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Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2OT)
January 3, 2003 Fiesta Bowl
First OT National Title Game
"Tressel used the ploy to spur his players to get into proper physical condition. Little did he know. Little did anyone know that the Buckeyes would stop two streaks at 34: Miami's consecutive victories, and Ohio State's seasons since it last finished No. 1. The Buckeyes did it by beating Miami on three "last plays..." Read the entire column by Ivan Maisel, from ESPN.com:Last play is the biggest play for Buckeyes.
Ohio State vs Miami 2002 National Championship Game biggest plays
Final play: Cie Grant hits Miami's Ken Dorsey causing a wild pass that was knocked down by Matt Wilhelm.
All of the pregame talk centered on Dorsey, but it was Craig Krenzel who lifted his team to victory.
Miami DB Glenn Sharpe hits Ohio State's Chris Gamble as a ref looks on at the controversial play.
The Call? Tom Orr says "Are you kidding me?
"Shhhhhh! Point your ears to the south and listen very faintly. If the wind's not too loud, and there's not too much auto traffic near your vantage point, you might just be able to make out a very faint noise. It sounds a lot like a baby crying...
"Yes, Miami Hurricane fans are talking about the pass interference call again..."
View a few of the plays where the refs should have made calls-and they were very obvious-and they didn't. Click HERE to see for yourself.
What Did the Nation Think...About The Call?
Did game officials make the right call in flagging Miami's Glenn Sharpe for pass interference in the end zone during overtime in the Fiesta Bowl? Well, as of January 12, 82,821 voters responded to that by voting in a USA Today online poll. The results:
No. 9 Ohio State 31 ... Miami 24 OT, Fiesta Bowl January 3, 2003 At the time: Defending national champion Miami was 12-0 and the heavy favorites in the national championship against a 13-0 Ohio State team that wasn't always dominant, but always found a way to win.
The setup: After taking a 7-0 lead on a Ken Dorsey strike to Roscoe Parrish, it appeared that Miami was on its way to an easy win as the Buckeyes didn't get a first down until late in the first quarter. The Buckeyes finally got moving midway through the second quarter. After OSU quarterback Craig Krenzel was stuffed on third down on the goal line, head coach Jim Tressel had his first really big decision of the game. He went for it and Krenzel was barely able to get in to tie it at seven. The Buckeyes kept the Canes on their heels in the second half, but after a 57-yard pass play to Chris Gamble, disaster almost struck. Miami's Sean Taylor made a big play preventing an Ohio State touchdown with an interception, but OSU RB Maurice Clarett was able to catch up and rip the ball away from behind to give the Buckeyes the ball back leading to a 44-yard Mike Nugent field goal for a 17-7 lead. Miami star RB Willis McGahee was getting warmed up blowing past the tiring Buckeye front seven, but just as it looked like he'd take the game over, he suffered a blown out knee and was lost for the game. Miami couldn't seem to catch a break as Todd Sievers just missed a 54-yard field goal that would've tied things. However, Ohio State's offense couldn't find a way to run out the clock giving Dorsey had one last drive for a national title set up by a long punt return by Roscoe Parrish. Dorsey got his Canes into position and Sievers came through putting the game into overtime with a 40-yard field goal.
The ending: The Canes scored on a seven-yard touchdown pass to TE Kellen Winslow on their first overtime possession. Miami appeared to have the national championship won when Glenn Sharpe broke up a Krenzel pass in the end zone on fourth down, but he was nailed with a controversial pass interference call to keep the game alive. Krenzel punched it in for a one-yard TD run to force a second overtime. Maurice Clarett scored on a five-yard touchdown run on OSU's possession in the second overtime for a 31-24 lead. On Miami's turn, Dorsey got his bell rung and had to come out on the biggest drive of the year. After a few time outs to try and clear the star quarterback's head, Dorsey was able to come back in and completed a perfect fourth down pass to Winslow to keep the season alive. With first and goal on the six, the Buckeyes got nailed with a pass interference call on Chris Gamble to give the Canes first and goal from the one. Jarrett Payton was stopped. Second and goal. Dorsey couldn't connect with a wide-open Eric Winston. Third and goal. Stopped. Fourth and the national title from the one. Ohio State got pressure on Dorsey forcing a prayer that went nowhere, and the Buckeyes had the national title.
How they ended up: Ohio State finished 14-0 and won the national title in both polls. Miami finished second
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Final NCAA Division I-A ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
The USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Top 25 college football coaches' poll, with number of first-place votes and record in parentheses, total points, previous ranking and last game results: