A year after the Giants and Patriots engaged in one of the greatest finishes in Super Bowl history, Texas and Ohio State took to the same field and delivered another instant classic.
Colt McCoy was denied the Heisman and Texas was denied a national championship. Monday night in front of the world, the Longhorns looked to gain a piece of the pie.
With 16 seconds left, McCoy completed a 26-yard pass to Quan Cosby to cap off a brilliant 11-play, 78-yard drive without using a single timeout to lead the No. 3 Texas Longhorns to a 24-21 victory in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl over the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes.
Texas' all-time leader in wins and career passing yards completed 41-of-58 passes for 414 yards and two scores.
Though Texas failed to make the statement it needed for a split national title, the favored Longhorns survived to notch their fifth straight bowl victory and third in a BCS game.
McCoy's 414 passing yards are the second-most by a Texas quarterback in bowl history, 61 yards behind Major Applewhite in the 2001 Holiday Bowl.
On the touchdown, Cosby caught a short pass, slipped a tackle and sprinted toward the goal line before diving into the end zone.
The loss by Ohio State makes it three straight BCS bowls for the Buckeyes, two of which coming in consecutive BCS National Championship games. Though they were not embarrassed like the last two seasons and had control for most of the game, the loss increases the Big Ten's shameful national reputation dropping their postseason record to an all-time worse 1-6; the conference has lost six consecutive BCS bowls.
The Fiesta Bowl provided another memorable, classic finish. Like its legendary finishes in 2003 and 2007, the 2009 version did not disappoint.
A defensive oriented first half ended saw Ohio State take a 6-3 lead into the locker room before an explosive 36-point second half by both teams. Texas took an 11-point lead after a 14-yard McCoy touchdown run and touchdown pass to Cosby, who caught 14 passes for 171 yards and two scores.
The Buckeyes would not lay down and took a four-point lead off of a Daniel Herron 15-yard run with 2:05 left before McCoy's final drive.
Chris "Beanie" Wells ran for 106 yards in his final game for the Buckeyes but only 10 yards in the second half. Splitting time at quarterback, Todd Boeckman completed 5-of-13 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown while freshman Terrelle Pryor threw for 66 yards, ran for 78 and caught a five-yard touchdown from Boeckman.
With one final chance, Ohio State received good field position following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that was tacked onto the kickoff following McCoy's go-ahead touchdown, but Boeckman was sacked on the initial play and his final Hail Mary pass fell short to secure a Texas victory.
Winning game MVP honors, McCoy now enters his senior season with the goals of winning the Heisman Trophy and a national championship that he rightfully believes was taken from him.