MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – The Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes play in the Discover Orange Bowl this week in a game matching up the legendary programs for only the second time in history.
But both squads are likely hoping the 2014 Orange Bowl isn’t as infamous as the last meeting.
In 1978, Clemson and Ohio State played in the annual Gator Bowl. The game was a solid matchup between two evenly matched teams. The game was late in the fourth quarter when everything went wrong for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State quarterback Art Schlicter dropped back to pass with a little more than two minutes to play in the game and threw the ball. Clemson’s Charlie Bauman stepped in front of the pass and intercepted the pass.
Bauman began to run with the ball and was tackled in front of the Buckeyes’ bench. It was at that point that a scrum ensued and chaos erupted.
The chaos came to a crescendo when Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes grabbed Bauman and hit him with a punch that landed just under his facemask.
Hayes was fired by the Buckeyes the next day.
The game actually didn’t end with Hayes’ punch and Hayes didn’t even draw a penalty on the play due to the chaos on the field. But Hayes would draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for berating the officials a play or two later and Clemson took a knee to run out the clock.
The punch will be the defining moment of the game, but it may have set in motion a chain of events that is still benefitting the Buckeyes as they prepare for the rematch against Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
After Ohio State fired Hayes, the Buckeyes hired a coach named Earle Bruce. According to Bleacher Report, in 1986, Bruce hired an unknown coach to lead his tight ends.
That coach would go on to win two national championships, two SEC championships, and three SEC east division titles before returning to the school that gave him his first college job.
Bruce’s hire in 1986 was Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s current head coach.