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1979 Ohio State Buckeyes football team


1979 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Southern California
Conference Big Ten Conference
Coaches #4
AP #4
1979 record 11-1 (8-0 Big Ten)
Head coach Earle Bruce
MVP Jim Laughlin
Captain Ken Fritz
Captain Mike Guess
Captain Jim Laughlin
Captain Tom Waugh
Home stadium Ohio Stadium
(Capacity: 83,112)

The 1979 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the college football season of 1979-1980. The Buckeyes compiled a 11–1 record, including the 1980 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, where they lost 17–16 to the Southern California Trojans.


Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 8 Syracuse* Ohio StadiumColumbus, OH W 31-8   86,205
September 15 at Minnesota #15 Memorial StadiumMinneapolis, MN W 21-17   43,926
September 22 Washington State* #16 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 45-29   87,495
September 29 at #17 UCLA* #14 Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles, CA W 17-13   47,228
October 6 Northwestern #8 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 16-7   87,406
October 13 Indiana #8 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 47-6   87,521
October 20 Wisconsin #6 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 59-0   87,585
October 27 Michigan State #4 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 42-0   87,747
November 3 at Illinois #5 Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL W 44-7   41,870
November 10 Iowa #3 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH W 34-7   87,835
November 17 at #13 Michigan #2 Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI W 18-15   106,255
January 1 vs. #3 USC* #1 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) L 16-17   105,526
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.

Depth Chart


Todd Bell

Jim Laughlin Al Washington Marcus Marek Keith Ferguson
Vince Skillings
Mike Guess

Jerome Foster Tim Sawicki Luther Henson
Ray Ellis
Gary Williams
Tim Burke Ernie Andria Tom Waugh Ken Fritz Joe Lukens
Brad Dwelle
Bill Jaco
Doug Donley
Art Schlichter
Greg Castignola
Ricardo Volley
Paul Campbell
Special Teams
PK Vlade Janakievski

Calvin Murray
Jimmy Gale and Tim Spencer


Coaching staff

  • Earle Bruce - Head Coach (1st year)
  • Pete Carroll - Defensive Backs (1st year)
  • Dennis Fryzel - Defensive Coordinator (1st year)
  • Glen Mason - Offensive Line / Defensive Inside Linebackers (2nd year)
  • Bill Myles - Offensive Line (3rd year)
  • Wayne Stanley - Running Backs (1st year)
  • Steve Szabo - Defensive Line (1st year)
  • Bob Tucker - Defensive Outside Linebackers (1st year)
  • Fred Zechman - Quarterbacks/Receivers (1st year)

1980 NFL draftees

Player Round Pick Position NFL Club
Jim Laughlin 4 91 Linebacker Atlanta Falcons
Mike Guess 6 156 Defensive Back Chicago Bears
Ken Fritz 10 277 Guard Pittsburgh Steelers

Game notes



Washington State

The longest pass in school history to date, a 86-yard bomb from Art Schlichter to Calvin Murray, helped propel Ohio State to a 45-29 win over Washington State. The previous record was an 80-yard pass from Joe Sparma to Bob Klein in 1961 versus Michigan. [4]



1 234Total
Northwestern 0 007 7
Ohio St 10 303 16
  • Date: Saturday, October 6
  • Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
  • Game attendance: 87,406




Michigan State




#2 Ohio State at #13 Michigan
1 234Total
Ohio State 0 666 18
Michigan 0 780 15

Ohio State clinched the Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl with an 18-15 victory over their archrivals. The Buckeyes had not beaten nor scored a touchdown against Michigan since 1975, the last time they had gone to Pasadena. [6]

Rose Bowl


Win/Loss statistics
  • Ohio State Historical Scores
Draft data
  • Ohio State Drafted Players
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