Glendale, Arizona. The Ohio State Buckeyes and the University of Texas Longhorns got their potluck on for the thirty-eighth annual Fiesta Bowl in front of a packed house. Big 10 vs. Big 12 and a big kazoo in the back for you…if you can lift it.
Televised on Fox, the pre-game show included the Ohio State band forming the “Ohio” on the field–what a mesmerizing sight. The angle (long shot but not nearly high enough) wasn’t even that great, but it was so neat the way the band members interlaced with each other while holding enormous brass instruments. I kid you not.
What happens when the defense bets your bottom dollar with more ability than the offense? Something like the first half of today’s scheduled events. The first quarter hobbled halfway through before either team scored…in the form of a fifty-one yard field goal by Buckeyes kicker Aaron Pettrey. Lathered but so completely not repeated in the bottom of the quarter (that ball shot ludicrously left of the uprights). Ohio State 3 and Texas 0.
The second quarter began with a Longhorns field goal from twenty-seven yards (executed by kicker Hunter Lawrence). Both teams tied 3. Six minutes later, Buckeyes second kicker Ryan Pretorius smacked a thirty-yarder through the yellow-painted, double right angles. Ohio State 6 and Texas 0. The second quarter ended with Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy throwing an interception. Buckeyes defensive back Anderson Russell stepped in front of the goal line and caught the ball before it had the chance to find one of the Longhorns.
The third quarter progressed into the eight minute neighborhood when Colt McCoy darted fourteen yards into the end zone for a touchdown (he actually spun or twirled through the goal line). Texas 10 and Ohio State 6. And out from the fog comes an energized herd of Longhorns. Another TD in the bottom of the quarter, thanks to wide receiver Quan Cosby. Texas 17 and Ohio State 6.
The fourth quarter started off with a monster bang as Buckeyes quarterback Todd Boeckman threw the ball forty-eight yards to wide receiver Brian Robiskie. A couple plays later, Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor nearly threw an interception in the end zone. A forty-three yard field goal raised their numbers to 9, but Texas was still on top with 17. The Buckeyes hammer back with a slab of defense that undercut the Longhorns’ offensive progress–one would-have-been interception, one near-TD, and another impeccable catch by Brian Robiskie. Halfway through the quarter, after a pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Longhorns, the Buckeyes quarterbacks–Boeckman to Pryor–connected for a TD. They attempted but didn’t pull off a two-point conversion. Texas 17 and Ohio State 15.
But all was not lost, mes amis. After getting the ball back, running back Daniel Herron ran into the end zone. A two-point conversion was tried and Terrelle Pryor caught the ball, but offensive and defensive pass interference calls necessitated a do-over. The conversion was not successful the second time around. Pryor threw to tight end Rory Nicol, who couldn’t keep the ball in his grasp. Ohio State 21 and Texas 17. With under one minute left to play, the precise location of where the Longhorns would have their ball was challenged by Buckeyes head coach Jim Stressel (the first time he’s challenged a call all season). He lost the challenge. A few plays later, Longhorns Quan Cosby ran untouched into the end zone. Texas 24 and Ohio State 21. Final score. Well, good golly Miss Molly. The Texas Longhorns have won themselves a Fiesta Bowl.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. The national anthem was performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama. A touching performance. A bald eagle flew around.
2. Matt Vasgersian and Tim Ryan were the voices of Stating the Obvious and In Case You Didn’t Know Trivia.
3. The Buckeyes called tails, but the coin turned up heads. The Longhorns deferred.
4. Defensive back Shaun Lane of Ohio State was injured towards the bottom of the second quarter. He had to be driven off. Slow-motion instant replays revealed him running into Longhorns wide receiver Jordan Shipley.
6. Which school’s fans would win Tostitos’s Race to the Bowl challenge? Texas and $250,000 in scholarship money. Ohio State received $50,000.
7. University of Texas’s marching band played Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” during halftime. According to the announcer, it’s the most requested (and aired) song on American FM radio but was never released as a single. The announcer was nearly accurate in his remark.
8. Brian Robiskie’s father, Terry, is the wide receivers coach for the Atlanta Falcons.
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