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Throwback Thursday: Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football VS Ohio State, 1936


Hello! The game I’ve had circled on my calendar for a year is finally here ... Notre Dame VS Ohio State. This week I’m going to take a look back at the 1936 meeting between the Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame and Ohio State have faced each other a total of seven times, with Notre Dame winning two, and Ohio State winning five. Notre Dame’s largest margin of victory was 18-13 in 1935, and Ohio State’s largest margin of victory was 45-26 in 1995. Notre Dame’s longest win streak is two, from 1935-1936, and Ohio State’s longest win streak is five, from 1995-2022. Notre Dame has 942 overall wins, to Ohio State’s 956. Both teams have had seven Heisman Trophy winners. Notre Dame has had 107 Consensus All-American’s, to Ohio State’s 92. Notre Dame has had 70 first round NFL draft picks, to Ohio State’s 90. Notre Dame has spent 860 weeks in the AP Poll, to Ohio State’s 969. And Notre Dame has spent 98 weeks at AP No. 1, to Ohio State’s 105 weeks.

The two teams met for the first time on November 2nd, 1935, in Columbus, Ohio, and Notre Dame won by the score of 18-13. Last year I shared some coverage of this game from Notre Dame’s 125 Moments, which you can read here. Today I’m going to look back at the match-up of the two teams played on October 31st, 1936. The following recap is from the November 13, 1936 issue of the Scholastic Magazine, written by Al Bride.


The largest crowd ever to push its way into the local stadium witnessed an alert Notre Dame team triumph, 7-2, over the tricky ball-handling outfit from Ohio State. Led by California’s speedy “Bunny” McCormick and the hard driving sophomore fullback Simonich the Fighting Irish dominated the Ohioans in every department with the exception of punting.

Rain which showered at intervals did not dim the enthusiasm of the capacity crowd which was brought to its feet in the closing minutes by a determined Ohio State drive that was reminiscent of last year’s contest. Taking the ball deep in its own territory Ohio State passed its way to the Irish 12 yard line before losing the ball on two incomplete passes into the end zone.

Ohio State scored first, capitalizing on a fumble early in the second period. From near his own goal line Miller, on a fake kick, broke through the line only to lose the ball when he was tackled hard by the Scarlet secondary. Ohio State registered a first down, but was then stopped with a touchdown in sight. A safety was good for two points, and the Irish were trailing, 2-0.

After an exchange of kicks the Laydenmen started to move. A pass to McCormick was good on the two yard line, and on the next play McCormick started swiftly to the left, cut in sharply over tackle, and dashed into the end zone for a touchdown. Wojcihovski was rushed in to hold the ball for Danbom, who booted a perfect placement to make the score 7-2.

The second half found Ohio State using every trick in its “razzle dazzle” in an attempt to break loose for a score, but the hard charging Irish line broke up most of the plays before they could get under way. In the closing minutes red shirted receivers managed to elude the Notre Dame secondary, and several completed passes brought the ball to the Irish 12 yard line. In a desperate attempt to score before the gun went off the Ohioans threw two passes into the end zone, both of which were incomplete. According to the new rules Notre Dame received the ball, and for the remaining seconds they held on to it.

One of the features of the game was the performance of Simonich. This husky 200 pounder was given his chance, and he came through in a manner that ought to give the other fullbacks something to worry about. Time after time he crashed through the powerful Ohio line for gains. When not advancing the ball through sheer power this second year man was clearing the way with some of the best blocking displayed by an Irish player to date.

Do you have any score predictions for this weekend’s game against Ohio State? Leave ‘em below for me!

Next week I’m going to throw back to the 1966 match-up between Duke and Notre Dame.


Cheers & GO IRISH!