It was all up to Woods, who is considered a better runner than passer. "All I know is, I wasn't nervous," he would say later. Missouri got several extraordinary breaks. After the Tigers crossed into Ohio State territory with more than two minutes remaining, Woods was thrown for a 13-yard loss by End Bob Brudzinski. But the first of two crucial holding penalties against the Buckeyes gave Missouri the ball, first and eight, at the Ohio State 44 instead of second and 25 at its own 39. Three plays later Tailback Brown romped 31 yards to the nine. Then, on third and goal at the two, with 12 seconds left, Woods sent Leo Lewis into the far corner of the end zone. The quarterback led him perfectly, lofting the ball over the outstretched arms of the defender and into the hands of Lewis, who juggled it as he left the end zone. Touch-down.
Onofrio did not spend any time debating whether he should kick for the tie or attempt a two-point conversion for the victory. He had made up his mind while the Tigers were marching for the touchdown. But while Onofrio was thinking win, his players weren't. "When they sent in the play," recalled Joel Yearian, "I thought, 'Oh my God, we're going for it.' All of us in the huddle were nervous and shaking like it was the first play of the game."
To calm themselves the linemen coined their own mantra right there on the field. "Kopay, Kopay, Kopay," they said over and over, referring to former Line Coach Tony Kopay, who often sends them inspirational telegrams from his present outpost at Oregon State.
Unfortunately, "Kopay" did not help Woods at all when he rolled to his right and overthrew Curt Brown. But just when Missouri thought it had lost, "Kopay"—or something—inspired an official to call another holding penalty against Ohio State.
Let the record show that Woods was "quite relieved" at getting a second chance. And after the ball was marked in the middle of the field 1� yards from the goal line, he made the most of it. Missouri had been running trap options all afternoon, but on this occasion it ran a sprint-out option, with Woods going left against Ohio State's weak side. End Kelton Dansler grabbed Woods low as he reached the goal line but the quarterback cut back inside left tackle and had just enough momentum to bolt over.
The play won the game for Missouri and praise from Hayes. "Their quarterback did a great job, truly great," Woody said. "He was very strong running, mixed his plays extremely well and threw two touchdown passes that were well-de-fensed."
Ohio State, added Woody, "deserved to get beat. We scored three touchdowns in less than seven minutes and did nothing the rest of the game."
Woods was as kind in victory as Woody was in defeat. "Ohio State didn't play a bad game," he said. "We just played a better game on offense."
The victory had special meaning for Onofrio, because it was Missouri's first, after eight defeats (and one tie), against Ohio State and evened his personal coaching record at 30-30. "It was a tremendous win over a great team," he said. "It was the greatest game Missouri has ever played."
But Coach, what about those wins over Southern Cal, Alabama, Nebraska and Notre Dame? What about all those "upsets"? And, while we're at it, what about Illinois?