Most longtime Clemson fans will remember this week’s Flashback Friday game. It was the 1978 Gator Bowl between the Tigers and the Ohio St Buckeyes. This game was played on December 29, 1978 at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fl. Clemson came into the game ranked eighth in the country and Ohio St was ranked 20th..
This was Danny Ford’s first game as head coach and the first ever Danny Ford show with Jim Phillips is also a part of this video. This game was one that ended up becoming one of the darkest moments in Ohio State football history and is still remembered for an incident where long time Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes ended up punching Clemson’s Charlie Bauman. This incident took place at the end of a play in the final minutes of the game. This also led to Hayes’ being fired the next day.
The incident took place on Ohio State’s last drive of the game, while trying to score and take the lead. The Buckeyes got the ball back after a failed Clemson drive. On a third down and five on the Tigers 24 yard line, second teamer for Clemson, Charlie Bauman intercepted Ohio St Quarterback Art Schlichter, when he dropped into coverage on the play. It would be the only interception during Bauman’s four years at Clemson and the only turnover of the night for the Ohio State offense.
On the return Bauman was run out of bounds in front of the Ohio State bench and a scuffle ensued that involved Hayes, the Ohio State head coach. Multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called on Ohio State. This gave the Tigers great field position and Clemson then ran out the clock from there.
This win gave coach Ford and his Tigers their first win over a Big Ten school. The win also led Clemson to finish tied for sixth with a Joe Montana led Notre Dame team in the UPI Coaches poll and sixth all alone in the AP Poll.