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Pandemonium as Ohio wins the National Championship

Record: 14-0
Coach: Jim Tressel
Selectors: Unanimous

8/24     Texas Tech    W, 45-21
9/7       Kent State     W, 51-17
9/14     Washington State    W, 25-7
9/21     @Cincinnati   W, 23-19
9/28     Indiana           W, 45-17
10/5     @Northwestern    W, 27-16
10/12   San Jose State    W, 50-7
10/19   @Wisconsin     W, 19-14
10/26   Penn State        W, 13-7
11/2     Minnesota       W, 34-3
11/9     @Purdue          W, 10-6
11/16   @Illinois          W, 23-16(OT)
11/23   Michigan         W, 14-9
1/3/03  Miami(Fiesta Bowl)   W, 31-24(2OT)
QB Craig Krenzel                                                  DE Will Smith
HB Maurice Clarett                                              DT Kenny Peterson
FB  Branden Joe/Brandon Schnittker                   DT Tim Anderson
TE  Ben Hartsock                                                 DE Darrion Scott
WR Michael Jenkins                                            LB Cie Grant
WR Chris Gamble                                                LB Matt Wilhelm
C  Alex Stepanovich                                             LB Robert Reynolds
G Bryce Bishop                                                   CB Chris Gamble
G Adrein Clarke                                                   WS Donnie Nickey
T Ivan Douglas                                                     SS Mike Doss
T Shane Olivea                                                     CB Dustin Fox
K Mike Nugent                                                    P Andy Groom
KR Maurice Hall                                                 PR Chris Gamble

Game Briefs
  • TEXAS TECH--Maurice Clarett becomes the first true freshman halfback to start his first game as a Buckeye in the post-war era, and carries the Bucks on his shoulder, rushing for 175 yards and 3 TDs as Ohio wins the final Pigskin Classic.  The author attends the game and joins the crowd in chanting "MAURICE, MAURICE!"
  • KENT STATE--The Buckeyes jump out to a 35-0 lead and absolutely annialate the Golden Flashes.  Mike Doss and AJ Hawk each return picks for scores.
  • WASHINGTON STATE--Ohio trails 7-3 at halftime, but the Bucks dominate the second half and win 25-7, as Maurice Clarett rushes for 230 yards.
  • CINCINNATI--The Buckeyes survive a huge scare as Gino Guidulgi and his recievers can't connect in the end zone from the 15-yard line with under a minute to play.  On fourth down, Will Allen picks it off in the end zone and the Bucks survive.  Clarett misses the game with minor knee surgery.
  • INDIANA--The game is close until late in the second quarter, but the Bucks turn it on and send the Hoosiers home in defeat.
  • NORTHWESTERN--Ohio State survives three Clarett fumbles to beat the Wildcats 27-16 in a hard fought battle under the lights
  • SAN JOSE STATE--The Spartans expected to be crushed, and were.
  • WISCONSIN--A tense game is saved when Chris Gamble, inserted at CB, makes a tremendous interception, killing a late Badger drive and allowing Ohio to run out the clock
  • PENN STATE--Chris Gamble becomes the first Ohioan since Paul Warfield to start both ways, and returns an interception for a touchdown that proves to be the difference in a huge win.  Clarett's shoulder is injured; he will not play again until Michigan.
  • MINNESOTA--A close game at halftime is blown open in the 3rd quarter when Ohio terrorizes the Gophers' punting game. 
  • PURDUE--Ohio trails 7-3 with under 2 minutes to play and face a 4th & 1 near the Boilermaker's 40.  Craig Krenzel drops back, steps up, and calmly floats a TD pass to Michael Jenkins.  Chris Gamble then intercepts a bomb at the OSU 15 to seal the win
  • ILLINOIS--OSU and Illinois go back and forth, with Illinois kicking a field goal as time expires to force OT.  The Buckeyes get the ball first and Mo Hall goes 8 yards for a TD.  The defense holds Illinois and Ohio escapes 12-0 for the first time ever.
  • MICHIGAN--Michigan scores first with a FG, but a 3 yard Clarett run gives Ohio the lead in the 1st quarter.  Michigan adds 2 second quarter field goals to lead 9-7 at the half.  With around 5 minutes to play, Maurice Hall scores on second and goal on an option.  Michigan's drive is derailed when Will Smith recovers a John Navarre fumble at the 35 yard line.  Ohio has to punt and Michigan has one more chance.  With just 1 second remaining, Navarre is intercepted near the end zone by Will Allen and Ohio is heading to the Fiesta Bowl
  • MIAMI--Ohio is a 13 point dog, but the Bucks force two turnovers to set up touchdown runs by Krenzel and Clarett to lead 14-7 at the half.  A bomb to Chris Gamble in the 3rd quarter puts Ohio at first and goal at the 5, but Krenzel throws an interception.  However, Clarett runs down the Hurricane DB and strips the football from him at the 35.  Nugent's field goal puts Ohio up 17-7.  But Willis McGahee goes for a TD and it is 17-14 heading to the fourth.  A Will Allen hit destroys McGahee's knee, but as time expires Miami hits a field goal to force OT.  Miami quickly scores a Kellen Winslow TD.  On 4th and 12, Krenzel hits Jenkins to keep Ohio alive.  However, 4th down comes again and Chirs Gamble is interfered with in the end zone as Miami thinks they have won. Krenzel ties the game with a touchdown and a Nugent extra point.  Ohio takes the ball in 2nd OT and score with Clarett.  Miami's posession results in a 1st and goal at the 2.  Jarett Payton is stopped on first down, Ken Dorsey throws incomplete on 2nd, and Quad Hill is stuffed on third.  On 4th down, Cie Grant pressures Dorsey, who throws desperately into the end zone where four Bucks see that the ball falls incomplete, and Ohio State wins the National Championship.

Reflections, Post Fiesta Bowl

Craig Krenzel is carried off the field after Michigan is slayed