October 8, 1988 — Bloomington, Indiana
These days Ohio State is the bully of the Big Ten, routinely blowing out its conference foes almost every week.
But on a beautiful early October afternoon in Bloomington, in front of a sold out Memorial Stadium crowd and national television audience, it was the Hoosiers who asserted their dominance.
A year after the “darkest day” in Ohio State history, IU had one of its brightest.
Legendary running back Anthony Thompson ran around, through, over and past Ohio State defenders on his way to 190 yards, 4 touchdowns, and multiple new entries in the IU record books.
IU stormed out of the gates with scores on 4 of its first 5 possessions. Before Ohio State knew what hit them Indiana led 28-0 at halftime and 35-0 before the Buckeyes registered any points.
IU head coach Bill Mallory was not surprised by the outcome.
”Going in, we thought we could dominate,” Mallory told reporters. ”I`m not surprised by the score. We thought we could pound on them.”
Indiana dominated on the ground, outrushing Ohio State 320 to 161. The Hoosiers won the total yards battle by a wide margin too, 471 to 259.
The IU defense was equally impactful, forcing 5 turnovers on the day, including 4 interceptions.
Thompson set the IU single-game, single-season and career touchdown marks in the contest, with 4, 14 and 30, respectively.
The 41-7 IU win was its largest in Big Ten play since 1945, and Ohio State’s most lopsided loss since 1967.
A patient crowd waited as the teams went through the motions in the second half. When it finally ended, the fans rushed the field and tore down the Memorial Stadium goalposts.
With the win IU improved to 4-0-1 on the season, and the Hoosiers would climb all the way up to No. 14 nationally in the polls before hitting a few snags later in the 1988 campaign.
Indiana finished the season 8-3-1 overall and 5-3 in league play. The Hoosiers claimed a 34-10 win over South Carolina at the Liberty Bowl.
The home win over OSU head been a long time coming.
It was Indiana’s first victory over the Buckeyes at Bloomington since 1904 and marked the first time the Hoosiers had beaten Ohio State in consecutive games since 1913.
A year earlier IU defeated Ohio State in Columbus, an occasion that Buckeye head coach Earle Bruce referred to as “the darkest day” in Ohio State football history.
The game also marked Indiana’s largest margin of victory in the series — and its last win over the Buckeyes.
For more memorable moments in IU football history, GO HERE.
Video credit – Galen Clavio
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