Ohio StateArchie Griffin
Michigan StateTyrone Willingham
Thomas E. Graves
Richard W. Baes
Alfred E. Pitts
- #1 Ohio State
- The two teams pounded the ball with their running games as Ohio State and Archie Griffin were marching without a problem, but had a hard time scoring with only a 6-3 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes caught a break on a fumble from MSU QB Charlie Baggett, which led to a Champ Henson touchdown run and 13-3 lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Spartan offense came up with a bolt of lightning as Baggett and Mike Jones hooked up for a 44-yard touchdown pass, but missed on the two-point conversion to be down 13-9. The defense held, giving the Spartan attack another chance with 3:30 to play.
- On its own 12-yard line, MSU called for a conservative running play to fullback Levi Jackson to get out of trouble. Instead, Jackson found himself past the line and in the clear, cutting up the right sideline with OSU defenders diving and missing on the way to an 88-yard touchdown run and a 16-13 lead. OSU started its final march from its own 29, but it appeared to end before it began as Cornelius Greene's first pass was intercepted by a diving Terry McClowry. One official called it an interception, but the umpire waved it off saying it hit the ground. Griffin tore off 31 yards on the next play leading the Buckeyes eventually down to the one with :26 to play and no time outs. OSU head coach Woody Hayes had no thoughts about a field goal and the tie.
- Instead, he called for Henson to power it in, but the play was stuffed with :14 left. The Spartan defenders hardly moved off the Buckeyes making it nearly impossible to set up for another play. As the OSU offense frantically got to the line, Greene missed the snap just as the clock read 0:00 and the ball hit the turf. Brian Baschnagel picked it up and ran for an apparent game-winning Buckeye score with one official raised his hands for the touchdown signal.
- However, two other officials were waving off the play saying time had run out. The Spartan fans stormed the field and tried to tear down the goalposts as the officials huddled to try to figure out what the correct call was. Both teams were told to go to their locker rooms until chaos could be restored. The officials had to leave the stadium, along with Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke, to try get a little bit of peace and to discuss what to do. Duke spoke to the officials and then went to each locker room to talk with the coaches. Meanwhile, the fans were still waiting to find out exactly what happened. 45 minutes later, Duke went to the press box to give the outcome.
- The famous words in MSU lore came out of the PA system, "Ladies and gentlemen. Michigan State has been declared the winner by the score of 16-13." It was determined that the back and field judges, whose job it was to keep the time, had ruled that time had expired. Replays later showed that the Buckeyes weren't set anyway and should've been flagged for an illegal procedure penalty.
Ohio State Buckeyes Football
Nov 9, 1974
at Michigan State
13 - 16
Michigan State Spartans Football
Nov 9, 1974
vs Ohio State
16 - 13