When the 1995 college football season started, most Heisman talk centered around players such as Lawrence Phillips of Nebraska, Leeland McElroy of Texas A&M, Stephen Davis of Auburn, Chris Darkins of Minnesota, and quarterback Ron Powlus of Notre Dame.
Ohio State’s Eddie George was not really in the conversation. In fact, he had to share whatever early-season Heisman spotlight that did exist with teammates Bobby Hoying and Terry Glenn.
But all that was needed was one monster game to catapult the 6-3, 227-pound senior running back to the top of the Heisman race.
That game came on September 16, 1995. This week in Heisman history, George became the first back in Buckeyes history to top the 200-yard rushing mark three times in a career as he piled up 212 yards on 36 carries in a 30-20 home victory over No. 18 Washington.
In a matchup that was not as close as the score indicated, George scored two touchdowns in an effort that really impressed Huskies head coach Jim Lambright.
“It was awesome,” said Lambright after the game. “One hundred and fifty yards in the first half. He does a great job with vision. They got us caught between inside plays and outside plays. He then has the vision to take what the defense give him. And he always falls forward.”
Ohio State used runs like these from George to forge a 30-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Two games in, George had 311 rushing yards and four touchdowns and Ohio State was on its was to 11-straight wins to start the year. George would go on to finish the regular season with 1,826 yards and 23 touchdowns. He won Ohio State’s sixth Heisman, beating out Tommy Frazier of Nebraska and Danny Wuerffel of Florida.