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Looking Back At Ohio State’s Lone Previous Meeting With Utah Ahead Of The Rose Bowl

The Buckeyes dismantled the Utes, who were part of the Western Athletic Conference in 1986.

When Ohio State takes on Utah in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, it will be just the second all-time meeting between the two programs. The previous time came in 1986, when the Buckeyes blew out the Utes, 64-6, in Columbus.

Under the direction of eighth-year head coach Earle Bruce, Ohio State rushed for 394 yards and seven touchdowns, including four scores by fullback George Cooper, two by running back Vince Workman and one by running back James Bryant.

Buckeyes quarterback Jim Karsatos threw for 224 yards and one score, while backup Tom Tupa threw for 97 yards and one touchdown while also booting a 55-yard punt.

Defensively, Ohio State was led by linebacker Chris Spielman, who recorded a team-high 11 tackles and helped keep the Utes out of the end zone. Utah managed just a pair of field goals by kicker Andre Guardi when they were already trailing 21-0 and 38-3.

The Buckeyes went on to finish the regular season 9-3, including a loss to No. 6 Michigan in the regular season finale to split the Big Ten title with the Wolverines. They then beat No. 8 Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl to end the year at No. 6 in the AP Poll.

The Utes, meanwhile, wrapped up their second season under the late Jim Fassel – who later coached the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXXV – with a 2-9 record, including 1-7 in the Western Athletic Conference. 


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