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Kern not only has gall, he has courage. He underwent a spinal disc operation in June, but by the first week in September he had beaten out Bill Long, who was the starting quarterback the past two years. Kern got a helmet in the jaw in the Oregon game and spent last week wearing a bird cage on his sore chin and eating mush, which off his performance—eight of 16 passes for 78 yards and 45 yards rushing—might mean mush replaces sirloin at the OSU training table. On three occasions in a scoreless first half his runs and passes led the Buckeyes down the field, but each time OSU kickers missed field goals.
The Ohio State defense took matters into its own hands in the second half. On the fourth play of the third quarter, Provost picked off one of Phipps's passes on the Purdue 34-yard line and ran it back for a touchdown. Ten minutes later a second interception, this one by Still-wagon on the Purdue 25, set up another score. Otis plunged for nine yards and then seven, but Kern was hit for a six-yard loss back to the 14 and suffered a bruised shoulder on the play. He was replaced by Long, who faded to pass but was unable to find an open receiver so he ran—right up the middle for a touchdown. The extra point made it 13-0.
After that Ohio State set out to protect the lead the way Woody Hayes knows best—fullback inside the tackles and never mind the dust. The Buckeyes did not throw another pass and Otis hammered away at the weary Purdue line.
The Boilermakers had one good chance to score after recovering a fumble by Otis on the OSU 34 early in the fourth quarter. They moved to a first down on the eight, but for some reason Keyes did not get the ball in the next four plays, and Purdue died. Keyes' role for the entire day, in fact, was something of a mystery. He suffered a back bruise around midweek, but Mollenkopf said later this did not hamper him. When USC gets in trouble O. J. Simpson carries 47 times. But with Purdue in trouble, Keyes carried only seven times.
When it was all over Mollenkopf was roaming the field looking for Woody Hayes to congratulate him, but Woody was busy being lifted to the shoulders of some of his stalwart young athletes. Mollenkopf finally found him, and this time Hayes wasn't saying thank you for taking it easy. The chimes, which ring out whenever OSU wins in Ohio Stadium, began to sound and they never sounded sweeter to Woody.
Later, his silvery hair tousled, his short-sleeved white nylon shirt hanging out of his trousers and his tie askew, Hayes struggled to get the plastic cover off a container of Coke in the Ohio State dressing room. "That was the finest defensive effort I've ever seen," he said happily. "It was unbelievable the way our little kids just overpowered their big blockers. But I had nothing to do with it. I don't monkey with the defense. The credit goes to the kids and our four defensive coaches—Lou McCullough, Bill Mallory, Lou Holtz and Esco Sarkkinen. They're the ones."
Over in the Purdue dressing room Mollenkopf, his team's No. 1 ranking gone and his hopes of winning the Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl all but gone, tried to explain why Keyes didn't carry the ball more than seven times, and only once in the second half.
"We thought we could do a lot of things, but they wouldn't let us," he said glumly. "That defense was magnificent. We kept Leroy at flanker because their ends were taking his running game away from him. They were coming straight in and their good linebackers were filling in beautifully. There was nowhere for him to run. I think Woody outcoached me."
Over the years, Woody Hayes has done that to a lot of people.