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HOME SWEET HOME. Senior Quarterback Craig Krenzel will have fond memories of the Fiesta Bowl as he capped off a magnificent career at Ohio State by leading the Buckeyes to their Second Straight Fiesta Bowl victory with a 35-28 triumph over Kansas State. Ohio State led the entire game and then held off a fourth quarter Kansas State rally as Krenzel tied his personnel record by throwing for 4 touchdown passes in the win. The effort enabled Krenzel to walk away with the Fiesta Bowl MVP trophy for the second year in a row. Krenzel outplayed the much hyped Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson, who unexpectedly was allowed to play despite a late night sexual-assault accusation by a woman the day before the game.
SPECIAL TEAMS SET THE TONE.......when Ohio State took the lead 7-0 when they scored their first touchdown of the game by blocking a punt and Dayton native John Hollins returned it 16 yards for a touchdown at the 6:41 mark of the first period.
DEFENSE STEPS UP AGAIN......as Ohio State, with the top-ranked rushing defense in the country, held Kansas State All-American Darren Sproles to a season-low 38 yards on 13 carries and forced Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson to misfire on his passing game as he only managed to complete 37% of his passes.
OFFENSE "DID THEIR JOB"......while not specatular, Ohio State was able to move the ball on the ground as Junior tailback Lydell Ross finished with 84 yards on 21 carries and running back Branden Joe provided a second half spark with his brutal "smash mouth" running as he took over for Ross and gained 46 yards on 10 carries. Meanwhile, quarterback Craig Krenzel, after two early interceptions, was solid as he was 11-24 for 189 yards with 4 touchdowns.
CHARACTER MAKES A DIFFERENCE.........Character seemed to triumph over greed in the Ohio State victory. Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel once again proved that an "underdog team" who has a coach who tries to instill character and confidence in a football team can triumph over a coach, in this case Bill Snyder of Kansas State, who ignores the "character aspect" and is just interested in "winning at all costs". Coach Bill Snyder chose to start a Quarterback who missed the team curfew by about 6 hours and was charged with a criminal act THE DAY BEFORE THE FIESTA BOWL. Compare that to Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel's eerily similar situation which occurred back in his first year of coaching at Ohio State when his team was playing a highly ranked Michigan team on the road and his 3 year Senior starting quarterback was caught out past the team curfew drinking and the coach had to determine whether to start his senior quarterback or go with an unknown, unproven sophomore backup quarterback against mighty Michigan. The decision? Unlike the Kansas State "leader", Coach Tressel decided to send a valuable lesson about character to his squad as he decided to suspend his senior quarterback and start an unknown sophomore back up quarterback - and that player turned out to be then sophomore quarterback Craig Krenzel. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, on the other hand, sent a message of a different sort to his team when faced with a similiar decision as he let Senior Ell Roberson play the entire game. The decision OBVIOUSLY backfired as quarterback Ell Roberson never got it going - he only completed 3 of his first 13 passes and his team seemed distracted by his presence on the field as they trailed the entire game on their way to defeat.
OSU BONEHEAD PLAY OF THE GAME...... goes to running back Lydell Ross. After Kansas State used their last time out with just over a minute left in the game, Ohio State, faced with a 3rd and 15, decided to call a run play to wind down the clock.......and handed the ball off to Lydell Ross........and as Lydell was being stopped for no gain he inexplicably decided to prance out of bounds........to stop the clock for Kansas State!........hello....anybody home....Lydell that was the worst decision you will ever make as a Buckeye and one of the stupidest decisions I have seen in my 4 decades of watching college football.....no excuse.....none....luckily it didn't cost us the game.....it is my hope that a freshman tailback supplants you as the starter next season..... it's those type of decisions that win or lose close football games and the team overcame your gaff this time.......
THE POLLS....will probably vote Ohio State as the number 4 team in the nation behind USC, LSU, and Oklahoma and while it's not "#1" like last year, it's always satisfying to finish ahead of Michigan in the polls. UM will likely fall to somewhere around # 9 with the loss to USC in the Rose Bowl.....see you next year.............
SPECIAL OHIO STATE LINKS
I. OSU BOWL HISTORY:
II. OHIO STATE vs MICHIGAN HISTORICAL LINKS:
II. OHIO STATE VS MICHIGAN GAME SUMMARY'S:
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