It has been a long time coming for fans who have wanted to see games between Ohio State and Missouri as the two teams have met just a dozen times and never since the 1998 season.
That was almost two conferences ago for the Tigers, who joined the Big 12 in 1996 and would eventually move on to the SEC in 2012.
Ohio State holds a dominating edge in the series with a 10-1-1 record against the Tigers, with 11 games played in Columbus (Ohio) while just one game has been played in Columbia (Mo.) and none at neutral sites.
Things have changed over the course of the series; Joe Germaine threw for 269 yards in the 1997 meeting while Rod Gerald through for nine yards in the previous meeting back under Woody Hayes in 1976.
What happened in 1943 will have little impact on what happen in a couple of weeks to close out 2023, but it is still fun to look back at a series that dates back more than 80 years.
Let’s take a look at a couple of names and numbers from the course of this series to start to turn the page to the upcoming Cotton Bowl.
16.8 – The number of points that Ohio State outscores Missouri by in this series. The Buckeyes have averaged 27.3 points per game over the course of the previous 12 games while Missouri is just coming in at 10.5 points per game. The Tigers have scored seven or fewer points in seven games in this series and have been shut out twice. The Buckeyes have never scored fewer than 12 points (a win) while Missouri has only topped that total just four times. The numbers don’t really look much better when you fast-forward to the modern era and look at the two games in the 90s when Ohio State held an edge of 33-12, or a margin of 19 points.
5 – The number of football hall of famers to serve as head coach in this series against one another. Okay, we got a little fast and loose with the addition of Paul Brown, but it’s Paul Brown and while his run as a college coach is not what he is going to be remembered for, it’s Paul Brown. The Tigers head coach Don Faurot was a staple on the sidelines for years and years and was head coach for the vast majority of games between these two teams. Joining the Ohio State side of things are the likes of Francis Schmidt, Woody Hayes and John Cooper.
19 – The Buckeyes would score 19 points against Missouri in the first ever meeting between the two teams back in 1939 while keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard. The Tigers would go on to finish 6th in the AP Poll and win the Big Six conference but Ohio State’s defense would be the star of the day in front of more than 58-thousand fans at Ohio Stadium.
13 – Not a lucky number by any stretch as the Buckeyes and Tigers would tie in the 1946 season. The debut of Paul Bixler as head coach was a rocky one, especially after previous results in the past two seasons would see Ohio State win those games with a combined score of 101-6. Four turnovers would keep the Buckeyes in check and while the final result was a tie and not a loss, Ohio State fans viewed it as a loss in a day and age before social media.
10 – The number of passes attempted by Ohio State in its 21-7 win over Missouri in the 1948 season. Despite beating Missouri also in 1947, the Buckeyes would end the year 2-6-1 in Wes Fesler’s first season. Well before the current era of wide-open offense, the Buckeyes would go 92 yards in nine plays including passes of 13 yards (to Mike Cannavino) and 35 yards (to Bob Dorsey) from quarterback Pandel Savic. Fullback Joe Whisler would cap off the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run. The Buckeyes were not exactly clean in the game with two interceptions and two fumbles lost, but Missouri was kept out of the endzone until the 4th quarter, and by then, it was too late.
12 – The number of seconds left in the game when Missouri would score its last touchdown and two-pointer to beat the Buckeyes, 22-21, for Mizzou’s lone win in the series. Ohio State was No. 2 in the nation, coming off of a win over No. 7 Penn State while Mizzou came in after a receiving a beating from USC. The Buckeyes would go up 21-7 after linebacker Pete Buonamici intercepted Missouri QB Pete Woods, setting up a Pete Johnson score. The Ohio State offense would stall for the remainder of the game, just putting up 82 yards in the second half. Woods would connect with Leo Lewis for a touchdown that would never hold up to replay review today. Missouri immediately went for two and Woods’ pass would fall incomplete, but a defensive holding call would give Missouri a second chance and Woods would take it in himself for a one-point win. The Buckeyes would win their next seven before falling to TTUN at Ohio Stadium and go on to defeat Colorado in the Orange Bowl.