Ohio State

1962 - 64 Buckeyes
(Authentic Reproduction)



Losing to Northwestern wasn't in the plan but the surprising Wildcats were ranked number-one in the nation for a week during the 1962 season and were tough. The 6-3 record could have been attributed to rebuilding but with bookend tackles Bob Vogel and Daryl Sanders both NFL number-one draft choices (Vogel to the Colts where he played from 1963-'72 and Sanders to the Lions) and FB so deep that Snell, the starter was moved to DE, there was disappointment. FB Dave Francis led the "three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust" offense to the Big Ten rushing title and the nation’s leading ground attack. Francis played with the Redskins in ’63 and was the Bucks’ inside pounder, getting outside help from sophomore whiz HB Bo Scott, both running behind All Big Ten center and team MVP Billy Joe Armstrong. HB Warfield was fantastic as a rusher, receiver, and safety, using his track speed and long jump ability to his advantage. Kicker Dick Van Raaphorst revealed himself to be a reliable placement specialist. Co-captain LB Gary Moeller perhaps gained more notice when he returned to face his alma mater as head coach of the hated Wolverines who in this 1962 season, went down to defeat against the Buckeyes for the third straight time. Many OSU fans observed that there was a slight change in the helmets for 1962 as the shape and light gray color of the previous season’s headgear appeared to be somewhat altered. Coach Hayes, always anxious to provide what he thought was the best for his players, switched to the Rawlings round “bubble-ear” helmets which had a different shape than the MacGregor models. These also had an externally padded center panel in red and close observation indicated that there was no taper to the panel, unlike the previously used MacGregor helmet, and the panel extended to the bottom of the rear of the helmet. The new helmets were light silver rather than the light gray that had been used on both the Riddell and MacGregor helmets for so many seasons and this allowed the wide red stripe to stand out in an even bolder manner. Once again Hayes placed the two-inch black “NCAA-style” numerals on each side for a terrific look. Most of the players still used the Adams white plastic masks but as some continued to wear their helmets from the 1960 or ’61 season, fans could see that the Bucks were often on the field sporting two distinct helmet styles and colors.     


1963 was looked upon as a rebuilding year for the offense but 5-3-1 was not considered "good" at Ohio State, even with a fourth consecutive win against Michigan. The total yardage figure of 2199 was down and the offense scored but twelve TD's behind QB Don Unverferth. HB Tom Barrington missed time with injury and trailed leading rusher and co-captain Matt Snell who moved back to FB from DE, and became the Jets number-one choice. Reflecting '62 when their two tackles were taken in the first round of the NFL draft,  Ohio State could point to ’63 as the year they had two running backs chosen as first-rounders as Snell was joined by All Conference HB Paul Warfield as the Cleveland Browns first choice. Thus began Warfield’s Pro Football Hall Of Fame career as he completed six terrific seasons with the Browns and then went to the Dolphins to contribute strongly to their Super Bowl teams. Warfield left the Dolphins for Memphis of the World Football League for the 1975 season and then returned to Cleveland for two more years before retiring. With the Bucks, he did it all as a runner, receiver, returner, and when needed, as a defender. Snell, seemingly underrated his entire career despite the versatility that found him excelling at defensive end, halfback, and offensive end, was a true New York area hero, having played first at Long Island’s Carle Place High School and then becoming such a dependable player with the Jets from ’64 through 1972. Bo Scott, who had done so well in '62 as a soph, sat out for academic reasons in '63 and then headed to Canada, yet was drafted at the end of the 1964 season when eligible, by the Browns and he played well for them from 1969 to '74 after time with Ottawa. Kicker Dick Van Raaphorst again was a consistent weapon and later kicked for both Dallas and the Chargers. The defense which limited six opponents to ten points or less was keyed by soph LB's Ike Kelley and Tom Bugel.




With Paul Warfield, it was never about statistics. He was a highly recruited all-around athlete out of Warren Harding High School in Warren, Ohio and after a spectacular campaign for the Ohio State Baby Bucks frosh team, he entered his first varsity campaign as a highly-touted talent. He was good from the start but even as an All Big Ten halfback in both 1962 and ’63, his statistics weren’t eye-popping. His extreme speed, honed on the track as a hurdler and sprinter, and leaping ability which he used as a jumper, placed every game in his hands. If Warfield was on the field, he needed to be accounted for immediately and definitively. He was always the bomb that could explode in the opponent’s face on any play. He entered the NFL as the Cleveland Browns number-one draft choice and had a spectacular rookie season, hauling in fifty-two passes which remained his career high. He played for the Browns as a focal point of the offense, the ever-present threat that could change any game on one play, through 1969 and in an extremely unpopular trade, owner Art Modell sent him off to the Miami Dolphins for the number-one draft choice whom they used on Purdue’s Mike Phipps. While Phipps was a serviceable QB for the Browns, he never had the game-changing effect of Warfield. With the Dolphins, Warfield’s presence opened up their tremendous running game, launching them to their famous Super Bowl seasons. After the 1974 season, Warfield joined teammates Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick and jumped to the Memphis Southmen of the new World Football League. The league folded and Warfield returned to the Browns for 1976 and ’77 and retired with the distinction of having been all league six times and having been chosen for eight Pro Bowls. His incredible 20.1 yards-per-catch average is superior but the 427 receptions for 8565 yards isn’t at the top of NFL charts and the true picture of Warfield’s presence is lost if one does no more than look at the numbers. This intelligent gentleman reflected every positive aspect of the game itself and he deservedly was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. True to the goals of his college coach Woody Hayes, Warfield returned to school and earned an MA from Kent State and worked as a sportscaster, highly demanded public speaker, and front office executive for the NFL. 


The backfield of QB Don Unverferth, HB Tom Barrington, and FB Will Sander ran well behind OG Doug Van Horn and All American T Jim Davidson, but the offense went into eclipse in the last few games of 1964, tallying but one TD in thirteen quarters of play. Speedy and versatile HB Bo Rein, Big Ten Sophomore Of The Year, was a major threat on the ground or as an excellent receiver who caught passes for 320 yards. The defense, paced by LB's Bugel and Kelley, who received a number of All American votes, was tough in handing USC its first shutout in twenty-nine games and in a wild 17-9 win over Indiana, DB Arnie Chonko intercepted three passes which helped him to All American honors. The defense kept seven of nine opponents at ten points or less and 7-2 looked good on the record sheet, but Michigan broke their losing streak and beat the Bucks by 10-0! Once again the Buckeyes had a change in their helmet design as the MacGregor smooth ear style helmet was used, once again with an externally padded center panel. The padded panel extended from the front to the very rear of the shell with a significant and noticeable taper at both ends, and the body of the helmet remained light silver. The same style black side numerals were maintained and the new helmets made a very memorable appearance.

If interested in any of these OSU helmets please click on the photos below.