Buckeyes Earn Fans' Respect Even After 24-21 Loss to Texas

Andrew GallagherContributor IJanuary 6, 2009

On Jan. 5, 2009, the Ohio State Buckeyes clashed with the Texas Longhorns in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.  The Buckeyes dominated the field in the first half holding Texas to just a field goal and holding the Longhorns to -3 yards, that is for the whole first half.

On offense, Ohio State's running game dominated, mostly because Beanie Wells had 96 yards in the whole first half, but so did the overall offense including the double QB spread.  

The Buckeyes controlled the ball for about 7 minutes more than Texas in the first half. The Buckeyes were able to move the ball well, racking up over 200 yards in the first half alone.  Though the sizzling Buckeye offense fizzled in the red zone, as they were held to just 6 points in the half, they entered halftime with a field goal lead.

Texas drove to the Buckeye 5 yard line but Heisman runner up Colt McCoy was picked off by defensive back Anderson Russell with just 3 seconds to go in the second quarter.

Texas came out firing on all cylinders as they scored 2 unanswered touchdowns to give them a 17-6 lead.  The third quarter ended and the game seemed as though it were already over, but not if Todd Boeckman, Terrell Pryor, and Dan "Boom" Herron, had anything to say about it.  

Ohio State drove into Texas territory but were help to yet another field goal.  The Buckeyes managed to stop Texas and get the ball back, they drove down the field quickly and got up to the 6-yard line.

Then the Buckeyes went into the double QB spread with Todd Boeckman, who finished with 5 completions for 110 yards and a touchdown, went into a shotgun formation.

Boeckman took the snap and immediately tossed it to fellow QB Terrelle Pryor, who finished with 5 completions as well but for only 66 yards though he ran for 78 yards and caught a pass for a touchdown.

The Buckeyes then tried for the extra point but missed, yet they still had managed to make it a 17-15 game.  Ohio State then forced a Texas 3 and out and the offense was at it again.  

The Buckeyes were able to drive deep into Texas territory again, and again they were able to capitalize off of Texas mistakes when Boom Herron ran it in for a 12 yard score with a little over 2 minutes to go, leaving Texas plenty of time to drive the ball down the field.

Again, the Buckeyes missed the extra point but they had still managed to grasp the lead making it 12-17 Ohio State.  It was now up to the tired and battle weary Buckeye defense to keep the lead intact.  

However, some higher being did not want the Buckeyes to win the game.  Texas drove down the field running into the obstacle of a fourth and 4.

The Buckeyes brought everyone that they could down on Colt McCoy hoping to pressure him into a bad decision; however, McCoy dumped the ball off to the halfback who appeared to have missed the first down by a yard but the ref gave Texas the favorable spot.  

Later that drive, McCoy, who finished with 41 completions for 414 yards, 2 passing touchdowns an interception as well as 7 carries for 3 yards with a touchdown, was able to get a pass off to Quan Cosby (14 receptions for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns) who broke a tackle and dove in for the score.

That would put Texas on top 24-21; however, an unsportsmanlike conduct call was made against Texas, it took effect on the following kickoff.  Texas kicked it away at their own 20 yard line, Ohio State took it back for 26 yards.

The Buckeyes would start the drive at the 48 yard line with just 16 seconds to go in the game.  Ohio State had time for just two, maybe three more plays.  On the first play from scrimmage Todd Boeckman was sacked in the pocket by All-American defensive end Brian Orakpo, the Buckeyes were forced to take just their second timeout.

So with five seconds to go the fate of the Ohio State Buckeyes rested in the hands of former All-Big Ten, former starter, and captain Todd Boeckman.  It would take miracle for Boeckman to put it in the end zone.  

Boeckman took the snap and dropped back, it seemed as though he had all day to throw, then the release.  It flew through the air like a missile I saw the whole 2008-09 season flashing before my eyes; USC, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Northwestern.

Then no sooner than when the play had begun it was over: "... and it's inter... no!  It's an incomplete pass!  Ohio State loses, and the Texas Longhorns are Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Champions!"

Other big performances that I would like to point out are those of:

  • Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells, who ran 16 times for 106 yards with one reception for 21 yards (Wells left the game in the third quarter with a concussion and did not return);
  • Ohio State's Brian Robiskie, who caught 5 passes for 116 yards;
  • Texas' Chris Ogbonnaya, who ran 11 times for 42 yards with 4 receptions for 56 yards; and
  • Texas' Jordan Shipley, who caught 10 passes for 78 yards.

I wouldn't take anything away from Ohio State though, they played their hearts out all four quarters, they went toe to toe with arguably the best team in the country and they didn't back down.  

Though they lost, Ohio State, who was supposed to be killed by this Texas team, went down swinging and never gave up.  The whole country basically said: "Why don't you Buckeyes just give up; you are going to get killed!"

But Ohio State didn't listen and they played an almost flawless game.  So hats off to you Ohio State, for keeping a close game and never giving up.  It is for this reason that you have earned the respect of this entire nation.


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