Review of Ohio State’s three home losses since 2012

2012 feels like an eternity ago, as Notre Dame and Ohio State fans remember the campaign well. Notre Dame ran the board during the regular season, going 12-0 and earning a spot in the horribly ending BCS National Championship game against mighty Alabama.

Ohio State also went 12-0 this regular season, their first under Urban Meyer, but was banned from playoff play. Since the start of this year, the Buckeyes have hosted 67 games at Ohio Stadium and lost just three.

10 seasons have now passed since that 2012 campaign and Notre Dame and Ohio State have seen assistants replace their then head coaches, but in that streak the Buckeyes have only managed to lose three games out of their own land.

I cannot repeat it too often.

Ten years and three defeats at home.

In case you were wondering, it took Charlie Weis just eight home games to lose three times at Notre Dame Stadium and it took Brian Kelly just six tries to lose three home games in his first season as head coach.

So back to Ohio State – who were those three games against, what did they have in common with what Notre Dame has in store, and how big of an upset was each of them?

Ohio State has gone an absurd 64-3 at home since the start of the 2012 season, just to further emphasize that.

Here’s a closer look at these three.

2014: 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech

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A week after beating Navy to start the season in Baltimore, Ohio State was poorly received when it opened its 2014 campaign home roster against Virginia Tech. The Hokies took a 21-7 halftime lead and controlled the contest throughout by shocking the host Buckeyes.

Virginia Tech would go just 7-6 overall in 2014, while Ohio State would not lose again, topping the board and winning the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship.

2017: 31-16 loss against No. 5 Oklahoma

Trevor Ruszkowski – USA TODAY Sports

It was another week two contest Ohio State dropped as they fell to Baker Mayfield, Lincoln Riley and No. 5 Oklahoma in September 2017. Mayfield and the Sooners offloaded for 21 points in 7:51 from the end of the third quarter to turn the tide from a 13-10 deficit to a 31-13 lead they wouldn’t give up against the second-placed Buckeyes.

2021: 35-28 loss against 12th Oregon


CJ Stroud came close to winning the Heisman Trophy in 2021 as the starting quarterback for Ohio State, but this Saturday afternoon in September, Oregon’s CJ Verdell was the best CJ in the game, scoring three touchdowns in a game the Ducks controlled early on. Oregon entered the game as a 15-point underdog as they managed the Buckeyes despite playing without star defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Common points

Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports

As you have probably gathered, a few events in these three games are expected to occur when Notre Dame visits Columbus in September.

For example, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Oregon are not all members of the Big Ten (at least at the time of this publication). Despite what many want (myself and most Notre Dame fans excluded), Notre Dame won’t be a member of the Big Ten by September (and God willing, never).

Those three losses all came in Ohio State’s home opener of their respective seasons, which Notre Dame will host this fall. Additionally, the only Power Five programs Ohio State has beaten in a home opener since 2012 was Oregon State which the Buckeyes dismantled 77-31 to open the campaign. 2018 and Nebraska which was a breeze to start the 2020 COVID-shortened season.

Related: Check Out Notre Dame’s Subtle Motivational Tactic For Ohio State Showdown