season finale unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in the nation.

    They faced Bump Elliott’s final Michigan team that day, and the Wolverines were no joke. They entered with an 8-1 record and a No. 4 ranking.

    The game was close for a half. OSU went into the locker room clinging to a 21-14 lead.

    It was still just 27-14 after the third quarter, but the Buckeyes finally put things away late.

    A field goal and two touchdowns made it 44-14 in the final minutes.

    Following a late interception, fullback Jim Otis powered the ball in from a yard out. The score made it 50-14, and Otis celebrated by throwing the ball into the stands.

    The famous two-point conversion attempt.

    However, instead of kicking the point after, the Buckeyes went for two.

    It’s a common misperception that they went for two to push the score from 48 to 50. In reality, it was already 50-14, and the conversion attempt failed.

    After the game, The Lantern’s game recap read,

    “Hayes explained that the Bucks went for two because regular center John Muhlbach was hurt and field goal kicker Jim Roman had to center. Ordinarily, Larry Zelina would have kicked the extra point, but Hayes said he had received a blow to the head and wasn’t able. And also, “we wanted more than 50 points,” Hayes admitted.

    The Michigan Daily recap quotes Hayes several times on different topics, but doesn’t provide the famous ‘go for three’ line, either.

    The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted Hayes saying, “because our center was hurt and couldn’t snap the ball back for a kick.”

    The Akron Beacon-Journal had a similar quote.

    “You see,” said Woody, “our center (Massillon’s John Muhlbach) had to come out after the touchdown with a shoulder injury. Only our center replacement was Jim Roman (of Canton) so we had to put him in to snap the ball. Our other field goal man, Larry Zelina, was groggy after getting a bump in the head, so we had to pass.”

    The far more colorful postgame quotes came from the other locker room.

    The Beacon-Journal quoted Michigan assistant coach Tony Mason saying, “That fat hog went for two.”

    He continued, “That’s why he’s not wanted in this profession.”

    The legendary line about his inability to “go for three” never appeared in any of the recaps from that day.

    The Ohio State University Archives does not have a transcript of Hayes’ postgame interview from that day. That would conclusively settle the issue one way or the other, as would a film or audio recording of that interview.

    Hayes certainly said those words at some point. It became an often-repeated story later in his life. One of his assistants from 1968, Lou Holtz, has told the story ad nauseum.

    Entire article:
    gmen6981, brodybuck21 and buckeyboy like this.
  3. Best Buckeye

    Best Buckeye Pretending I'm a pleasant person is exhausting. Staff Member

    Woody's farewell commencement address. This tough as nails man was my Hero, and still is. His toughness came from tough love.
    BB73 and buckeyboy like this.
  4. gmen6981

    gmen6981 Div 1 Couch Tackling Champion.

    It's been a few years since I last read it. But I believe Holtz said in his autobiography that Woody said it to several of the coaches after the game, and a reporter happened to overhear it. It was never really a direct question. Holtz probably had more to do with the quote's ledgendary status than anyone however.
    FCollinsBuckeye likes this.
  5. pianobuck46

    pianobuck46 pianobuck46

    I remember reading the exact quote in one of the Woody bios, and although I can't remember it verbatim, it had nothing to do with "going for two/three."
    gmen6981 likes this.

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