Is was just a few short years ago that a trio of linebackers roamed the middle of our defense, and they were vicious. A.J. Hawk, Anthony Schlegel, and today’s hero, Bobby Carpenter.
These three were easily the best batch of men to play LB at the same time for Ohio State (although we’re pretty sure that Chris Spielman could have scared the piss out of any two of them at once), but what made them special was the way they bonded together off the field as well.
As a matter of fact, Bobby Carpenter may have won the 2005 Michigan game for the Buckeyes without playing a single down that counts.
Carpenter broke his leg on the first play that Michigan tried from the line of scrimmage…and the play was called back due to a flag. A tearful Carpenter would later return to the sidelines on crutches, unable to play in his final Michigan game of his life.
Midway through the 4th quarter with Ohio State trailing by 9 points, the rally cry around the bench began….the team wanted to win this one for Bobby. Troy Smith, Santonio Holmes, Ted Ginn Jr, Anthony Gonzalez, and the rest of the offense joined in the call for their defensive ally, and the Buckeyes played like their lives depended on a victory. They marched down the field for a quick TD to cut the deficit to two points, then held firm on defense as Michigan could not hold onto the ball very long.
The offense retook the field with under 4 minutes to play and with Carpenter right there on the edge of the field screaming, and they marched nearly the entire length of the field……without ever seeing a third down play. Antonio Pittman took it in from a yard out for the game winner with 25 seconds left as Ohio State won their 4th game in 5 years against their hated rival.
Carpenter would never play another game in scarlet and gray. But the legend of what he brought to the field lives on.
42 days until kickoff!
P.S. Before any diehards get upset, we were going to highlight Paul Warfield at #42, but very few quality pictures exist of him in a Buckeyes #42 jersey. TONS of Browns and Fins pics, but no OSU. We did not overlook PW.