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OSU Hall of Fame Game set Saturday

September 9, 2011
By BETTY POKAS - Times Leader Sports Writer , Times Leader

PANCAKES won't be on sale at Ohio State concession stands Saturday when the Buckeyes face the Toledo Rockets, but the player who made the "pancake block" famous at OSU will be among the university's annual Hall of Fame Game honorees.

Orlando Pace, who became known for the pancake during his junior year, finished the season with 80 pancake blocks, which involve knocking a defender to the ground and on his back. Ohio State distributed Orlando Pace pancake magnets as a promotion for his Heisman Trophy run.

In addition to Pace, other football players selected for the HofF are Mike Doss, co-captain of the 2002 National Championship Team; Leo Raskowski, team captain of the 1928 Buckeyes that went 5-2-1 overall, including a 19-7 win over Michigan; and Bobby Watkins, who led OSU in scoring in 1953 and 1954.

Pace, a two-time, first-team All-American and two-time All-Big Ten Selection, started in every game for the Buckeyes between the 1994-96 campaigns. He didn't allow a sack in either of his last two years.

In 1995, he made college football history by becoming the first sophomore to win the Lombardi Award and the following year, made history again by becoming the first two-time winner of that trophy. Awarded the Outland Trophy, Pace was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1996.

Pace, recipient of numerous honors, was selected by his teammates as OSU's MVP in 1996 after leading the squad to a co-Big Ten championship and a 20-17 victory in the 1997 Rose Bowl.

In the 1997 NFL draft, he was selected first overall by the St. Louis Rams. He played 13 seasons in the NFL and received a Super Bowl ring after the Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999.

Also receiving a Super Bowl ring was Doss, who was on the 2006 Indianapolis Colts team that won Super Bowl XLL. A three-time first team All-American at OSU, he was a three-time All-Big Ten selection and was named 2002 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

In addition to honors received for leading the Buckeyes in tackles as a sophomore and junior, he collected a personal high 107 tackles as a senior and was named to first-team All-America berths on the Associated Press, Football Writers, Football Coaches, Sporting News and Walter Camp teams.

Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft, Doss played six seasons on three teams.

Raskowski, now deceased, was a tackle who helped to lead OSU to 16 victories in three seasons, highlighted by a 7-1 mark in 1926. He was the first team captain to be elected at the close of the season after a rule passed by the athletic board when the 1928-29 academic year began.

He played for three seasons in the NFL on four teams including the Staten Island Stapletons, Brooklyn Dodgers, Pitttsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Eagles.

Watkins had a major role when OSU claimed the 1954 national championship, the second national crown in program history. Ohio State, with his help, was voted No. 1 in the final AP poll in 1954 after outscoring its opponents 289-75.

One of Woody Hayes' first recruits and one of the first African-Americans to play football for OSU, he rushed for 1,724 yards between 1952-54, and led the team with 875 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 1953. Drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bears in 1955, he played four seasons before a knee injury ended his football career.

Other Athletics HofF inductees to be honored at halftime of Saturday's game are Didi Albrecht, rowing; Raj Bhavsar, men's gymnastics; Mitch Clark, wrestling; Katy Craig, women's track and field; Jessica Marshall, pistol; Stacey Roth, softball and Kristen White, women's golf.

Saturday's game will include an opposing head coach who was an OSU assistant coach from 2005-06. Tim Beckman now is in his third year at Toledo with a record of 14-12 overall.

OSU head coach Luke Fickell in last week's win over the Akron Zips became the first OSU head coach to record a shutout in his head coaching debut since Hayes in 1951.

That game also was the OSU debut for Evan Spencer, wide receiver. The son of Tim Spencer, former St. Clairsville resident now running backs coach for the Chicago Bears, and his wife, Gilda, younger Spencer made an outstanding catch during the game. He commented, "We had a go route called. I didn't think the ball was going to come to me until I realized I had my guy beat. I didn't think Braxton (Miller) was going to throw it but then he did so I had to make the catch. It was great."

This week's game includes two Toledo players linked to Eastern Ohio. One is Justin Olack, a freshman wide receiver who played for Washington High School, Massillon, and whose parents are Shadyside High School graduates, and the other is Dwight Macon, a redshirt freshman quarterback who is a Steubenville High School graduate.

Olack in his early years lived in Shadyside. His parents are Joe and Karen (Kieffer) Olack.

As a high school senior, Olack was rated as a three-star recruit by and Beckman described him as "a big, tall receiver who can really move. He's also a great track athlete. We are very excited about Justin's potential."


BOTH TEAMS enter Saturday's game with victories; Toledo defeated New Hampshire last week, 58-22, and OSU downed Akron, 42-0.

REGARDING football, OSU's loss is the Indianapolis Colts' gain.

SATURDAY'S game will begin at noon at the 'Shoe.

Pokas can be reached at



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