Clash of Titans
Games featuring a future Hall of Fame coach on each sideline.
October 25, 1952: Ohio State @ Iowa
Woody Hayes vs Forest Evashevski
34-year-old Forest Evashevski became the Iowa head coach in 1952 after a two-year stint as head man at Washington State. Star C/LB Jerry Hilgenberg recalled the new coach this way: "He was a very intelligent man and extremely knowledgeable about the game of football. Evy's organization and preparations for practices and games were very detailed and well done. He was also a great motivator and psycholo­gist. He was a psychology major at the University of Michigan. When Evy came to Iowa, he hired a great staff that included Bump Elliott, Bob Flora, Archie Kodros, Whitey Piro, and Wally Schwank."
Be that as it may, improving a program that had gone 5-10-3 the previous two years was an uphill battle. Wilfrid Smith wrote in The Chicago Tribune in early September: "If Iowa escapes last place in the 1952 Western Conference standings, the state should declare a holiday."
Smith's prediction looked good when the Hawkeyes opened with four straight de­feats with opponents averaging over 32 points a game. And now the tenth-ranked 3-1 Ohio State Buckeyes were coming to town for the first time in 25 years. You couldn't blame the odds makers for making the Buckeyes the favorite by more than two touchdowns. The previous week, Wisconsin, a team that Ohio State beat 23-14 earlier in the season, pasted Iowa 42-13. And just two years earlier, the Buckeyes had clobbered the Hawkeyes 83-21.
To make matters worse, the Hawkeyes had no experienced tailback since George "Dusty" Rice was out for the season with a knee injury.
Evashevski Reinvents His Offense
Believing that "if you couldn't match an opponent's strength, you changed tactics without warning," Evashevski threw out his single wing offense and drew up a new one. He recalled, "We had scrimmaged Tuesday before the Ohio game, and we didn't look good at all. I went to bed tired that night and was drawing circles and x's dia­gramming play possibilities. I knew we lacked the speed to run outside, and I was try­ing to figure how we could get an inside attack going. I decided that the only thing we could do was to try to spread Ohio State out as far as possible. With the wingback left, by shifting our backfield we could put the core of the offensive strength about three yards over to the right. This would be hard to cope with from a defensive stand­point."
Evashevski also changed the way the plays would be called. Hilgenberg recalled: "We put in a different offense for that Ohio State game called the 'digit offense.' In the huddle, the quarterback would indicate a live digit–first, second, or third digit. At the line of scrimmage, the quarterback would look at the defensive alignment and call out three digits, the live digit called in the huddle would be the point of attack and the play we would run. It was very innovative and a great game plan by our coaching staff."
Evashevski: "We gave the offense to our squad on Wednesday, and that was one of the few times I've ever scrimmaged a squad on Wednesday.  It was the first time we had scrimmaged the offense."

L: Forest Evashevski (University of Iowa Hawkeye Yearbook Class of 1953)
R: Woody Hayes (Ohio State University Makio Yearbook Class of 1952)
The sports editor of the Ohio State Journal wrote before the game: "Trusting their over-confidence won't show, Coach Woody Hayes' Buckeyes gridders will travel ... to Iowa City ... intent on making 50,000 Hawkeye Homecoming fans [actually 45,659 attended] wish they had waited another 25 years before inviting Ohio State back to Iowa stadium."
Instead, it was the visitors who hoped they would not have to return for 25 years.
Iowa Dominates First Quarter But Doesn't Score
The first quarter was scoreless but gave hope to the underdog as most of the play occurred in Ohio State territory. Deploying the new offense that no team, collegiate or pro, had faced at that time, Iowa took the opening kickoff and used up 6:05 of the clock on a methodical 16-play drive that reached the OSU 13. Using a backfield shift that they hadn't shown before, the Hawkeyes lured the Buckeyes offside twice. The longest run on the march was a 12y keeper by senior QB Burt Britzman for a first down at the OSU 28. Four snaps later, Robert Phillips sliced off tackle for 3y and a first down on the 16. But the Buckeyes finally held as two runs gained only 2y and two passes, including one on fourth down, fell incomplete.
After an exchange of punts, Ohio State drove from their seven into Iowa territory. Star HB Howard "Hopalong" Cassady ran four times for a total of 24y. But an in­completion and an offside penalty made it fourth-and-11 at the Iowa 33. So P Bill Peterson came in and got off a terrible boot that traveled only 4y.
Iowa was back in Ohio State territory six plays later with a help of a 9y completion and another shift-suckered offside on the Buckeyes. When the quarter ended score­less with Iowa on the OSU 35, the home fans gave their Hawkeyes a standing ova­tion.
The euphoria didn't last long. On the first play, Britzman broke loose for a good run only to fumble when hit with Marts Beekley recovering for the visitors on the 15.

L-R: Bob Joslin, Howard Cassady, Marts Beekley
(Ohio State University Makio Yearbook - Class of 1953)
Iowa Breaks Scoring Ice
After a three-and-out for each team, the Hawkeyes got a break when Lyle Lein­baugh recovered Fred Bruney's fumble on the OSU 35. But four plays later, the Buck­eyes got the ball back when Britzman couldn't find an open receiver on fourth down and was dropped for a 4y loss.
But two more three-and-outs sent the Hawkeyes into punt formation from the OSU 46. George "Binky" Broeder punted to FB Doug Goodsell, who muffed the punt into his end zone where he was smothered for a safety. Iowa 2 Ohio State 0 (7:48 left in the first half)
Several frustrating offensive series later, Iowa returned a punt to the Ohio State 38. But the OSU defense again thwarted the Hawkeyes with an interception.
The first half ended with no further scoring.

Ohio State's Tony Curcillo intercepts Hawkeye pass intended for Bobby Stearns (44).
(Ohio State University Makio Yearbook - Class of 1953)
Hawkeyes Finally Add to Their Lead
Iowa squandered a great chance to extend their lead in the first minutes of the second half. On the first play after receiving the kickoff, OSU TB John Borton threw a long lateral to Cassady, who was nowhere near the ball. Iowa's Andrew Houg fell on the ball on the OSU 13.
After three runs gained only 6y, Evashevski eschewed the field goal, but Britzman lost a yard to turn the ball over on downs.
The punters stayed busy the rest of the quarter. In the last two minutes, Iowa's Bernie Bennett returned a punt 43y to the OSU 25. This time the Hawkeyes were not to be denied. On third-and-four, FB Broeder took the ball but was hemmed in. So he lateraled to HB George Rice who ran for 7y and a first down on the 12. Two runs by Bobby Stearns made it third-and-five on the five when the third quarter ended.
Rice gained two and then one to get a new set of downs on the two. The Buckeyes continued to make it hard for the Hawkeyes, stopping Rice at the one and Stearns at the 1' line. Finally, Broeder pushed into the end zone. The conversion was missed. Iowa 8 Ohio State 0 (12:43 left in fourth quarter)

Bobby Stearns (44) carries for Iowa almost into end zone.
(University of Iowa Hawkeye Yearbook Class of 1953)
With no two-point conversion yet, Ohio State needed a touchdown, extra point, and field goal to win. They took the kickoff and drove into Iowa territory. Borton hit Rob­ert Joslin between two defenders for 5y, then found Robert Grimes for 10 more and a first down on the Iowa 30. When Borton's pass to Joslin on the two was ruled in­complete, Coach Hayes ran all the way down the sideline to protest to the officials that interference should have been called. That took the steam out of the drive as Bor­ton was smothered for a loss of 10 before connecting on a pass for 9y. But his fourth down pass was knocked down, and Iowa took over on its 31.
The Buckeyes would not get that close the rest of the game. FINAL SCORE: IOWA 8 OHIO STATE 0
The Iowa players lifted Coach Evashevski onto their shoulders and carried him off the field as the crowd went wild.
Paul Hornung, the longtime sportswriter for the Columbus Dispatch, opened his column on the game like this: "Iowa's cornfed supermen (for the day at least) de­throned Ohio State as upset team of 1952–and probably for years and years to come …"
The victory highlighted Evy's 2-7 maiden voyage in Iowa City. However, it was a portent of things to come, including Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl victories in 1956 and 1958.

Hawkeyes carry off Evashevski in triumph.
(University of Iowa Hawkeye Yearbook Class of 1953)
An Associated Press poll at the end of the year ranked the Hawkeye win over the Buckeyes as the third most startling upset in all of sports during 1952.
Almost 40 years later, Iowa LB Warren Lawson met Woody Hayes at a confer­ence in Columbus OH. Lawson: "As the adjutant general of Iowa, I was introduced to Woody as the only adjutant general to play on a team that beat Ohio State. Woody said, 'Where you from?' I answered, 'Iowa.' He said, 'My God, 1952 in Iowa Stadium. You know that was the most painful loss I ever experienced in coaching? You guys beat us out of going to the Rose Bowl and winning the Big Ten Conference.'"
75 Years with the Fighting Hawkeyes, Dick Lamb and Bert McGrane (1964)
What It Means to Be a Hawkeye
, Kirk Ferentz and Iowa's Greatest Players (2011)