By halftime, when, astonishingly, the score was 3-3, Archie Griffin had carried only eight times. In fact, Griffin would get over 100 yards from scrimmage for the 19th consecutive time—a continuing national record—primarily on three big carries, one of them a 31-yard draw play on the final drive. The rest of the day Archie was contained, mostly by Woody's game plan.
If there was an occasion when Griffin was most desperately needed, it was in that moment when the Buckeyes were clinging to a 13-9 lead after Michigan State scored on a 44-yard pass from Quarterback Charlie Baggett to Mike Jones. When Ohio State took the kick-off you had to figure the Spartans would never see the football again, not in those last 5� minutes. Woody would eat up the clock with a little of this, some of that and lots of Archie. But, oops, no Archie. Not in three plays. No first down, either, so the Buckeyes had to punt. But that was not so bad, either, because the ball found its way to the Michigan State 12-yard line. Not bad at all, except for a guy named Levi Jackson.
On the very first play from down there, Jackson shot through the left side of the Ohio State line, curved to his right and ran 88 delirious yards untouched—practically unsneezed at—in something like nine seconds. Expect Jackson to do that sort of thing some more. He is a sophomore, weighs 212 pounds and looks like he can spot a jackrabbit 20 paces and still beat him to the carrot.
The play is called 44-Veer, and Levi Jackson said later that all he thought about when he crossed the goal was: "They was through."
Considerable credit is due the Buckeyes for that last drive, up until their poise went south. There was precisely 3:11 left when Archie Griffin returned the kick-off to his 29. And here is how it went from that point until the Laurel and Hardy conclusion: Greene opened up with a pass that was nearly intercepted by the defensive player of the day, Michigan State Linebacker Terry McClowry. Griffin then skittered his 31 yards to the Spartans' 40. Henson made three yards, then Greene got five and nine and it was first down for Ohio on the Spartans' 23.
After an incompletion at 1:31 Greene hit Split End Dave Hazel for nine yards. Henson hammered his way for three and a first down at the 11. Now there were 55 seconds left. Archie made five on another draw but didn't get out of bounds at the MSU six-yard line, so the Buckeyes took their last time-out with 40 seconds remaining.
Henson shoved his 231 pounds into left tackle and was halted on MSU's one. The clock stopped with 29 seconds to go while the officials measured for a first down. OSU to the line of scrimmage. The clock starts. The call: Henson.
"I was in," said Henson. "I saw the goal line pass under me when I hit."
"It wasn't even close," said Michigan State's McClowry, who was one of Henson's greeters. "No way."