Buckeyes no stranger to BCS invitations, wins
Ohio State is no stranger to Bowl Championship Series games - in the 10-year history of the BCS, the Buckeyes have been extended invitations to play six times, matching Florida State, Oklahoma and USC.
The Buckeyes traveled to New Orleans to take on Texas A&M in the 1999 Sugar Bowl. It took little time for the Buckeyes to make their mark during the BCS' infancy.
After trailing 7-0 early in the first quarter, OSU quarterback Joe Germaine capped off a 71-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Germany.
The defense took over from there, getting the ball back in the hands of Germaine and the offense, spurring a drive which led to a 10-yard run from fullback Joe Montgomery.
A blocked punt return for a touchdown by Kevin Griffin gave the Buckeyes a 21-7 advantage after the first quarter.
Kicker Dan Stultz added a second quarter field goal for a 24-7 lead, all but sealing the game for the Buckeyes.
Germaine set an OSU bowl record with 33 pass attempts and wide receiver David Boston set the mark for pass receptions with 11 in the Buckeyes' 24-14 victory.
OSU's next trip to the BCS was one for the record books. In a battle of undefeated teams, the Buckeyes and coach Jim Tressel, then in his second season, traveled to Tempe, Ariz. to take on the Miami Hurricanes in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.
Playing underdog to the defending national champion Hurricanes, the Buckeyes had everything to gain.
Miami struck first with a 25-yard pass from quarterback Ken Dorsey to wide receiver Roscoe Parrish for the 7-0 first-quarter lead.
Thanks to a pair of costly mistakes, the Buckeyes closed the first half with touchdown runs from quarterback Craig Krenzel and running back Maurice Clarett, giving OSU a 14-7 lead.
Kicker Mike Nugent drilled a 44-yard field goal in the third quarter, extending the OSU lead to 17-7.
Miami roared back with a 9-yard run from running back Willis McGahee. McGahee totaled 67 yards on the ground against the stingy OSU defense before OSU cornerback Will Allen laid a hit on the Miami star, tearing several knee ligaments and viciously ending McGahee's college career.
But the injury wasn't enough to stop the Hurricanes or kicker Todd Sievers, who drilled a 40-yard field goal to send the game to overtime at 17-17.
Miami struck first in OT with a 7-yard pass from Dorsey to tight end Kellen Winslow.
The Hurricane defense then put the Buckeyes into a 4th-and-14 situation before a pass from Krenzel to wide receiver Michael Jenkins helped breathe new life into the scarlet and gray.
Another strong stand pushed the Buckeyes into a 4th-and-3 scenario, which the Buckeyes could not convert. However, a late flag for pass interference kept the ball in OSU's possession, allowing a Krenzel run to even things up at 24-24.
Clarett's five-yard touchdown run in the second overtime put the Buckeyes up 31-24, giving Miami the ball needing no less than a tie to keep their championship dreams alive.
OSU's powerful defense subsequently held Miami, giving the Buckeyes their seventh National Championship.
The following season featured a return to Tempe, as the Buckeyes battled Kansas State in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl.
Following a first quarter blocked punt for a touchdown, Krenzel tossed touchdowns to wide receiver Santonio Holmes and Jenkins to give OSU a 21-0 lead.
Wildcats' running back Darren Sproles' 6-yard touchdown run cut the lead to 21-7 shortly before halftime.
After the break, KSU quarterback Ell Roberson ran 14 yards for a touchdown cutting OSU's lead to 21-14.
The Buckeyes finished the third quarter with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Krenzel to Jenkins and a 31-yard pass to Holmes to extend their lead to 35-14.
Two fourth-quarter touchdowns from the Wildcats were not enough to shake the Buckeyes as they held on for the 35-28 lead.
Tempe once again played host to OSU two years later against Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.
The Fighting Irish built a 7-0 lead thanks to a 20-yard run from running back Darius Walker only to see the Buckeyes match it with a 56-yard pass from quarterback Troy Smith to wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
Ginn struck again with a 60-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The big plays did not stop there as Smith connected with Holmes for a 85-yard touchdown giving the Bucks a 21-7 lead.
Two touchdown runs from Walker and two field goals from OSU kicker Josh Huston led to a 27-20 lead for the Buckeyes before running back Antonio Pittman busted a 60-yard run for a touchdown to wrap up the game for the Buckeyes.
The 2007 season saw the Fiesta Bowl, and the Buckeyes, moving from Tempe to Glendale, Ariz. for a shot at the National Championship against Florida.
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