For current Oklahoma players, a successful Ohio State football program has been a constant for their entire lives.
Since 1995, Ohio State has won two national titles, played for two more and had two Heisman Trophy winners.
One of those championships holds a special place in senior linebacker Jordan Evans’ mind.
“Man, so my earliest memory of Ohio State football, I wanna say they were either playing Miami … Miami. I remember that game because I was at my grandmother’s house because my dad’s side of the family is all from Ohio, and they’re huge Ohio State fans," Evans said. "My great-grandmother is the biggest Ohio State fan you’ll ever meet. I remember she was down here; we watched that game, and she was going crazy and stuff — so that was my first. It was probably early 2000s.”
In that game, the Buckeyes beat the Miami Hurricanes 31-24 in double overtime in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, with running back Maurice Clarett diving across the goal line for the winning score.
Evans, who is a senior and team captain, said this is one of his earliest memories of college football. The current crop of Sooners has grown up in a world where Ohio State is a national power.
Here are some of the players, teams and earliest memories of Ohio State football that stand out to current Oklahoma players.
Kapri Doucet, junior linebacker
“I watched them growing up. I’d say Beanie Wells, Terrelle Pryor — those are two good guys that I really watched a lot growing up and looked up to.”
Tay Evans, sophomore linebacker
“The player that stands out to me is Ezekiel Elliott.”
Jonathan Alvarez, junior center
“Actually, one of their linemen, I grew up with him — Demetrius Knox. We played on the same select team when we were little, and he used to always tell me about how his family moved to Texas from Ohio, and his mom loved Ohio State.”
Abdul Adams, freshman running back
“I used to watch Braxton Miller and Terrelle Pryor. They’re both premiere, good guys. And when you’re young, you look at those guys and try to take moves and stuff from them, so it’s always good watching them.”
Steven Parker, junior safety
“I would say probably (former quarterback) Terrelle Pryor. That’s probably the Ohio State I kind of remember.”
Mark Andrews, sophomore receiver
“(It's) their winning. They’re a very winning program. They have five national titles, something like that. A lot of Heismans. They recruit really well. They always have athletes … they’re similar to us. They’ve won a lot of games, won titles.”
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, junior linebacker
“I remember them having an undefeated season (in 2012), and they didn’t really get to capitalize on that.”